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crisp chicken skin

edited 9:29PM in EggHead Forum
I am a seasoned smoker using an offset unit I built myself. In competitions the lofty goal is to get crispy skin on your chicken. I have never been able to do it. I finally broke down and got an XL big green egg after seeing so many at competitions and reading about them on the internet.As my second cook,last night,I did my first chicken,using the beer can method. I set the fire right,I threw on some maple chunks,I oiled the bird,I spiced it up, I even used a can of imported spanish beer,which I of course, had to test. The beer was great, the chicken meat was to die for, but you could have soled your shoes with the skin, it was so tough.Does anybody have any advice.Did I over smoke, or should I have crisped first and smoked later?? Hep Me Hep Me. Steve


  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I usually do thighs or leg quarters indirect at 350 dome. I take them to 195-200 internal, about 90 minutes and the skin gets good and crisp. -RP
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Baste Mon Que eh,

    I use a light dusting of cornstarch after the chicken was dried in the fridge for a few hours. Season before the cornstarch.



    Caledon, ON


  • Steve,

    Welcome and congrats on your new Egg. Some additional details on your cook would help us provide advice. For example, what was the dome temperature during your cook? Did you cook direct or indirect? What setup did you have for your grid (normal position or raised)? How long did you cook for? What temperature did you pull the meat?

    Pics are good too.

    My chicken approach is generally indirect at 350-400 degrees, with the grid in the normal position on top of the legs of the plate setter, with a drip pan containing a small amount of water (to prevent the drippings from burning). I rub the chicken under the skin, but don't usually oil or sauce. I cook to an internal temp of 160, which generally takes 75-90 minutes for a spatchcocked bird, rest for 10 minutes, and carve. I've never had skin come out tough, though once in a while it stays a bit soggy, which still tastes OK.

    Hope this helps.

  • As mentioned above dry skin also some people use corn starch to give it a CRISP skin.
    Wilson, NC
    Large BGE - WiFi Stoker - Thermapen - 250 Cookbooks

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    First of all, I believe in roasting the chicken so cook it at 350-400 degrees. Second, if you want crispy skin you have to get the water out of the skin. You can do this be leaving the bird in the fridge for 48 hours until the skin dries thoroughly. It will look strange because it will become translucent. Here's a photo of a turkey breast after 48 hours:


    Oil the skin before roasting and you should be good to go. Be aware though, that the skin will reabsorb moisture from the bird as it cools, so you don't want to leave it too long before serving. Good luck.
    The Naked Whiz
  • I absolutely gave up on crisp skin. I wrote it off as a benefit to having moist meat. If I want crispy skin I will fire up the gasser and enjoy my crispy skin and dry as a dust bowl meat. I have started just pulling the skin off and seasoning the chicken and cooking it without the skin.
  • Fire WalkerFire Walker Posts: 241
    The Wiz is right dry skin = crispy skin a little oil on the skin can't hurt either so can a dome of 400 degrees on an elevated grill.
  • My issue is time. I usually open up the whole chicken, wash it, cut the spine out, rinse and then oil and season. Throw on grill. Hard to dry the skin in that process. LOL! Maybe I am lazy? :huh: :lol: :woohoo:
  • azbbguyazbbguy Posts: 191
    I did some thighs the other night. Defrosted them, lightly wiped with canola oil, seasoned them, cooked on the egg skin down @ 350-400 for 20-25min, flipped them till done(185-190), and they all had NICE crispy skin.

    The guys at the bbq store gave me some pistachio wood to try, and it was pretty good with the chicken.
  • civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
    I cook my birds at 375 indirect until done. I then pull the latesetter out with welding gloves and cook the bird direct for 60 seconds per side. It crisps up the skin.
  • Big PapaBig Papa Posts: 220
    I do how the asians do there Peking Chicken.
    I dunk the whole bird in boiling water for 10 seconds. pull it out and repeat. You do not want to cook the chicken just blanch the skin. After that, towel off the water and let sit with the towel over it.
    I then rub the chicken with olive oil and then season with what ever rub or seasing you like.
    Then cook the chicken indirectly at 400 dome temp.

    You will always do your chincken this way from now on.
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