Advice on Chicken breasts?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jr.s, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    Done a batch of 6 chicken breasts a few days ago, and was BOUND AND DETERMINED to make it moist. (Have always had that problem with poultry!)  I brined them for an hour or two, then covered them with rub, and tossed into the smoker (Masterbuilt Electric) at a higher than normal temp for me.  Set it at highest which is 275 on mine.  Watched carefully, and yanked them when the thickest one was at 165, which was a bit over an hour.  Right off the bat, they were AWESOME, dripping with juice!

    Here's the problem:  I let them rest, covered in a glass container covered in foil for the 2 hours until Dinner time, and by Dinner time the container had about a 1/2 to inch of juice in the bottom and the chicken was fairly dry.  Not terrible, but NOTHING like when I pulled them off the smoker.  Is there any hints to stop this from happening?

    Or do they have to be eaten as soon as they are pulled, no choice?
  2. h8that4u

    h8that4u Fire Starter

    For myself, I only rest my chicken for about 5 mins, have not had to rest for that long. Turkey on the other had I like to let them sit a few hours. 
  3. Brining for an hour or two isn't going to do you any good. 
  4. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Breasts can be tricky. Pull them BEFORE they hit your desired IT. They will coast up in temperature at least another 5 degrees after you pull them.

    Try wrapping them directly in plastic instead of foil. That is with skinless breasts anyway, )otherwise you would want to keep the skin from getting rubbery). Keep them sealed up, so the humidity in your container or plastic stays higher then the exposure to the humidity in the room they would be exposed to. This also should draw back most of the moisture lost if there is any.

    Lastly, when I set my Masterbuilt to 275' it will actually go over 300+ degrees when monitoring with a remote probe. If you aren't doing so already, you should check with a different probe than just by going by the set temp on the Masterbuilt.
  5. phatbac

    phatbac Smoking Fanatic

    I would smoke at real low(200) temp for about 20-30 minutes. and then throw on the grill at 400 and finish them off. if you choose to brine ( you don't have to) do it for 4-6 hours. make sure to rinse afterwards to get rid of surface salt. should give you juicy chicken and a good smoke flavor. you also may consider using thighs they are fattier and will be more juicy naturally.

    Hope this helps:

    phatbac (Aaron)
  6. X2. Brining an already injected bird is likely ineffective, and the liquid can actually draw moisture out of the chicken if it has higher salinity, thus drying it out. Have to use fresh, uninjected poultry for much longer than an hour.
  7. fishwrestler

    fishwrestler Smoking Fanatic Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I brine over night. what temps did you cook it to?
  8. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I brine bone in breasts for six hours. Running your fingers under the skin to separate it from the meat is key. Pat them dry and rub with a touch of olive oil to help the smoke adhere. I smoke at 250 for two hours and have had excellent results every time. The two hour sit did you in.
  9. Clarify, MOI: you're not using birds injected with solutions at the plant, correct, when brining?
  10. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Correct, sir.
  11. As I thought. Carry on, sir.
  12. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I pull my breasts off the smoker at 155-157, then a short rest will bring them up to 165.

  13. jr.s

    jr.s Fire Starter

    Wow, they will come up a whole 10 degrees??  Do you wrap them in foil?  What happens if they fall short, say 162?  Still eat them?
  14. Grilled chicken gets a bad rap. Sometimes it's well deserved, like when a boneless and skinless chicken breast has been turned into something that's as flavorless and texturally similar to a wet towel...only less tender. But with just a few key tips and techniques you can have moist, flavorful grilled chicken every time. Here are 13 tips for making perfect grilled chicken every time.

    [​IMG]Grace Parisi / TODAY

    1. Buy the right size

    Bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to chicken breasts. Large breast halves, those over 10 ounces, take forever to cook, leaving you with potentially dry, stringy meat. Instead, opt for pieces that are between 5 and 8 ounces—they'll cook more quickly and retain more moisture.

    2. Pound or butterfly like a pro

    Breasts are naturally thicker on one end and the large ones can vary by almost two inches from end to end. To level the playing field, pounding or butterflying are the best ways to even out the thickness and shorten your cooking time.

    How to pound chicken breasts:  For average or small breasts, use a meat pounder to even out the thickness. Here's a foolproof method for pounding: Dip the breast lightly in water, set it in a quart-size zippered bag and pound gently with a meat pounder. Never pound straight down, rather pound gently down and away from you. Aim for about ¾- inch to 1-inch thickness.

    How to butterfly chicken breasts:  This works well for breasts that are too large to pound. Using a sharp knife, make a horizontal cut from one side, nearly cutting through to the other. Open up the chicken like a book and gently pound the seam and thick end to even it out. If you do it right, the breast will be heart–shaped.
  15. Shoot me now....
  16. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Do you have any idea how painful it is when barrel strength bourbon shoots through your nose? Do you? 😡
  17. Sorry, brother. Should've put a warning disclaimer on the front end. Thank goodness we stopped at only 2, instead of the threatened promised 13.

    You do know that's alcohol abuse, don't you? :biggrin:
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  18. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chicken breasts?

    Get 'em a good sports bra, that way they don't waddle from side to side went they run cause the run alot!
  19. How's this, Kevin?  This what you're lookin' for?   [​IMG]

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  20. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I think you just eat immediately.

    I brine chicken breast at least 6 hours if I can, whole chickens over night.  Smoke to 165F and eat immediately. 

    Wrapping in foil to keep juice closer to the meat may help but the boneless skinless chicken breast doesn't get any better the longer it rests.  I do know that if you cook like 5-6 pounds of breast, finish the meal and then put them in freezer bags or vac seal them, they are still very tasty and have completely acceptable moisture when reheated for left overs, sandwiches, or salad meals.

    I don't brine dark meat or wings, they are juicy enough and the skin helps keep in juiced.  Just a word to the wise, chicken skin is generally tough and leathery when smoked low and slow unless cooked at 325F'ish or so.  I'm still on a mission to figure out some exact and detailed ways to get the skin right in the MES or to transfer to an oven to finish and then maybe move on to the grill to finish.  I know a torch has done me no good.  I believe people when they say to finish in the oven or on the grill but I have yet to find the right amount of time and temp so far.  Too many projects at the moment and it will have to wait.

    Best of luck on the chicken breast cooks!

Share This Page