1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

HELP! Chicken Leg Problems

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bravery, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. bravery

    bravery Fire Starter

    How can I tell when the chicken legs are done? I put a probe right into one of the chicken legs (not touching the bone) and I smoked away at around 280. I cooked it for around an hour or so.  When we started eating we found many of the chicken legs not cooked enough (bloody near the bone).  I tested the probe prior to smoking (boiling water = 212 and ice water 33) so I don't think it was the probe. I had two racks of chicken legs cooking... I put the probe in a leg on the lower rack. 

    Someone on another thread made comments about how easy cooking chicken legs were and that he was surprised that someone would actually need probes to determine if the meat was actually cooked or not. Well, I screwed up cooking the chicken AND I was using a probe... imagine how stupid I feel.

  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    "Help! Chicken leg problems"!!!!!

    After reading that Title, I was going to tell you to see a Dr, until I read your post.

    You didn't say what internal temp you were reading, and I forgot what smoker you use.

  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now your not stupid there Brad. It's the learning curve that we all seem to have learned over the years. I always take my chicken to at least 165° minimum. Now meats little chicken cook at their own pace so if you have a piece or two thats not done it just could be the chicken. I would recommand that you probe a few different pieces to get a good reading onhow the smoker full is doing. Not just one piece. Brad you could have called me if you needed help. Mark
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey don't beat yourself up, we have all had that one. I have taken to smoking chicken at about 250°, but I let it go for about 2.5-3 hrs., then I use a good dial therm and check each piece of chicken. I look for them to be at 175-180° internal, they are nice and tender.
  5. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I like to smoke them until the meat starts pulling away from the bone and there usually around 170* when I probe them.
  6. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't know what yer experience with poultry is, but, if yer probe said it was done, it should be, I usually check the larger pieces an if there done the little ones be to.

    A question comes ta mind here, was this blood er a red colorin round the bones an joints?  Poultry after bein froze will have this red color an can stay there even when the meats er done.  Some folks misinterperate this fer the meat bein undone.
  7. bravery

    bravery Fire Starter

    Hey guys... I was using a Master Forge vertical smoker and a Maverick ET-73 Thermometer with the meat probe stuck in the biggest leg. The smoker was heated up to around 280 for around an hour.  I really didn't think I needed to time it because I was using a probe. I cooked the meat till it was 168.

    The meat was bloody...not just red. Chicken blood on the plate is a real appetite killer. I've eaten stuffed fish stomachs, ox intestines, pig brains, bone marrow, duck feet, chicken feet, sea slugs, blood pudding, and maybe even a dog or two, and enjoyed it all... except the sea slugs (sea cucumbers ... tasted like boiled rubber). Chicken blood is just foul!!! (or should I say "fowl"?)

    I cooked it around 280 because I wanted to avoid the rubber skin effect.

    I really thank you for all the comments... and thanks for allowing me to give you a call Mark.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  8. cole

    cole Fire Starter

    Now I am not the most advanced smoker here, but when you placed the chicken on two racks, did you just about cover the entire rack?  That can shield the upper rack from the heat.  Also, I would not just rely on a one leg sample,even if it is the biggest leg if it was closer to the heating element.  I know the individual pieces of meat might not look like muck, but added up, I would think that it would take significantly more than one hour (possibly 3-4) for 4 or 5 pounds of chicken.  In other posts with country ribs etc., where the individual portion of meat is small compared to the whole, they even advocate longer cooking times.

    Just some thoughts, best of luck and I hope no one got sick.   
  9. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Even at higher temps. most smoking is done below what you normally have in an oven. So definately plan on it taking longer, for chicken I usually go a minimum of 2 hrs. (varies with outside weather), but usually plan on 3 hrs. as a rough average. That is with my smoker running about 250-275°, then I use a quick read dial therm and check each piece before I pull it off, some might still need another 30 minutes or so.