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Need some advice on leg quarters

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by scvinegarpepper, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. I've done leg Qs this way before, but it's been so long I don't remember temps or times. I use an internal thermometer, but I still need a ballpark for time, because I'll be doing this on a schedule (tailgating). I won't be using a lot of smoke for this, just because I'm bringing my big pull-behind cooker to the tailgate, I cook with gas, and don't feel like and won't have time to mess with a foil pouch or any other smoke source.

    Basically I'm cooking leg Qs, I want them to be fairly crisp on the skin, and once they're pretty much done, I'll dip them a few times in my homemade vinegar-pepper barbecue gravy and put them back on the grill for a few minutes for the sauce to cook in and the sugars to carmelize a bit. So my question is what temp would you cook the quarters at and about how long will it take? Many thanks guys and gals. I'm doing my first smoked turkey or turkey breast in a week on my smaller smoker and will be back for more help soon! Thanks a ton.

  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    There are some answers we need to help you.

    What temp are you cooking at

    Are these bone in or boneless

    How big are they

    Some basic answers -

    You should take them to 165 per the USDA

    If cooking at 350  the bone in will most likely take around 30 to 45 min and the boneless ones can be done in as few as 15 to 20 but it all depends the size of the quarters and on your rig and the ambient temp outside. You really need to cook by temp not time

    Some rigs have hot and cold spots. All commercial BBQ's are designed to be hotter in the back than the front so you can pull finished or nearly finished product to the front to keep it warm

    Hope this helps
  3. Thanks, Scarbelly. I should have been more specific. I usually cook around 225 or 235. But I can crank it up to 250. Should I run it closer to 250 to crisp the skin? I just don't want to cook them too fast and the meat and/or skin be too tough or rubbery. Also I am using bone-in leg Qs. Not sure about the size because I haven't picked them up yet. But I am assuming they will be typical, or "average" sized. Much like the ones you would get from the grocery store. Thanks.
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Greeat advise, I would have replied in the same manner. The man knows what he's talking about. It's all good my friend.
  6. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    As I have posted before, chicken doesn't really benefit from the "low and slow" that brisket, butts and ribs need.  When I do chicken, I do them in my upright box between 340°-350°- while the brisky, butts or ribs are getting done in the main chamber at the low and slow temps.  The hoter temps on the chicken will give you that crispy skin.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... guess I will be the odd man out on this one, I personally like the chicken better if I cook it at 225-250°. Yes the skin is inedible, but the meat itself comes out very tender and picks up more smoke flavor. We just give the skin to the dogs... lol.
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Sorry Johnny I'm on the other boat with this one to. I usually smoke my birds at about 275° to maybe 300° I like to crisp up the skin too.