Boneless skinless thighs - loss?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ynot2k, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    Will I get any weight loss smoking boneless skinless thighs for pulled chicken?

    I'll be adding my BBQ sauce to keep it moist when holding for serving.

    Yes, I used the search tool but didn't really get an answer to this question.

    And while I'm here, what are your thoughts about boneless skinless thighs and rub?  My normal chicken rub is basically designed to be on the skin of the bird, not the meat.  Should I go a bit lighter on the rub?  Should I use skin-on thighs, rub as usualy,pull the skin, crisp it up, chop it up and add to pulled chicken?

    I've never done pulled chicken before and I've decided to serve it to a party of 40.  Yikes!

    Thanks for your ideas.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If they are already boneless and skinless you won't loose much weight.
  3. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    That's what I figured.  Still interested in opinions about different methods of making pulled chicken. 
  4. A while back for a Christmas potluck I did 32 boneless/skinless thighs. I brined them overnight, sprinkled them with Jeff's Rub and then pulled them and added Jeff's sauce. Not sure there was any loss at all and they went way farther than than I thought they would. I was impressed with how good they were and we had left overs for a couple days. AND was happy about that!
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Since we use the pulled chicken for a bunch of different things, I keep it pretty simple. Salt, pepper, onion, garlic,chipotle. Smoke low and slow typically using a 50/50 mix of cherry and pecan.

    If you're going buffet style I'd leave the meat as is. Have a few different sauces for people to choose from that they can add themselves.
  6. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    Glad to hear it goes father than expected - I'll be glad for the leftovers too!

    If I leave the sauce on the side, what liquid do I need to use to keep the chicken moist when holding?
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You shouldn't need anything as long as you don't over cook the chicken. If you're worried about it a little bit of water eould be best, so as jot to add any other flavors to your chicken.
  8. After pulling ours we put it in a crock pot, put the lid on it and transported it a few miles to the event, then it set for maybe an hour (plugged in on low) before eating. It was fine, very moist and very tender!
  9. As said above as long as it is not over cooked you should be fine. You could use a little bullion if you think you need it.

    Happy smoken.

  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sous Vide is an option and can be done on the cheap with a little perseverance and makes great shredded chicken, there is minimal moisture loss.

    A crockpot on the lowest setting with some liquid and onion slices in the bottom, like I do my Pulled Loins...Before and After pics.
    • Pineapple, Peach, Habanero Pulled Pork Loin

    • Buffalo Style Pulled Pork Loin

    The higher the temp you cook at the more moisture you will loose.

    A normal chicken breast cooked to 165° looses approx. 24% moisture.

    Sous vide the same chicken breast at 148° will have about a 12% moisture loss.

    But to be perfectly honest I don't think the moisture loss is an issue, you can cook on the smoker at 225-250 without any ill effect, If I were doing pulled chicken on my pit, I would do whole birds and cook them till an internal temp of 180, then foil and cooler an hour, I know many will scoff at this temperature, but should be OK if adding a wet ingredient is part of the recipe, such as a barbecue sauce.

    If you rather not sauce, you can add chicken stock or use the rendered chicken drippings, defatted of course.

    If you plan on thighs, I would mix thighs with breasts to add texture 1 breast to 4 thighs should work.
  11. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    Lots of great ideas here!

    I think I've decided to use boneless skinless thighs and boneless skinless breasts.  4 thighs for every 1 breast.

    I will rub with my standard poultry rub and smoke low at 225.  I will also be smoking brisket on the big pit at the same time, so the low temp will work out just fine.

    I plan to take the chicken off when it hits 165.  I'm going to wrap it and rest it in a cooler for at least an hour before pulling.  I will not add sauce when holding.  I will be serving it out of chafers, so I'll keep an eye on moisture level and add water or chicken stock as needed.  Sauce will be served on the side.

    The party is on February 21st.  I'll post some pics to this thread of the smoking process and the finished product.

    Thanks to everyone who added comments here...all are greatly appreciated.

    Keep on smokin'!
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try to reserve some drippings to add back, just be careful to defat and taste test the drippings if you plan on using them, this well help your chicken stay moist, also you may want to lay plastic wrap directly on the chicken in the chaffing dish prior to serving and toss often while serving.

    Goodluck and Can't wait to see some picks.
  13. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My wife is asking for some smoked chicken.  SQWIB, nice pics and ideas.

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