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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Bite Through Chicken Skin - EPIC FAIL!

I, like most everyone, am trying to improve my chicken skin so you can bite through it. I decided to go a different direction and brine it.

My brine consisted of:
1 gallon cold water
3/4 cup Morton Kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar

I soaked if for four hours in a zip lock bag and then put it on a cooling tray in the fridge for a couple of hours. I then pulled it out, sprinkled on some rub,let it sit at room temperature for about an hours. When I got ready to put it on I noticed some liquid had excreted onto the cooking sheet it was resting on. I got the temp in my WSM up to 275 and cooked for around 1.5 hours with a couple chunks of apple until the internal temp was 165.

The results were less than spectacular. The meat although moist was very salty (I did not rinse off the brine) and had little taste otherwise. The skin did not stick to the meat and was so rubbery it was uneatable. The good news is Goodyear heard about it and wants to use it to make tires. Yes, it was that rubbery.

So I am not sure if I should give up on using a brine or if I just did something terribly wrong. Thoughts and opinions are always appreciated.

Thanks in advance everyone.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Well, make sure your chicken isn't already enhanced an ungodly amount. The brine will just add to the enhancement, making it saltier.

Also, if it is enhanced already, adding more into it with no additional flavors doesn't make much sense to me, but maybe I'm just out of the loop in regards to that.

275 is too low man, if you want bite through chicken you can start it at 250-275, but within half an hour it's best to be at 300-350 degrees. If you're gonna cook them low like that, just grill them over some direct heat to crisp up the skin.

Brining, to MY knowledge, won't do a hole heaping Hell of a lot for your skin, that's gonna be temp/fire whatever you wanna call it.

The brine will simply "inject" flavor into the meat, and of course additional moisture.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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Wait, did you brine chicken for a total of six hours?! Four hours room temp, two in the fridge?
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jazzybadger View Post
Wait, did you brine chicken for a total of six hours?! Four hours room temp, two in the fridge?
Thank for the reply. Four hours in a zip lock bag in the fridge, pulled it out of the bag and let it rest for two hours on a cooling tray on the fridge, and then let it come to room temp.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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Are you trying this for comps or just to eat? for my money to eat nothing beats crispy chicken skin.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Okay, yeah that's way way WAY too long to brine chicken pieces.

Also remember the act of brining anything is best done at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It's been some years since I've read up on any of this, but that temperature is required for proper "osmosis" to occur.

That's what causes the salt, sugar, blah blah blah to get sucked into the meat, but not saturate the meat. You want that brine ICE cold when you pop it in, and then either put it in a freezebox full of ice, or in the fridge.

Your total process for chicken drumsticks, quarters, even a whole chicken, shouldn't be more than like... three hours tops. Most chicken pieces only take an hour, hour and a half.

As you stated, you do want to wash off the brine as soon as it's out, just to keep the brine off the skin as you cook it.

As far as letting it come to room temp, in all honesty with chicken I don't worry about it, I cook hot enough and they're done fast enough that the room temp doesn't ever enter into my mind in regards to chicken, plus it'd freak my wife right out if she saw chicken sitting on a counter for a couple of hours. They go from the fridge to the sink to the smoker generally speaking.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP7794 View Post
I, like most everyone, am trying to improve my chicken skin so you can bite through it. I decided to go a different direction and brine it.

My brine consisted of:
1 gallon cold water
3/4 cup Morton Kosher Salt
1/2 cup sugar

I soaked if for four hours in a zip lock bag and then put it on a cooling tray in the fridge for a couple of hours. I then pulled it out, sprinkled on some rub,let it sit at room temperature for about an hours. When I got ready to put it on I noticed some liquid had excreted onto the cooking sheet it was resting on. I got the temp in my WSM up to 275 and cooked for around 1.5 hours with a couple chunks of apple until the internal temp was 165.

The results were less than spectacular. The meat although moist was very salty (I did not rinse off the brine) and had little taste otherwise. The skin did not stick to the meat and was so rubbery it was uneatable. The good news is Goodyear heard about it and wants to use it to make tires. Yes, it was that rubbery.

So I am not sure if I should give up on using a brine or if I just did something terribly wrong. Thoughts and opinions are always appreciated.

Thanks in advance everyone.
Not to hijack the thread but, I've got a 4lb'er that I spatchcocked then brined for about 12 hours, took it out of the brine patted it dry and placed it back in to the fridge for 4 hours or so. I'm not going to season it at all, in hopes of tasting some of the ingredients I brined with.

The plan is to grill between 350-375. Hoping to get that crispy bite through skin. Gonna throw a chunk of apple in there as well. Any thoughts about the process? I'm new to charcoal and I am using a chargriller kamado.

Thanks,
Ben
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddahavit View Post
Are you trying this for comps or just to eat? for my money to eat nothing beats crispy chicken skin.
I am going to be doing my first comps next spring so am practicing/trying different techniques. I am trying to just find a baseline and adjust off that.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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What pieces were you doing? WHole bird, thighs, etc. If thighs try scraping the fat off the underside of the skin.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by K-Train View Post
What pieces were you doing? WHole bird, thighs, etc. If thighs try scraping the fat off the underside of the skin.
Yes, thighs.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmock View Post
Not to hijack the thread but, I've got a 4lb'er that I spatchcocked then brined for about 12 hours, took it out of the brine patted it dry and placed it back in to the fridge for 4 hours or so. I'm not going to season it at all, in hopes of tasting some of the ingredients I brined with.

The plan is to grill between 350-375. Hoping to get that crispy bite through skin. Gonna throw a chunk of apple in there as well. Any thoughts about the process? I'm new to charcoal and I am using a chargriller kamado.

Thanks,
Ben
12 hours? For a 4 pound bird? IMHO that is about 3x to long. My rule of thumb is about 1 hour per pound. Too much time in the brine will make the meat soggy and really salty.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #12
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When I have brined chickie for comps, I remove the skin and just keep it chilled and "air drying" whilst the chickie is brining.

Best of both worlds with flavorful, moist meat and skin that cooks up well.

JMHO

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Unread 08-08-2012, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
When I have brined chickie for comps, I remove the skin and just keep it chilled and "air drying" whilst the chickie is brining.

Best of both worlds with flavorful, moist meat and skin that cooks up well.

JMHO

TIM
Is that the whole bird or just the thighs?
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Unread 08-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
When I have brined chickie for comps, I remove the skin and just keep it chilled and "air drying" whilst the chickie is brining.

Best of both worlds with flavorful, moist meat and skin that cooks up well.

JMHO

TIM
You take the skin completely off? If so, how do you put it back on so it stays?
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Unread 08-08-2012, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfletcher84 View Post
Is that the whole bird or just the thighs?
Pieces and parts for comps.
I just rinse and dry the chickie meat and the skin holds on just fine.

Whole chickie/turkeys at home are brined skin on because the skin is not an issue. It gets thick and soft in the brine. Cooks up OK---but not comp quality.

BTW, the only poultry I do not brine is wings---it's a smoke/grill thing there.

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