Finally...Crispy MAK Chicken Skin...Repeatable!
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Finally...Crispy MAK Chicken Skin...Repeatable!
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Thread: Finally...Crispy MAK Chicken Skin...Repeatable!

  1. #1

    Finally...Crispy MAK Chicken Skin...Repeatable!

    I really don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here. My aim by posting this is to share it with all the pellet poopers who have had issues getting great skin from their pellet smokers.
    I've been looking for the secret of crispy chicken skin from my pellet smoker for all the years I've had pellet grills. I've asked for it on all the pellet forums and several have replied, but few even eat the skin, so I've had my doubts. I'm a skin lover, so this was the holy grail for me.
    I ran across this method while on yet another web search for crispy skin. Apparently, it's an old Asian trick and since I'm an old Asian, it made sense to me. I also found a site on the science of crispy skin, that bolstered the method. So here goes...

    -Spatch the chicken, dry with paper towels, season, then put in fridge uncovered for several hours.
    -Right before placing the chicken on the smoker, pour boiling water over the skin and make sure that the skin is shrinking up and looking more transparent than normal, but don't over do it and cook the meat. A single pot works for me.
    -Now, towel dry and reseason, then give a lite spray of Pam over the skin.
    -Place in smoker at 375* till breast is 170*.
    For my MAK, 375* is the perfect temp to get the oil to fry and skin to render. In my Primo, 330* seems to do it, although I'll have to do more experimentation to find out for sure.
    The science behind it all, from what I've read, is that the boiling water aligns the protein strands in the skin, allowing the fat to more easily render. The more tender skin then fries and becomes crispy. I've repeated this method 3 times and each time, the skin has been crispy and the breast meat is juicy.
    I'd love for some of you to try this method and let me know if it works for you as well as it works for me.
    Thanks for the way, in the pic, notice the skin was so crispy it was cracking...

  2. #2
    Thanks for the info
    MAK Grills ,BPS Drum Smoker, Ole Hickory Pits Ace BP, Hasty Bake Legacy KCBS CBJ

  3. #3
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    La Quinta California
    ill give it a try but I need my breast more in the 160-165 range Ill report back!

  4. #4
    Nice looking chicken!

    We use a similar method except I use a very thin layer of mayo instead of PAM.

    There's also a little science behind why cooking spray (or mayo) works better than regular oils: Cooking sprays contain soy lecithin which is a binder that allows it to stick to pans (or in this case the chicken skin) when it heats up instead of just running off like regular oil does when it heats up. Spray a hot pan with it and you'll see it sticks to the sides instead of running down and pooling. Mayo contains egg yolks which are also high in lecithin, so it too sticks to the chicken skin when it heats up.

    The higher 375°+ heat up front also allows the fat under the skin to reach frying temperatures before it can melt off.

    This one-two punch is very effective.

    I'll have to give the boiling water step a try and see if the results are even better.
    Last edited by TentHunter; 09-10-2018 at 07:46 AM.
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  5. #5
    Please let me know what your results are if you do try it. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I use spray evoo repeatedly during the cook will produce tender skin but I've never produced crispy skin and I cook in the same temp range as you. As long as I get tender skin I'm happy.
    - MAK owner for life! -
    2015 2 Star General prototype #0 with WiFi and beta FlashFire™ Ignition System
    2009 2 Star General #28
    2 BPS Engineered Drum Smokers, steel & stainless steel
    Smokin' Yankee's Competition BBQ Team


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