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I have had the Akorn for three weeks now and have now cooked chicken two on different occasions but have yet to figure out how to get the skin to come out crispy. First attempt was using the recipe in the owner's manual where you grill it skin down at 350 until the skin is crispy and then turn it over and cook until done.  It was crispy when flipped but softened up in the final cook. Second attempt I tried skin side last which didn't turn out any better.

 

Anybody have a sure fire method on how to finish with the skin crispy and the meat juicy?

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I use a cracked in half pizza stone on the swivel grill. I usually cook smaller chicken anyway, and keep the temp. @ 375-350ish. The results are crispy skin and done chicken that is still moist. And, I always try and let my meats reach close to room temp. before the kamado is ready for the cook.

I can use either half or the whole stone on the swivel, it's not to heavy. And if your deflector is to heavy you can prop up the swivel with something that want catch on fire or get in your way.  

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I second Rob on this. I started at 350 and was determined to get crispy skin.

 

Temp wise I ended up at 400 to 450.

Ppatting the chicken really dry and spraying oil to hold the rub seems to promote browning.

 

I also slash the skin on breasts and thighs to let the fat out. These chickens are fed to maximize size and do not get much exercise and they have a lot of fat under the skin.

 

Oh and if you leave the top vent wide open and the bottom vent closed you may end up in the 400 range with an AKORN depending on how the bottom vent turned out on your unit. I still see a lot of variation on the floor models this year.

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I am still in my first week. Yesterday I cooked a whole chicken in the Akorn along with some jumbo wings.  

I set up with no deflector but DID put a foil pan with water directly under the bird.  I cooked at 325* for about 90 minutes.  The chicken was very good, but the skin wasn't crispy at all.  Sooo, next time I will not use a water pan and see what happens.

 

NOW, the wings were not over the water pan.  They cooked about 45 min and were some of the best tasting we've had.  AND, the skin was crispy.  That's why I think the water pan made the difference.   I guess I'll see next time.

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I cook all skinned chicken over 400 F indirect and never turn it. As other mentioned, pat it dry, or let it sit uncovered in the fridge a few hours; this will pull a lot of moisture out of the skin and definitely helps. A comp trick is to inject with butter and scrape the back of the skin with a knife until it becomes almost translucent. This removes much of the chewy stuff that doesn't render and keeps you from getting that crisp bite through. One last thing you can do is liberally season under the skin for flavor and then use Kosher or sea salt on the skin. Good luck!

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The only meat that has left me more disappointed with the results....beside london broils......has been cut up chicken.

 

There is just something about it.  Sometimes it's outstanding....sometimes it's just plain horrid:  tough, dry, and rubbery skin.

 

I think the rubbery skin is the worst aspect of a bad chicken cook.

 

Brining the bird in a simple poultry brine can certainly help with the tenderness and moisture retention.

 

The skin, though....that's the part that makes or breaks it for me.

 

My best split breasts & leg quarters are found when I cook them: 


  • brine them for 2+ hours

  • coat the skin with a light layer of olive oil or mayonaise 

  • dust over the olive oil or mayo with a good poultry rub

  • cook directly over charcoal at 300 degrees....skin side down to start with

  • I remove the breasts when they are 160 internal.....leq quarters at 175.  I let them rest a few minutes.


  •  

     

     

     

    Even when I do the above.....the results aren't always the same.  

     

     

    Cut up chicken & london broils are my grilling nemesis meats.:rofl:  I'm all ears to see what other folks do.

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    • 1 month later...

    I cooked wings tonight they turned out great, sorry no pictures. I did indirect 375-400 for 30 minutes flipping at 15 minutes. Then I flipped put a dab of butter on each wing then 15 more minutes flipped and buttered other side. After another 10 minutes I basted one side with sauce and another 7 minutes flipped and basted other. 7 more minutes enjoy, crispy outside Jucie inside really good.

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    I have done a few whole chickens now.

     

    The one that I did last week that was in the mid-low 300° range was the best tasting chicken I'e ever had. The meat was moist and flavorful, but the skin was not crispy.

     

    The ones that I've done at 425° ish have the great crispy skin and are really good, but honestly I'm willing to forgo the crispy if I can get the quality of chicken meat that I got last week at 325°

     

    To me the crispy skin is highly overrated. 

     

    This, BTW, was the 325° one. It looks a little anemic, but it was SO delicious. 

     


     

     

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    I have done a few whole chickens now.

     

    The one that I did last week that was in the mid-low 300° range was the best tasting chicken I'e ever had. The meat was moist and flavorful, but the skin was not crispy.

     

    The ones that I've done at 425° ish have the great crispy skin and are really good, but honestly I'm willing to forgo the crispy if I can get the quality of chicken meat that I got last week at 325°

     

     

    Need some more detail on why you found 325 was preferable over 425 for whole chickens.  My chickens are moister from shorter/higher temp cooks.  But maybe I am missing something when I previoulsy cooked at lower temps.  Thanks.

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    My experience mirrors Kara only with chicken parts. I find that i get crisp skin around 400 to 425. At times i also get rubbery parts when I cook  to 175 at the bone some times and some times not. I find my results are better  and more consistent when i deliberately over cook it to 190 to 200 at the bone.

     

    It seems that chicken is better when it comes up to temp slowly. It just some how seems that the juices and the meat have time to develop.

    At one point in time I did a combined method where i cooked at 275 to 300 and cooked to 175 to 180 at the bone. Then i pulled the chicken and brought the temp up to 450 and then crisped  the skin.

     

    The chicken write up from Texas BBQ says that cooking around 225 for about four hours is even better. I just do not have that amount of time in the middle of the week. BUT they said that the chicken is much better when done this way. When they move over to high heat grilling they changed from their high sugar rub to their grilling rub with out sugar and they said well if you must then----

     

    It is certainly fine to  cook at lower temp and throw the skin away i have done that also. Getting crisp skin is just a challenge that can be fun to play with.

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    Yeah what @Marty said. 

     

    I can't really give you any more detail. I threw a whole chicken on last week. I messed up lighting my charcoal and the temps dropped to around 325° after I'd already put the chicken on. So I just shrugged and left it. As it turns out, the chicken was really moist and flavorful and one of the best whole chickens I've had in a long time. 

     

    I'm going to pull out my cooking hat and make an educated guess that the slower cooking of meat on the bone is a big part of what makes the difference. There's a reason you make the best chicken stock by simmering bones at 225° or lower for 12 hours. :) A lot of flavor is in the bone and so slow cooking the chicken allows the flavor in the bone to seep into the meat. 

     

    It was a total accident/fluke that turned out a fantastic result, so now I'm going to replicate it intentionally for future chickens.

    Edited by karacooks
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