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Old 06-23-2007, 09:58 PM   #1
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Chewy skin on smoked chicken.

I'll be smoking a chicken along with a couple racks of ribs tomorrow.
I've done chicken twice before. Successfully in the sense that the chicken comes out fall-off-the-the bone tender with a great flavor, however the skin has been leathery-chewy-inedible. I've tried crisping the skin on the grill after smoking, it only got tougher.
Both times chix looked like this:

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My question is, is there anything I can do so the skin is crispy and edible?

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Old 06-23-2007, 10:12 PM   #2
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Coat with oil or butter and crisp BEFORE you smoke.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:43 AM   #3
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Crash….

If you want crispy skin, one could/should try roasting the bird. The skin will become crisp and crunchy only when all of the fat in it has been rendered. At BBQing temperatures this will rarely happen. That’s why when I BBQ chicken I remove the skin. Skin gets in the way of any flavoring, and slips off with the seasoning and sauce when you try to eat it. If you remove the skin you will need to baste about every 20 minutes or so with a non-sweet basting sauce.

Have fun and enjoy!
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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There’s really no way to avoid a tough skin when you smoke a chicken. Its best to think of the skin as a casing of sorts that you’ll open up and throw away when you eat the meat.

There is an option though. Since chicken isn’t a tough meat, you don’t need super low BBQ temps for long periods of time. You can up the temperature on your smoker and coat the skin with oil or butter first. Basically, you use your smoker as a roaster but with the addition of wood smoke. You get the smokey flavor with half the cooking time and a more edible skin. Also, a large spray bottle with 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar makes a nice basting mist.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:02 AM   #5
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I like to remove chicken when the breast is 170F or the thigh at 180 F.
I also find that the skin is rubbery unless (like others have mentioned) the heat is above normal smoking temps. I cook chicken at 300 F temps or even a little higher.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
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There are two ways to make the skin edible

1) High heat on the grill
2) Covered in a foil pan with sauce.

The problem with this is that the meat wil usually dry out before the skin becomes edible. Most folks in a competition setting use the two methods listed above. I always cook my chicken skin side down.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:45 AM   #7
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Hey River City.

Please clarify what makes the meat dry before the skin is crispy. I assume you mean smoking at 300F or above.

Also, is your first method done after smoking at lower temps to crisp up the skin?

Finally, tell me more about the pan. Is it covered or is it covered in sauce? Cooked this way on the smoker or the grill?
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
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If you cook the chicken at a low temp the meat will dry out before the skin becomes edible. In a contest I will cook indirect method at a temp of 325*F or better. I pull the meat(I cook thighs) off at a internal temperature of 165*F. The juices will run clear. I only cook them approximately 45 minutes.

The foil pan I use is a half pan (from Sam's Club). I pour my sauce to cover the bottom of the pan and put my chicken in the pan. I then brush a nice amount of sauce on top of the thighs and cover the pan tightly with foil. I put the pan back in the pit and let it go for about 25-30 minutes at the most.
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