Author Topic: crisping up chicken skin a tad  (Read 3064 times)

Offline Nonnymus

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crisping up chicken skin a tad
« on: December 11, 2006, 03:50:54 pm »
I sure am having fun with the new Bradley, but like others, have come to the conclusion that I need to work on my chicken skin.  With the Bradley, you're essentially baking/steaming the chicken, and by keeping the damper open, the steaming effect is reduced.  IMHO, the steaming isn't bad, except that it gives you some rubbery skin. 

In my own case, I'll take the plunge and describe a little gizmo I built last Spring that might help others.  It's an infrared grill that kicks out about 2500f temperatures and has gathered complaints from NASA about frying satellites that happen to pass over when I'm using it. <grin>  It's home made, but works better than anything I've seen on the market for char grilling meat, such as a steak. 

In my Bradley experiment, the first wings I pulled out were good. . . darned good. . . or even better, but had a rubbery feel to the skin.  All I did was fire up my little fusion reactor and nuke them for about 30 seconds on a side.  The IR grill dried the skin out to a great consistency and gave the edges a little bit of crisp.  If you don't have an IR grill- especially one that's the home made equivalent of the Dodge Viper of IR grills, you might pre heat your regular grill and give it a try.

For anyone interested, the IR grill I built was based upon the Barbeques Galore portable IR grill.  It is a makeup case-sized SS tub with an IR emitter inside that is fueled by LP.  In my case, I got a second one and doubled the IR emitters, then bored out the venturi to the entropic difference between LP and Natural Gas. I then brazed them into a new dual manifold with a ball valve.  After playing with it some, I opened and even opened the venturi a tad more so that after 1 minute of heating, the glow is very light yellow, instead of red.  Surprisingly, the case remains about as cool as it did on the original single burner with LP, probably due to it being IR and not heated air that is emitted.  For steaks, and now drying up Bradley wings, it sure is great.

I have pictures of it, but don't see how to post them here.

Nonny

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: crisping up chicken skin a tad
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2006, 03:31:48 am »
Nonny;

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the tips. If you sign up for Photobucket, a free (but limited service) you can post your pictures on that site, and link them to your posts. Also there are several other photo hosting sites, if you don't like Photobucket.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline winemakers

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Re: crisping up chicken skin a tad
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2006, 06:09:37 am »
wow, as a toy freak, I am anxiously awaiting the photos!

mld

Offline iceman

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Re: crisping up chicken skin a tad
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2006, 08:50:17 am »
Sounds pretty cool Nonny. Opps I mean hot. Can't wait for some pictures. ;)

Offline Nonnymus

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Re: crisping up chicken skin a tad
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2006, 03:44:17 pm »
Sounds pretty cool Nonny. Opps I mean hot. Can't wait for some pictures. ;)

Here are four pictures of my  "Turbo, Turbo" IR grill. http://tinyurl.com/fvte2   I think many of us, including myself, fall into a trap where we think of cooking something as limited to one method at a time.  For instance, when I first began smoking many years ago, I never though about doing anything to the meat beyond what came out of my old smoker.  Then, it stuck me that I really liked the outside of chicken wings I'd grilled and occasionally had grilled with a BBQ sauce on them.  However, they would sometimes get a tad black outside in my attempt to get them cooked clear down to the bone if I was using a sugary sauce, and would toughen up or dry out. 

At the same time, I loved my smoked wings, but never could get the blasted things to have a decent texture or crispness on the surface.  Finally, I put two and two together and decided that I didn't have to use one cooker or technique at a time.  This really opened up a whole world to me, that probably everyone else already knew. 

Using wings as an example, from then on I felt comfortable marinating and smoking wings, then transferring them to the grill to firm up the skin and get a little bit of the under-skin fat cooked out before putting them on the table.  With the IR grill I now have bolted to the side of my real grill, it takes just a moment.

For instance, I had wings for breakfast this morning.  I pulled about 3 doubles I'd previously smoked on the Bradley out of the refrigerator and nuked them for a minute to heat them up.  During that MINUTE, I also walked outside and fired off the IR grill.  By the time the bell dinged, the grill had already caused minor burn damage to two of the Astronauts outside the space station and had melted tile on the side of the shuttle as it passed over.  However, I persevered, and tossed the wings onto the grill, turning them 3-4 times over the space of 45 seconds.  By then, they were the prettiest, crispy, brown color you ever saw, and they tasted like I'd just finished cooking them for hours. 

Since I'm too dumb to learn from what others have done, I'm forced to experiment and learn things for myself.  However I really think that an IR grill, coupled with the good output from a smoker, makes for an intersting combination in some applications.

Nonny

Offline ceeuawlsune

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Re: crisping up chicken skin a tad
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2006, 04:56:42 am »
You can also look into an IR broiler. 

I haven't used one yet, but I can't imagine that applying the heat from the top versus the bottom would make any difference? 

If you don't have an IR broiler, and you don't want to buy one, you can certainly use the "Broil" function on your toaster-oven.  It will take slightly longer, but it gets the job done pretty well (this I tried).  I'm a huge advocate of using a toaster-oven for smaller projects.  More efficient, heats faster, uses less electric, etc.  I guess that last one won't apply to those of you who use gas ranges.  You're my envy right now...searching high and low for a CHEAP s/s gas range....