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Puppyboy 03-15-2007 01:44 PM

Chicken Skin
Last night I smoked up some chicken using a vinegar based mop. I think it turned out pretty good.

Anyway after smoking them for a several hours, I wrapped them in foil. As in the past, the skin was not crisp. I usually remove this skin and feed it to the dogs because I do not like the chewy skin.

The way I under stand it, it's the foil that makes the skin this way.

When I grill chicken the skin is crisp.

With that in mind, I can do a couple things to firm up the skin....

1-eliminate the foil all together
2-after foiling just before before the chicken is done, move to near the fire

Thoughts and suggestions??????

Pig Headed 03-15-2007 01:46 PM

I don't believe it's the foil. It's the temperature. Rubbery skin is common when smoked.Most teams I know put the chicken on a grill for the last few moments to crisp the skin.

MilitantSquatter 03-15-2007 01:50 PM

I'd eliminate the foil and raise the temp a bit (depending on what temp you're cooking at already) or put over some hi heat like ron said.

It's not the skin that is the problem, it is getting the fat to render out.

backyardchef 03-15-2007 01:55 PM

The other option I've heard people look at is shooting for 'bite through' skin instead of the crispy skin. One way to do it that I've seen is to smoke the chicken for an hour or so, then put it skin down in an aluminum pan w/ some sauce and apple juice, cover it and let the chicken sit in the sauce for a while, then remove it and finish with a sauce/glaze.

RichardF 03-15-2007 01:58 PM

PH has it right - Need higher temp to get the skin crisp. A few well supervised minutes over coals or the gasser makes all the difference in the world. How long are you smoking the chicken that you would need to foil??? Are you continuing to cook after foil?

You can also try letting your chicken peices "dry" overnight by putting it uncovered in the fridge. this step wouldn't be helpful if you foiled.

Plowboy 03-15-2007 02:01 PM

What helped us was using a different chicken to begin with. The difference in skin between what we find in the grocery store and what we get for contest is huge. The skin is pretty thin to start with. We get our comp chickens whole from Alewel's in Warrensburg, MO.

Puppyboy 03-15-2007 02:13 PM

What I have been doing is cooking it at 250* for 2.5hrs then putting it in a aluminum pan and foiling for 2.5hrs.

When I first started, I picked up a nasty habit of foiling 1/2 way through a cook. As I have learned more from my brothers here, I think I need to change a few things.

MoKanMeathead 03-15-2007 04:06 PM

I think there are two schools of thought on chicken, especially the skin; one is to get the skin crispy (so you can bite through it) and one is to get the skin soft (so you can bite through it).

I believe for crispy you can put on the grill (direct) for a while before turn-in but watch the temp since it can burn easily at this time. For soft skin you can do as Matt suggests above - put it in an aluminum pan with sauce for an hour or so (this also tenderizes it).

Just my thoughts on comp chicken. For home I cook beer can chicken in the smoker or rotiserie chicken on the "Set It and Forget It" machine. If the skin is not right I discard it and don't have to worry about what some judge might think.

kickassbbq 03-15-2007 04:25 PM

I have a Chicken on right now at 250. When it is ABOUT done, I'll crank the heat to 375. The skin WILL be crispy.
Chicken needs a little different method than other meats.
Smoke On!!!!!

Yakfishingfool 03-15-2007 04:28 PM

Is chicken that is "finished" over coals or higher heat competition legal??? I have found chicken to be my biggest disappointment with the smoker as the skin is always so nasty. Scott

Pig Headed 03-15-2007 04:33 PM

Yes it is legal as long as it's charcoal or wood that cooking with. (pellets count as wood), that is unless you're entering the new catagory of comps that mandates lp gas.

MoKanMeathead 03-15-2007 05:33 PM

Yea, you can definately cook direct over coals - either for the last few minutes or the whole cook. I know a couple of guys (B&J) who cook direct over hot coals, in a trash can and finish their chicken in 30 to 40 minutes...and I've seen them walk to a first place showing.

RichardF 03-15-2007 05:41 PM


Originally Posted by kickassbbq
I have a Chicken on right now at 250. When it is ABOUT done, I'll crank the heat to 375. The skin WILL be crispy.
Chicken needs a little different method than other meats.
Smoke On!!!!!

nice plump breast and thighs i bet.

big blue bbq 03-15-2007 08:37 PM

What temp are you guys cooking chicken at. I did two chickens with the back bones cut out and butterflied for about 4 hours at 230 Sunday. They meat was good but the skin still needs work before my first comp in April. I tried to crisp the meat in the firebox for about 5 minutes and it was better than the one I did not do that on.

jacob 03-15-2007 08:44 PM

I tried a method I read about, which was to put back in fridge uncovered and let air dry after applying rub. I did this then smoked. The skin still wasn't crisp but it it wasn't rubbery either. You could take the first bite without pulling all the skin off when you did. Chewed nicely.

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