How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Covert » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:26 pm

I was wondering if jenise or anybody else would tell me how to manage crispy skin on outdoor grilled chicken or hen. I can get the skin beautifully browned, but it is not very crispy. Do I need a bigger grill so I can light one side on high and put the chicken on the other side with no fire under it? If you heat the chicken hot enough to crisp the skin over the fire it blackens. There is often olive oil on the meat. I usually put the skin side down on a medium flame until it browns nicely and then flip the piece over until it reaches 150 degrees f and then the consisetncy is nice. I am realizing that a lot of the quality of a piece of fowl, marinated or otherwise, comes from the treatment of the skin alone, as long as the meat is the right consistency, which 150 f seems to ensure. Lots of salt on the skin is a must. I suppose we could crisp the skin under a broiler in the camp when the meat is almost the perfect consistency from the grill, but that would heat up the camp.
Covert
NOT David Caruso
 
Posts: 3436
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Albany, New York

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Jim Cassidy » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:44 pm

You might try adopting some of my sister-in-laws tactics for roast chicken. Insert some garlic slices and coarse ground black pepper under the skin after sliding a finger between the skin and meat. Salt the skin 1-2 days before cooking. The salt draws out moisture in the skin but leaves the meat underneath moist. The skin should crisp up better in your application, as the skin starts cooking with much of the moisture already gone.
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
Jim Cassidy
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:54 am

I am a fan of cornish game hens on the grill: spatchcock, rub with olive oil and salt, roast 10 minutes per side (or thereabouts).

If eaten right off the grill, then I don't worry about crisping the skin and just serve. If I keep it for another day then the answer is to re-heat in the oven so that the skin faces up into the hot air (I suppose a few minutes of 'broil' wouldn't hurt but I haven't tried that).
Jeff Grossman/NYC
That 'pumpkin' guy
 
Posts: 2836
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:56 am
Location: NYC

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:31 am

I usually marinate my chicken before grilling (see the thread here). For leg quarters, I pull the skin down around the ankle while marinating, then pull it back over the meat before cooking over medium coals (not too hot and not too close). Then grill skin side up until the meat is almost done before turning the skin towards the coals. It's a long, slow cook.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
User avatar
Howie Hart
The Hart of Buffalo
 
Posts: 5925
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Niagara Falls, NY

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Covert » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:46 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:I am a fan of cornish game hens on the grill: spatchcock, rub with olive oil and salt, roast 10 minutes per side (or thereabouts).

If eaten right off the grill, then I don't worry about crisping the skin and just serve. If I keep it for another day then the answer is to re-heat in the oven so that the skin faces up into the hot air (I suppose a few minutes of 'broil' wouldn't hurt but I haven't tried that).


We love Cornish game hens on the grill, too, with roughly with the same prep as yours; sometimes we make up a mustard honey or mustard maple syrup sauce for it; and we also don't worry about crisping the skin a lot. But in fine restaurants, the skin on such a hen might be crispier and slightly tastier, which I am attributing to the crisping, so I wanted to take my grilling up a notch.
Covert
NOT David Caruso
 
Posts: 3436
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Albany, New York

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Covert » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:47 am

Howie Hart wrote:I usually marinate my chicken before grilling (see the thread here). For leg quarters, I pull the skin down around the ankle while marinating, then pull it back over the meat before cooking over medium coals (not too hot and not too close). Then grill skin side up until the meat is almost done before turning the skin towards the coals. It's a long, slow cook.


I'll try your approach, thanks. I like the idea of marinating the meat but not the skin.
Covert
NOT David Caruso
 
Posts: 3436
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Albany, New York

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Covert » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:52 am

Jim Cassidy wrote:You might try adopting some of my sister-in-laws tactics for roast chicken. Insert some garlic slices and coarse ground black pepper under the skin after sliding a finger between the skin and meat. Salt the skin 1-2 days before cooking. The salt draws out moisture in the skin but leaves the meat underneath moist. The skin should crisp up better in your application, as the skin starts cooking with much of the moisture already gone.


Another great idea regarding the skin prep. Thanks. We might use garlic slices if we didn't have garlic already in the marinade or sauce.
Covert
NOT David Caruso
 
Posts: 3436
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Albany, New York

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Covert wrote:I'll try your approach, thanks. I like the idea of marinating the meat but not the skin.
Actually, the skin does get soaked in the marinade, but by pulling it away from the meat, the marinade can soak into the meat better. I will then brush the marinade over the skin during the early part of cooking.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
User avatar
Howie Hart
The Hart of Buffalo
 
Posts: 5925
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:13 pm
Location: Niagara Falls, NY

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Jim Cassidy » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:28 pm

Covert said:

I'll try your approach, thanks. I like the idea of marinating the meat but not the skin.


Howie replied:

Actually, the skin does get soaked in the marinade, but by pulling it away from the meat, the marinade can soak into the meat better. I will then brush the marinade over the skin during the early part of cooking.


I may have to try this... Salt the chicken skin, pull it down around the ankle, invert it and salt the interior of the skin; marinate the chicken with the inverted, salted skin hanging over the edge of the bowl, or just brush marinade onto the exposed meat. When ready to grill, pull the skin back on.
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
Jim Cassidy
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:41 pm

Like Jeff and Covert, I am a huge fan of Cornish Game Hens. I have them cut in half because 1/2 a hen for each of us is plenty. I marinate all day in a soy sauce, fresh lemon juice, a little olive oil, lots of garlic. I broil the hens on both sides until the skin is browning nicely, then turn the oven to 375° and finish cooking. Talk about a crispy, and very brown skin plus the flavor is fabulous. At least, we love it. My favorite way to do hens. The flavors seem to get bolder with the broiler browning.
Karen/NoCA
Hunter/Gatherer
 
Posts: 5264
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:55 pm

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Carrie L. » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:52 pm

I find that it crisps up best when cooked completely on the top rack of the grill. In fact, I am making some at this very moment. I don't know if it's that "rising heat" thing or what, but it seems that the heat circles up the back of the grill and somehow browns and crisps the top nicely. I do think for some reason chicken skin does get crispier when cooked in the oven (and stays crispier once it's taken out). Not sure what dynamics are at work there. Maybe some of our resident scientist can weigh in.
chicken top rack.jpg
chicken top rack.jpg (134.66 KiB) Viewed 2154 times
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
User avatar
Carrie L.
Golfball Gourmet
 
Posts: 2525
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:12 am
Location: Extreme Southwest & Extreme Northeast

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Carl Eppig » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:29 pm

Use charcoal, not gas!
Carl Eppig
Our Maine man
 
Posts: 4001
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Middleton, NH, USA

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:49 pm

Carrie L. wrote:I find that it crisps up best when cooked completely on the top rack of the grill. In fact, I am making some at this very moment. I don't know if it's that "rising heat" thing or what, but it seems that the heat circles up the back of the grill and somehow browns and crisps the top nicely. I do think for some reason chicken skin does get crispier when cooked in the oven (and stays crispier once it's taken out). Not sure what dynamics are at work there. Maybe some of our resident scientist can weigh in.
chicken top rack.jpg


The hot circulating air probably dries the skin. It's how the Chinese achieve the shiny, lacquered skin on their ducks; a hair dryer will do something similar faster.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26330
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Bill Spohn » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:28 pm

Jenise wrote:I find that it crisps up best when cooked completely on the top rack of the grill. In fact, I am making some at this very moment. I don't know if it's that "rising heat" thing or what, butThe hot circulating air probably dries the skin. It's how the Chinese achieve the shiny, lacquered skin on their ducks; a hair dryer will do something similar faster.



For best results you need to use the right hair dryer for ducks.....

Image
User avatar
Bill Spohn
He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'
 
Posts: 5031
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm
Location: Vancouver BC

Re: How do I crisp skin on a grill?

Postby Jenise » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:33 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:For best results you need to use the right hair dryer for ducks.....

Image


No wonder you've never let us see the master bathroom. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26330
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest


Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 8 guests