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Chicken Thigh Brine: Skin on or off

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So i am cooking up some chicken thighs this weekend for practice as if they will be used in competition.  So i plan on de-boning, brining, scraping the fat off skin.  But i swear i saw some information from a pitmaster that removed the skin and put just the meat in the brine while he removed the fat from the skin and then left the skin in the fridge while the chicken brined.  He said this would help negate some of the "rubbery skin" effect by not subjecting the skin to the brine.  

Does anybody do this or am i just crazy?   

post #2 of 3

Skin is a protein.  Muscle is a protein.  Brine "denatures" proteins as it penetrates the tissue replacing the fluids. 

 

I don't compete but when I brine poultry (skin on) I find that I get a crispier skin if I pat it very dry with paper towels then let the brined poultry dry in the refrigerator overnight.  I believe I remember reading that tip here on SMF. 

 

Not brining the skin as described above would accomplish the same thing. 

post #3 of 3
I think this is one of the reasons why most comp guys inject rather than brine. Removing the skin creates the problem of getting it to stick back on the chicken. Brining does saturate the skin, and in a competition environment there isn't usually time to air dry it. I'd say the best bet is to partially remove it, scrape the subcutaneous fat, inject the chicken and then use Ol' Myron's cupcake method. That's produced the best skin texture for me.
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