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Anadromous Catastrophe and the Rubber-Skinned Chicken

JimEJimE Posts: 158
edited 8:29AM in EggHead Forum
Hello, All:[p]I want to love my new egg. I do. And I can't seem to stop cooking on it, so I must be getting there, but I've had a couple problems--namely: overcooking and undercooking. If anybody out there has any suggestions I'd very much like to hear them. [p]Dessicated, cottony Alaskan king salmon was an early casualty. I put it in a roasting pan to deflect heat and smoked it at 250 dome temp for 45 minutes. It never attained the dark coppery color I am accustomed to seeing come out of my old barrel smoker yet it was way overdone. I ate it anyway, but I am flummoxed: Do I want to go even lower and slower?[p]Next up was chicken drumsticks. An hour over direct heat at 275-300 dome temp produced shrunken skin so elastic it made me shudder, and meat with far too much gooey collagen squeezing out between my teeth. As with the salmon, I'm accustomed (on a gas grill) to cooking drumsticks over constant (though indirect) heat for about an hour. Do I need to go to a two-stage process, cooking the insides first and then firing up the Egg a bit to crisp the skin?[p]Thank you in advance.[p]Jim


  • Toy ManToy Man Posts: 416
    Can't help you with the drumsticks but I would use a plate setter for indirect rather than the pan that the fish is in.[p]Toy Man
  • Crab legCrab leg Posts: 291
    Hopefully WooDoggies will hook you up on how to do your drumstix, but I cook my Salmon direct, but on a bed of sliced lemons, about 325* until it looks done. I use alder when cooking Salmon. I think you will find that you should be cooking your Drums much lower for longer. Hang in there, you are doing the right thing to shorten the learning curve by asking questions here.

  • GroundfishGroundfish Posts: 71
    you might try cooking by meat temperature instead of time. use an instant read thermometer or a remote therm. like the maverick et-73. you are also on target about raising the temp for chicken at the end for crispy and it can be tricky from going to crispy to burnt. you need to experiment for your perfect result, just keep a log of your cooks and you will get it - dish by dish. if you had your salmon directly in a pan that was on the grate then you might want to get the fish on a rack above the pan if that is what you are using as your deflector.
    good luck

  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    Jim,[p]I do salmon fillet at 250 for a half-hour, with lots of wood chunks. I do it on a raised grid with direct heat. It comes out smoky and moist and flaky, with a nice light brown smoke color.[p]I do chicken drumsticks at 300 on a raised grid for 20 minutes per side. At the end, I open the vents and open the top to crisp up the skin for just a few minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn't flare up. The chicken comes out fully done and crispy.[p]Good luck, and hang in there!
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    Anadromous? Is that something like Marilyn Manson or David Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust days? Too late for me to start messin with a dictionary so I'll just side step the big words.[p]Where did you get your salmon? Fresh from the fish market or frozen? Always get fresh and feed the frozen crap the neighbor's cat (never to your own cat, he'll claw out your eyes in your sleep). IMO, salmon can only be done 2 ways cold smoked (lox) or grilled, either direct or planked. Cold smoking is an entirely different process than what we do on the Egg. When grilling salmon, I usually aim for a higher cook temp, 325 direct or 350 planked, and a shorter cook time, 12-20 minutes depending on thickness.

    As for chicken, I prefer thighs or leg quarters, I either go straight thru direct at 375 for about 25-30 minutes, turning often, OR 30-40 minutes per side direct at 225 and then open things up to the 350-400 degree range to crisp the skin for 4 or 5 minutes per side.[p]What kind of rub do you put on a flummox?[p]Cheers,

  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Jim, a better indirect setup is needed. Salmom on cedar planks is a nice way to go. I have done drumsticks indirect at about 350-400 with the top down, turning from time to time. Always good.

  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    <p />Crab leg,[p]I cook drumsticks, thighs and wings the way a Texas college budday taught me way back when.
    While he was hovering over the kettle I asked him why the chicken was taking so long. He replied with something like, "they'll be done when they're done."[p]250 - 275 direct on a raised grid for 1.5 to 2 hours turning every 20 minutes or so. You can crank up the heat the last part of the cook to crisp the skin... but normally it isn't necessary. When the skin is brown and the meat just begins to pull back, then they come off.
    This is very very easy and the texture of the meat is more to my liking from the slow cook than the texture from a fast hot cook.[p]This photo was taken by Chubby at the eggfest where I used ChefRd's Hot Wing recipe cooking with the above times and temps saucing the last 15 minutes or so.[p]Good Luck!

    [ul][li]ChefRD Hot Legs[/ul]
  • JimEJimE Posts: 158
    Citizen Q,[p]Thanks for your advice. Anadromous refers to the life cycle of a fish, such as salmon or steelhead, that is born in a river, goes to sea to feed, and returns to its natal river to spawn. As a Northwesterner I have become something of a salmon geek. And as regards salmon, there is a third way. I use a Little Chief for NW-style smoking (lox I simply buy), and I use a fairly hot fire for grilling, but what I seek is in between: The end product is a filet cooked medium to medium-rare with a glazed outside that looks like...ribs, brisket, etc. One woman, in my college days, took a single bite, her eyes closed briefly, and she declared, "I love you." Didn't marry her, but still, this dish had power. I'm going to get a plate setter and continue to experiment. As soon as I figure it out, I'll post something.[p]Jim

  • Citizen Q,[p]“…Fresh salmon isn't necessarily better than frozen. In fact, some of the best wild salmon has been caught, processed and frozen while still at sea. In the trade this is called FAS (frozen at sea). You will rarely find wild salmon labeled this way at the market, but if you ask your fishmonger he may be able to point you in the right direction. At the very least, he will be impressed with your savvy and grasp of the jargon and may be more willing to provide help in your selection…” [p]
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