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chicken skin too tough

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by trotline, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. trotline

    trotline Fire Starter

    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?

  2. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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.
  3. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    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.
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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.
  5. trotline

    trotline Fire Starter

    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?
  6. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    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: Oct 15, 2010
  7. trotline

    trotline Fire Starter

    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.
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    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
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    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
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     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.