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Chicken: Crispy Skin

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The dilemma of the MES. Love the smoker, but the cap of 275 for temperature makes getting a nice crispy skin on the chickens tough.

I had some success taking them out a bit early then tossing them in the oven at 400 for the last 20-30 minutes. That has given inconsistent results. A couple times it was great. The last time I tried it I ended up with the worst of all worlds, a bit tough and yet still chewy.

What are the words of wisdom? Next week I'm going to be doing about 20 cornish game hens with primarily cherry wood and ideally want that skin crispy and inviting.
post #2 of 11
You can try putting some mayonaise on it before it goes in the smoker. i heard that helps some. I throw them on my gasser for 20 to 30 minutes. Crisp them up pretty good.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Interesting. The whole cornish game hens thing is an experiment. Local place has em for $.99/lb, which is about 1/3 of normal around here, so I'm loading up. I'm going to try a couple on Sunday to test cooking times and such for such a small bird. I'll try some mayo on one to give a report.

Any other thoughts?
post #4 of 11
I think yard birds need to be cooked at a higher temp to avoid the rubber skin. I do them on my Weber kettle using the off set method and this is usually in the 300o range and they come out great.
post #5 of 11
yup me too-I grill birds don't smoke them-just my 2 yen.
post #6 of 11
someone here awhile back, mentioned summin bout spraying the skin with pam, that crisped the skin up...........
post #7 of 11
Cornish game hens are pretty much my favorite Q these days. I use small cans like Starbucks Espresso, V-8, or Red Bull to cook them like beer can chicken (only I use Dr Pepper in the cans). I smoke them and forget about the skin. But, for you skin eaters, just finish them under the broiler in the oven. Or, if you are a purist and can't force yourself to put Q in the oven, all you need is a fire. A charcoal chimney makes a pretty good oven. Grab you little birds with tongs and roll them over the high heat until they get the color you want.
post #8 of 11
What Flash said. I have used mayo before and gotten a decent skin on turkey and chicken. That is with a Brinkmann that struggled to reach 250.

Another suggestion would be to try to pick up a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie and run them on the spit for about 10 to 15 minutes. That would suck trying to get 20 hens done though!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Doing a test run tomorrow morn of 4 cornish game hens

Its a 12 hour brine (black tea based brine, with chinese spices as a variation).

Tonight I'm going take it out and let sit in the fridge the airdry the skin. Tomorrow morning I'm going to baste two with some oil and two with some mayo as variations on a theme then into the smoker at 275

Will take out a little early, baste each again this time with peanut and sesame oil and stick in the oven at 450 or so till done.

I'll let you all know how it works. Depending on how it goes I'll adapt things for the big friday smoke
post #10 of 11


lightly sprinkle the bird with corn starch before putting in smoker-PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sure. Why not? I'll do one with the cornstarch. This is a test batch after all :)
I'm feeling all scientifical icon_surprised.gif
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