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To Torch or Not to Torch?

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    To Torch or Not to Torch?

    Assume the following: Smoked six plump chicken breasts on indirect using my SnS. Only 1/2 of basket burning. Reason because don't want to create too much heat; like to begin slowly with Minion system so I can control internal temp (225). Chicken ready to sear. Nuisance and time-consuming to sear each one after the other. Wonder whether torching might be more efficient. Or perhaps I should fill the basket with burning coals and just from git-go really control the heat. I hope my question makes sense. I did do a word search on PM and found interesting information but no answer to this question.

    BTW: Long-time user of AR. Just joined PM. This my second post/query. You folks are really terrific! Glad I joined. Thanks.

    #2
    When I do chicken breasts in the SnS, I don't bother monitoring pit temp. I light half a chimney or a bit less, pour it in, and leave the vents wide open. That usually gets it to around 350 or so, but I don't worry about it. Once the chicken gets to temp, I take it off. I tried searing a few times, but it doesn't add a lot of color like it would to a steak, it just sort of dries out the outer 1/4 inch. I've stopped searing chicken breasts. Thighs or skin may be different, but I did some thighs together with wings using this same method last week and it turned out great.

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    • Tom Ewing
      Tom Ewing commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. I've wondered whether I've become a tad "obsessed" with 225-250 pit temp (probably should have explained when I wrote "internal temp" meant pit temp). I will try it your way. Makes good sense. I think chicken was a bad example because I like to baste so not sure much of a point in searing. Hadn't thought that through when I posted. But yours and other comments below have been helpful on general question of value of a torch perhaps for other kinds of protein. My thanks to you and others.

    #3
    Under the circumstances (limited searing space?), torching sounds fine if they're skin-on.

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      #4
      If I smoke chicken with other things like ribs, at 250, then I'll use the torch to crisp the skin.
      Otherwise I try to do the chicken about 350, and the skin gets plenty crispy


      For the record, I am ALWAYS pro torch.

      Comment


        #5
        Welcome to The Pit.

        I don't cook chix low and slow. I use a full chimney of briquettes, dump them in my Vortex, and let it run as hot as it will go. I pull when pieces probe 158°. That makes tender and juicy pieces with a crisp skin. The dome thermometer usually tops out somewhere between 450° and 500°, (I subtract ~ 50° to estimate the grate level temp). If the dome thermo goes over 500°, I'll close the top vent to about 1/4 open.

        Wings are hard to probe, so I normally take a peek at 40 min with 42 min my normal pull time. My wife loves chix done this way, and I'm pretty happy with it too.

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          #6
          Most of the time for chicken I use the vortex and let that sucker run as hot as it wants too.
          Sometimes I’ll do Malcom Reeds competition skin on bone in thighs, which are cooked at 250 in a pan of butter!!

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            #7
            I do chicken all the time with other meats at 250 or so.The skin may not be super crispy(I really don't give a rip)the meat is always super moist/juicy! By theway whole birds not pieces.

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              #8
              I regularly do chicken quarters I buy in 10lb bags. Most end up in the freezer for future meals.

              The SnS in my Weber without any water gets filled with a chimney full of glowing coals which quickly gives a 325-350 cooking surface to which I add a chunk of smoking wood. Rather than pull at done temp I go to about 150 and then a quick sear directly over the coals. Adds a bit of char and crispyness.

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                #9
                Ditto. Don’t do chicken low slo and when they come out of a uds they are golden brown I have torched some wings when in a hurry. Worked great. I have a searzall

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                  #10
                  Prefer to do over charcoal or gasser because I normally cook a bunch

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                    #11
                    Welcome to the Pit!
                    I run the SnS hot for chicken. Don't worry about pit temp, just meat temp. 160* for breasts and 170* for dark. Skinless I'll pull a little earlier.

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