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Before we get started, I'd like to make it known that I did wade through as many chicken skin posts as I could handle before my eyes began to glaze over. I especially liked the blow torch/exploding chicken threads. I probably saved $15 now that I won't be needing my escapism movie fix this month.

Anyway, getting on to my point...

Like so many others, I've been looking to crisp up my chicken skins. Smoking in a 055, it's just not going to happen. My wife thinks I'm allergic to clean kitchen tools so I searched our kitchen equipment shelves for a solution. My promising but ultimately less than brilliant idea was to incorporate my Ronco rotisserie. You read that right. Just think, an opportunity to be doubly lazy by applying two "set it and forget it" machines to solve two different problems. Except for all the time spent washing dishes, this idea had potential.

I put the bird on the showtime rotisserie skewers, tied it up pretty well, then stuck it in the smoker. The idea was to smoke (cook) the bird, then crisp up the skin in the rotisserie.

(Commence collective eye rolling)

Nope, didn't work right the first time. After smoking up to the temp suggested by my remote thermometer, I attempted to crisp the skin in the rottiserie. Thinking the constant spin would not apply high enough heat for a long enough period of time, I manually rotated the chicken, stopping for what I hoped would be long enough to do the job. Unfortunately, the skin quickly split after each stop, exposing the meat and in the process, draining the bird of it's juices. Some would describe this as a complete, utter failure. Being an optimist/delusional personality type, I think Edison would agree I merely found one more thing that doesn't work.

Now, rather than admit defeat, I'm thinking for experiment #2 I need to adjust my technique a bit. The main bit of information I'm missing has to do with the smoke absorption of the chicken. It seems to be general knowledge that other meats lose their ability to absorb smoke above 140F, with additional smoke tending to adhere to the exterior and leading towards a "creosote" flavor if overdone. Does chicken seem to behave about the same? I mean, do the pores begin blocking smoke at approx. 140F?

I'm thinking I may be able to pull the chicken out when it reaches approx. 140-145F, throw it in the rotisserie and continue up until it hits the target temp. Best of both worlds (except for the above mentioned dish washing).
Any thoughts on this Rube Goldberg system?

Can anyone see much hope going down this path?

BTW, although the skin experiment failed, the chicken was awesome.
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I've give you an A+ rube goldberg award for this one. Nice try.

Maybe it's just me, but that sounds WAY to complex for skin.

Is it really that important? If it is, then by all means, we'll get you there.

I certainly see lots of posts about it also.

The problems are two. Humidity and Temp.

Of course, if you sauce then you add a new problem, can't get crisp with sauce, but you can crisp up the sauce...

Of course, if you buy some of these birds that have tons of fat under the skin, that will keep them from crisping up too at the lower temps.

Of course, think about rub and maybe something that would crisp up better. Butter works. Some sugars.

In the 55 you can open the door and dump the humidity, but the temp can't get high enough. You can try this, you'll get a better skin.

That's one of the reasons why CS went to a higher temp on the newer models (but it doesn't help you).

My target temps are 275 to 325 and it works.

Do you have a grill you can use?

If it was me, I'd smoke them fully and just finish on the grill. Takes about 5 to 15 min to do it this way for finishing.
I saw an episode of McGyver where he got crisp chicken skin in his Cookshack using a stick of gum and a Zippo lighter. I will check YouTube and post a link with the detail.
On a more serious note, it is the thrill of the chase that is so fun and your posts are hilarious so I look forward to reading more.
Thanks for the entertainment.
I have been set to try dousing a smoked bird with some good 100 proof rum (for the flavor) and lighting it off. Saw waiter do this to some banana desert thing once... If it works I'll call it "flaming hen".

I expect it to crisp up things real nice.

Attempts so far have failed due to personal rum supplies being exhausted while hens are under way. I ain't giving up
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Smoke as usual in CS. Shortly before removing bird from smoker, light 1(one) charcoal briquette and allow to reach ash stage. Remove bird from smoker, place on grill over glowing ember, then douse with 5 gallons of liquid oxygen. Your bird, your skin, and your yard will be crispy. Beats cheese cloth every time. Enjoy.

I have other methods that will work under water or in space. Let me know if I may advise you further. I'll go the distance for great 'Q. Big Grin
Thanks for the thumbs up. With encouragement from the God's (?) I'll continue my culinary research.
Although I do enjoy a crispy skin, it isn't critically important. I'll admit though, after reading your response I began to question my sanity. Had this become my obsession? For a moment, I saw myself as Captain Ahab, hellbent on toasting Moby Chix. Determined to crisp the great white meat that gave me this wooden...toe.

I realize it's apples and oranges but I'll always have memories of Mom's fried chicken. Her skin (the chicken, not my Mom's) was crispy and delicious. Mom smoked so hers was more leathery than crispy.
...You probably didn't need to know that. I hope that didn't ruin anybody's future enjoyment of chicken.

Considering the number of posts on the subject, it seemed worth trying to solve. I haven't given up on the rotisserie idea though. The next go round I'll probably try what I mentioned, transfering to the rotisserie after the chicken hits 145 or so. I'll let you know if this improves things.
I may need to find a better way of checking the temperature in the rotisserie though. My probe ran out of cable after about three rotations. Big Grin
I love the oxygen idea. That's an awesome picture too.
Ya that the wheels are turning...I'll bet my next door neightbor would contribute an oxygen tank if I promised to give them some of the meat. I could just put the tank in the 055 when the chicken hits 180F. I wonder if that's hot enough to trigger...err...crisping. I might have to find a smaller tank that will fit in the wood box.
Maybe I should ask Donna if the CS is rated for this kind of cooking.
Originally posted by Grubmeister:
... Her skin (the chicken, not my Mom's) was crispy and delicious. Mom smoked so hers was more leathery than crispy.

Glad you defined that, you have to be careful, Todd notices things like that

Well, if you want to Mcgiver it, think oil like fried chicken. I've actually cooked pretty good chicken with a crispier outside in my FE, but did it around 350 and with some cooking oil on the outside.

But that's not BBQ to me, that's Fried.

No worries, go for what you need and KEEP experimenting, it's part of the fun of Q'in
Originally posted by TN Q:
BBQ Bill claims to have the solution

Well, I'm not a big fan of someone selling a secret, he's doing it to make money.

This is same guy selling bbq comp secrets (you can tell by the URL that comes up)

Someone PM'd me and they said he recommends doing what we said, grill it. but on the website he says "it's a common ingredient in your refrigerator".... hmm, must be really special if it's not in the book? Maybe he's selling different versions
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OK. I bit, besides I was bored last night. He didn't make me sign a confidentiality agreement so here goes.

He recommends starting the chicken at 350* for the first 30 minutes then dropping the smoker to 225*. Oh yea, marinate the chicken first in a raspberry vinaigrette. His secret ingredient we've heard before in at least one of the chicken wing recipes--mayonnaise. Rub the bird in mayonnaise then sprinkle on the rub.

His recipe doesn't guarantee crisp but does say the skin won't be rubbery and will be edible. Well, high heat will make the skin crispier. A lot of our smokers won't go to 350* so I guess we're still broiling or grilling if we want crispy skin.

Felt a little ripped off, thankfully only $7. Thought I could learn something for the group. I'm sure all of us were a little suspicious about this. After all, wouldn' one of us have known the "secret" to crisping chicken skin in a smoker. If it walks, talks, and sounds like a duck...

Sorry Grubmeister. I guess you're going to have to get a longer cable.
Guys & Gals -- I decided to pop the $7.00 for the "secret," and trust me, the "secret" can be found right here in our own CS BBQ forum.

After a slightly lengthy description of his process on a stick-burner, the "secret" is to run the first half of the smoke on a higher temp then back to 225*, use "wine barrel oak wood blocks" and (drum roll please) liberally apply mayo & rub prior to smoking! Tada!!! Roll Eyes

Smokin', Your next fortune could be in selling BBQ secrets that are already available on this forum. Big Grin
I'm with ya Smokin' on the concept of selling "secrets"; much of the language on this secret solution is suspect at best: doesn't say to promise crispy skin, but to "fix your rubbery chicken skin". But to say that "This technique is "true" low and slow" does not jive with the recommendation to start at 350.

PAGS should take him up on the 100 percent guarantee: "If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with your barbecue recipes, just send the processor (Clickbank) an email and they will immediately refund your money. There is a link to do this at the bottom of your email receipt. It's simple, easy, and fast."
Wheelz--When there are 1000's of sites offering free recipes and tips, you really knew we were going to get suckered. I mean, did we really expect this guy to know something that our experienced folks don’t? Like TN Q says, 350* isn't low and slow either.

I wound up taking TN Q's advise and tried “the simple, easy, fast refund” cause I figured it wouldn't be (sometimes I just can't resist myself Big Grin ). He told me it's not his fault my smoker doesn't go to 350* and I don't know the difference between crispy and edible. I don't mind being stupid, but now he's taunting me. So I sent him back another email that will probably irritate him. Something about "misleading". I've got to get my $7 worth. Cool

I think Tom has advised against us “trying to find that little secret that’ll give us the edge.” Honestly, I went ahead with it cause I figured it would at least be fun. I'll probably get an email back from him questioning my parentage. Razzer
Smokin--The $7 was for crisping the chicken skin only. Nothing on his BBQ Comp secrets book.

Just so everyone knows. I believe he's a nice man trying to make an extra buck with a smoking chicken tip he honestly feels is useful. His advise might be helpful to 99.5% of the people out there, just not for the people on this forum. We're already getting the best advise we can.

Smokin--I already thought you were getting the big bucks from Cookshack. Big Grin
Originally posted by Pags:
...Smokin--I already thought you were getting the big bucks from Cookshack. Big Grin

Actually I don't work for CS. I do this for my love of BBQ, the story is here somewhere, but basically my wife bought me a smokette, I logged into the original forum

Volunteered to assist with moderating and answering.

Ten years later, they can't get rid of me. Have a look, see what we used to have for forums.

Original Forum from 99 to 01

As for the $7 site. Yes, he may be a nice man, but he didn't originate those ideas, he repackaged them. Now, what I should have done is charge for Brining 101 as much as that's been used.

Okay, anyone who ever used Brining, send me $7....

See why I'm not rich, I give my advice for free, because I love Q'in that much

Just want to let you know that you've earned your jeroboam! My email address is TexiforniaTamale at gmail dot com. Shoot me a shipping address, I'll see what I can do!

We ended up doing a citrus brine, and then a variation of the Mr. Chikky rub. It turned out amazingly and is now incorporated into a poblano sauce for the best torta you've ever put in your mouth!

Thank you all for all of your help! We're thrilled with the way it turned out!


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