Author Topic: Advice for breasts & thighs  (Read 414 times)


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Advice for breasts & thighs
« on: April 25, 2018, 08:29:39 PM »
I need advice please. I want to smoke some breasts and thighs (skin on) this weekend. What temps, times, and final meat temps do you recommend? I've seen other posts about  the different final temps for these pieces. Please advise. I did see where cherry was the recommended wood. Thanks for your help!
Will, Nashville, TN
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Re: Advice for breasts & thighs
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 12:53:35 PM »
When I do chicken, parts or whole, I have the smoker at 250 and remove when the meat reaches 165 IT. You may want to pull it a bit sooner and crisp the skin on a grill or in a blazing hot oven, or just let carryover cooking finish it,  but I have never had it be overcooked if pulled at 165. If you have time, brining it makes it even more awesome.
Eric in New York's Hudson Valley, unless I can get out to Durango.
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Re: Advice for breasts & thighs
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 11:04:18 PM »
165 is a good compromise temperature if you are cooking both together. However, both are best at different temperatures. If I were smoking just breasts, I would pull them at 160 and rest. I would smoke thighs to 170-175 or so. They benefit from a little more rendering. Breasts would be dry and overcooked at that temperature though. Brining is the great equalizer, and will make the final temperatures a lot more forgiving.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
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Re: Advice for breasts & thighs
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 02:28:09 PM »
What Kari said!  If I do them, I remove the skin.  It shrinks, looks terrible, and gets rubbery.  Instead, I rub the meat and wrap in bacon!  It protects the skinless meat and is somewhat edible.  Plus, what in life isn't just a little better with bacon??!
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Re: Advice for breasts & thighs
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 01:09:41 PM »
Chicken at 165 is safe to eat, however dark meat poultry is better after hitting 174.
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Re: Advice for breasts & thighs
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 06:18:29 PM »
Hi Will
I do lots of boneless skinless chicken breasts 4.4 pounds every 2 weeks or so. I brine breasts in an equilibrium brine 1% salt 1% sugar ( I use a lower salt % because I don't rinse them off ). I also add some cumin and finely ground black pepper. 2 or 3 hours before I put them in the smoker I add 1 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice to the brine. This makes it a bit like a Cuban adobo marinate.

I smoke them to 145F and start a timer and watch the internal temp. Yes I have a FireBoard and the smoker probe so I can monitor 7 of them from the largest ones to the smaller ones. I follow the following chart for temp and time from the USDA ( think pasteurization - time and temp ). As the temp rises the time shortens at that temp. Or if you want to be super safe wait 8 minutes from the time they hit 145F then pull. You will have very moist and tender chicken breasts not dried out ones like I used to have taking them to 165F. I like to used 1.5 oz cherry for the wood. I like cherry for chicken and hickory for everything else.
Walt in Bonaire