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Chicken Without the Skin


Joined May 21, 2019
I am thinking about smoking a whole bird for a buffalo chicken dip. I have only done whole chickens once or twice and haven't had much luck with smoke flavor. Seems like other than the skin, it just tastes like roasted or baked chicken. Was thinking about removing the skin but I'm afraid it might dry out. I'm sure there's someone out there that has done this. Any advise?


Legendary Pitmaster
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SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
I haven't done a full skinless bird, but I've done lots of skinless thighs and breasts.
Coat the skinless chicken with oil and seasonings. I use a spray can for the oil. Then smoke with a low temp like you would beef or pork, 225-250F.


Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 13, 2017
Does your smoker allow you to run a pan of broth under the bird? For dips or chicken salad I run a pan of chicken broth under the birds. You can go low and slow to maximize smoke on the chicken and the broth since the skin doesn’t matter. That broth will get nice and smokey. I mix a little of the broth into the salad / dip. Crazy good. Freeze the leftover smokey broth for future dishes.

Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
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Joined Dec 10, 2018
Spatch cock is my cooking/smoking preference to get more flavor in the meat. The cavity in a whole bird is a dead air space that slows any smoke /cook flavor penetrating the interior half of the bird. I save the backbone (normally scrap in whole bird cooking) for making broth and stock.
I've never tried spatch cock without the skin.
Suggestion to remove the wings and save for later along with the skin.

I often use a pan to collect drippings. Never tried using broth to gathering the drippings and build more smoke flavor.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Mar 22, 2008
As others I haven't done a whole bird skinless but have done parts quite a bit. I would suggest brining the bird to help with moistness. If your wanting more smoke flavor you could also change wood type I consider mesquite to heavy a smoke for me but for a short poultry smoke it may work very well


Meat Mopper
Joined Jan 16, 2020
Spatchcock an d on low in a pellet burner for a good portion of the time works good for me. Along with burning hickory.

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