Crispy Skin when no fridge is available

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dougmays

Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Nov 18, 2010
2,563
96
Gainesville, FL
So i had a idea i wanted to run by the group and see what your thoughts were. I'd like to improve the crispiness of my chicken thigh skin for competitions. We all know that sticking the chicken in the fridge for a few hours at home will help dehydrate the skin but when your at a competition you dont have this luxury, and a cooler will not do the trick.

I was thinking that maybe if i put a very good coating of salt on the skin for a couple hours before my smoke and then trying to wipe off as much as possible would do the trick. The problem is ensuring you dont have a heavy salt taste on the skin when judge bite into it.

Any thoughts? Or tricks that you guys use?
 
haha! i could imagine what other competitors think with me over there with fire extinguisher "smoke" blowing out of my tent LOL
 
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Isn't there a cooking technique where the make a meringue and then fold in copious amounts of salt and encase the meat with it ? Makes a hard crust, holds moisture but doesn't subject the meat to a salty taste. I am sure some Chef would know the name for it.

Its one of those classical thingies. Don't really see how it would work here without heat though.
 
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Ah i do remember this post! Very interesting. i'll have to try both methods at home and see how they turn out
 
 
Isn't there a cooking technique where the make a meringue and then fold in copious amounts of salt and encase the meat with it ? Makes a hard crust, holds moisture but doesn't subject the meat to a salty taste. I am sure some Chef would know the name for it.

Its one of those classical thingies. Don't really see how it would work here without heat though.
Its called a salt crust, but you cook in it.  I don't know if it would help precook and it would block the smoke if you kept it on during the cook.
 
 
So i had a idea i wanted to run by the group and see what your thoughts were. I'd like to improve the crispiness of my chicken thigh skin for competitions. We all know that sticking the chicken in the fridge for a few hours at home will help dehydrate the skin but when your at a competition you dont have this luxury, and a cooler will not do the trick.

I was thinking that maybe if i put a very good coating of salt on the skin for a couple hours before my smoke and then trying to wipe off as much as possible would do the trick. The problem is ensuring you dont have a heavy salt taste on the skin when judge bite into it.

Any thoughts? Or tricks that you guys use?
Why would a cooler not work? (providing it had ice in it)

Could you bring a college size frig along?

I would think instead of a blow dyer, use a heat gun!
 
How about one of those small ceramic heaters 1000-1500 watt that have a fan. If you have elect.

It's not about heat it's about air flow. You could use any small fan, but you need to make sure that the meat stays below 40f. As I mentioned in this thread a hair dryer works well on low heat, right before going into the smoker. I guess your ceramic heater would too, if you could get it on low or no heat. We have to keep the bird safe which means 40-140 in four hours. The reason a fridge works best is they are always drawing moisture out of the compartment, and the temperature is where it needs to be to keep the food safe.
 
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Isn't there a cooking technique where the make a meringue and then fold in copious amounts of salt and encase the meat with it ? Makes a hard crust, holds moisture but doesn't subject the meat to a salty taste. I am sure some Chef would know the name for it.

Its one of those classical thingies. Don't really see how it would work here without heat though.
Thats called using a salt dome. You would not get smoke to the chicken doing it.
 
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