How to Get Crispy Chicken Skin on a Pellet Grill (4 Simple Methods)

Are you craving crispy, juicy chicken skin?

Sometimes it can be difficult to achieve that perfectly cooked texture via a pellet grill. 

But there are several different methods you can try to get perfect, crispy chicken skin. 

Try one, or try them all!

Have a read of the guide below to find out how to get crispier skin on your chicken.  

Why Does My Chicken Have Rubbery Skin?

Is your chicken skin rubbery?

Sometimes cooking chicken on a pellet grill doesn’t go to plan. 

One of the biggest mistakes is relying solely on low and slow techniques. 

But, there are a bunch of methods that you can use to get the crispy chicken skin you want. 

Use a Salt Rub

If you have some time up your sleeve, use a salt rub 1-2 days prior to cooking. 

Rubbing the skin with salt will help to pull moisture out of the chicken. 

It will also give your chicken time to soak up additional flavors and seasonings. 

See my smoked chicken rub recipe here.

Dry Chicken With Paper Towels 

Chicken skin has a lot of moisture and it’s important to dry it out first. 

While it may be simple, patting the chicken with paper towels can help squeeze out excess water. 

After drying, we recommend letting the chicken rest in the fridge for 4-5 hours. 

Simialr Technqiue for Crispy Turkey and Pork Belly Skin

The techniques are similar to achieving crispy skin on smoked turkey and pork belly.

These techniques are discussed below but they include using a salt-based rub and ensuring your meat is dried before cooking.

The Baking Powder Method

Mix one part baking powder with three to four parts salt for crispy chicken. 

This method is simple, cost-effective, and results in delicious crispy skin. 

Baking powder is also used for crispy turkey skin.

Avoid Baking Soda

Though they can be easily confused, do not swap out baking powder for baking soda. 

Baking soda has a very strong taste and will dramatically alter the flavor of the chicken.

If you don’t have any baking powder, go for corn starch or another alternative. 

Corn Starch

Corn starch is a solid alternative to baking powder and both work in a similar way.  

Corn starch is a common ingredient in Asian dishes for making chicken crispy, hence why it’s so effective. 

Corn starch is also great for deep-frying and giving food (including vegetables) a crispy outer layer. 

Cook The Chicken Skin Side Down

To get crispy chicken skin, you need to cook the skin side down. This also helps the fat to render.

The Parboiled Method

The parboiling method involves boiling the chicken before seasoning and cooking.  

This method ensures extra fat is removed from the skin, which stops the chicken from getting soggy. 

This method only takes 10-15 minutes to do and can dramatically change the texture of your meat. 

The Cheesecloth and Butter Method

This method is most common with turkeys, but it also works well with chickens.

This process involves melting butter and using a wet cheesecloth to cover the meat. 

If you’re looking for a great low and slow cook on the pellet grill, this is the method for you. 

Cook at the Right Temperature

Cooking at a higher temperature will generally result in crispier, crunchier skin. 

Of course, it will depend upon your recipe and some recipes will ask for lower temperatures. 

Be sure to keep an eye on the heat and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. 

Don’t Spray the Chicken With Liquid

Avoid spraying your chicken with liquids (such as apple cider vinegar, water etc). 

We want to keep the chicken as dry as possible. 

Ignore recipes that say to spray the chicken with liquids, it will stop the skin from becoming crispy. 

Can I Combine Several of These Methods Together?

Yes, and we recommend you do. 

Not all of these methods will work well together but there are a couple that are allrounders. 

Avoiding liquids, using a salt rub and drying the chicken will be effective alongside the other processes. 

How Long Do I Need to Cook My Chicken?

Pellet grill cooking times will vary depending upon your chicken recipe. 

For smoked chicken wings, it will take roughly 90 minutes, but it will be different for other cuts. For chicken legs, it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes and for smoked chicken breasts it takes 2 hours and 5 minutes.

It will also depend based upon the size of the chicken and whether it’s frozen or fresh. 

Getting crispy chicken skin on a pellet grill doesn’t have to be difficult. 

There are a bunch of different methods and cooking processes that anyone can try. 

Most are pretty simple and use ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen cupboard. 

Say farewell to leathery, tough skin and say hello to delicious crispy chicken. 

How do you get crispy chicken skin on a pellet grill? 

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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