Dry Thighs

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
Glendale, AZ
Greetings fellow smokaholics,

   I took the day off and did a major smoke on Friday for a meeting Saturday. I did a Pork Butt, some ABT's, bacon wrapped shrimp and decided to throw on some Chicken thighs on at the last minute for Friday Dinner. Everything came out great, but the thighs. They were pulled out of the smoker when they read 165 internal temp. They had a good flavor, but they were dry. I didn't brine or inject them, just rubbed them with Jacks Old South Hickory rub. I did remove the skin and fat. I did mist them every 1/2 hour with apple juice too. Question, should I leave the skin on? I've injected legs before and they came out good and very moist. Is injecting the missing mandatory link?
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I would leave the skin on,That will hold all the juices in. If you don't want to eat the skin you can pull it off after your done with your smoke
I always leave the skin on my chicken. And when i smoke chicken i cook at a higher temp between 250-275. Try it with the skin on next time,just make sure to get some rub on under the skin!! Then when its done if you want tou can take the skin off. Or you could try brining your chicken,or wrapping it in bacon!
I don't think brine or injection does much for chicken unless you are doing the whole bird.  In fact, many birds are sold "enhanced".  Read that as enhancing profit for the producer.  Leave the skin on.  Low and slow doesn't do that much good for chicken.  I do my thighs on the grill with indirect heat and a drip pan. You can add smoke while grilling this way if you want.  Keep experimenting and you will find what makes you and your family happy.

Good luck and good smoking.
I have done a lot of chicken both  done with skin off and skin on i have always got the best results with the skin left on. you can always take the skin off when you are done cooking if you want it skinless
When there are requests for chicken "no skin" I barbecue as I would typically then remove it right before the first saucing about 40 min. out when some clear juices are beginning to show. If you still prefer to go somewhat slow and slow as I do, at some point during the initial stages ramping up the temp for about 15 or so will crisp up the skin and seal in the juices. There's a version of Cornell Chicken Marinade that I use a lot of the time that incorporates the use of egg where part of the liquid is reserved for basting during the cook that's worked pretty well for me.
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Thanks for the pointers. I like the smoked flavor in chicken over grilling, but I like the idea of crisping the skin up to seal in the juices. Then I'll try pulling it off shortly before its done. The flavor was great on these, just way too dry. I had a grilfriend once that had a problem with dry thighs, but she swore it was my fault. I never solved that problem.
I caught that one Otis, and I know what your talking about being a single 50 year old man, I have run across that problem before!  As far as the chicken goes, I have always done my chicken at hotter temps than my beef and pork and just rubbed it good with rub making sure to get the rub up under the skin, I do the same thing that Smoker Mark does and crisp up the skin a bit and go from there, I have found that unlike fried chicken the smoked chicken with the crisp skin appeals to a lot of folks that usually take the skin off of their chicken, it does not have the fat or greasy taste to it and the crispness goes great with the juicy meat underneath.  Keep working on it and you'll come up with something that works for you my friend!

Your SMF Friend,

I would try to brine them next time and let the skin on.  Since I have joined here I brine my chicken and have never had chicken so juicy and good. 
Tank, What do you use for a brine? Do you use only sugar and salt or add other ingredients? If so, what do you like to add? I've brined turkeys alot with different brines and they come out great but I always wondered how much the other ingredients draw into the meat int the brining process. I even tried Jeff's recipe of using Cranberry Palmegranite juice over the holidays. Turned out great!
Otis, I do a lot of chicken thighs on my smoker.  I bone some out and coat in rub and smoke.  Never dry and pulls like pulled pork.

If not boned I leave the skin on but pull it back and add some rub under the skin and then a little rub on top and bottom.  I never brine and thighs with bone and skin nearly pop with juice when cut and I cook them to ~180*.  I want them falling off the bone without resistance.  Thighs have enough fat that brinning is really not necessary but I know a lot of folks really like to brine chicken.

Here is the brine that I use. 

Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
1 ½ Gal Water
½ C Salt - Kosher
½ C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
2 tsp Celery Seed

I found it on this site.  I did some quarters over the weekend with this brine and they were great.  I brined them for 1 1/2 hours.
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