Why am I getting near black chicken skin?


Paul Pearson

The majority of my chicken cooks have been using either half or mostly lump charcoal and I light 2 chimneys full then dump them in the smoker. I only add unlit when doing longer turkey cooks so I don't think it is smoke from the KBB lighting up.

Unfortunately at this time I do not have a kettle, but when ive cooked chicken on my dads kettle I do not remember the skin getting black.

Has anyone had any experience using the Piedmont pan with water on non poultry cooks? I may just build one up and see if it will work for both types of cooks.

Thanks for the ideas so far guys.


TVWBB Super Fan
I've had my WSM for 2 months now and in my first two attempts at fowl (chicken and turkey thighs) they both turned out like that. Both time I cooked with the water pan foiled, but no water. This last time, I removed the pan completely and I got great thighs. I can't swear yet that is the reason. I don't think I did anything else differently, but it worked, so until the next time, I am calling that the reason.

Paul Pearson

Just thought I would give an update on this. I built myself a Piedmont Pan and smoked some wings and pieces over the weekend. Even with using 2.5 chunks of apple/cherry there was no black skin on the chicken.

I still heard sizzling and there was a bit more smoke than water / pork cooks but things came out a nice brown color. Now I just need to figure out how to get crispy skin on all the grates not just the bottom one.

FYI, I used 3 nuts and 2 washers between my pans and the lower grate is sitting on the top pan so I will need to remove 1 nut spacer. I also had to bend the tabs in or the pan could fall down on one side id pushed all the way to one side. I will try to post pictures later.