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GMDGeek 01-04-2013 12:00 AM

Chicken Thighs and Breasts
Having never done chicken before (total noob) I have a couple questions; or more rather confirmation after reading several posts here from the fellow Brethren...

1. Preferred Smoke Temp: 325?
2. Thigh Meat needs to be brought to what Temp? Glaze at 170 and finish at 180?
3. Breast Meat need to be brought to what Temp? Glaze at 165 and finish at 175?

I understand the process of getting the fat off the chicken skin (or De-fatification as I call it)... so I'm OK there.

I'm going to try the cup cake method with the chicken upside down for the first 2/3rds of the cook then right side up for the last 1/3rd of the cook.

I am also going to try a set just on a cookie grate and see which I like better. I'm not going for crispy skin.

Thoughts or recommendations?


code3rrt 01-04-2013 01:17 AM

Finish temps sound about 10* to high, you may want your finish temps closer to glaze temps you listed, otherwise your chicken may be a bit dry.

GMDGeek 01-04-2013 01:05 PM

I really wouldn't mind some input. Still searching the forums but there seems to be a mix of answers. So let me rephrase the question - What temp do you cook your chicken breasts and thighs at?

BigBellyBBQ 01-04-2013 01:31 PM

depends on you and your cooker..and how many you are cooking..I go for internal temp breast 155/160 thigh 165/170...if i have to do them fast I go up to oven temp 375...or if want more smoke go for 225 /250....if a large load (100 to 300 halves) start out real high..if you go low temp experiment with internal temps...sometimes you have to foil them for the skin to get softer..but experimment...take notes and then experiment again..

code3rrt 01-05-2013 12:46 AM

I'm just talkin' bout cookin' for family here, so small batches. I usually brine my chicken pieces, on the grill at the 325-375 range, internal temps as BigBellyBBQ stated, oh and I also use a rub of some type, varies with my mood, lol.

Also as BigBelly said, just keep playin with different ideas til you hit on what you like.

JohnHB 01-05-2013 12:58 AM

To get a better idea of appropriate internal temperatures check recommendations for sous vide cooking. Most want to overlook all meat. I suggest 147F internal for breast and 152F for thighs - these are the maximum I use to eliminate the pink. Stand covered for around 15 minutes when cooked. Just for curiosity I sous vide brined turkey breasts for 3 hours at 140F - great flavour and moisture.

Crash 01-05-2013 02:07 AM

This is what we do, so I can only speak for my family. It's pretty much exactly what we do at home and at a comp.

We always brine chicken, not that you asked....just sharing. We cook at 300+ but rarely does the temp go over 325. We always cook indirectly on a WSM or Pro Q.

Thighs get glazed at around 160ish and we take them up to about 175-178 internal. They are a pretty forgiving piece of meat, especially with the brine.

Breasts get glazed at around 150ish and we take them to 165 and then pull them off the smoker. Not nearly as forgiving as the thigh, but the brine gives you some margin for error.

You'll get a variety of answers, but this is what works well for us.

BigBellyBBQ 01-05-2013 02:31 AM

another tip, I do some brine however the MOST important key to great chicken is NEVER use just sucks the moisture out...Belly up to a place where you can get fresh birds...order your stuff the week before and they will have them ready for you...If you are grilling, make your run with out sugar, save the sugar for the smoker..I guarentee you a fresh chick without a brine, will squirt at ya when sliced..
If you brine, even better as the salt/sugar will attach to the cells of the meat, however once you figure out the method of fresh birds, you will find a brine wasted....If you see a blackness on the joint, that means the bird has been, however lots of moisture loss...If you do not know when purchased, a salt/sugar brine will help, however as good but NEVER will it be better that a fresh bird....just my 4 cents...(inflation)

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