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to skin or not to skin the chicken parts

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by chorizodahitman, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. I love the taste of skin on my chicken, but the thighs I smoked last weekend the skin was tough.  I enjoyed it, and all the chicken was gone in a matter of minutes, but just curious if anyone pulls the skin off before they smoke.  The meat from the brine and the smoke was AMAZING!!!!  Going to smoke some more drumsticks for the Broncos/Lions tailgate this Sunday and want to improve every time I fire it up.  Your help is much appreciated.
  2. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Sometimes i use a mini torch to firm up the skin . 
  3. I've done skinless and didn't like the surface texture. I'd rather put rub under the skin, cook skin on, and remove the skin. That fat and the skin itself really protect the meat during a slow cook session.
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I leave it on. I know what you meat about getting tough skin though. Normally I was smoking my birds at around 225-250 and the skin was soft so I wanted to get it a little more crispy so I ran the smoker at around 275 and the skin was like shoe leather. What I have found works best is to run the smoker around 225-250 and then run them at around 325 for the last little bit to crisp up the skin or even just throw them on a grill to crisp the skin. Or just run them at around 325-350 the whole time to get the skin nice and crispy.
  5. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    As Ross said you really have 2 choices for poultry, either low & slow (225-250), then hot at the end (350) for a few minutes or 325 the whole way. I've done it both ways & the results are very similar. The chicken is juicy with crispy skin. A little olive oil rubbed on before smoking also helps.
  6. I like cooking with the skin on low and slow and then removing the skin.
  7. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    I have been smoking mine lately with the skin off.  I usually do quarters, legs or just thighs.  Anyways I brine them then run the smoker around 275 or so.  I did a batch with half of the legs skin on and the other with skin off.  What I found out is the smoke penetration with the skin off was almost to the bone.  The smoke penetration with the skin on was maybe halfway through the meat.  The one with the skin on were a little bit more juicy but the ones with the skin off still had plenty of juice.  So weighing the options I still go with skin off.  I say give it a try and see what happens.
  8. Awesome thanks for all the advice everyone.  I appreciate it!!!!
  9. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Let us know what you decide & don't forget your camera!
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You don't realize how unhealthy poultry skin is until you 'look under the hood' so to speak... this is pure fat!  :


    Now, I've enjoyed meat and fat for most my life, but you have to pay the piper too:



    Endarterectomy  is a surgical procedure  to remove the atheromatous plaque  material, or blockage, in the lining of an arteryconstricted by the buildup of soft/hardening deposits. It is carried out by separating the plaque from the arterial wall.  

    The procedure is widely used on the carotid  artery of the neck as a way to reduce the risk of stroke, particularly when the carotid artery is narrowed by more than 70%. A carotid endarterectomy  may itself cause a stroke at the time of operation.

    I've now had a total of 4 known strokes and MRI's show i've had smaller, older ones I hadn't even realized.  The stroke on 09/09 prompted the above procedure and I was totally unresponsive for 8 hours, they thought they'd lost me then.  The last one was a week ago; had severe bed spins then lost the ability to shave last Saturday; couldn't control or orientate the razor, trying to shave with the back instead of the blade of the razor, etc.  They may make me go in for another $2,000 MRI tomorrow.

    My advice?  Go skinless.  Is a bit more flavor worth the money? (total bill so far this stroke: $63,000..).  

    And, it's not over yet, have a 70% chance of another major stroke in 6 months.  

    Please protect yourself, eat responsibly, I haven't and am paying for it.

    But, there are plenty of good, wholesome recipes on here that are addressing these issues and once I (once again) recover financially, I will continue trying to find ways to make our hobby healthier!  I promise!

    Sorry to the forum not to sugarcoat this (can't - I'm diabetic too!)
  11. Sorry for your health problems. Thanks for the advice.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Well...being rude sure makes it all ok doesn't it???

    Didn't look like a hijack to me..

      Have a great day!!

  13. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I am with Ross. I throw them on the grill at the end to get everything nice and crispy. (Who really wants to eat skinless chicken?!)

  14. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I apologize.  
  15. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, I didn't read Pops post until after I posted. I don't feel so good. Pops, here's to your swift recovery and an extended period of great health. A lot of us peoplew new to smoking like me need you here to guide us.


  16. not trying to be rude.  And like I said, I hope your health problems turn around.  Good luck today.  I just wasn't expecting to see that.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  17. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I printed out this thread and gave it to the chief therapist at HealthSouth; she disagreed and said it was entirely appropriate;  as they see others like me every day with the same problems and continued health to live another day to smoke meats as well as function independently is never a hijack, it's recommended health advice and that "....I pull the skins off for health reasons would have worked.... " definitely would not "have worked"; her words, not mine.  That is all I was trying to give; I don't want this to happen to you my dear friend believe me; let me bear this pain so you and others who wish to heed the advice can be forewarned and live a longer, healthier life; if you don't, so be it, eat recklessly at your own risk.  What I've done to myself I can't undo, but I can help others smoke responsibly and eat responsibly for their, as well as your, benefit.  I am sure Tulsa Jeff would agree also (yes, I already asked).  We have a responsibility to others to promote our hobby with eyes open and balance the joy of the art of smoking with healthy practices and forewarnings too.  Nuff said.
  18. I thought it to be good advice. Puts it in perspective. Never thought of it as a hijack.
  19. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I appreciated the post. We always need to keep in mind that there are consequences to our actions and choices. Too many times my stomach has overuled my brain. And I have 2 little smoking helpers to think about. Sometimes I need a kick in the head. Thanks pops!

  20. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You got some nerve.  You're the one being very rude. 

    I gotta agree with fpnmf.  If you like the skin so much, eat away, BUT now you know the possible consequences.  Don't like being told what they are?  Then go ahead and bury your head in the sand again.  Pops has spent years keeping us on track with many aspects of this "hobby".  And you've done what?  Say:  Well you had to say was you removed the skin for health reasons or words to that effect.  I'd be inclined to say his health reasons were more life-threatening, than mere health reasons.  You, Sir, should be apologizing to Pops for being so inconsiderate.

    Back on track.  I scrape as much fat as I can find off the underside of the skin, then pin the skin back on the chicken with toothpicks after putting some secret squirrel rubs on.  Takes a lot more effort, BUT I for one appreciate the consequences of not doing a careful preparation.  After the smoke is done, then I throw the skin in the trash.

    Pops, you're still in our prayers for a swift recovery and return to your normal life.