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A test - Does corn starch make chicken skin crispier?

JethroVAJethroVA Posts: 1,242
Hypothesis: corn starch makes for more crispy.  Methods: Did this limited scale test recently.  All the wings got salt, pepper, garlic.  Most got a dusting of cornstarch.  Left six without corn starch. Cooked indirect. Results: Compared to the control group, the intervention group was crispier.  In the finished photo, you can actually see that the corn starch wings on the upper left look a bit more textured vs. the unstarched ones on the right.   Discussion:  I will definitely add a dusting of corn starch to future poultry cooks.  Needs further research and wider scale testing so I may have to invite buddies over for blind tasting! 
Richmond and Mathews County, VA. Large BGE, Weber gas, little Weber charcoal. Vintage ManGrates. Little reddish portable kamado that shall remain nameless here.  Very Extremely Stable Genius. 

Comments

  • GregWGregW Posts: 2,489
    Isn't it great when science and good eats come together so nicely.
    I even use corn starch dusting on steaks if I want to develop the ultimate crust.
    Birmingham, AL
  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262
    @JethroVA.  Love a good side by side test.  Thanks for posting.
    Phoenix 
  • Jeepster47Jeepster47 Posts: 3,827
    Thanks for the testing ... it's on my to-do list to try the next time wings are on the grill.

    Washington, IL  >  Queen Creek, AZ ... Two large eggs and an adopted Mini Max

  • GregWGregW Posts: 2,489
    I seem to recall first seeing that corn starch could be used to get crispy skin on either America's Test Kitchen or Cook's Country. Can't remember which one it was.
    Birmingham, AL
  • XC242XC242 Posts: 1,208
    We're all on your buddies list, right?
    LBGE (still waitin' for my free T-Shirt), DIgiQ DX2 (In Blue, cause it's the fastest), Heavy Duty Kick Ash Basket, Mc Farland, WI. :glasses:  B)
    If it wasn't for my BGE I'd have no use for my backyard...
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,211
    Yep, air dry over night in the fridge and a light dusting of cornstarch and crispy outcome every time.  Gotta admit that need to finesse my corn starch application process.  I can get that white powder everywhere...  ;)
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 7,956
    J. Kenji of The Food Lab suggests separating the skin from the meat in order to allow the skin to crisp.

    I think you should take the time to do that to each wing before you dust them with cornstarch. Shouldn't take that long. :)
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dik

    Camped out in the (757/948/804)




  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 7,956
    lousubcap said:
    Yep, air dry over night in the fridge and a light dusting of cornstarch and crispy outcome every time.  Gotta admit that need to finesse my corn starch application process.  I can get that white powder everywhere...  ;)
    Big Ziploc is your friend.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dik

    Camped out in the (757/948/804)




  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,803
    I'm visiting Mom and she has a weber kettle, no egg. Last night I grilled a dozen chicken thighs. Normal seasonings (no oil or cornstarch). Indirect for most of the cook, then direct to finish. Crispiest skin I've had in a LONG time. I have a kettle too and may start doing most of my chicken there from now on. I had forgotten how good (and CRISPY!) it can be. 

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,934
    I'm visiting Mom and she has a weber kettle, no egg. Last night I grilled a dozen chicken thighs. Normal seasonings (no oil or cornstarch). Indirect for most of the cook, then direct to finish. Crispiest skin I've had in a LONG time. I have a kettle too and may start doing most of my chicken there from now on. I had forgotten how good (and CRISPY!) it can be. 
    @Carolina Q  I'm with you... i still like doing wings on the kettle.  so easy to go back and forth between indirect and direct.
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • GregWGregW Posts: 2,489
    blind99 said:
    I'm visiting Mom and she has a weber kettle, no egg. Last night I grilled a dozen chicken thighs. Normal seasonings (no oil or cornstarch). Indirect for most of the cook, then direct to finish. Crispiest skin I've had in a LONG time. I have a kettle too and may start doing most of my chicken there from now on. I had forgotten how good (and CRISPY!) it can be. 
    @Carolina Q  I'm with you... i still like doing wings on the kettle.  so easy to go back and forth between indirect and direct.
    I like my Portable Kitchen (PK) grill for that reason also.
    Birmingham, AL
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,664
    Crispy skin I get is when I deep fry ;)
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,539
    I'm visiting Mom and she has a weber kettle, no egg. Last night I grilled a dozen chicken thighs. Normal seasonings (no oil or cornstarch). Indirect for most of the cook, then direct to finish. Crispiest skin I've had in a LONG time. I have a kettle too and may start doing most of my chicken there from now on. I had forgotten how good (and CRISPY!) it can be. 
    It is precisely the inefficiency of the kettle, or many other cookers,  that require dramatically higher air flow resulting in "drier" or crispier food. Not necessarily good for butts etc.  The moist and low air flow environment of the ceramic cookers makes crispy skin a challenge. However, as the OP points out, it's able to be overcome with a very simple "trick". For the record, I'm all for the Weber kettle. It's the single greatest grill ever produced in my estimation. Based upon performance and longevity of the innovation. 
  • SmokinTiger81SmokinTiger81 Posts: 746
    edited July 2016
    Use the small hand held flour sifter for application or a shaker container with wire mesh top.  Shakers on Amazon for under 10$--best solution
  • Dawgs8033Dawgs8033 Posts: 113
    Also another tip for crispy chicken or crispy bacon on poopers...when cooking indirect spray whatever you want crispy with Pam about 15 minutes before you take it off I always cook around 400 and it crips wight up.
    LGBE, SBGE,Blackstone,Weber Kettle, Weber Smokey Joe.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,520
    Use the small hand held flour sifter for application or a shaker container with wire mesh top.  Shakers on Amazon for under 10$--best solution
    What he said. 
    @lousubcap - you might have to spend $10-$15 and get one of these:
    https://www.amazon.com/Pampered-Chef-Flour-Sugar-Shaker/dp/B000XLU22C
    SWMBO won one as a door prize at a PC party, I commandeered it right away, awesome for corn starch. 
    Delta B.C. - Whiskey and steak, because no good story ever started with someone having a salad!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,211
    @Skiddymarker - I may go down that road or related but so far I time it so the clean-up has no witnesses.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • Here, under $7 on Amazon with free prime shipping.  And you can tell your wife it is for sprinkling powdered sugar on that great bundt pound cake she makes.

    https://www.amazon.com/Ateco-Ounce-Stainless-Steel-Shaker/dp/B000KESQ7A/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1468193536&sr=8-7&keywords=flour+shaker

    And there are several options in the up to $12 or so range.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,520
    lousubcap said:
    @Skiddymarker - I may go down that road or related but so far I time it so the clean-up has no witnesses.  
    You know, if you dusted your wings over the living room carpet, the corn starch that makes it to the floor will freshen the carpet.....just saying you might get some atta boys from the boss. 
    Delta B.C. - Whiskey and steak, because no good story ever started with someone having a salad!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,211
    Nothing like a comic on a Sunday night...
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • At least it's food comedy.  And humorous.  I think the main thing on the shaker is it gives you a light dusting.  Too much CS messes things up--don't ask me how I know this.
  • ToxarchToxarch Posts: 1,900
    The only time my chicken skin ends up crispy is when I fry them. Never been able to get crispy skin on the egg, even using corn starch. 
    Aledo, Texas
    Large BGE
    KJ Jr.

    Exodus 12:9 KJV
    Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.

  • JethroVAJethroVA Posts: 1,242
    Shameless, self-promoting bump for my brethren doing wings today. 
    Richmond and Mathews County, VA. Large BGE, Weber gas, little Weber charcoal. Vintage ManGrates. Little reddish portable kamado that shall remain nameless here.  Very Extremely Stable Genius. 
  • PigBeanUsPigBeanUs Posts: 835
    dries the surface, which is where the crispiness comes from.

    you can air-dry the chicken too, but takes longer
  • BotchBotch Posts: 11,718
    50% cornstarch, 50% baking powder, on wangs.  
    (Kenji's recipe is 1/3 BP, 1/3 CS, and 1/3 salt, but I prefer brining my wings the night before).  
    ____________________________________________
    "When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."
      - Isaac Asimov  
            
  • JethroVA said:
    Shameless, self-promoting bump for my brethren doing wings today. 
    I am! 
    XL BGE, Large BGE, Small BGE, Weber Summit NG                                                                                               
    Memphis  
  • jdMyersjdMyers Posts: 693
    Baking powder surly does 
    Columbus, Ohio
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