Boiled Chicken, You Say?

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SmokinEdge

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Jan 18, 2020
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Lately there has been some discussion on the Forum, and privately, about chicken tecniques mostly concerning the skin texture when smoking. So I thought I’d share how I do it.

Now to be fair here is a disclaimer, I have never cooked in competition Bbq. I only cook for hungry people. I always just try to produce a quality meal that’s good to eat, and that’s how I approach all of my processes.

That said, I most always boil my chicken first. This renders the fat which likes to catch fire pretty easy, so boiling solves that. Next the boil puffs The skin up and changes the texture to something softer and more plyable. Also pre cooking the chicken means when I go to the smoker all I’m looking for is the color I want, and to set the sauce. It lets me control the time instead of the IT controlling time. To me that is helpful. I boil the chicken to at least 165 IT, but try not to get it up to high.

Now, this by no means makes perfect chicken skin, but it’s not shoe leather either. The meat dose take on nice smoke flavor. Obviously if you are grilling and not low smoking, this extra step really isn’t needed, but in the smoker I find the boiling step very helpful.

Here is one recent smoke with chicken and ribs. I ended up with company coming buy and was distracted and went way long on the cook, but it was still very delicious.

3E6573BA-5964-42DE-8F8A-D59835986B2E.jpeg

E4A10270-1B4F-4DC0-89E9-6FE2120137E0.jpeg

Boiling and then out of the water, top pics.

D7FBC177-0D79-4210-B4F4-8B3A6B71CB72.jpeg

Sauced with Blue Hog original and setting that sauce.

3ED98914-9CF5-41EE-AF07-F7738A6C4BC1.jpeg

The plate shot, but I didnt think to get a bite shot. (Those are homemade fries, btw)


Here is another recent smoke of just drum sticks. These I dry brined with kosher salt for about two hours then boiled to IT of about 170F. Then sauced with a Carolina red sauce (knock off of Rodney Scott) then on to the smoker at 275F

DDC3F0BF-5101-41C2-8622-31AA80637FBA.jpeg

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7624BB44-7CAD-42E0-9FCE-00715E0E0358.jpeg

0030D055-95B5-4ADD-BCAA-65DBA7FE986C.jpeg

So there you have it. I hope some will try this method and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for looking.
 
Some good looking bird and an interesting concept there Edge! I had a friend many years back that used to par-boil pork ribs before smoking them, and they were fantastic, tender and juicy. Now that I think of that I might have to give it a shot, never tried it myself. RAY
 
Lately there has been some discussion on the Forum, and privately, about chicken tecniques mostly concerning the skin texture when smoking. So I thought I’d share how I do it.

Now to be fair here is a disclaimer, I have never cooked in competition Bbq. I only cook for hungry people. I always just try to produce a quality meal that’s good to eat, and that’s how I approach all of my processes.

That said, I most always boil my chicken first. This renders the fat which likes to catch fire pretty easy, so boiling solves that. Next the boil puffs The skin up and changes the texture to something softer and more plyable. Also pre cooking the chicken means when I go to the smoker all I’m looking for is the color I want, and to set the sauce. It lets me control the time instead of the IT controlling time. To me that is helpful. I boil the chicken to at least 165 IT, but try not to get it up to high.

Now, this by no means makes perfect chicken skin, but it’s not shoe leather either. The meat dose take on nice smoke flavor. Obviously if you are grilling and not low smoking, this extra step really isn’t needed, but in the smoker I find the boiling step very helpful.

Here is one recent smoke with chicken and ribs. I ended up with company coming buy and was distracted and went way long on the cook, but it was still very delicious.

View attachment 664251
View attachment 664252
Boiling and then out of the water, top pics.

View attachment 664253
Sauced with Blue Hog original and setting that sauce.

View attachment 664254
The plate shot, but I didnt think to get a bite shot. (Those are homemade fries, btw)


Here is another recent smoke of just drum sticks. These I dry brined with kosher salt for about two hours then boiled to IT of about 170F. Then sauced with a Carolina red sauce (knock off of Rodney Scott) then on to the smoker at 275F

View attachment 664255
View attachment 664256
View attachment 664257
View attachment 664258
So there you have it. I hope some will try this method and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for looking.
Can you define boiling? I can see simmering like I would do to get pulled chicken tacos, or how you would sear a thigh skin side down before putting in a pan with some rice for a casserole. Boiling just sounds like overkill.
 
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darn good looking plate! Never really thought about boiling chicken prior to grilling. Food for thought.

Jim
Thanks Jim. It’s certainly not necessary to boil, I’ve found it to be convenient when smoking chicken along with pork or brisket. I don’t have to fool with changing temps to crisp skin and such, plus I don’t have to fuss with thicker pieces vs small and doneness. Just color and set the sauce.

Hard no on boiling chicken first if you're gonna smoke you're probably not gonna get much of it after boiling it. chicken look yummy though thanks for sharing
I can respect that point of view. The chicken always comes out delicious though, and easy.

Some good looking bird and an interesting concept there Edge! I had a friend many years back that used to par-boil pork ribs before smoking them, and they were fantastic, tender and juicy. Now that I think of that I might have to give it a shot, never tried it myself. RAY
Thank you Ray. It’s really about the skin texture when smoking low and slow, this pre-boil kinda solves that leather texture to the skin.

Can you define boiling? I can see simmering like I would do to get pulled chicken tacos, or how you would sear a thigh skin side down before putting in a pan with some rice for a casserole. Boiling just sounds like overkill.
Boil as in boiling the chicken until IT is at least 165F but not over 180F. It’s simple and convenient.

Great looking chicken, those drumsticks in particular look yummy! Thanks for sharing your methods.
Thank you Kim. I appreciate it.
 
Not to be redundant, but to keep this in context.

This is just a simple way to produce great tasting chicken when you already have a low and slow pit running 225-275F and want to cook the chicken on the same pit and not fire another to grill, or fool with removing other meats and cranking up the temp. By pre boiling the chicken you can have the same pit and produce ribs, pulled pork or brisket with chicken pieces all at the same time, it’s just simple. Maybe it’s not for everyone, I get that, but just sharing what works for me so that others may enjoy as well. It’s all about good chicken skin that’s edible and easy to do in a smoker, that’s all.
 
Thats how we make passover chicken soup, then we toss the chicken as it has no flavor, it's all in the soup?
You boil the chicken, then sauce and smoke it, then make soup? I’m confused, but will say you are standing on opinion without having tried it, the whole process that is. If this process disagrees with you that’s fine, no problem here, just walk on and don’t diss what I’m doing having not tried it. It’s a great big world out there with room for everyone, or used to be.
 
Interesting. I normally do most of my chix on the kettle, but sometimes I just straight smoke chicken thighs on the pellet pooper skin texture be damned. I'll give this a try one day this week.
 
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Can't argue with your results Edge, Thanks for the tip.

Point for sure
Chris
Thank you Chris. It’s a crutch, but sometimes a crutch is handy.

Interesting. I normally do most of my chix on the kettle, but sometimes I just straight smoke chicken thighs on the pellet pooper skin texture be damned. I'll give this a try one day this week.
Report back when or if you do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Just remember once in the smoker all you need is color and to set the sauce and done.
 
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Thank you Chris. It’s a crutch, but sometimes a crutch is handy.


Report back when or if you do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Just remember once in the smoker all you need is color and to set the sauce and done.
Well... I finally got around to this as I took off work very early yesterday. Came out quite nice. Skin almost became an afterthought as it seemed to just mix in with the sauce. I simmered a pack of legs to 165ish and threw them on the pellet pooper at 265 with some brats that were almost done. Only took two pics, as I'm sure you can imagine what a pot with water and chicken looks like.


Slapped some Kosmos Q Honey Jalapeno on these and let them ride for about 10-20 minutes. I really wasn't watching the clock.

20230505_170820.jpg


Done. That pic is a little fuzzy. Its the margarita effect.

20230505_170904.jpg


I see no reason not to do this again. Quick and easy, tender and juicy chicken to boot. Next time I'll try some thighs but this will definitely go in the rotation.
 
It looks like a winner Mr. Whipple

Point for sure
Chris
 
Lately there has been some discussion on the Forum, and privately, about chicken tecniques mostly concerning the skin texture when smoking. So I thought I’d share how I do it.

Now to be fair here is a disclaimer, I have never cooked in competition Bbq. I only cook for hungry people. I always just try to produce a quality meal that’s good to eat, and that’s how I approach all of my processes.

That said, I most always boil my chicken first. This renders the fat which likes to catch fire pretty easy, so boiling solves that. Next the boil puffs The skin up and changes the texture to something softer and more plyable. Also pre cooking the chicken means when I go to the smoker all I’m looking for is the color I want, and to set the sauce. It lets me control the time instead of the IT controlling time. To me that is helpful. I boil the chicken to at least 165 IT, but try not to get it up to high.

Now, this by no means makes perfect chicken skin, but it’s not shoe leather either. The meat dose take on nice smoke flavor. Obviously if you are grilling and not low smoking, this extra step really isn’t needed, but in the smoker I find the boiling step very helpful.

Here is one recent smoke with chicken and ribs. I ended up with company coming buy and was distracted and went way long on the cook, but it was still very delicious.

View attachment 664251
View attachment 664252
Boiling and then out of the water, top pics.

View attachment 664253
Sauced with Blue Hog original and setting that sauce.

View attachment 664254
The plate shot, but I didnt think to get a bite shot. (Those are homemade fries, btw)


Here is another recent smoke of just drum sticks. These I dry brined with kosher salt for about two hours then boiled to IT of about 170F. Then sauced with a Carolina red sauce (knock off of Rodney Scott) then on to the smoker at 275F

View attachment 664255
View attachment 664256
View attachment 664257
View attachment 664258
So there you have it. I hope some will try this method and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for looking.
Looks great, and im sure a time saver.

Now, I know you boiled til temperature, but how long roughly does that take?

Do you put the chicken IN the boiling water, or put em in cold water and wait for it to all boil with chicken already in the pot?


(Just tryin to get an Idea of timing)

Thanks,

T.
 
Looks great, and im sure a time saver.

Now, I know you boiled til temperature, but how long roughly does that take?

Do you put the chicken IN the boiling water, or put em in cold water and wait for it to all boil with chicken already in the pot?


(Just tryin to get an Idea of timing)

Thanks,

T.
In boiling water for about 30 minutes or so, not sure I haven’t timed it. I pull when the IT is about 165F not really a time thing.
 
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