Crispy Chicken Skin

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Same here. I cook indirect at 350-400°. For whole chickens, I like to buttermilk brine overnight. Wipe dry before putting on the grill. For thighs, I mix my rub with flour to help with crisping.

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Wow, those whole chickens look awesome!! I'm sold. I'll definitely try the higher heat and some baking powder to crisp that skin.
 
So a smoke tube will help with the crispiness of the skin, as well as adding more smoke? I did not know that. Thanks.
No. The problem with cooking at a higher temperature is that you'll get a more efficient fire and shorter cook, thus less smoke flavor (on a pellet grill virtually none). A smoke tube can give you some of that smoke flavor back for hotter shorter cooks.
 
Yep, baking powder.
I've been using it on poultry skin for almost a decade.
In the oven, smoker or grill it works.
Browner, more evenly crisped and a better crispiness.

But I still say to turn the temp up in the smoker, you simply have to get 375° or higher with indirect heat to render the fat and crisp the skin.
Otherwise the best you'll get is a decent bite through, which does of course beat rubber.
The trouble with us casual smokers (i.e. the ones with pellet grills) is that running the pellet grill that high won't give any smoke flavor at all. Honestly I'm OK with bite-through since that keeps the smoke flavor from the top and sauce if you used any, but so far I haven't figured out how to get that and smoke flavor too.
 
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I guess you'd have to cold-smoke the chicken - pick a brutally cold winter day and cold smoke at cooker temp 40 F or lower for as long as you want. Then cook indirect at 400 F or more.
 
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The trouble with us casual smokers (i.e. the ones with pellet grills) is that running the pellet grill that high won't give any smoke flavor at all. Honestly I'm OK with bite-through since that keeps the smoke flavor from the top and sauce if you used any, but so far I haven't figured out how to get that and smoke flavor too.
Really simple solution to this pellet pooper problem.
And yes, I too am a casual smoker with a RT1250 pellet grill.

Smoke at low-medium temps for first hour or so and then kick the temp up.
That or use a tray or tube for added smoke for whole cook, especially for fast cooking cuts of chicken and pork.
 
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Really simple solution to this pellet pooper problem.
And yes, I too am a casual smoker with a RT1250 pellet grill.

Smoke at low-medium temps for first hour or so and then kick the temp up.
That or use a tray or tube for added smoke for whole cook, especially for fast cooking cuts of chicken and pork.
Thanks for the reply.
I tried that. I'm running a ZGrill 450B, so I did the first hour (might have been 1:15, I got busy) at the Smoke setting, which I think oscillates between 160 and 180, then turned it up to 300 for the rest of the cook. Skin was still inedible, and the smoke profile on the chicken thighs was pretty weak even for pellets (contrast with the pork chops I did at 225 a few days later which were quite good). Maybe 300 wasn't high enough, but at that point I might as well finish it in the oven since there won't be any smoke flavor above that from pellets.
Since the cook is so short I'm interested in trying the smoke tube and running like 375 or so (I have one, but have rarely used it), but I'm not sure where to put it. I'm running a small pellet grill that has only one rack. Maybe some form of elevated rack you can get 3rd party? Or maybe along the back wall? Left side will mess with the temp sensor, and right side will go right out the stack.
I'm also wondering if I should go the other direction. Suzy at Hey Grill Hey does hers at 275, but she oils her skin first and gets bite-through, which works for me. She says you still get smoke at 275 (it's always exciting when a youtube personality responds to your questions).
The issue is that the fam is only going to eat so many chicken thighs, so I can't run continual experiments.
 
For me I just try to cook the chicken good when smoking it and forget about the skin. I just take it off before eating. If I want crispy skin I grill. The vortex will make the best chicken skin ever.
 
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Thanks for the reply.
I tried that. I'm running a ZGrill 450B, so I did the first hour (might have been 1:15, I got busy) at the Smoke setting, which I think oscillates between 160 and 180, then turned it up to 300 for the rest of the cook. Skin was still inedible, and the smoke profile on the chicken thighs was pretty weak even for pellets (contrast with the pork chops I did at 225 a few days later which were quite good). Maybe 300 wasn't high enough, but at that point I might as well finish it in the oven since there won't be any smoke flavor above that from pellets.
Since the cook is so short I'm interested in trying the smoke tube and running like 375 or so (I have one, but have rarely used it), but I'm not sure where to put it. I'm running a small pellet grill that has only one rack. Maybe some form of elevated rack you can get 3rd party? Or maybe along the back wall? Left side will mess with the temp sensor, and right side will go right out the stack.
I'm also wondering if I should go the other direction. Suzy at Hey Grill Hey does hers at 275, but she oils her skin first and gets bite-through, which works for me. She says you still get smoke at 275 (it's always exciting when a youtube personality responds to your questions).
The issue is that the fam is only going to eat so many chicken thighs, so I can't run continual experiments.
I always recommend 325F+ I feel 300F is too low.

I think chilerelleno chilerelleno has the right idea. I use an electric smoker and simply just smoke at 325F+ but I rarely do skin on parts like quarters. If I did I would just apply smoke with my ANMPS tray for like 2 hours then the last two hours would be smoker at 325F to actually cook the chicken.

I've fought this battle and settled on just cooking 325F. Never did the baking soda thing as I had tried like 5-6 other things and just settled on what worked for me which was high heat and takes zero prep or effort to do :)
 
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