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BBQ Throwdown, Need Suggestions, Please!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Help, please!


My brother in law just got a smoker and challenged me to a throwdown tomorrow,


He's doing ribs.  I'm doing chicken quarters.


Now, I just did some earlier today, and I was very pleased with the taste of the chicken, but the skin was inedible.  It looked good, but it was like rubbery, or something.  I put rub on the outside of the skin, but I'm guessing now that was a waste because it didn't seem to permeate the skin.


I've read that some people take the chicken out of the smoker and put it on the grill to crisp the chicken skin.  I've also read that some people crank up their smoker temp, but I'm not experienced enough yet managing a fire to pull that off.


Is going to the grill after the smoke my best option?


Are there any other ways to get better skin? 


Would oiling the skin before I put it in the smoker help?


Is it possible to pull the skin back on leg quarters and put rub in there to make up for the rubbery skin?


Lastly, I'd like to make a good BBQ sauce to bring.  I made a batch a couple weeks ago from a recipe I found here at SMF.  It was great, but it took a lot of ingredients and effort,


Can someone please point me to a good simple BBQ sauce for chicken?



(I haven't purchased Jeff's recipes yet, but I aim to)


post #2 of 9

I can't help with the sauce deal since I only use sauce in my beans. Well I said never, the only time I will use sauce is if I am at a comp and I kill something really bad. At that point I figure I can't loose and drowned it.


I have been experimenting with chicken thighs as that is one of my chores at the next comp. I have been using a coat of olive oil EVOO to be exact.


I pull the skin and treat the meat under the skin with a super slim slab of butter, and my cavanders salt free. I fold the skin back over and wrap around the thigh when it sets down on the grate. I still put some rub on top of the EVOO.


Last time I ran the UDS at a little over 250 for the most part. I did have to watch them close since the first time I totally killed them. Now I didnt let them go much if any past 165. The girls at work said they had never eaten chicken like that. One of them ask if I soaked them in some kind of juice after I cooked them.








I have started turning them upside down for about 10 minutes to help the skin. Sorry I didnt get a right side up shot this time. I actually soaked these in Itialian dressing but then I washed it off since I had bad luck with the first batch.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response, Tom


I was thinking oil on the skin might help.  I like the butter under the skin trick, too.  I'm thinking I should definitely try that.


post #4 of 9

I have also remvoed the skin, scraped off some of the fat, then re-weapped the thigh in the skin. I think that is a thirdeye trick - but it was good because - 1 - not as much fat and 2 - less rubbery. I usually cook my chicken raised direct at about 275 - still gets a smokey flavor and the skin is not like rubber.


I do have one question... if it's a throwdown - how come you are doing 2 different meats? Seems like apples and oranges... Good luck!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

thanks for the good suggestions, ellymae!   much appreciated!


i do think it would help to boost the temp.  i was running on the low side of 250 most of my smoke today.


we're doing different items because it's a last minute thing.  he already planned on doing ribs so he's ready to go and cooking on his home turf.


if i did ribs i'd have to start at about 4 am and after smoking today, i'm not really interested in getting up that early


i can sleep in to 6:30 and still do the chicken in plenty of time before i have to leave to drive over to his house.


i'll leave the ribs to ribs throwdown for another time.  this is more an exhibition rather than a true competition, i suppose.

post #6 of 9

Good luck with the throwdown, Let us know how it goes! I would take chicken over ribs any day!! Also, I have a recipe for comp style chicken if your interested PM me and I would be glad to share.

post #7 of 9

Put them onto a hot grill for 20-30 minutes at the start of the smoke.... then smoke them till done. It really makes a good skin.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks again to all that responded to my request for help!  I am deeply grateful for all the tips and suggestions!  Thanks for helping me out.


From my first attempt at smoking chicken quarters yesterday,I knew my chicken was going to taste great but I was worried about the skin.  Yesterday my skin looked great, but it was rubbery and inedible. 


With the great advice I got here, and with a killer recipe and personal coaching from raptor700, the skin wasn't just edible, it was delicious.  His recipe saved the day.  I was thrilled beyond belief to be able to present the total package and not have to make excuses for that lame ol rubbery skin.


I got lots and lots of positive comments on the chicken.  My brother in law smoked some of the tastiest ribs I ever had.  They were fall off the bone, melt in your mouth tender and really nicely spiced (from an amazing brine he concocted semi-randomly from things on hand).  In all my years of visiting and eating meals with relatives, I've never asked to take food home from someone's house.  His ribs were so good, I asked to take some home. 


So, as happy as I was with my chicken and as much as I liked his ribs, I'd have to call the throwdown pretty close to a tie.  If you count the fact that he was hosting, I'd prrobably give him the win this round.


I was just happy to be able to represent, and thanks to my friends here at SMF, and particularly raptor700, I could and did!


Unfortunately, when I went to get my wife's camera to take some pix during the smoke today, the battery was dead (from all the Q views I've done in the last 4 weeks, LOL), so I didn't get to do a Q view to document my great success today.    Very disappointing, because I love doing Q views almost as much as I do smoking. 




post #9 of 9

Congrats on a good smoke  Glad I could help!

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