Skin, Skin, Skin. Need help on da skin

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by viper, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    Did a whole chicken the other day for Turkey day testing.  As usual, my poultry skin turns out rubbery and has to be removed and is not eatable.  I smoke around the 265* range and I either need a way to get the skin to soften up and break down or a way to crisp it.  Either way but I would prefer not having to try and take the bird to the grill for anything. 
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Most folks smoke at a little higher temp,brine and put some kinda buttery mix under and over the skin.


    Gobble gobble!!!
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try a lower temp like round 225 or as a lot of people do go higher like around 300+. From my experience  when I  smoke it at 225 the skin is kind of mushy and soft but I  can always  kick it up to around 325 at the end and crisp it up but when I smoked my chickens  at the 250-260 range  the skin  turned  out like shoe leather and I couldn't even chew it. It  seems like it just dries out or something at that temp. So in my experience I  go lower  and  crisp at the end or go higher the whole time.

    But on a side note and this still confuses me. When I smoke  my turkey's I run them at 250 and the skin  is always great. But I  always brine my turkeys and when I had the shoe leather chicken skin I didn't brine it so maybe that is a key factor as well.
  4. viper

    viper Smoke Blower

    My poultry is always brined and skin pulled back to inject under the skin as well as a baste over the outside. My smoker (MES30) will only go to 275* max..
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Viper...225*F is a temp that lets the Moisture in the Poultry ( I Brine)... Slow cook/Steam to the point it will become Soft and Tender...But I and all of Mine want Crispy Skin...So I pull the Bird 10*F shy of my Goal...Set the Oven to 425*F and Pop the Bird in to Finish cooking and Crisp the Skin, about 15-30 minutes more...Hope this helps...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brine could be a factor, but the only time I've had very crispy skin was smoking at 325º+
  7. smokinal

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

    Me too, but you have to be careful you don't dry the breast out. Butter under the skin helps.
  8. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Make sure your skin is really dry before you start cooking, then cook at a higher temp. I do chicken raised direct at around 325 cause I don't like rubbery skin.  Good luck!
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Have you considered skinless?

    My last whole skinless chickens with method, recipe and results/review contained HERE

    Skinless does not translate to a dry's all about finished internal temps...165-168* in the breasts and 170-175* in the thighs and you're good to go. I've tried many methods for crsipy smoked bird, I just go naked.

    Never know 'til you try it...

  10. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

      Your right AL, there's a fine line you have to walk. [​IMG]
  11. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    I also cook low and slow .Then high heat at the end sometimes with a torch if i'm in a hurry.[​IMG]
  12. lumpylemming

    lumpylemming Newbie

    Now what about starting them in the oven to crisp and brown the skin (say 500 for 30min), then moving it to the smoker to finish?  Would that be counter productive since the smoking would soften the skin back up?
  13. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Lumpy, That would be counter productive. Not that the skin would soften back up, but the chicken would be almost done (if not done already) and you wouldn't get any smoke flavor in the meat.

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