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Moist and Tender Chicken With a Crispy Skinned Exterior

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    Here are two chickens I cooked on my Backwoods G2 Party. I salted them the night before and refrigerated them in an uncovered aluminum pan. That partially dried the skin and made it crispier. 12 hours later I sprayed them with Pam oil, filled the water pan on the smoker with boiling water, and put them on the smoker. They were exposed to smoke for about an hour from two consecutive metal chip boxes filled with apple wood chips. After three hours at 250 degrees, they reached an internal temperature of 170 degrees, and I took them up. The skin was crisp, and the juice literally ran down our chins when we ate them. Our guests said they had never had any better barbecued chicken.


    • ontheranch
      ontheranch commented
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      These are beautiful!

    • oldsteve
      oldsteve commented
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      Those are beautiful chickens! What really caught my attention was the shelving unit you're using as a cart in your 1st picture. I have the same one. Tomorrow, all the junk I have piled on mine is going bye-bye. I'll take the two top shelf's off and use it like you have, as a handy rolling cart. The next time I go to Harbor Freight, I'm going to see if they have any casters that will fit so I can make two carts. Great idea you had there!


    Now that I have a SnS, sure would like to see how you pro's do chicken on a kettle with SnS


    • Jon Solberg
      Jon Solberg commented
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      I thought you were the pro. hehehehe

      Were all just enthusiast. ; )

    • barney
      barney commented
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      we're all enthusiast...you got that right Jon Solberg ! Grilling chicken is pretty tuff to do (moist with crispy skin) at least for me. Can't get it right every time. But this SnS should help me alot though....

    Huskee would be the Chicken Pro with the SnS! He has a thread around here about it somewhere... looks like awesome stuff too!


      Thanks smarkley! but I'm no pro. Pro means professional, and I don't get paid to cook I just love it. I know what you meant though .

      barney This thread is full of great advice on how to get a good end result on chicken. Most recently RAmorris above has a great technique involving more of a standard lower temp. I usually do mine hotter though, minimal of 325 like Meathead suggests but I go even higher to 340-360 typically. I like a hotter cook since it ensures a crispier skin and a quicker cook thereby an even juicier interior. I can do an average 4-5lb bird in about 1:30 average. I use smoke the whole time. Pull when the breasts hit about 160, or if you get sidetracked 165 max. The legs & thighs will be near 175 and that makes them better too, they can be slimy at 160-165. Here is a recent cook showing this, more or less.


      • barney
        barney commented
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        Thank you Huskee ! By the way, we loved my last ribs (I did your suggestion, cover the ribs with brown sugar---beautiful glaze)

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
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        I've never meet a person yet who can't appreciate sweet & salty together. I never do ribs w/o this! Glad you liked it barney

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ID:	99307 I guess I gotta add my 2 cents about the Vortex. I've cooked wings using it in my BGE twice now, and I did some legs with it last night. It's a great tool for chicken. I kept the temp out on the perimeter at about 370 and it took about an hour or a little less to make some really excellent wings and legs. Moist on the inside, crispy skin and a light smoke flavor from the Almond chunk it put over the Vortex. I've learned the difference between you pro's and us noobs in the last couple weeks too. You guys that really have it down also have the time and confidence to document your whole cook with pics, while I barely get one or two shots. I only got one shot of the wings after I first put em on, and the shot of the legs is about 1/2 way through the cook. Sorry about that. I guess you'll just have to believe me when I tell you they were really good.
      Last edited by bubbabob; July 27, 2015, 01:43 PM. Reason: Forgot the pics....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


        You got nothing to apologize for with those pics bubbabob and that's a nice cook!


          Thanks David. Much appreciated.


          • David Parrish
            David Parrish commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for sharing!

          I smoke my wings with rub and run grill temp up at end to crisp. I dry brine everything. I just spatchcocked two chickens on my BGE. Lid ran around 350...vent (I have an extra thermommeter) was around 400. After dry-brine on the chickensI rubbed with S&G with one skinned and one skin-on. Best bone-on chicken to date in my house. Simple and delicious.


            I already posted this picture on the KBQ page but, I thought I would contribute anyway.
            I take the bird, rinse it under cold water. Then I pat it dry, and set it on the cutting board. I usually don't spatch it, I like to keep it whole. After I pat it dry, I dust it with baking soda to help make that skin extra bite through. Then i dust it with my rub or I use Meathed's Simon & Garfunkel rub under the skin. I then place it in a stainless tray on a elevated rack. This allows the air to circulate under the bird over night. I leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight. I think this makes all the difference in the world when it comes to bite through skin.
            The next day, i get the smoker fired up and add the bird when she hits about 300. When i used my PBC I was cooking at 325F but this bird below was cooked on the KBQ at about 265. Bite through skin like you've never had before. (okay maybe you have, but I hadn't)

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            Last edited by Spinaker; November 14, 2015, 06:47 AM.


            • Mudkat
              Mudkat commented
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              Spinaker Are you using salt with baking powder while drying in fridge over night? Is the salt in the rub? Reviving old post here...
              Last edited by Mudkat; July 9, 2017, 04:30 PM. Reason: Changed baking soda to baking powder

            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
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              Mudkat I am using it over night. There is no salt in the rub. The baking powder really helps to firm up the skin.

            • Mudkat
              Mudkat commented
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              Ok thanks Spinaker! I'm gonna try using baking powder next time.

            The farm raised chicken below was spatchcocked and cooked on the SnS average temp about 360 +/-. It was seasoned with Weber Kickin Chicken and fresh sprigs of lemon thyme were put under the skin. This chicken has yielded the absolute best skin I have ever had. It was thicker than store bought, had more flavor and crisped up beautifully. There is really something to be said about farm to table. The red cabbage slaw was from our garden

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              After reading The Food Lab pages 360-3 I stopped taking the breast meat up to 160. Using the SNS and reverse searing the breast takes more than 8 minutes to go from 145-150 and I end up resting it additionally while the thighs/legs go up to 170. It's safe at 150 after 2 minutes or 145 after 8 minutes more then enough time cooking at 325. Once the thighs get to 170 I give a light sear and the skin is good. I like a little char. The breast is unbelievably juicy. I could never get that level at 160 no matter how much brining wet or dry. Wings I cremate. I almost never cook whole birds.


                Just finished my first cook!

                Smoker: WSM 18.5"
                Charcoal with applewood (two fist sized chunks)
                Temp: 325
                Water in water-pan: Yes - filled up halfway.
                Meat: Simon & Garfunkel Chicken - spatch-cocked with a sweet potato
                Weather: 30 degrees with freezing rain

                I followed meathead's Simon and Garfunkel recipe, and put the Simon & Garfunkel rub on the sweet potato as well. I cooked the chicken at 325 until it was 160 and pulled it off. The sweet potato lagged behind a little bit, so I threw it in the microwave for a few minutes. It was soooooo juicy! I've never had a bird come off the grill like this before. The flavor was outstanding, the texture was perfect, and the skin was nice and crispy. The next time I make this, I'm going to cook at 350 per the method outlined by Huskee. I will also use less applewood. Maybe just half of a fist-size, or maybe none at all. Dealing with the freezing rain made things a little challenging, but I babysat the smoker and everything turned out great. Unfortunately, I was so excited for my first cook that I forgot to write anything in my cooking log. Oh well. Cheers!

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                Last edited by Blowingsmoke; January 2, 2017, 06:54 PM. Reason: added water-pan detail.


                • tbob4
                  tbob4 commented
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                  Nice job!

                • Thunder77
                  Thunder77 commented
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                  That is bee-you-ta-full! 😎

                • Blowingsmoke
                  Blowingsmoke commented
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                  Thank you!


                What kind of grill/smoker do you use? These were on my old MES haven't made any on my GBG DB

                What do you do for humidity? Water Pan? No pan only humidity from the chicken skin rendering

                Do you dry brine, wet brine, or marinade? Marinade in homemade whiskey honey BBQ sauce and franks wing sauce

                What temps do you cook at? 225f

                What's your total cook time typically? 1.5 hours in the smoker then 3 mins in the fryer.

                Do you use two zones, cook low and slow, cook hot and fast, start at one temp and finish at another? Low and slow

                Do you use any accessories? (e.g. Candy's onion holder) with my old MES I used the AMZIN pellet tray

                Do you have a secret weapon? (e.g. Dr. Blonder's Baking Powder What kind of skin do you prefer? no skin, bite through but soft, crispy? I prefer and crispy skin which is why I dump them in my fryer for a 2-3 mins for the crispy skin then a quick toss back in the sauce.

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                  I tried. It was tender, the skin was crispy, but it was dry. I pulled it and put it on buns with a little bit of sauce and it was very tasty.

                  I followed the Smoked Yard Bird recipe.
                  You've never truly had BBQ chicken until you bite into this recipe for smoked chicken, Georgia style.

                  An hour sitting with salt on it, rinsed. An hour with the Memphis Dust on it.
                  Weber Kettle, indirect heat and a pan of water under the bird. I stuck a thermometer in the outlet on the lid over the bird that said 325. It took about four hours. A multimeter with a clean thermocouple read 155 in the breast, so I put it skin down over the fire to crisp it.


                    Looks nice, but 4 hours..........seems long.



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