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chicken skin too tough

trotline

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Joined Aug 3, 2009
Hi guys, haven't posted here in a while due to work and recent wedding.

I have smoked plenty of ribs and butts and a few briskets and they usually turn out pretty good. Lately I have tried to to get into chicken for the first time and could use a little help. Meat has good flavor and I hasn't been dried out but I cannot get the skin to turn out like I want. It is just too tough for my liking. I want to be able to bite through the skin without pulling most of it off. Any advice?

I usually brine for a couple hours then onto the WSM at about 275-300. I cook the birds to 170-175. Do I need to adjust the temp?

Thanks!
 

richoso1

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Usually, crispy skin is achieved by using high heat. I smoke my birds around 375° or higher, it just depends on what part of the bird I'm smoking. You could also try putting them on the grill for just a bit, that will crisp the skin too.
 

dick foster

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You need to finish them off on the grill with high heat to get good skin.

Brine em, rub em, smoke em, then grill em. That's how I do chicken.
 

jirodriguez

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I neet little trick I got from a friend of mine who competes and does really well on chicken...... toss them onto a hot weber kettle for about 15-20 minutes before smoking them. I had always done it the other way around, but his method actually works really well.
 

trotline

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Ok, guess I need to crank up the heat a little bit though I'm not sure how high my WSM will go. I would think it will have a hard time getting much above 300. Do you let them cook the last half hour or so on the grill or do you turn up the heat and just sear them?
 

dick foster

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The idea is to both smoke and grill the chicken. The smoke is for the flavor and cooking the meat while the grilling bit is just for a few minutes to give the skin the texture and finish you're after. A lot of folks just grill chicken and don't bother smoking it at all.
 
Last edited:

trotline

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Joined Aug 3, 2009
Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm not sure if the WSM will reach 375-400, I've never tried. I guess I will try to grill at high heat until the skin looks good. Then onto the WSM as hot as I can get it until I get 170 internal. Can't wait to try it out. Thanks again.
 

eman

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Another way to do this is to smoke as normal then place chicken on flat pan and run it under the broiler to crisp up the skin
 

pineywoods

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Personally I smoke chicken at high temp usually 325-350 the whole time. Poultry generally isn't a tough fatty meat and doesn't really require the low and slow to break it all down to make it tender at least thats what I have been told and believe
 

jirodriguez

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Personally I smoke chicken at high temp usually 325-350 the whole time. Poultry generally isn't a tough fatty meat and doesn't really require the low and slow to break it all down to make it tender at least thats what I have been told and believe

 I find that even though it isn't a tough piece of meat it still really benefits from the low and slow cooking. I figure if I'm gonna cook it at 375°+ I might as well just fire up the Weber Kettle and not even bother with the smoker. I personally really like the flavor and texture I get from smoking chicken at 250° for about 3 hrs., the meat gets sooo tender and stays super juicy.
 

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