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Crispy Skin when no fridge is available

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So i had a idea i wanted to run by the group and see what your thoughts were. I'd like to improve the crispiness of my chicken thigh skin for competitions. We all know that sticking the chicken in the fridge for a few hours at home will help dehydrate the skin but when your at a competition you dont have this luxury, and a cooler will not do the trick.

 

I was thinking that maybe if i put a very good coating of salt on the skin for a couple hours before my smoke and then trying to wipe off as much as possible would do the trick. The problem is ensuring you dont have a heavy salt taste on the skin when judge bite into it.

 

Any thoughts? Or tricks that you guys use?

post #2 of 15
Wonder if a hair dryer would dry it out?....thinking out of the box here......perhaps a few shots from a CO2 fire extinguisher?....that gets wayyyyy cold.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

haha! i could imagine what other competitors think with me over there with fire extinguisher "smoke" blowing out of my tent LOL

post #4 of 15

Isn't there a cooking technique where the make a meringue and then fold in copious amounts of salt and encase the meat with it ? Makes a hard crust, holds moisture but doesn't subject the meat to a salty taste. I am sure some Chef would know the name for it.

 

Its one of those classical thingies. Don't really see how it would work here without heat though.

post #5 of 15
A hair dryer does work!!! I have a thread here where I used the hair dryer on a turkey. Took about 2 minutes!
post #6 of 15
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ah i do remember this post! Very interesting. i'll have to try both methods at home and see how they turn out

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

Isn't there a cooking technique where the make a meringue and then fold in copious amounts of salt and encase the meat with it ? Makes a hard crust, holds moisture but doesn't subject the meat to a salty taste. I am sure some Chef would know the name for it.

 

Its one of those classical thingies. Don't really see how it would work here without heat though.

 

Its called a salt crust, but you cook in it.  I don't know if it would help precook and it would block the smoke if you kept it on during the cook.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Willie View Post

Wonder if a hair dryer would dry it out?....thinking out of the box here......perhaps a few shots from a CO2 fire extinguisher?....that gets wayyyyy cold.

Hair dryer could work but the fire extinguisher wouldn't. It isnt the cold from the fridge as much as the fact the fridge dehydrates
post #10 of 15

I just use a fan inside then refrigerator. Works very quick.

 

TBSTBS

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougmays View Post
 

So i had a idea i wanted to run by the group and see what your thoughts were. I'd like to improve the crispiness of my chicken thigh skin for competitions. We all know that sticking the chicken in the fridge for a few hours at home will help dehydrate the skin but when your at a competition you dont have this luxury, and a cooler will not do the trick.

 

I was thinking that maybe if i put a very good coating of salt on the skin for a couple hours before my smoke and then trying to wipe off as much as possible would do the trick. The problem is ensuring you dont have a heavy salt taste on the skin when judge bite into it.

 

Any thoughts? Or tricks that you guys use?

 

Why would a cooler not work? (providing it had ice in it)

 

Could you bring a college size frig along?

 

I would think instead of a blow dyer, use a heat gun!

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Coolers dont have the same dehydrating capabilities that a fridge does

post #13 of 15

How about one of those small ceramic heaters 1000-1500 watt that have a fan. If you have elect.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple Sticks View Post

How about one of those small ceramic heaters 1000-1500 watt that have a fan. If you have elect.

It's not about heat it's about air flow. You could use any small fan, but you need to make sure that the meat stays below 40f. As I mentioned in this thread a hair dryer works well on low heat, right before going into the smoker. I guess your ceramic heater would too, if you could get it on low or no heat. We have to keep the bird safe which means 40-140 in four hours. The reason a fridge works best is they are always drawing moisture out of the compartment, and the temperature is where it needs to be to keep the food safe.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

Isn't there a cooking technique where the make a meringue and then fold in copious amounts of salt and encase the meat with it ? Makes a hard crust, holds moisture but doesn't subject the meat to a salty taste. I am sure some Chef would know the name for it.

 

Its one of those classical thingies. Don't really see how it would work here without heat though.

Thats called using a salt dome. You would not get smoke to the chicken doing it.

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