Chicken always dry

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xuph283rpq

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Oct 2, 2022
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I have a pitboss pro series smoker and it seems to take longer than it should to smoke chicken. I have a separate thermometer to make sure the temp inside is correct. I brined my chicken then marinated it over night. I smoked it at 230 it’s been 4 hours and it’s only at 140. It takes 5-6 hours to get up to 160. When I pull it off it’s like shoe rubber
 

smokerjim

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I would start smoking around 200 for 45-60 minutes to get some smoke on it then crank it up to 375-400 until done to crisp it up, it wont get crispy at 230.
 

smokeymose

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I have a pitboss pro series smoker and it seems to take longer than it should to smoke chicken. I have a separate thermometer to make sure the temp inside is correct. I brined my chicken then marinated it over night. I smoked it at 230 it’s been 4 hours and it’s only at 140. It takes 5-6 hours to get up to 160. When I pull it off it’s like shoe rubber
In my humble opinion, you're smoking at too low a temperature. Try 280 or more for chicken.
Was it a whole chicken? Brining AND marinating?
Try patting it off with a towel and letting it dry to room temp before tossing in the smoker.
Rubbery skin is a common problem with smoking chicken, especially after brining/marinating, which is why many folks will put it in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes to crisp up the skin.
Welcome to SMF, by the way :-)
 
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tbern

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Dec 27, 2015
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Welcome to the forum from Minnesota! Like they are saying crank up your temps. Get yourself a smoke tube so you can add additional smoke to make up for the less smoke generated at the higher temps.
 

zwiller

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Not all "chicken' is the same. I find white meat needs 160F + carryover and dark like thighs/drums 180F IT. Also brining requires the right amout of salt and time to be done correctly. Guys got ya covered on the skin.
 
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schlotz

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First, Welcome to SMF from Indiana!

Regardless of what smoker is used, have you verified your true grate temps with a calibrated thermometer? Never trust a built in thermometer. IMO, like others have mentioned, I'd smoke at a higher temp than 230º. The addition of the marinade is going to make obtaining bite through skin difficult. Personally I'd skip that part and instead pull the bird from the brine, pat dry and place on a rack in the fridge for 4-5 hours to let the skin dry out some before going into the smoker.

Regarding the brine, I'd shoot for an equilibrium brine. Salt to add in ozs = 0.0150 x (meat ozs + water ozs) Note: it's usually 0.0175 but since there are bones involved (not meat) I'd go a bit less to compensate.
 
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hondabbq

Meat Mopper
Jan 25, 2014
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Never fails
Spatchcock and brine for 12 hours. Dry in fridge overnight uncovered. Cook at 375 for 1 hr ish for a 3-4 lb bird.
juiciest chicken you will ever eat.
 

gmc2003

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Are we talking about whole or chicken parts?

Chris
 

gmc2003

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In my post “spatchcock” refers to a whole bird.
But, for this exercise whole or parts will work.
I'm fully aware of what a spatchcock chicken is. My question was directed to the OP.

To the OP, chicken is very lean and takes on smoke rather quickly. With that said there really isn't any benefit to cooking it low and slow. From my experiences indirect high heat works best. You'll get juicy meat with crispy skin. Some people like to brine, inject, or marinate their chicken for additional flavor or juiciness. It all works. If you marinate your chicken and cook it with high heat just remember you run the risk of the sugars in the marinate burning. Some folks compare over-smoked poultry to the taste of licking an ashtray. I've never licked an ashtray so I cannot agree or disagree, but I do know over-smoked chicken tastes rancid.
325* is about the lowest temp when doing poultry. I only brine chicken breasts, and brine them in pickle juice. It works for me. Others use recipes like POPs brine, and their chicken looks and sounds terrific. Keep asking questions and we'll get you the chicken you want.

Chris
 
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schlotz

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There is an Alternate Approach. Brine if you like but make sure you rest it on an open rack in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Now the 'other approach'. Use you grill with indirect heat set to 350-375º AND place a tube smoker in the indirect area near your bird. You get smoked chicken with nice crispy skin. I played around trying to use my smoker and never got the results I wanted. The good old grill with a smoker tube full of pellets does it better!
 

DougE

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Poultry is best done at around 300° or better. Starting out around 200° on a pellet grill to get some smoke on it works fine, but you need to crank up the temps after an hour or so or you will have dried out chicken.
 

tallbm

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I have a pitboss pro series smoker and it seems to take longer than it should to smoke chicken. I have a separate thermometer to make sure the temp inside is correct. I brined my chicken then marinated it over night. I smoked it at 230 it’s been 4 hours and it’s only at 140. It takes 5-6 hours to get up to 160. When I pull it off it’s like shoe rubber
Hi there and welcome!

I think everyone has you covered and would say much of what I would say.

If you are brining then the meat should not be dry.

The skin being like rubber is caused by cooking at too low of a temp, its quirk with poultry. I smoke mine at 325F and would recommend higher temps than you are using just like everyone is suggesting.

This will fix the rubber/leather skin. The dry chicken should not happen as long as you are brining well AND you arent letting the breast meat go over 165F internal temp. Good thermometers will help there.

I hope this explanation and info helps :)
 
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hondabbq

Meat Mopper
Jan 25, 2014
243
59
Canada
I'm fully aware of what a spatchcock chicken is. My question was directed to the OP.

To the OP, chicken is very lean and takes on smoke rather quickly. With that said there really isn't any benefit to cooking it low and slow. From my experiences indirect high heat works best. You'll get juicy meat with crispy skin. Some people like to brine, inject, or marinate their chicken for additional flavor or juiciness. It all works. If you marinate your chicken and cook it with high heat just remember you run the risk of the sugars in the marinate burning. Some folks compare over-smoked poultry to the taste of licking an ashtray. I've never licked an ashtray so I cannot agree or disagree, but I do know over-smoked chicken tastes rancid.
325* is about the lowest temp when doing poultry. I only brine chicken breasts, and brine them in pickle juice. It works for me. Others use recipes like POPs brine, and their chicken looks and sounds terrific. Keep asking questions and we'll get you the chicken you want.

Chris
Sorry dude, my mistake as I didnt realize you werent the OP. My apologies.
 
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