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Crisp Chicken Skin


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I`ve had my kamado Joe for a couple years now and I cannot get crispy chicken skin. I usually cook chicken on the kettle with the sns and chicken turns out amazing. Than I`ll try on the KJ and its not crispy. I brush the chicken pieces with olive oil and dust with ole bay. Cooking indirect with stones in place and temp at 350. Usually takes around an hr. This process on kettle with sns turns great every time . On KJ chicken is moist and has good taste but skin is not crispy. Where am I doing wrong?

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@lotosmoke

 

You have hit upon a 'problem' that I have been working on recently.  It's not easy to get good crispy wings on a kamado.  However, I have done my best wings to date recently and they are excellent.  

 

Step 1: Dry the chicken wings thoroughly.  I do this with clean dry paper towels.  

 

Step 2: Give them a VERY THIN glaze of oil.  

 

Step 3: Toss them in a seasoned flour.  You can use your old bay to season the flour if you wish. 

 

Step 4:  Put the wings on a kamado that is preheated to 425-450°F.  This takes 30-ish minutes to cook these.

 

The difference is mostly in the airflow.  The kamado isn't moving as much air as the kettle.  If you have a pellet grill option, that will work even better.  Here's a photo of the most recent batch I did on the Pellet Joe by the same method I described here:

 

20210410_133636.jpg

 

20210410_142015.jpg

 

20210410_142122.jpg

 

That is as crispy as it gets.  

 

You can create a higher airflow situation in your kamado by a few methods that just take a little practice.  Use a LOT LESS charcoal and keep your top and bottom vents fully open.  The actual temperature for this cook is not as critical as having MORE AIRFLOW.   People who have air fryers are doing wings that look like this at 375°F.  That lower temperature works because there is a TON more air movement in an air fryer.  

 

I am gonna pin this post to the top of the forum... thanks for asking!

 

 

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6 hours ago, lotosmoke said:

Those wings look great. Are you cooking indirect at 425F? I will try that method and thank you.

 

Yes.. indirect.  depending on your setup, you may need to flip the wings periodically.

 

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1 hour ago, just4fn said:

With the both vents fully open wont the temp keep climbing? Nuclear!

 

This is where you have to limit the size of your fire by how much coal you put in the basket.  You can't do this cook with a full basket of lump.

 

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What I tried with super results on chicken thighs, and it will work with wings is out the cast Iron flat KJ griddle plates in, spray with cooking spray, and put your flour dredged chicken on, and hit the top with a little cooking spray.  Rotate them every 10 minutes.  They get crispy, and take on a deep brown color.  Like frying without the oil.

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You can also try dry brining overnight with coarse kosher salt and a bit of baking soda. Then spitz with neutral oil like grape seed oil. 

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Dry the chicken with paper towels. No oil. Sprinkle on your favorite seasoning. Cook at 400* indirect for 20 - 30 minutes skin side down then 20 - 30 minutes skin side up (actual time depends on the cut you're cooking.) Crispy skin every time. 

 

Chicken skin has enough oil you don't need to add any extra 

 

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So....if you want REALLY crispy wings, there is a secret. But it's a bit of a pain in the ###.

 

Steam the wings the day before, then rest overnight uncovered in the refrigerator. Use a multi layer bamboo steamer if you have one and give them about 20 minutes. This lets some of the fat render out, then overnight in the 'fridge dries the skin out again.

 

Personally, I don't bother, but it really does work.

 

I just dry them as much as possible with kitchen towel, toss in a little bit of EVOO and some rub, then put them on the K at 400F for 20 minutes, turn and give another 20 mins, then take them off and sauce. I never sauce before or during co oking.

 

My kids wont order wings in restaurants any more as the "just aren't as good".

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4037.jpeg

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/28/2021 at 8:30 AM, John Setzler said:

@lotosmoke

 

You have hit upon a 'problem' that I have been working on recently.  It's not easy to get good crispy wings on a kamado.  However, I have done my best wings to date recently and they are excellent.  

 

Step 1: Dry the chicken wings thoroughly.  I do this with clean dry paper towels.  

 

Step 2: Give them a VERY THIN glaze of oil.  

 

Step 3: Toss them in a seasoned flour.  You can use your old bay to season the flour if you wish. 

 

Step 4:  Put the wings on a kamado that is preheated to 425-450°F.  This takes 30-ish minutes to cook these.

 

The difference is mostly in the airflow.  The kamado isn't moving as much air as the kettle.  If you have a pellet grill option, that will work even better.  Here's a photo of the most recent batch I did on the Pellet Joe by the same method I described here:

 

20210410_133636.jpg

 

20210410_142015.jpg

 

20210410_142122.jpg

 

That is as crispy as it gets.  

 

You can create a higher airflow situation in your kamado by a few methods that just take a little practice.  Use a LOT LESS charcoal and keep your top and bottom vents fully open.  The actual temperature for this cook is not as critical as having MORE AIRFLOW.   People who have air fryers are doing wings that look like this at 375°F.  That lower temperature works because there is a TON more air movement in an air fryer.  

 

I am gonna pin this post to the top of the forum... thanks for asking!

 

 

 

Looks fantastic.  I think we'll have to try this!  (Wonder how it would work on drums?)

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Been Following this thread for a while now.. Tonight an attempt for a crispy skin.  Dusted the wings with some flour and a wing dust.. one hot... one calm.. No oil.. Held Kamado at 400-450 degrees. Cooked skin side down for about 20minutes and flipped and did the same for another 20 minutes...thank you ckreef.. Sided with a sour cream/blue cheese dressing.. thank you john .. turned out very good.. Nice taste and crispy skin ..Enjoyed by all

 

 

20210529_173633[9261310].jpg

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20210529_172850[9261493].jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

@Kamado Smoke did you use John’s airflow technique by keeping vents open, or was it temp + flour that did the trick? I’ve struggled with getting crispy skin and have been trying higher temps plus cooking higher in the dome, but still no success. Did a search and found this thread - love this site! The airflow concept makes sense.

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