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Chicken skin still burning...please help!!!!!

3 j's b smokin

Fire Starter
Joined Jul 9, 2008
I can't seem to master chicken no matter what I try and believe me, I've tried a lot.  I get a good flavor from my rub on the meat by putting it inside and under the skin but the presentation look horrible because the skin is usually burnt on the outside.  I've tried low and slow at about 225 and then yesterday, I tried hot and fast at about 275-300.  I use to use brown sugar or white sugar and then switched to sugar in the raw (turbinado sugar) based on suggestions from this group and that still hasn't helped.  I love the taste my rub has but feel like I really need to just remove the sugar from it all together to give me something that looks as good as it tastes.  Any suggestions on how to still get the sweet taste from sugar without actually using sugar?

3 j's b smokin

Fire Starter
Joined Jul 9, 2008
Thanks for the link to the rub but I noticed that one has sugar in it as well which won't help me with my issue of it burning the skin.  Any other suggestions for me????


Rest in peace. Lost but not forgotten!!
Staff member
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
Sounds like you are getting to much direct heat to the chicken.Does it look like it does when you cook it on the grill???
Last edited:


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 25, 2007
Is it getting burnt on the top or one side more than the other?

Have you tried moving to a different part of the smoker?

You can try this

Start with brushing the skin with Olive oil and Do not rub the outside or glaze till the last hour.You can rub the inside as much as you want.

If your bird is getting up around 150 and the skin is getting burnt, foil it and remove the foil when nearing your target temp.

I have a few Bird cooks on my website in my signature.

Hope this helps.

3 j's b smokin

Fire Starter
Joined Jul 9, 2008
Get's burnt all over.  I actually have it on the opposite side of the fire to try and reduce the amount of heat it actually gets and that hasn't helped.  One thing I haven't tried is to just rub the inside and under the skin and not put it on the outside so I'll have to try that next time and see if that works.  Thanks for all the advice on this.  Great job as always from everyone.  I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Just out of curiosity.... what thermometer are you using to keep track of the temps in the smoke chamber? Is it just that facory one I see in the lid? If so get two oven thermometers and place them on the rack on on each side and get a reading and compare them to the lid therm. Factory therms can be off by 50-100°, so you might be cooking a lot hotter than you think wich would explain the burning sugars.


Joined Oct 15, 2010
Okay....dang it.......I was going to keep this secret to myself ( I have not yet read of anyone doing it here ) but what I do to keep skin crisp and not to dry out and burn is spray butter. About once an hour open that baby up and spray some butter on your bird. Works like a charm. I should probably patend this process if no one else is using it. It is a process that my BBQ partner and I use.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined May 7, 2010
Great tip pruitt21! I'm gonna steal it! LOL!

3 J's - could you maybe leave out the sugar in the rub and use a sweet sauce and mop it on at the end?


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 1, 2008
We could use some pics.  I think Johnny is going in the right direction.  Most people have rubbery skin problems when smoking chicken.  If your skin is burning at smoking temps, I would check my thermometers.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
A couple things:

as mentioned above, I too strongly feel you have a high temp issue...get those grate temp checks made before changing anything else...I used to use sugars in my rubs on spare ribs and never had them burn, even with a 5 to 6 hour smoke;

After checking your temps and making sure what you're really dealing with, try again...the only time you would really need to avoid sugars in your dry rub is on long smokes (brisket, butts)...yard birds won't take that long if using a proper chamber temp;

A good indication of excessive temps without using thermometers is by approx time...if it takes only 2 hours to get it to an internal temp of 175-180 on a 4lb bird, you're roasting instead of smoking, with temps pushing well over 300*, IMO.

Let us know how you make out.


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