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Skin Looks Good Enough To Eat!!! but.......

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey all!

Quick question about poultry skin. I love smoking whole chickens, whole turkey, chicken thighs etc..

I will usually brine whole birds followed by a dry rub then off to the smoker.

I almost always get a near perfect bird out that is moist and juicy with the skin looking tasty and crispy.....but it always comes out soft and spongy!

With all of the rub flavor and the beautiful color I would love to be able to serve/eat the skin.

Any ideas on how to get the skin to crisp up? I've considered broiling or even using a propane torch.



post #2 of 17
to get it crispy you need to finish at a high heat and baste with Olive oil. Or finish on a hot grill again using the olive oil. The fat in the oil helps crisp the skin at high temps.
post #3 of 17

what temperature are you smoking at? I see a lot of people saying their poultry comes out with rubbery skin and I think thats because they are smoking at too low of a temperature to obtain the results they are looking for. I like to cook chicken on the hot side at 300-350, not only for the crispy skin but also because I don't think a lean meat like chicken really benefits the same way something like a pork shoulder or brisket does from a long low temp smoke. Even at 350* you are light years away from the temps people hit when grilling chicken but it definitely produces amazing skin. I also think a salt based rub does wonder for ensuring a crispy exterior on your bird I usually just use Tony Chachere's creole seasoning or even montreal chicken  seasoning.


good luck! 

post #4 of 17

I generally cook poultry between 275 and 300.  But as previously said smoke it at the lower temps and either raise the smoker temp to 300 or toss on the grill



post #5 of 17


Now I agree with Al on this one. I smoke my poultry at a higher then normal temp. Usually around 275*-300* just so the skin will crisp up. If it doesn't crisp up enough for you then use the techqunic that Brian is talking about and use a regular grill and crisp the skin over high heat.

post #6 of 17
Deleted by SausageBoy!
Edited by SausageBoy - 3/10/12 at 9:52am
post #7 of 17

After smoking low and slow, I like to remove the center section of the WSM and place the grill with the chicken on the charcoal ring directly over the hot coals in the bottom section.   I have covered it with the kettle grill lid but I have skipped this step with good results as well.  The skin gets nice and crispy.  Like this:







post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by SausageBoy View Post

I'm not a fan of cranking up the temperature at the end of cooking, especially with poultry, because the juice may/can/does run out in a steady stream!!!
As mentioned, temperature is important, it also helps to dry the skin so that it's dry to the touch.

I agree with this, It seems like such a waste spending the extra time smoking your chicken only to torch it on the grill at the end. I would just try smoking it at a temp closer to 300* and your bird will come out perfectly juicy and have crisp skin to boot.


post #9 of 17

We smoke our poultry at 300-325. The skin is always good.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

I think I'll do a couple birds tomorrow. I'll dry the skin throughly before hand and smoke em' at about 275-300.

I'll try to provide some Q-view and let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the tips!!

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks All!!1

The higher temp is the key I think. It's a bit trickier to keep the heat up that high but I have found a decent balance using kiln dried hardwood flooring cut-offs from a couple recent jobs I've done.

post #12 of 17
It's not treated or pre- finished flooring is it?
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by bmudd14474 View Post

to get it crispy you need to finish at a high heat and baste with Olive oil. Or finish on a hot grill again using the olive oil. The fat in the oil helps crisp the skin at high temps.

This is the way I finish mine. Always comes out perfect!


post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ha!  No pre finished or treated wood for me. kiln dried oak and hickory!

post #15 of 17
Just thought I'd ask. Some people just don't think of those things. Lol
post #16 of 17

catnts, if all else fails, or skin-on methods don't produce the results you want, go naked (skinless):


A different look at the lowly skinless bird:


Just a couple examples of the many ways you can prepare skinless yard birds for some great eats. Skinless breast is great, too, btw. Cook to temp, not time...165* in the breasts and 170* in the thighs for me, and I don't have pink meat or juices next to the bone that way.




post #17 of 17

So some of the smokers used here do not go above 250 and the grill or a broiler does produce a nice finish without drying out the bird as previously mentioned. I know this personally as my SmokinTex tops out at 250 and I finish on the grill regularly 

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