Hybrid Smoking Chicken Thighs

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by smokeygoose, May 19, 2015.

  1. smokeygoose

    smokeygoose Newbie

    So I would like to do some thighs and more of less have figured out what I want to do.

    My problem is that I have a Little Chief.......lol..........which only reaches around 165 degrees. 

    My plan is to brine for an hour, dry rub, put them in the smoker for 2 hours, then dip them in sauce and finish on the grill.

    Any input would be  of great help! 
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Your plan will work just fine. The real rule of thumb is to make sure that your poultry goes from 40-140 in 4 hours or less. If your grill is hot you'll be good.

    Remember to take your thighs to a finished IT of 165 or higher.
  3. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Wow! Fancy name for finishing on the grill to crisp skin! I do it all the time with quarters. I usually bring my chicken IT to about 160 and then crisp the skin on a super hot grill. Works great you'll be happy.
  4. smokeygoose

    smokeygoose Newbie

    The fancy name was for publicity!

    The 40/140/4 rule was kind of what i was after. I was concerned about the low heat and bacteria. I also have been reading about rubbery skin with low heat and was hoping the grill finish would take care of that.
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You should enjoy your Wings this way. They are quick and easy , delicious and you just can't get  enough to satisfy the need .

    Also , when I am using my Fryer , I'll put a good smoke on them and ten drop ten in the Fryer to crisp , a really good crispy  way to finish them.

    Have fun and . . .
  6. smokeygoose

    smokeygoose Newbie

    I think you may have jumped a thread!
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think your idea would work ok, though there might be a couple problems. 2 hours at 160°f likely will get you in the 110°-115° range, assuming you start with meat at refrigerator temperature. You're then left with the old problem of burned skin while you're trying to get the inside done on the grill. This is exacerbated by your mention of dipping them in sauce before going on the grill. (I'm assuming you're referring to grilling over direct heat)
    There are a couple things you could do that might make it easier and result in a more consistent finished product.
    1. Cure your thighs. The addition of a nitrite cure to your brine will allow you to more safely smoke at lower temperatures for a longer time. Meaning you can get your chicken up to 145°-150° (Probably 4-5 hours) in the smoker, then sear the skin over direct heat with less chance of scorching. The cure will also give the meat that signature "hammy" flavor and texture like the turkey drumsticks you get at carnivals. Amounts of cure and times for brining can all be found here on this forum. Just do a search for "cured chicken".

    2. Skip the Little Chief and smoke your chicken indirectly in your grill. Depending on the grill it should be easy to do, just make one side hot and add chunks of smoke wood. Get your temperature on the "cool" side to 250°-275° and smoke the chicken till it hits 150°-155°, then sear it on the hot side. This is the easiest, most proven method and has provided great results many, many times.
    Good luck and let us know how it turns out!!
    Here's one I did on an old gas grill a while ago: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/175763/thighs-and-drums-on-a-gasser-over-pecan
  8. smokeygoose

    smokeygoose Newbie

    Thanks for the input! I was really trying to avoid using a cure but that is an idea.

    If i were to not use a nitrate cure and maybe smoke for 3 hours, get it on the grill to finish, then brush a little sauce at the end, would this be a better bet?

    My grill is a standard propane with 2 burners and tents, im not sure how i would do the wood on it....never attempted that.

    The crowd thats going to be eating this wants a little sauce! Although this is my first shot so who knows lol
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd definitely brush the sauce at the end, after you get the skin crisp. As for the gas grill, you can just make a foil pouch with wood chunks or chips in it and put it directly on the burner that's running. You can see in the picture here what I mean:
  10. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Top rack or to the side of the flame on a hot grill won't burn the skin and it will hear those thighs up in no time at all. You can get them to 160 and then crisp up the skin by saucing and putting them directly over the flame. I do this often. Now I'm not smoking at 160, I'm smoking around 200-220.

    If your really concerned pull them out of the smoker an hour and a half in and then put them in a grill that's maybe 350ish. Then at the end sear them.
  11. smokeygoose

    smokeygoose Newbie

    If i go ahead with that foil on burner move, how much time will i get out of a tank?

    I only ask because im doing this at a campground and dont want to have to find a refill.
  12. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd say a full tank would give you more than enough time, especially only running one burner on a fairly low flame. Probably get 12-15 hours at least.

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