Question on brining, times & rubbery skin

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by dfbourg, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thanks in advance to any thoughts that can be shared. I am Q'ing some leg quarters and some thighs tomorrow. This is the first time I am trying a brine on them. Would 12-14hrs in the brine be to long? Also I have read where some folks remove the chickens from the brine so the skin can dry out so it's not rubbery. How much time would I need to pull them out of the brine to have a successful non-rubbery skin? I was planning on putting them in the brine this afternoon so if 4-6hrs would be good then pull them I have time to do so before going to bed tonight. If not I was planning letting them stay in the brine over night and remove them in the morning before cooking them later on. Again Thanks for any input.

  2. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    12-14 hrs would be just fine, I wouldn't be afraid to let em go for 24.  I've left whole birds in for up to 36 hrs before and a couple of turkeys went for over 48, they all turned out just fine.  Any brine time is better than none IMO.  I don't worry too much about my skin, I don't really eat it, but I do leave it on when I can as it just adds another barrier to help with moisture retention..... I think.  I usually just pull em out of the brine and put them on a cookie sheet and give a good dose of rub on and under the skin when I can, and then on to the smoker.  What temp you smokin them at, I like to run my poultry between 275-300.  If you want crispy skin you can always pop em over on the grill for a few minutes after they are done smoking, I have not done this so I will let someone else guide you on that.  Some guys do let their chickens sit uncovered over night in the fridge before they cook em to help get a crispy skin.

    Hope this helps

  3. Drake

    All night will be fine. The rubbery skin is from low temp. Kick the temp up to 325° and it will be crispy. You can do lower temp in the begining if you want to get more smoke flavor.

    Happy smoken.

  4. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thanks guys. I'm planning on doing them in that 275-300 degree range and maybe trying to kick it up to 325 right at the end. I'm looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
  5. Remember to post Qview or you will be seeing this

    [​IMG]or this    [​IMG]or this [​IMG]

    Or you might get this[​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  6. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    No problem with the pictures.
  7. Optimum brining time depends on the strength of the brine, brine longer when using a weak brine and shorter with a strong brine.
    Drying the skin and a high temperature will both contribute to crispy skin.

  8. This is important!  If you use a strong brine and soak them 12 hours you will not like the results.  There's a BIG difference in brined piece parts than a whole intact bird.
  9. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     I still never bother with brining and even taking chicken to 165º IT on the smoker, then moving them to the hot grill to crisp up the skin. Finished product is usually in the 180º area and never dry.

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
    ne rookie likes this.
  10. It's personal preference, brining isn't right or wrong.
    I brine mostly for flavor.

  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I feel you will be O.K. with the short Brine and cook at 325* or so for a better skin. Your drying overnight will help tremendously. Take them to an IT of 165*F , with loose joints and clear fluid when poked. You'll be all good...
  12. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What's your brine?

    I would brine, then remove from the brine, rinse off, then put in a rack over a pan in your fridge for a few hours to let the skin dry, then cook it in the 325 range.
  13. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I used the slaughterhouse brine recipe that I found in the forum. Being that I'm not sure on how strong the brine will be since this is the first time I will take it out tonight and let it dry out. Still positive thoughts that tomorrows chicken will be great. I appreciate everything from everyone.

  14. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Just flipped the chicken on the grill. Keeping it between 275-300 but mostly at 300. Smelling good so far.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  15. Looks good so far!

  16. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Almost time to pull them off and the skin seems crispy and the meat seems juicy.
  17. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That is some good looking chicken.

    What was your final process and how did it turn out??
  18. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thanks fellow Q'ers. The process was 9hrs in the slaughterhouse brine. Then rinsed off and set in the fridge overnight. This morning seasoned them up and took right at 2hrs to cook. I was able to hold pretty much 300* for the entire cooking time. About the last 1/2hr after I sauced them I opened up the intake vent some and brought the temperature up to 325-330 before pulling them off. It was a total cooking process with pecan wood. It came out real good between moisture and crispy skin. It was the kids first time having real smoked chicken and they at first asked why it had a different taste than our normal baked chicken. But in the end it didn't stop them from coming out with a clean bone.
  19. [​IMG]

    So glad it turned out.

    Happy smoken.


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