Crispy Skin Using Propane

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by ats314, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. ats314

    ats314 Newbie

    Hi All,

    I recently purchased a Smoke Hollow 38 inch propane smoker. I am loving the ease of use of it and have had some great results with ribs. One consistent issue I am having is getting a crispy chicken skin. When cooked at the exact same time and temp as my Weber Kettle over charcoal, the chicken is done at the same time, but the charcoal produces crispy skin and the propane does not. I have read that propane releases a lot of moisture into the air as a result of the chemistry of the gas and this can make getting crispy skin difficult. Should I just plan on not doing chicken on the propane anymore, or have any of you figured out a way to keep skin crispy and use propane? 

    So far I have tried two basic methods on the propane. One was cooking at about 250 until the chicken reached 185. The skin was not crispy at all. The next time I upped the heat of the propane smoker to about 400. I also added some lump charcoal to the wood box to try and add some "dry" heat. This helped a lot with crisping the skin, but still not where I would desire it to be, and nowhere compared to the crispy skin produced by charcoal.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Any temp over 325° should do the job even in Propane and definitely at 400°. Using a Water Pan or Soaked Chips inhibits crisp skin. Brined and "Enhanced" birds should have the skin dried, uncovered, overnight in the refer so the crisping is not inhibited or slowed down. High sided pans will allow crisping on the upper half but not so much on any part of the bird below the pan sides. Keeping the exhaust wide open will help, so will dipping the bird in Boiling Water for 15 seconds then allowing it to dry overnight in the refer or up to 1 hour in front of a Fan at room temp of no higher than 75°F. A common trick is to smoke at any temp over 225°F until the IT hits 150°F and finishing to the desired temp in a 425-450°F Oven. The very dry Charcoal heat starts drying the skin right away and much faster even in a Weber with a water pan...JJ
  3. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jimmy has you on point...
  4. ats314

    ats314 Newbie

    excellent advise. Thank you. I think letting the skin dry overnight will definitely help. It was pretty moist still when I put it on the smoker. I'll let you now how my next run goes. Much appreciated. 
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep JJ has you covered. I get crispy skin in my propane GOSM. No water pan and I never use soaked chips. Keep all of your vents wide open. If you don't have the time to dry overnight hit the bird right before you put it in the smoker with a hair dryer on low. Inside and out. Spatchcocking the bird prior to cooking can help too.

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