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Tasty thighs... With and without skin.

Smoked & grilled 5 thighs yesterday. Haven’t been able to get crispy skin consistently so I tried an experiment. Folded back the skin and covered the thighs with Plowboy’s “Yardbird”... Dusted the skin as well.  Replaced the skin...  Into the Egg on the top level of the AR (not on the extender, just a couple of inches above the gasket) at 380° for an hour. Used the 13” pizza stone, covered with foil, on the spider as an indirect piece. Let the temp rise to 400° over the hour. Checked internal temp.... 185°- 195°. I removed the cooking grid with the thighs on it, removed the stone and the AR. I removed the skin from two pieces and gave everything a 2nd dusting of Yardbird, flipped the pieces (skin side down on the pieces that had skin and returned the grid to the top of the fire ring (normal position). Removed everything after 5 min of direct heat. Shouldn’t have dusted the skin again... about half of it charred. The pieces with the skin removed were a beautiful deep copper and hadn’t charred... or dried out. The skin was tasty except where it was charred... had gotten crispier and was approaching “bite through”. We ate all but two pieces... one with and one without skin. Cold chicken for breakfast this morning. Big surprise... The piece without skin was moist and very smokey... The other was tasty, thanks to the rub... but had much less smoke flavor. The skin was “so-so”. I was surprised that the skinless piece had absorbed so much smoke in only 5 min. with the skin removed. Will definitely try this again... Leaving the skin on for most of the cook preserved the moisture and probably added flavor.... Removing it for 5 min of direct heat gave a noticable improvement in smoke flavor.
I’ll keep working on the skin but it’s great to find one good way to use it... and serve without it. Oh, I forgot to put ANY smoke wood in the Egg... Just once used Royal Oak. Forgot to take pics.  


  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,867
    I think what you have discovered is a form of the reverse sear. The meat was cooked with a moderate indirect heat, not a high direct heat. You finished it using direct heat. @nolaegghead provided some science as to why this happens, something to do with getting the outside warm and drier so cooking "magic" can happen. 
    We have started cooking almost everything this way - it works. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    Have done reverse sear frequently... Sous Vide tri-tip followed by searing on the Egg; burgers, smoked then dropped onto the small CI grate on the spider; and, like I did here, chicken... BUT... I had never removed the skin before grilling (not quite hot enough to call it a true sear)... and the surprising result was the amount of smoke absorbed in such a small amount of time when the meat was unprotected by the skin.  
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