post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by eman View Post

Chicken is one of the easiest things to dry out when smoking it.

 You might try laying a few strips of bacon on top of each piece to keep some fat on it.

 Will change your flaor profile a bit,but a lil bacon never hurt anyone.

True, very true...pork chops being a close second on the list, IMO.



To go along with the rest, I would also add that internal temps are everything with lean meats such as chicken breast, pork loin and the various lean cuts of beef, so probe if at all possible. Looks are only a small part of the picture.


Some other aids for moisture retention are added smoke chamber humidity, and slightly reduced smoke chamber temps (200-210*) for smaller cuts. The reduction in chamber temp slows the internal temp climb rate, which in turn can reduce moisture loss due to steam-off, plus, give you more time to react to internal temp readings. The higher the chamber temp, the faster the internal temp rise, the less time you have to get things moving, the more chance you have to over-cook by not catching temps on time, etc, get the point.


If skin-on bird is your thing, fine, but it's not necessary for moisture retention. I smoke skinless whole birds, quarters, brests, thighs...everything but the wings themselves...cook to minimum recommended (165* breast), but I like to go to 170* in bone-in thighs...never had dried out chix with skinless if I keep internal temps in check.


Pork chops are another story...usually too thin for my probes to work accurately, so I go by the amount and color of pooling juices on the top and a cut into the meat to determine color...not the best, but never had issues (USDA inspected meats only), and don't have a better way at this point.