How To Get Crispy Chicken Skin On Your Pellet Grill

The best part of eating bone in chicken is the crispy skin, right? The tender, smoky chicken that comes off of the pellet grill is always delicious, but if you aren’t intentional about it, you won’t get the crispy skin that everyone loves.  Here are two tried and true methods for crispy chicken skin! They both work great.  Try out both recipes below, and let us know which way is your favorite!

Baking Powdered Method

This technique for ensuring crispy chicken skin is the most versatile.  You can use it for making chicken wings, drumsticks, or a whole spatchcocked chicken.  Everyone loves wings and drummies, but the spatchcock technique allows you to roast a whole chicken quickly, while exposing more of that skin to crisp up.  The recipe below is for 10 full chicken wings in regard to time and temperature, but the recipe for the baking powder mixture is enough for 10 wings, or the equivalent in drumsticks, or a whole chicken.

  • Pat dry chicken with paper towel to remove all excess moisture.  Then place chicken on sheet pan or cookie sheet. Do not allow any chicken pieces to touch.
  • Refrigerate for 4-5 hours.  Give this the time it deserves to help dry out the skin
  • Mix together in a large bowl
    • 1/2 cup Baking Powder
    • 2 tablespoons Lemon Pepper seasoning,  low or no salt
    • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
    • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper.
  • Remove chicken from fridge and toss in powder mixture until coated. Knock off excess and return to pan for transfer to grill.
  • Set the pellet grill at 225 degrees using 100% Hickory Cookinpellets
  • Place chicken on the grill. Smoke the wings for 45 minutes at 225, then raise the temp to 425 and cook wings for 1 hour, turning once.
Remove and let rest for 5 minutes, then eat!

Parboiled Method

All I have to say about the crispy chicken resulting from this method is WOW, but you be the judge! These are amazing without any extra sauce and with minimal spicing (I’m not a sauce guy, but JR added just the tiniest amount of sauce in his bowl for a light coating and said they were incredible that way as well). Again timing in this Parboiled Crispy Chicken Recipe refers to full chicken wings, but you can also use it for drumsticks as well with a slight adjustment of time.
  • Place chicken wings in pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and when water boils set timer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and skim off fat with large spoon before removing wings.
  • Place boiled wings on a pan to cool. At this point, they are most likely cooked.  The important thing is you have removed the extra fat that would normally make the skin soggy when baking! It also renders the connective tissue for less stringy wing biting experience when finished. Yum!
  • After wings have cooled enough to handle, use a towel or two and wring out the excess water from the wings. Squeeze the wing gently in the towel, just enough to dry it out a bit after boiling (you don’t have to kill it, it’s already dead!)
  • Toss lightly in lemon pepper seasoning.
  • Set the pellet grill at 425 degrees using 100% Hickory Cookinpellets
  • Place chicken on grill and smoke for 35-40 minutes, turning once.
Check temp for to ensure doneness, and remove from grill when chicken is golden brown.

Rest for 5 minutes before diving in – the wings will be HOT!

Both of these BBQ smoked chicken recipes will give you the amazing flavor and crispy skin that everyone loves! One thing is for sure, you don’t need to add any extra fat, fry, or grease up your chicken in order go get the crispiness you crave.  Try these techniques for game day or dinner, and let us know your favorite! Enjoy!


  1. Tom Gregory on June 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Prepared the baking powder recipe chicken, bone in, skin on thighs on my Camp Chef smoker @ 225 degrees F. I smoker them until internal temp reached 175 degrees F. Unfortunately the skin was like leather, impossible to chew but the favor was great. Meat under the unbelievably tough skin was moist and very tasty.

    Any ideas what caused this?

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