Moving from breasts to thighs

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by denniston, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Of the hundreds of times I've cooked chicken, I've never moved off the breasts.  But today I noticed the grocer had leg quarters for $.49/lb.  I couldn't pass it up, but I don't really know how to cook them.  At first I was thinking grill them because that's what I've always done with chicken, but I got to thinking that I could throw them on the UDS.  Right now I have them getting happy in the fridge with some kickin' chicken rub.  I have about 4 to 5 hours to get this done, so plenty of time either way.  

    So is there any general wisdom about grilling vs. smoking chicken quarters?  I'm leaning towards smoking, if that's an option.  What should I consider as far a cooking temps and cooking times?

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    oldschoolbbq likes this.
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Smoke them at 325° to an internal temp of at least 165° to be safe, but leg quarters are better taken to about 175° in my opinion.
    If you have the time and feel like it, I'd separate the legs and the thighs. They're ok if left together, but I've found the legs are generally overdone by the time the thighs are done. Plus presentation and eating are easier if separated.
  3. About how long should it take to get them to temp?
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Leg quarters work well either way, grilled or smoked. 

    Mdboatbum gave solid information.  Time roughly about 90-120 minutes, give or take a little, to get to the 165-175F IT.  Really depends how thick they are.   
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Probably be done in an hour give or take. My smoker seems to like to settle in at 300°, so at 325° I'd start checking at 45 minutes. 325° will give you better skin, which is why I suggested it. A lot of folks swear by low and slow (225°-275°) for chicken, and I have noticed that when I've done lower temps the texture is a little softer and moister. Try whatever is easiest for you, dark meat is hard to screw up.
  6. smokin out the neighbors

    smokin out the neighbors Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    All I use is leg quarters anymore. I think they have a lot better flavor that breasts. They are harder to dry out than breasts and seem to take more smoke flavor. They are also my favorite to use if I'm gonna pull the meat for sandwiches.
  7. Thanks for the help everyone. Here's the que view.

    bdskelly, gary s and tropics like this.
  8. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    They look great skin color perfect.I have been doing Thighs mostly.


  9. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You nailed it! Leg quarters are great to work with. Recommending a cooking time is tricky because piece size varies considerably. Some of them can be huge.
  10. Now That's some nice looking L Q's     good job    [​IMG]

  11. You made a good move. And your chicken looks really good love the color. Nice cook. CF
  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice looking , going with smoke was a good choice. Your finish looks Dandy , and your Billfold is happier too [​IMG].

    [​IMG], good job [​IMG]

    Have fun and . .
  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Perfection.... b


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