Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bite Through BBQ Chicken Skin

The 10th Installment of the 31-days to Better Barbecue Series

Chicken experiment update:

I just finished up a taste test on some more chicken tests this weekend. I cooked the chicken using my low and slow method and basted with some beer and some lemon juice to continue my experiment from last weekend. Both the beer and the lemon juice gave the skin a nice color and both defintely affected the texture of the skin.

I've heard tell of some folks using corn starch, lemon juice, butter, apple cider vinegar, and beer among others. I've even heard rumblings that plain old table salt will add to chicken's ability to "crispening" characteristics.

I chose the beer at random and went with ReaLemon juice from concentrate for the test. I preferred the results using the lemon juice to the beer, but the color was definitely better on the chicken spritzed with beer.

Many bbq cooks prefer instead to cook chicken using higher heat, say 275-300 degrees. That's just not my cup of tea. I love the results I get from an overnight maridade and 225 degrees. I'm convinced it's a more consistent approach. I cooke the chicken to 165 degrees internal and it's always very tender and juicy.

The both spritzing agents did crispen the skin, but the lemon juice produced a better result this time.

I also picked up some of the K.C. Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar bbq sauce and Cattlemen's Honey flavored bbq sauce while at the store on Friday. I added honey to both and added the sauce as a finishing sauce near the end of the cooking process. For chicken, I preferred the K.C. Masterpiece to the Cattlemen's. The Cattlemen's did not produce the color I was looking for.

If you'd like to share your theory for "bite" through chicken skin, feel free to post a comment.

Read the previous article in this series

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