Saturday, April 22, 2006

Smoking Chicken Legs and Thighs

Q: Any tips for smoking chicken legs and thighs, like what temp. they should be and what temp. to smoke them? Thanks for your time!!

A: Normally you would smoke chicken at around 225 degrees and for a whole chicken you would be looking at about 4 hours or maybe a little less with ideal conditions.

With chicken pieces you run the risk of drying the meat out if you cook it too long so I recommend that you cook it a little hotter like in the 250 to 275 degree range to get it done a little quicker and it does not dry out as bad that way.

You want to try to pull them when they reach 165 in the thickest part of the meat and remember that your legs could get done sooner than the thighs so you'll need to keep a close eye on them and be ready to pull them when they get ready.

All in all it should go well since the leg and thigh is the dark meat and just naturally has more flavor and juice from the git-go.

On thighs and legs it is really difficult to try and estimate how long it will take since it kind of depends on how meaty they are but you can probaby figure on a couple of hours in the smoker maybe more and maybe less.

One other tip.. when you are checking the temp.. make sure the thermometer is not touching bone since that will throw off your readings.

For more information on smoking chicken please visit my "how to smoke chicken" tutorial

Visit for hundreds of great tutorials and guides on smoking meat.

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Jeff said...

I just wanted to post an update to this thread..

I smoked some chicken thighs on Mother's Day and maintained right at 250 degrees.

They were done in about and hour and a half (167 degrees) and were not dry and the skin was very edible.

The only thing I did to them was sprinkled lemon pepper which also has salt in it, under the skin, on top of the skin and gave them a real good dusting.

I did this the night before smoking them and put them in a tupperware bowl with a lid the night before I smoked them.

All I can say is.. they were oh so good! the way, I used a large hand full of mesquite chunks in a GOSM that belongs to my Dad and the smoke went the whole cook time.

4:17 PM  

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