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SKIN

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    SKIN

    Forgive the redundancy, as I'm sure this has been covered somewhere, but, man, there are a lot of pages here.
    Anyway, I cook mostly good fowl either on my kettle or PBC, but I rarely achieve crisp skin. The pheasant I did last night was really good, and it would have been great if the skin was crispy. I wet-brined it overnight, then dried it in the fridge all day. I cooked it hot. Still, no dice. This seems to be the story more often than not.
    For years, I mostly peeled the skin off and did Meathead's Simon and Garfunkel rub on a rotisserie bird, but it sure would be nice to get skin right.

    #2
    Jordan, what temp are you cooking at?

    Comment


      #3
      You have a couple choices, regardless of how you prepared your bird for cooking: 1. Low and slow(250ish) till within 5 degrees of your target temp, then finish at 400ish to crisp the skin. 2. Cook the bird at medium heat(325-350) for your entire cook. You can baste a bit of butter/oil on the skin if you like. It takes hot, dry heat to crisp skin. I use either method depending on the cook I'm doing at the time. I hope this helps.

      Comment


        #4
        That's the thing. I was cooking hot (PBC peaked at 400, came down to about 335 during a 50 minute cook) with oil and rub on the skin. Probably too humid in there. Somewhere in the garage, I have a torch--a gift from my catering days. I don't have to finish much tiramisu anymore, but I may break it out for skin.

        Comment


          #5
          I've used a torch many times, at work, for skin. Works like a charm. In my cheesy 7-in-1, I don't use humidity when I roast off chicken or duck, even when doing low and slow. One suggestion that might help, would be for you to inject your flavor(s) into the bird instead of brining. This method really helps me with moisture management, so to speak(for chicken especially).

          Comment


            #6
            http://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/for...ry-on-a-smoker

            Here is a thread started by CandySueQ on leathery chicken skin and how to overcome it.
            Last edited by HC in SC; January 4, 2015, 08:13 AM.

            Comment


              #7
              For those of you that like to use a torch there's a new gizmo to try. http://bookeranddax.com/searzall

              Comment


              • Spinaker
                Spinaker commented
                Editing a comment
                What is with that dude's glasses? Looked like he was going to shoot trap or something.

              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                Has anybody tried this gizmo? The comments on-line are very mixed.

                DEW

              #8
              Wet brining can cause chewy, leathery skin.

              Comment


                #9
                Dry brine, leave uncovered in the refrigerator to air dry. Cook at >325 = crispy skin

                Comment


                  #10
                  I did this last night, Ernest. Though, to be fair, time was an issue, and I only had a couple of hours to dry brine in the fridge. But I cooked HOT. I started at about 450 before settling down to 370. 4.5 pound bird done in about fifty minutes (oddly one of the halves was done; the other, not so much). I also pricked holes in the skin with a pin. The birds were still yellow when I took them out (I forgot to oil the birds). So I torched. Still not great. Definitely a work in progress. Next time, I think I'll go lower and longer to get more smoke flavor in there and then just crisp in the oven. But, to be honest, I'm kind of missing what I know I'm good at: S & G rub on a skinless bird on the rotisserie in my kettle. And, since my next birthday is a big one, it would be more in line with my goal of hitting it with a little less tonnage, even if this means compromising on my other goal: pit mastery.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Jordan, I think your original assessment on humidity may be correct. I think humidity is your issue. Is your fuel dry? Is there a way moisture could be entering your rig? This is most puzzling.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Fuel should be fine, Strat. Opened a new bag of Kingsford last night, though half the basket was made up of coals that I'd snuffed out from the last cook. But I don't think the charcoal is the issue, since I've had this problem with no recycled charcoal. And my PBC is new, and it's not incredibly humid where I live, so I don't know. Could be I'm just cursed.

                      Comment


                      • Strat50
                        Strat50 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The fuel was just a shot in the dark, so to speak. Try this, it might help, or at least get you further along the path: If you don't currently have one, get an injector. Then, make a mixture of one cup double strength chicken stock, from bullion, and heat with ½ stick butter or margarine till butter is just melted. Remove from heat, mix in some fine ground spices(sage, pepper, basil, etc.), and inject your bird all aver in the meat. Some will leak out, this stuff you can just spread over the skin. Cook at 325-375 till done. I do this as my "house" recipe for chicken in my 7-in-1, and it has never failed, ever. I just inject the bird right before I cook it. I can use this method with a full water pan and I still get excellent skin. I can prep a bird in 10 minutes and be done in a total of an hour and a half, depending on how much beer I'm having*wink*.

                      • Dewesq55
                        Dewesq55 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        @Strat, I am saving this in my Evernote recipe box!! Thanks.

                        DEW

                      #13
                      I do have an injector, and I'll try this, though I usually have a bourbon while I'm cooking dinner, (also a contributor to the aforementioned tonnage, I'm sure). Thanks, Strat.

                      Comment


                      • Strat50
                        Strat50 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Anytime sir. If you decide to try this above method,please let us know if it helped.

                      #14
                      You could add baking powder to your salt for dry brine. 1/8 teaspoon per pound of the bird.
                      Get a chicken that's not on the dinner menu and experiment with it. Leave it uncovered on a cooling rack for better airflow.
                      I normally dry brine a bird for 2 days (I like to have a bird on hand ready to go on the PBC)

                      Comment


                      • jmott7
                        jmott7 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Tuesday.

                      • Ernest
                        Ernest commented
                        Editing a comment
                        So the bird should be naked on a cooling rack in the refrigerator by now.

                      • jmott7
                        jmott7 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It will be by 4:00 this afternoon. It's wrapped now.

                      #15
                      Still no dice. I dry-brined for two days, one-wrappped, one unwrapped. The bird came out of the fridge looking like Ernest's, so I had hope. I made a paste of rub and oil and slathered it all over the bird. Then I injected butter and home-made stock. I ran the PBC hot, starting at 450 and coming down to 340 at its lowest, though it didn't really settle. It bounced around between 340 and 370, probably spending more time in the 350 range than anywhere else. I left it whole, just because Ernest's birds always look so beautiful, and he gets crispy skin that way. It took longer than the split birds (an hour and a half), but I expected that. I took it off the fire when the breast was at 160. Anyway, the flavor was fine, and in a couple of places the skin was getting there. I mean, it wasn't rubbery and gross this time; merely sort of plastic-feeling and not very good. Next time I'll add baking powder to the dry-brine. If that doesn't work, I'm turning my lighter in to the authorities.
                      Last edited by jmott7; January 18, 2015, 01:01 PM.

                      Comment


                      • Huskee
                        Huskee commented
                        Editing a comment
                        FWIW I have been cooking my chickens at 380-390 and they sure get a darker skin but it's finally crispy crunchy (and not burned).

                      • Ernest
                        Ernest commented
                        Editing a comment
                        aaaaaaah. Skip the wood chunks Jordan.

                      • jmott7
                        jmott7 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Really? They're dry.

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