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Chicken Thighs Direct: Finally = Delicious

SkySawSkySaw Posts: 408
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Cooking chicken thighs or even drums direct has been a problem for me for a long time on my Large. I find that the fat dripping onto the fire creates too much smoke and overpowers the chicken.

My solution is simply to cook indirect, but that's an entirely different kind of cook, isn't it?

So, I have been trying to get the direct cook right by experimenting with grid height, fire size, and temperature. Enter Thirdeye's website...

He's got a great section on cooking thighs direct, with instructions that I followed very carefully. I built a small fire, which did not even cover the ventilation holes in the firebox, and stabilized it nicely at around 260 (as suggested). Cooking on the raised grid, I also opened the top vent on the Egg all-the-way, to allow smoke to escape easily.

The thighs cooked for 2.25 hours, and I turned them every 20 minutes. I marinated these thighs for about half-an-hour in a bath of citrus (orange & lime), dijon mustard, soy sauce, coriander, and a bit of cumin.

No billowing white smoke, just a steady stream. The end result was what I have been hoping for. The smoke form the direct cook added an extra dimension and richness to the meat, rather than becoming the dominant player.

This method adds another level of versatility to the Egg, and is certainly worth trying. After working on it for a while myself, I feel a bit foolish for not just following Thirdeye's advice this carefully from the very beginning. But, it's there for anyone to read, and if you are interested in being able to cook fatty meats both indirect and direct, this is a must try - just be sure to do it exactly the way Thirdeye suggests.

The skin was not crispy, but it was bite-through for most of the pieces. It was also pretty hard to stop eating. I am almost always good for 1, maybe 2 thighs at the most. I stopped this meal at 3, and that required effort:

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Mark
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Comments

  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Those look great!

    He and his site are a wealth of knowledge.
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  • Those look great. Your picture and technique write-up have me excited to try them out. Thanks for your detailed instructions.

    When you mentioned the info on Thirdeye's website are you talking about the "Slow Cooked Drumsticks, Thighs & Wings" link under the recipe section?
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  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 408
    Yes, that's the place - I should have included the link in my original post:
    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/1997/03/slow-cooked-drumsticks-thighs-wings.html.

    I cook my ribs using CWMs technique listed on Thirdeye's site; I was introduced to one of my recent loves (fatties) on Thirdeye's site; and now I am getting places with direct low&slow cooks thanks to it.

    Wow, thanks Thirdeye for passing on your and your Dad's combined wisdom on barbecue!

    Mark
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    DSC09010a.jpg

    Thanks for the kind words. You seem like you're into thighs, and you did an excellent job on those. For the last 18 months I have been on the quest for the perfect thigh, and I'm really close. By perfect I mean evenly cooked, moist and bite through skin. Or crisp skin if you want it. And as a bonus, I believe I've knocked about 300 calories off of each thigh.

    Would you care to test this method out? It takes some knife work and some involved prep time, but it's worth it.

    DSC08880a.jpg

    DSC08882a.jpg
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Pa2-1.jpg

    Actually that wisdom went clear back to my Grandpaw. Which makes me a third generation barbecue hand. Hehee.

    DSC07834bw2copy-1.jpg
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • rsmdalersmdale Posts: 2,472
    Nice looking cook Mark,if you keep trying it will always
    get better.


    GOOD EATS AND GOOD FRIENDS

    DALE
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  •  
    Those look fantastic thirdeye, I would love to test your method out sometime. I am bogged down with other projects right now and fighting a bad cold but think those look very good.

    Gator

     
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  •  
    I would love to give it a try also...

    Kent
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  •  
    Great looking food there. Congratulations.

    Kent
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  •  
    Hi SkySaw

    Those look awesome, I'm going to give that a try. Thanks for sharing.

    Gator

     
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  • I'd also like to give your method a try. I've been working on thighs as it is one of my wife's favorites along with her mother's. Who just happens to be coming in a couple of weeks for a vist. I'd love to be able to make them during their visit.

    --Dave
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  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,300
    those look good. Debone, add a couple pieces of bread, junk of cheese, pickle and presto lunch. t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
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  • I eat thighs or drumsticks about 5 nights a week - I find on the egg the best way to cook em is to actually pull the skin off and then cook em direct - there is always a little skin left on when you just pull it off which adds some flavor, but you get much less problem cooking them and they taste great
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  • Mark those look really juicy and delicious.Thanks for the reference to Third eye's technique!
    Jon
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  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 408
    thirdeye wrote:
    Would you care to test this method out? It takes some knife work and some involved prep time, but it's worth it.

    It would absolutely be my pleasure to try to produce that! It might take me a couple years to get it right...it looks incredible.

    Mark
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  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 408
    thirdeye wrote:
    Actually that wisdom went clear back to my Grandpaw. Which makes me a third generation barbecue hand. Hehee.

    There's nothing better than sharing a daily activity in common with family members. It ensures that they always stay at the forefront of our minds.

    My Dad stuck to burgers and steaks in his barbecue days, but I have great memories of being his gofer. I hope to have the same thing with my kids - maybe with a little more cooking and less gofering, though.

    Mark
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    I doubt it will take a couple of years, but it will involve a trip to the hardware store for a necessary tool. B)

    I'll get some info together in a .pdf file so I can get it out to the ones willing to try this.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • SkySawSkySaw Posts: 408
    fishlessman wrote:

    Looks like pretty much the same technique, and it's great. Duck is definitely back on the menu with this method.

    I say back on the menu because the last time I cooked duck breasts (2 years ago), I thought it would be clever to sear them over high heat and then let them ride a bit. Well, the sear had the Egg pouring so much thick smoke that my neighbor came over thinking something was wrong. You want your neighbor to come over because of the great smell, not because of the heavy smoke.

    Mark
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,747
    it will smoke at the lower temps cooked direct, but for some reason the foulness doesnt stick to the bird. check out the grease buildup on the daisy though
    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=237400&catid=1
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  • Please include me on that list. Both cooks look great...

    Doug
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  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
    Count me in...
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  • ibandaibanda Posts: 440
    Your pics look great! I cooked some thighs last night also; small fire, raised grid, and added a little pecan wood for smoke. Delicious!
    "Bacon tastes gooood, pork chops taste gooood." - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction
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  • Please post your method in your "Playing with Fire and Smoke" site for us all to follow, thanks.
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  • I'm up for this Wayne

    Ross
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  • I'm on board!

    Judy
    Judy in San Diego
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  • When you say bite through skin what are you comparing it to? Not bite through skin? Are you referring to a skin that is thin, membrane like and tough? That is a problem this newbie egger has been facing with chicken.

    Thanks,

    Romain
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    DSC04403aajpgxx.jpg

    What I mean is that the skin is tender enough to bite right through it, without it coming off in one piece. And when chewed, it's not tough or rubbery. Bite thru skin can be sauced or crispy.

    The best ones I have tried were sauced, but were so perfectly cooked, I actually had to check the edge of the thigh to make sure they were not skinless.

    DSC08884a.jpg
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Well, that might be the best route.... I wanted to get some feedback on the basic skin technique from other folks before posting a complete article.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • I'll bite. Count me in, those latest photos made me drool.
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