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Poultry skin rubbery when smoked

I love smoking poultry on my XL BGE. However, when I smoke poultry the skin is always rubbery. I'm a big fan of crispy skin on chicken and turkey. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to smoke a bird and have crispy skin?

By the way, when I smoke a bird I do so at 325-350, apple wood chunks on the coals, plate setter legs up, drip pan filled with apple juice.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • I like to do my chickens (whole birds or parts) direct with a raised cooking grid, cook in the high 300's (say 375).   Whole birds I do a small pie pan under the bird to protect the bird from intense heat but no platesetter.  The raised grid helps with flame ups, the direct heat gets you the crispy skin and still plenty of smoke.



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • Your technique is Ok mostly, but the heat is too low and you don't need any liquid. Try 400-425 dome, drip pan but no juice. The juice is steaming the bird, hence no "crispy". 
    Also, try a little corn starch on the skin with the rub, maybe a 2:1 ratio (rub:starch), if it is still dry on the skin, mist with oil just until it is no longer dry. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,962
    Higher temps and let that bird sit uncovered on a cooling rack in your fridge overnight.  The skin will dry out and look a little funky, but enough moisture can dry out of the skin to make it crispy after baking.  A light dusting of corn starch like skiddy said also helps.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,292
    ^^agree air drying helps a ton.
  • You can also poke a few holes in the skin (but not the meat) with a fork. It helps the fat drip out and not pool underneath, becoming gummy.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,473
    Lose the drip pan. Go direct raised at 400. If time leave uncovered in fridge over night to dry out. Same for turkey.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • mimaulermimauler Posts: 122

    Raised, direct, spatchcock, at 400-425 leave breast side down for the first 5-10 minutes then flip over.


    You can cook it like you are now and then wind the heat up for the last 15-20 minutes of your cook and your skin will be crispy.
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