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Brining Them Birds

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I usually brine whole chickens, then don't use a rub. Then  I use an apple smoke on low (200-250) for about 4 hours.

The flavor and moisture is EXCELLENT. But the skin is usually too rubbery, I like the skin, but my wife doesn't so she don't care. Are there any ideas to get the skin to complement the bird?

post #2 of 5

Yep...You can smoke low and slow then pull the birds 5-10*F shy of 170*F and finish in a 450*F Oven or Hot, indirect heat, Grill. This will crisp the skin and finish the cook. The other method is IF your smoker will do it, Smoke at 300-325*F, The skin will be crisp and no noticeable difference in tenderness or moisture in the meat...JJ


BTW...Letting the Skin dry in the refer overnight helps as well...

post #3 of 5
Brining isn't what is making moist birds... I never brine and have dipping wet chickens.

I throw chickens on my mini or uds@ 200...let it climb up to 325 and keep it in that neighborhood. Crispy tasty dripping wet chickens EVERY time!
post #4 of 5

JJ and FWI have pretty much said it all.

I usually go one of 2 ways on chicken. I either open up the package, season it and throw it on the smoker at 325˚+ and wait for it to hit 165˚, or I go a little overboard. The latter usually involves spatchcocking, brining, drying overnight and smoking. I get decent skin either way. However, if I brine and then skip letting the bird dry in the fridge, I get pretty rubbery skin. For reasons I don't completely understand, the same brining process that leads to more moist and tender meat leads to tough, nasty skin. I believe it's similar to first part of the "tanning" process used in preserving hides for things like leather shoes. In an ideal world, we could brine the meat and leave the skin out in the air to dry. So we make do by brining the whole shootin' match and then leaving it all uncovered in the fridge overnight.

There is a 3rd option. The dry brine. Basically you just salt the crap out of the bird and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours. This (and Lord forgive me for opening this can of worms again) I believe pulls moisture out of the skin letting it get nice and tender, while at the same time it denatures the proteins in the meat allowing it to hold onto more of its natural juices during the coking process. Many claim this is the superior option as instead of adding a bunch of moisture to the meat, thereby diluting the already subtle flavor, it intensifies the flavor. I'll admit to very limited experience in this method, but the one time I did it, the chicken was pretty tasty.

So there's my 2 cents worth. Chicken's cheap, so try a few different methods and see what works for you. And don't forget to come back and let us know how it turns out!

post #5 of 5

Keep practicing... you'll hit you mark and if you keep a Log of your cooks, you can document your test and better your results quicker...biggrin.gif besides , it's fun to go back in time to recall the fun you had.


Have fun and as always...

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