Smoked Chicken Legs and Thighs

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Smoked Chicken Legs and thighsHello and welcome to this edition of the smoking meat newsletter. As the temperatures continue to drop I find myself wanting more and more to be outside knowing fully that this perfect fall weather can not last forever and is just a short interlude before winter settles in.

Regardless of how short it may seem, I like to try and make the best of it and for me that's all about spending time outdoors around the smoker.

For this article I picked up some chicken legs and thighs and I want to show you how easy it is to throw some of these together for a party or outdoor event. They are delicious when seasoned up with some of my rub and smoked and unlike whole chickens, you don't have to cut them up.. when they get done, folks can start grabbing and eating and that's what parties are all about.

Reminder

Just a friendly reminder that all of these recipes and smoking instructions that I write are just not all they can be without my very own rub and sauce recipes so be sure to order them today.

Go ahead and order the recipes.. I'll wait.. and then come back and read how you can turn regular old chicken pieces into an amazing masterpiece fit for any party, dinner or get together. Plus, I'm gonna show you how to really get that flavor up under the skin for a perfect chicken eatin' experience the way it ought to be!

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My Previous Newsletter:

Smoked Pulled Pork Used in Various Recipes

Smoked Pulled PorkIn the last newsletter we talked about smoked pulled pork and how to use it in some various recipes such as pulled pork party dip, pulled pork hotdogs, pulled pork spuds and more. check it out here when you get a chance.. you will like what you see and that's a promise!

Smoking Chicken Legs and Thighs

Now that you have my rub recipe and sauce recipe in hand, you'll need the following items:

  • Half dozen chicken legs
  • Half dozen chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of Jeff's rub
  • 1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Large Ziploc bag

Prepping the Chicken

Place all of the chicken pieces down in a large ziploc bag and pour about 1 cup of olive oil over the top of the chicken. Pour the rub over the chicken as well then zip the top and roll/toss the chicken around until all of the chicken is well coated with the rub/oil mixture.

Unwrapped chicken legs and thighs Chicken in bag

Olive Oil Oil and rub on the top

 

The cool thing about this technique that I have discovered is that the oil mixes with the rub turning it into a paste which then tends to get all up under the skin as well as all over the outside of the skin. This is the perfect way to get that flavor where it needs to be without having to pull the skin back on each individual piece.

Oil/rub mixture on chicken

 

Getting the Smoker Ready

For this recipe I had some errands to run so I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to try out the Bradley smoker unattended.

I have the 4-rack digital model so I set it up with about 2 hours worth of "Special Blend" smoking biscuits or "pucks" and a bowl of water for the spent ones to fall into.

I set the smoker timer for 2 hours, the oven temperature on 220 and the oven timer on 4 hours.

Smoking the Chicken

I love the Bradley smoker racks and use them excessively even when I am using a different smoker. They are perfect for keeping the meat secure while it is carried back and forth from the kitchen to the smoker. I brought a couple of the racks into the house, laid it on a large cookie sheet to contain drips and loaded it up with the chicken.

Chicken on rack

 

I also threw some boudin on another rack for good measure.. boudin, brats or even some sausage links are always a good thing to throw on while you are smoking something else. The boudin is ready to eat with some crackers in about 2.5 to 3 hours.

Boudin Boudin finished

 

The racks were loaded into the smoker with the chicken on the bottom and the boudin on top (you don't want that chicken dripping on the boudin).

Racks loaded into smoker

 

I did a final check to make sure everything was setup right and I took off leaving the Bradley to maintain my set temperature and to provide perfect thin blue smoke for the alotted time.

When is it Done?

You might think that chicken pieces being small would get done really fast but it usually takes about as much time as it does to smoke a whole chicken. The advantage is that it's already all cut up and no carving is required.

These pieces, as I figured, took about 4 hours and 10 minutes at the 220 degree temperature I cooked them at.

The rub did NOT burn and they were perfectly tender and juicy at 165 degrees internal temperature.

Chicken done Chicken plated

 

How to Get the Chicken Skin Crispy

I have come to the conclusion that chicken skin from the smoker is just not going to have that "crispy bite" that fried chicken has. The olive oil in this recipe helps to crisp up the skin some and if you are really desperate you can throw the chicken on a really hot grill for just a few minutes when it gets almost done but you have to be careful as you don't want the rub to burn.

As an alternative to the grill you can place the chicken under the broiler of your oven for a couple of minutes but watch it carefully so it does not burn.

Some folks opt to smoke the chicken at much higher temperatures (250-275) however, while this will crisp the chicken a little more, I prefer to cook it at the lower temperatures so I can use a good rub and ensure that it does not burn during the cooking process.

What About Chicken Quarters?

You can do chicken quarters in the same manner as the legs and thighs and in fact, I think chicken quarters are sometimes a better option when you are doing a dinner with sides. One quarter is usually perfect portion and they are also very inexpensive. Add a little smoke and it's a meal fit for a king! Just like the legs and thighs, the quarters will take about 4 hours to reach 165 degrees if you keep the temperature down low.

Chicken Wings

If you are interested in chicken wings, you need to read my latest article dedicated completely to that subject. It can be found here.

What's up With Using Pucks in that Bradley?

The biscuits or "pucks" as I call them work very well but I have discovered that if you get in a pinch and run out of them, you can lay a chunk of mesquite, hickory or whatever you have on the metal rack that heats up to make the "pucks" smoke and it will provide smoke for a while. You will have to keep replacing the chunks every 30 minutes or so which is sort of counter productive to what that smoker is all about.

You Need My Recipes

Folks, I don't know how to convince you that you need my rub recipe and my sauce recipe except to tell you that hundreds upon hundreds of testimonies are proof that these recipes are worth every penny and you need to order them and prove that what I'm saying and what others are saying is absolute truth.

18.95 is a small price to pay for a lifetime of the best rub and sauce you ever tasted so what are you waiting for?

Heck, if you mix these up and they're not the best you ever ate, I'll buy them back.. Now, that's an unbeatable deal!

So.. if you're looking for the ordinary then you can find it quite easily and for free but if you want the best there is and something that will put the "Wow" into your cooking then look no further cause I have what you need!

You WILL thank me later!
 
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Man your rub and sauce is the best I have ever had..the whole family loves it..we use it on bout everything..best money I have spent..ty ~ Gary

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I’ve been using your rub and BBQ sauce for some time now and your right, it’s heaven on earth my man. ~ Brian
 
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I recently purchased your rub recipe. I have been using a commercial rub, but have found it to be too salty, so I thought I would try yours. I made baby back ribs and pulled pork for 9 guys on a golf trip. I smoke it and get it all ready and use vacuum seal bags to store it, and reheat the pulled pork and finish the ribs on the grill with some sauce on the third night of trip. These guys finished all of it, said it was the best ribs and pulled pork they had ever had. (and they loved my bbq before.) ~ Chris
 
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Tried your rub for the first time this past weekend on a rack of baby backs. All I can say is WOW! The best tasting smoked ribs I've ever had. ~ Joe
 
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I ordered your recipes about 5 months ago, just in time for the summer smoking season. They are everything you said they would be and more. My wife and kids are not a huge fan of the more spicey rubs and sauces, but they really love these. with these recipes, my wife went from just tolerating my smoked meat obsession to encouraging it. Besides using the rub on meat, we took a suggestion from you and mixed it with butter. My family (by now my entire extended family) will not eat vegetables without the 'butter-rub'. That is incredible. It has a way of tying the whole meal together, without making everything taste the same.~ Patrick

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Your rub and sauce got me rave reviews….just like you predicted!!! ~ Jim

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Just wanted to let you know I purchased your recipes last week after debating over it for weeks. I have a ton of BBQ books loaded with rub and sauce recipes why should I buy this one, We’ll let me tell you first I made the BBQ Sauce and I loved it and the kids loved it too, great balance between the spicy and sweet, last night I tried the rub on some wings and just as you said it was loved by all. Can’t put my finger on just what makes it so good I’m just glad it is ~ Bob

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You deserve the very best and it's completely within your grasp! Only $18.95 and worth every penny. Not only do you get the best rub recipe and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.

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Note:

My system is automated which means you should get a download email within mere MINUTES of ordering.. check your spam/junk folder first then, if you can't find them, contact me to get the recipes sent to you as an attachment.

In Closing

Thank you for being a part of the smoking meat family which includes the newsletter, the forum, the smoking-meat.com website and many other resources that we try to provide to help you and countless others learn this great art.

A HUGE thank you to all of you who support the site by purchasing the recipes and other products that we sell. That is what keeps the wheels turning here at Smoking Meat HQ and it is much appreciated.

Until next time.. keep smoking and God Bless.

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Jeff Phillips

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About Jeff Phillips

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

Comments

  1. I tried this recipie in my Master Forge Electric Smoker and it only took a little over 2 hours. I think If I had left it in there for another 2 hours then it would have been burnt. I had the smoker set to 225.

    • In smoking meat, there are many variables which can affect the actual cooking time. You really have to cook by temperature rather than time. Some of these variables are type of smoker, weather, how cold the meat is when it is placed into the smoker, etc..

  2. Was wondering if you brined the chicken before you put it in the bag to season it?

    • I try to always brine poultry before seasoning/smoking it but you can get by with not doing this on dark meat since it tends to not be as lean in most cases. A 2 hour brine on chicken pieces is perfect.

      • Thank you for the suggestion. I do believe I will brine the chicken to make it nice and moist.

         

  3. I think I’ll try this tomorrow along with some skinless breasts. Thanks for the tips on brining. Did you use skinless or skin on for this?

  4. Jill Walles says:

    Do you have any recommendations for reheating smoked chicken thighs and legs?

  5. Joey Lambert says:

    You said you set the smoker at 2hrs and oven at 4? Why both? Did the chicken smoke for 2 or 4 hrs?

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