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How do you keep chicken from getting soggy while people are waiting for seconds?

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  • Lost in China
    Charter Member
    • Mar 2015
    • 409
    • Wenzhou, China
    • 22" Weber kettle
      Slow 'N Sear
      Hovergrill
      Maverick 732
      Thermopop

    How do you keep chicken from getting soggy while people are waiting for seconds?

    I had a chicken cookout last week and it finally turned out well. Reddish tint, crisp skin, tender and juicy. I used my Thermopen to measure each individual piece and pulled them off before they cooked too long, and kept the pieces that were at 155 on to cook longer. I piled them up on a tray and we got busy eating. By the time everyone was ready for seconds, the chicken fat had seeped through and made a lot of the chicken soggy instead of crisp. What do other people do to keep their chicken crisp while it's waiting to be eaten?

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  • Huskee
    Pit Boss
    • May 2014
    • 14671
    • central MI, USA
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    #2
    Other than keeping it in a 160degree oven (hot dry air), there's not much that can be done. Any type of moist heat will soften chicken skin (assuming you're referring to the skin?) Skinless might help, cooking dark meat way up past 165 to 175 or 180 may help render more fat out initially too.

    Comment

    • Porterdriver
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 51
      • An island somewhere near Texas
      • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center
        Thermapen Smoke w/ Gateway
        Thermapen Mk4
        DigiQ Black Kit w/ Pit Viper Fan

        Favorite Beer: Shiner Bock
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      #3
      How about if you line the tray and between each layer of chicken with the pink butcher paper that they use to wrap briskets and such? Just a thought.

      Comment

      • CandySueQ
        KCBS President, and Moderator
        • Jul 2014
        • 1536
        • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

        #4
        It's internal moisture and time that's making that skin soggy. I don't know of any way to stop it other than what Huskee said. But then you have to worry about drying out. Do the first batch crispy skin, go ahead and sauce the remainder and put it in a pan. That way the soggy skin looks like it has been done on purpose.

        Comment

        • Lost in China
          Charter Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 409
          • Wenzhou, China
          • 22" Weber kettle
            Slow 'N Sear
            Hovergrill
            Maverick 732
            Thermopop

          #5
          What do they do in competition BBQ to avoid this problem? Judges aren't served soggy skin thighs, right? Or what do they do at restaurants, the chicken there is always crisp.

          Comment

          • Nate
            Charter Member
            • Apr 2015
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            #6
            Lost in China , Competition chicken is a whole different animal..... not sure you would want to go that route... a few things:

            1. they typically use thigh meat (occasionally legs)
            2. they remove the skin... or mostly remove the skin...
            3. they all the fat from the skin
            4. they trim them all to make them uniform
            5. they put the skin back on the thigh (maybe not the same one) holding in place with toothpick
            6. chicken is typically cooked in a tub with some butter in there at a medium heat
            7. taken off the smoker at temp 10 degrees or so below target temp
            8. pulled out and painted or dunked in sauce
            9. put back on at higher temp to crisp skin and caramelize the skin
            10. boxed and spritzed with some apple juice to give them a shine.....

            not everyone does it that way but it isn't uncommon

            here is a good guy by the name of Malcom Reed showing whats up with competition chicken....

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XxCQOaIXdQ

            Comment


            • CandySueQ
              CandySueQ commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't do that!
          • Jon Solberg
            Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 4872

            #7
            Comptition skin is not soggy its bite thru. As Ms Candy has taught us it (skin) does not need to be removed scrapped.

            Bite thru skin is amazingly good. It is easy to do and holds well. It actually gets better when held. IMO. It does take a little practice to find the grove.

            It is put back on after glazing to set the glaze not to crisp or carmalize.

            That said I you want crispy be sure it's crispy to start with then hold it on the grill 160ish UNCOVERED till the second serve. As Huskee has called it "pobro" it. (Power Cambro) Covering it kills crispy.
            Last edited by Jon Solberg; August 27th, 2016, 04:38 AM.

            Comment

            • Potkettleblack
              Club Member
              • Jun 2016
              • 1941
              • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
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              #8
              Restaurants parcook nearly everything, then finish a la minute. So, a nice restaurant might sous vide the chicken and hold it sous vide until the order comes in, then fry it to fix the appearance, plate it and serve it. Restaurant cooking is very different from home cooking, in much the way that competition cooking is different from backyard cooking.

              Fast food fried chicken places use a C-Vap oven to hold chicken for service. That's a Colonel Sanders innovation. A Cvap controls humidity as well as temp, so the colonel can keep the chicken moist while not messing the breeding on his original recipe much. Crispy chicken is kept under a heat lamp and is turned over every twenty to forty minutes, as the heat lamp is drying. If you ever order crispy during a slow period at the restaurant, you may have a fifteen minute wait, as they fry it up fresh.

              As as I said, due to the volume of covers that restaurants do and the length of service, many restaurant tricks are not really useful for the home cook.

              Comment


              • Lost in China
                Lost in China commented
                Editing a comment
                I really meant a BBQ restaurant where they don't cotton to no sous vide.

              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment
                Restaurants break cooking into two parts, prep and completion. They push as much of the actual cooking into prep, so they have a method of parcooking, then holding for service, if not adding an a la minute process to improve the skin or the meat prior to service. Restaurant cooking != home cooking.

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