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Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 07:32 AM
i am a professional chef and, have been in the industry 25+ years....just started doing competitions and i LOVE it....so i have started using some of my resources in the indusrty and this is what i have found.....i can order 40# cases of nothing but chicken skin. The skins have the thigh skin removed and it is all the skin from both breasts of the chicken, makes the skin a very large easy workable sheet. Since it is the breast skin it comes from the leanest part of the chicken therefore, the fat on the backside of the skin, which is a pain to scrape all off, is for the most part almost completely gone. This has pretty much cut my chicken prep time in half. Here is my question. Is this legal to do in a comp.? Seems like a good idea but have never seen anybody talk about it so, i dont know if this is legal or not. If it is, everyone should look into doing this it is so much easier to work with and you can size the skin however big you like. No more torn up magled skins you get at the store sometimes. Feedback would be great, thanks.

Finney
02-07-2011, 08:00 AM
Should be legal...

Let the discussion begin! :becky:

Big George's BBQ
02-07-2011, 08:04 AM
That is a great idea

Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 08:12 AM
skins are very hard to get by the general public but if you can get a hold of a major food brooker they will have them with a little prodding...they are awesome

The_Kapn
02-07-2011, 08:16 AM
Do they come in one biggo frozen block?
How are they packed?

Interesting concept.

TIM

Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 08:18 AM
lol
a HUGE 40# block of chicken skins, it pretty disgusting
took about 8 hours to thaw out under water

The_Kapn
02-07-2011, 08:25 AM
lol
a HUGE 40# block of chicken skins, it pretty disgusting
took about 8 hours to thaw out under water

Well, it WAS an interesting concept :-D :-D

Thanks for the info.

TIM

Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 08:43 AM
hmmmm.....dont like it now cause they are frozen? im telling you i have cooked with them a BUNCH of times and done several tests and the frozen part doesnt make a bit of difference....but if you like prepping chicken that much, have fun....but this concept does work very very well

Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 08:48 AM
the idea, from what i have learned, is to get all that fat off the back of the skin so when a judge cuts into the chicken it doesnt all slide off in one piece....the chicken thigh is the fattiest part of the chicken, so taking the skin frm this part of the bird for the purpose i want it for is just not thinking sart....the breast skin is about 75% cleaned of all fat to begin with and the skins are HUGE....should give it a try you will love it...i will be at the north kansas city BBQ coming up march 11th and 12th feel free to stop by if anyone wants to and shoot the ****, pick up a few of these skins i have and give it a shot....im telling you it worth the try

The_Kapn
02-07-2011, 08:55 AM
hmmmm.....dont like it now cause they are frozen? im telling you i have cooked with them a BUNCH of times and done several tests and the frozen part doesnt make a bit of difference....but if you like prepping chicken that much, have fun....but this concept does work very very well

Actually, the "frozen" part was not a concern at all.
And I have used breast skins for thighs--works great!

I am just trying to envision thawing that biggo block of skins and then doing something productive with the 35# that I don't use. :-D

That's all.

TIM

glenntm
02-07-2011, 08:56 AM
The process you're describing can be accomplished without scrapping the skin and even without removing it from the thigh. It sounds like a lot of work when the results can be obtained using a much easier process.

Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 08:57 AM
lol, very good point....have big sinks at work, and just cryo vac the rest in small packs and freeze

Smokin' Hicks
02-07-2011, 08:58 AM
can you please please for the love of god and all my sanity tell me that easier option

Hub
02-07-2011, 09:43 AM
The only judging requirement regarding skin on chicken is to "taste it" if it is provided. From there it gets complex. In general, judges will mark down if the skin is tough and just hangs on or falls off the piece. Some look for "bite through" meaning a tender piece of skin comes of in conjunction with the bite taken from the contest piece. Some cooks like to finish with high heat to get crisp skin. I look for the skin to complement the tasting experience and don't care about its consistency so long as it tastes good. Yes, I've had a few "rubber chicken" experiences, but most cooks deal pretty well with it.

There is no requirement at contest meat inspections that the skin be on the piece -- it can be separate.

chambersuac
02-07-2011, 02:38 PM
The process you're describing can be accomplished without scrapping the skin and even without removing it from the thigh. It sounds like a lot of work when the results can be obtained using a much easier process.

Can ya fill us in on this process? I'd be interested...thanks.

ClayHill
02-07-2011, 08:43 PM
The process you're describing can be accomplished without scrapping the skin and even without removing it from the thigh. It sounds like a lot of work when the results can be obtained using a much easier process.

would this process work in a smoker @ 245F?

I scape and its the only way I can get consistent results cooking chicken in my smoker, granted its my worst category:icon_blush:

ClayHill
02-07-2011, 08:48 PM
i am a professional chef and, have been in the industry 25+ years....just started doing competitions and i LOVE it....so i have started using some of my resources in the indusrty and this is what i have found.....i can order 40# cases of nothing but chicken skin. The skins have the thigh skin removed and it is all the skin from both breasts of the chicken, makes the skin a very large easy workable sheet. Since it is the breast skin it comes from the leanest part of the chicken therefore, the fat on the backside of the skin, which is a pain to scrape all off, is for the most part almost completely gone. This has pretty much cut my chicken prep time in half. Here is my question. Is this legal to do in a comp.? Seems like a good idea but have never seen anybody talk about it so, i dont know if this is legal or not. If it is, everyone should look into doing this it is so much easier to work with and you can size the skin however big you like. No more torn up magled skins you get at the store sometimes. Feedback would be great, thanks.

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this way, my market still cuts up whole birds to sell in parts, and lots of skinless boneless breast go out the door.......I asked the guy in the back what they did with the skins, yep, they pitch'em.

Bunny
02-08-2011, 08:47 AM
The process you're describing can be accomplished without scrapping the skin and even without removing it from the thigh. It sounds like a lot of work when the results can be obtained using a much easier process.

Please, do tell!:drama:

AZScott
02-08-2011, 09:09 AM
You could always make fried chicken skin sandwiches.

http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt203/AZScott/KFCChickentFatSandwich.jpg

CBQ
02-08-2011, 03:13 PM
I am just trying to envision thawing that biggo block of skins and then doing something productive with the 35# that I don't use.

35 pounds of chicken skin? Sounds like a good Q-talk throwdown thread. Possibly less disgusting than the McRib throwdown, too. :-P

Looks like P01Shooter is getting an early jump on it.

tmcmaster
02-09-2011, 08:11 AM
2 words: CHICKEN BACON!

BBQ_Mayor
05-30-2011, 10:07 AM
It's a great idea but after checking out your chicken scores from NKC, I think I'm sticking with my method. 96th out of 104 is not a good selling point. Thanks for sharing though.

thenewguy
05-31-2011, 12:42 AM
Ouch!
Tough crowd....

bluewhackadoo
05-31-2011, 05:02 AM
Nice idea, I hate paying more for skinless breasts anyway.

Sawdustguy
05-31-2011, 11:47 AM
I sure wish one of the early posters would have let us in on how he makes his skin bite through without scraping.

big brother smoke
05-31-2011, 02:35 PM
It takes me 3 minutes per thigh to filet the fat from chicken thighs and trim.
You must practice and fark up a few packs of chicken thighs first. Some may do this quicker!

huminie
05-31-2011, 02:50 PM
I am trimming chicken at a rate of 4 mins per thigh right now. I am trimming my 15 pieces in about an hour and then need about 10 mins to vacuum pack them up and clean up from there.

Butcher BBQ
05-31-2011, 03:24 PM
One way I used was I bought the cheapest disposable razors I could find. On the exposed blade area there was made onto the molded plastic some plastic dimples that keep the razors from getting to close, I clipped them off and used a single bladed razor to shave off the skins. Worked great while I was exploring that method. ( note to ones self do not use the ones with moisture strips)

motoeric
05-31-2011, 03:28 PM
I sure wish one of the early posters would have let us in on how he makes his skin bite through without scraping.

Actually explaining instead of being vague would make it much more difficult to be mysterious and appear knowledgeable.

Eric

KnucklHed BBQ
05-31-2011, 04:12 PM
One way I used was I bought the cheapest disposable razors I could find. On the exposed blade area there was made onto the molded plastic some plastic dimples that keep the razors from getting to close, I clipped them off and used a single bladed razor to shave off the skins. Worked great while I was exploring that method. ( note to ones self do not use the ones with moisture strips)

Prolly not a bad idea to keep em outta the bathroom medicine cabinet too! I can only imagine the resulting rash & infection that mix up might cause!!! :sick: :heh:

JiveTurkey
05-31-2011, 04:21 PM
Actually explaining instead of being vague would make it much more difficult to be mysterious and appear knowledgeable.

Eric


Most people/teams who have figured out how to get bite through skin have spent a lot of time and effort to figure it out so they are usually not very likely to share their technique. It's easier to get rub recipes than chicken skin tips. The chicken skin topic is a big "secret". Most people just scrape the skins but I do know one guy that cooks it direct to render the fat. Kind of a mix between grilled and smoked. It works for him but he has a different set up than I do so I cannot do it like he does.

The reason why skin gets tough is a simple one, the fat in the skin does not render. If you can figure out how to render the fat from the skin while still being able to impart the smokieness it needs to please the judges then you're on the right track. For me scraping skin is easy so I just do that. My scores in chicken are not all that great either so apparently my opinion does not matter according to some. :roll:

glenntm
05-31-2011, 04:26 PM
Actually explaining instead of being vague would make it much more difficult to be mysterious and appear knowledgeable.

Eric

I don't have to explain the process. I made a statement. You can have bite through skin without scrapping and removing it. As for knowledgeable....I'll let our teams results speak for themselves.

chambersuac
05-31-2011, 04:34 PM
Actually explaining instead of being vague would make it much more difficult to be mysterious and appear knowledgeable.

Eric

Eric, I know how he does it (except for one step that I'm trying to figure out).

He speaks the truth, but I am not authorized to give that information away. I can assure you it works...now, if he'd just tell me the missing step...you getting my hint, Glen? :)

Sawdustguy
05-31-2011, 04:42 PM
Eric, I know how he does it (except for one step that I'm trying to figure out).

He speaks the truth, but I am not authorized to give that information away. I can assure you it works...now, if he'd just tell me the missing step...you getting my hint, Glen? :)

I feel like an idiot. I just have no clue on how it could be done but then again I am Polish. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt you or Glenn, it's just illudes my small mind. We have walked in every other catagory but Chicken has always been a scourge for us. Everyone talks about Slednecks 13th place chicken but I would be happy with 13th place chicken.

goodbuddiesbbq
05-31-2011, 05:15 PM
And Chicken...

Start off with very cold skins (very cold) for best results.

1. You can use a butter knife...scrape, scrape....3-4 mins a thigh.
2. You can use a 4" wide paint scraper...works better...2-3 mins a thigh.
3. You can use a flexible fillet knife...works even better...1-2 min a thigh. Takes some practice.
4. Good butchers sometimes have a machine (don't know the name) that basically scrubs silver skin off of meat...maybe they would scrape it for you.

We are lucky enough to have a butcher that scrapes our skins for us:cool:. But like every good business person, he weighs the scraps (no shrinkage) and charges us for premium chicken (uh....deal). Ask your butcher...they might find it interesting.

As far as not scraping chicken skin and getting bite through...here is the BBQ Czar's best guesses as to what I have seen work...riskier IMO:
1. Skin down in a foil pan (no butter)
2. Each piece of chicken wrapped in foil individually (ala ribs)
3. Hot...Hot...Hot Temps (350+ in the smoker)

You would have to cook hot in all of the scenarios. We have tried it, just a bit more consistent for us to scrape. Check our chicken stats...you get much more chicken success if somebody scrapes it for you:becky:.

I do like the chicken breast skin idea...never heard of that...or have I!!!!!!!!

RangerJ
05-31-2011, 07:21 PM
Actually explaining instead of being vague would make it much more difficult to be mysterious and appear knowledgeable.

Eric

"be mysterious and appear knowledgeable" infers that the poster does not have a technique that works and perhaps does not know what they are talking about.

Since their first competition which was in Tempe, the last event of the KCBS season, 2009, IAB 30 had done quite well. Chicken included.

Like all things Que a technique that works for one, might not work for the other. I've done some research ( easier to due than infer he did not know what he was talking about) since that posting and found other ways to render fat, due to my cooker set up they would not work for me. So, I scrape.

mobow
05-31-2011, 08:35 PM
Finding the elusive bite through chicken skin technique is kinda like finding a source for cuban cigars. You have to develop the trust and respect of a fellow enthusiast and then ask very nicely. Just sayin. keith

Pelkster
06-01-2011, 04:32 PM
I've only been doing the smoking thing for a little over a year, but I do have to say that I went through hundreds of chicken thighs before I found my method. I don't scrape at all, and I only trim a little fat off the edges to make the square. I've been on one competition, and scored in the middle of the pack, but I can tell you I had bite through skins. Like so many have mentioned before, it just takes practice and a technique you can master on your cooker that works for you.

The one thing I did learn from my first comp. is that I can do all of the trimming at home so I'm not up for two hours trimming it all on site! :doh: Just one of those rookie mistakes lol.

I have gotten a lot of GREAT advice from this site, and if you dig hard enough, you might find the answers to your questions. :wink:

BigButzBBQ
06-01-2011, 06:40 PM
Find the breast skin idea intriguing. I don't scrape our skins. I've been working really hard on developing a bite through technique without scraping. I believe I have it. I've tested it now 3 times and the results have been great all 3 times. I've been able to do it with trim and un-trimmed.
Anything is possible if you work hard enough at it but, it's always good to hear new ideas for solving the same old problems. :becky:

No, I'm not telling. :heh:

Crash
06-02-2011, 02:27 AM
Actually explaining instead of being vague would make it much more difficult to be mysterious and appear knowledgeable.

Eric

Dude....that aint right bro. Some teams spend a lot of really, hard time learning and perfecting techniques. Additionally, some teams spend a lot of money to take classes to learn these techniques. Why on earth would a team give out technique secrets that could potentially cost them points and $ at a contest?

Tom is one of the nicest guys on the competiton circuit today and would help almost anyone with anything. Some things just need to be learned.
My advice is to practice, practice, practice and/or take a class.

Best of luck!

Fishiest1
06-02-2011, 06:52 AM
Tom's always been a great help to me and I live over 3k miles away from him. Kinda exactly what the BBQ community is about!

It does look like it's time for me to try something new this weekend with those dang thighs though, can't wait!

swamprb
02-27-2012, 05:31 AM
Take a Jaccard and pierce the backside of the skins and use a 3M spreader and that schmaltz just oozes off the skin!

GreenDrake
02-27-2012, 06:25 AM
Chicken skins aren't so bad, you just have to figure them out. I no longer hate the chicken category and am starting to win a bit more after taking the time to practice my trim, method and finish. Here's a shot of some chicken I totally screwed followed by my last turn in shot.

This one, I hit it with too much smoke, drew up the skin *unscraped skin and had to sauce it heavy to get it to stick, ended up middle of the pack with this one.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v462/motorcade1/Food%20Porn/cheneychicken.jpg

This is how my yardbird looks now, starting to place in the top tier now

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v462/motorcade1/Food%20Porn/basinchick.jpg

Disconnect
02-27-2012, 09:23 AM
We also are brand new - one comp last year - but we spent all summer practicing, largely chicken. (Don't judge by our scores at Smokin on the Bay, we made every mistake its possible to make without getting 1s..) Bite-through skin with scraping is not hard to hit, as others have said. Just takes practice.

And since the technique came from public websites, posts, and even a bit from the show, I'll run it down here. Spices and seasonings are on you though :)

Bone it, de-fat it (except the one softer nodule inside), skin it, scrape it. Cook it skin-up in a tray with a little parkay, smoke until 99% done, then finish skin-down indirect grill (slightly crispier skin.) Dip in a thinner/lighter sauce and throw to the judges.

I've heard several ideas for non-scraping, including some of the "winningest", that basically involve high heat and fast cooking. Same as others have said - if you render the fat into the meat, it bites through. If you don't, or partially render it, it turns to rubber.

If you are going the hot and fast route, you might be able to protect the moisture in the meat and get 'perfect' skin by rubbing it down with mayo (real mayo) before cooking - something about the interaction with the skin causes it to render the fat better while protecting it from drying out. (Also good for turkey and beer-can chicken.) With that though, you want to avoid water pans or other 'wet' environments. (UDS is better than WSM..) Haven't tried it on our thighs, but its a staple for our backyard. Absolutely doesn't work below about 325 though..

Free advice, especially from a new team, is worth what you paid but there it is anyway :tongue:

SHBBQ
02-27-2012, 12:41 PM
buy this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Good-Barbecue-Fearless-Competition/dp/1592334997/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

SQUINTZ76
02-27-2012, 02:25 PM
I feel like an idiot. I just have no clue on how it could be done but then again I am Polish. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt you or Glenn, it's just illudes my small mind. We have walked in every other catagory but Chicken has always been a scourge for us. Everyone talks about Slednecks 13th place chicken but I would be happy with 13th place chicken.

I don't know the details behind this guys method....but I never scrape anymore and I have 100% consistent bite through chicken. I can cook 8 or 80 thighs....they all turn out the same.

It can be done!

southernstyle
02-28-2012, 06:35 AM
300 plus and butter flavor spray pam the last 10 min will render the skin everytime just don't try it on a scraped skin

SmokinOkie
02-28-2012, 08:54 AM
buy this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Good-Barbecue-Fearless-Competition/dp/1592334997/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Which page, the one with the 25 step process :wink:

Q-Dat
02-28-2012, 09:42 AM
Ive only done a handfull of comps, but I have a method for bite through skin with no scraping whatsoever. If you want to know what it is send me a P.M. I'm never gonna compete for T.O.Y. so what do I have to lose?