Rotisserie Crispy Skin


 

THyde

TVWBB Wizard
TH, I don't trust the ambient sensor in my MEATER...here's a graph of my last cook (keep in mind that I didn't open the lid the entire time, only when the MEATER said it was done).

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Other cooks show a similar pattern. The ambient sensor and my Smoke ambient disagree by as much as 40F. Of course, my MEATER may be damaged, but may I suggest that you check your MEATER ambient against another ambient before you rely on what the MEATER is telling you?
Wow, that's a problem, that downspike totally looks like what happens when you open the hood. I bet that Meater is damaged. I just really, really cleaned the ambient end with a green scrubby because it wasn't making good contact with the charger, and it solved my problem which was losing contact with the phone app a lot. I guess it was acting weird because it wasn't fully charging. I scrubbed the heck out of the end and all of it actually, so that there was no brown residue anywhere, then dried it off and charged it and it is back to normal now.

If I were you, I'd give that Meater a good scrub even with some brillo and then charge it up and see what happens.

I only have a Meater, no other fancy thermometer. Of course, I do have an old school meat thermometer but it does not charge or is not cool in any way except that it works as far as I know, so I do have a backup!

The birds have been coming out pretty good, and I think if the Meater totally failed at this point I'd be able to gauge when a chicken was done.

Your ambient temp graph, I see that big down spike, but did you also lower the temp at the end of the cook? Looks to me, judging by the internal temp, you did not. Your ambient seems really off, do you trust the internal temp?
 

Ed Pinnell

TVWBB Guru
Wow, that's a problem, that downspike totally looks like what happens when you open the hood. I bet that Meater is damaged. I just really, really cleaned the ambient end with a green scrubby because it wasn't making good contact with the charger, and it solved my problem which was losing contact with the phone app a lot. I guess it was acting weird because it wasn't fully charging. I scrubbed the heck out of the end and all of it actually, so that there was no brown residue anywhere, then dried it off and charged it and it is back to normal now.

If I were you, I'd give that Meater a good scrub even with some brillo and then charge it up and see what happens.

I only have a Meater, no other fancy thermometer. Of course, I do have an old school meat thermometer but it does not charge or is not cool in any way except that it works as far as I know, so I do have a backup!

The birds have been coming out pretty good, and I think if the Meater totally failed at this point I'd be able to gauge when a chicken was done.

Your ambient temp graph, I see that big down spike, but did you also lower the temp at the end of the cook? Looks to me, judging by the internal temp, you did not. Your ambient seems really off, do you trust the internal temp?
Even right out of the box, my graphs show a similar pattern, and here is my first cook with a MEATER on the BGE from over a year ago (Oct. 17, 2020).

image_1637107874274.jpg

It could be my phone (I have an old S5 with a prepaid pay-as-you-go plan) and I do keep the probe scrupulously clean, especially the contact on the end, and I always check to make sure it is fully charged before I go to use it. If it were a Bluetooth problem I would think it would show it in the graph for both sensors, though. I always check the target temp out of years of habit with an Instant Read and I have no complaint as far as that goes so that's why I continue to use the MEATER. I just don't trust the ambient.

EDIT: the Smoke ambient shows as much as 40F HIGHER than the MEATER, but consistently higher than what the MEATER reads, even from day one. It is not uncommon for two thermometers to disagree, so it's not too surprising to me. I generally average the two readings.
 
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THyde

TVWBB Wizard
Ed, wow, 40 degrees is a lot, and that ambient behavior is something I have not seen with mine. I trust the internal temperature, and I guess I just don't know about the external temperature now that I think of it. My grill's lid thermometer is not even close to the ambient on the Meater, but who knows maybe the grill lid thermometer is the correct one. I remember calibrating the Meater about a year ago with boiling and freezing water, and it was pretty close to correct. Maybe I'll calibrate the grill lid thermometer in boiling water just to see what happens.

Dan: You will like the meater! It's a perfect rotisserie thermometer, and I really like the way it calculates time remaining for the cook. Helps me know when to cook sides.
 

Ed Pinnell

TVWBB Guru
Ed, wow, 40 degrees is a lot, and that ambient behavior is something I have not seen with mine. I trust the internal temperature, and I guess I just don't know about the external temperature now that I think of it. My grill's lid thermometer is not even close to the ambient on the Meater, but who knows maybe the grill lid thermometer is the correct one. I remember calibrating the Meater about a year ago with boiling and freezing water, and it was pretty close to correct. Maybe I'll calibrate the grill lid thermometer in boiling water just to see what happens.

Dan: You will like the meater! It's a perfect rotisserie thermometer, and I really like the way it calculates time remaining for the cook. Helps me know when to cook sides.
Yeah, we all pretty much assume these things are accurate right out of the box, but what is remarkable to me is that my MEATER runs consistently lower than the Smoke, and not always by the same amount, throughout the cook. Aside from the dropouts, does ambient accuracy really matter? Probably not. The food temp is much more critical, and I always check food temps in several locations with an Instant Read. The MEATER is the only wireless thermo on the market and I highly recommend it for roti, I just take what it tells me about the ambient with a grain of salt (or lemon herb chicken rub, as the case may be!)

EDIT: This isn't world class by any stretch, and I am somewhat embarrassed by how crude this is, but here is a picture of my roti kettle setup showing the Smoke probe location. I typically get it as close to the protein as I can on the indirect side at spit rod level. Because the MEATER is over the hot side so often as it rotates I would expect it to read higher than the Smoke, but it reads lower.
 

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Ed Pinnell

TVWBB Guru
I think it is appropriate to once again link the other thread that is a spinoff of this thread because at 13 pages this appears to be the main thread:


That being said, the latest edition of the TVWBB newsletter has a lot of good information about brining. I don't know how to link the newsletter but here is a link to the dry brining aspect:


About in the middle of the page there is a section recommending the addition of baking powder to change the pH of the skin to promote crisping. We are trying that out tonight with a cornish game hen.
 
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Joe Anshien

TVWBB Guru
I think it is appropriate to once again link the other thread that is a spinoff of this thread because at 13 pages this appears to be the main thread:


That being said, the latest edition of the TVWBB newsletter has a lot of good information about brining. I don't know how to link the newsletter but here is a link to the dry brining aspect:


About in the middle of the page there is a section recommending the addition of baking powder to change the pH of the skin to promote crisping. We are trying that out tonight with a cornish game hen.
I remember reading somewhere that it is the cornstarch in baking powder that makes the difference. I use corn starch on my wings all the time. Baking powder can leave a little after taste from what I understand.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Not rotisserie but I did some super crispy skinned thighs last night. Nothing magical. Relatively high indirect heat, generous salt and pepper (no brining no magic potions), pricked the skin with my pairing knife. That's it. Came out just like cicerone
 

Joe Anshien

TVWBB Guru
Not rotisserie but I did some super crispy skinned thighs last night. Nothing magical. Relatively high indirect heat, generous salt and pepper (no brining no magic potions), pricked the skin with my pairing knife. That's it. Came out just like cicerone
I think you may mean Chicharrón? With pricking the skin I wonder about how much juice will come out when spinning.
 

THyde

TVWBB Wizard
What is the difference between a small roaster and a small young chicken? This one is a small young chicken but I have used small roasters. Purdue brand. Anybody know the difference? I’m curious. Maybe one of you midwesterners knew Frank :)
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I think you may mean Chicharrón? With pricking the skin I wonder about how much juice will come out when spinning.
I sometimes put a bunch of pieces in my "flat" basket and do the same thing. Always works great. As for a whole bird only the fat under the skin renders out. But, that is a good thing because it keeps the skin from becoming "flabby" and yet bastes the bird. The bird itself will stay nice and juicy as long is it's not over cooked. Here too is why I will "pin" a shield over the breast area until the dark meat areas begin to cook than remove the shield and continue on the way with the rest of the cook
 

THyde

TVWBB Wizard
I sometimes put a bunch of pieces in my "flat" basket and do the same thing. Always works great. As for a whole bird only the fat under the skin renders out. But, that is a good thing because it keeps the skin from becoming "flabby" and yet bastes the bird. The bird itself will stay nice and juicy as long is it's not over cooked. Here too is why I will "pin" a shield over the breast area until the dark meat areas begin to cook than remove the shield and continue on the way with the rest of the cook
What if you just don’t truss? Wouldn’t that cook the drumsticks and wings more? Maybe not “more enough” but either way if you like that foil method that’s all that matters.

It is so great to have all of these ideas available!
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I always do some type of truss up. Otherwise the wings turn brittle long before anything else is cooked. So tying them up is mandatory IMO. Though full confession...............I am not good at it. :D
 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Olympian
Tim, trussing isn’t really that hard, I pass a loop around the point where the wings lay and tie them off. (Just a loop using a surgeons knot) then I tie the legs together or slit the skin near the “Ankle” and pass one leg through the slit.
I see people that just go crazy and almost wrap the poor critter.
I’ll see if I can find a picture… 1FF0AE90-3EC8-48DC-81AE-B45EB42FD364.jpeg
for some reason, I don’t find one showing it “in the white” as they say in instrument parlance.
This is the “slit” method, and the wings laid really tight so, I didn’t tie them off at all, I might have another picture but, this was the best one I found, I’ll keep looking.

I think this shows the “loop and tied legs better…
18DD445C-ACA7-42EF-87FE-B743877663D3.jpeg
You can see the wing twine creating a bit of a “waist” and the leg tying technique. It’s nowhere as hard as people think. Watch some”Jacques Pépin videos, the man is truly a master of technique! Every time I watch him do something, I learn something even from ones that I have watched a dozen times!
 
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THyde

TVWBB Wizard
Fellow TIm, TWO pieces of twine?? "In the white"??? I'm totally outclassed and overwhelmed with this technical jargon!

Fortunately, the Turbo Trusser is awesome, and I am already storing it just hanging on the spit in the basement where the spit goes, it's no problem to store and I don't have to try to decode the wizardry of trussing!

Tim, seriously though, thanks I never thought of using two pieces of twine. I was afraid the Grand Truss Wizard would smite me if I did. I haven't met the Grand Wizard yet, but I still fear his wrath!
 

 

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