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View Full Version : KCBS thighs...to char or not


YokeUp
04-20-2011, 02:51 PM
rookie here again, been practicing my chicken thighs and thinking about whether or not to Char the skin side or never put it skin side down... Any KCBS judges out there that can lend some advice to this quandry??:attention:

QansasjayhawQ
04-20-2011, 03:01 PM
First off, could you please be more specific about what you mean by charring? Do you mean getting the skin pretty brown? Or charring the skin with close exposure to the coals? How lightly burnt would these be? Now here's a case where a picture would in fact help a lot.

Otherwise, I would think that it depends on the judge. Charring of the skin is not against the rules. If you think your product will present better with charred skin, then you may want to try it.

Most judges would think that any kind of burnt sample would score a little lower because they would have no way of telling if you intended to 'char' it or not.

I hope this helps . . . or at least gets the discussion underway.

YokeUp
04-20-2011, 03:06 PM
What I'm interested in is if there is presentation value in the eyes of the KCBS judges if you "mark" the skin... expose it for a very short time over direct coals to sear in the grill lines.... otherwise, I would leave them skin up the entire cooking process....

First off, could you please be more specific about what you mean by charring? Do you mean getting the skin pretty brown? Or charring the skin with close exposure to the coals? How lightly burnt would these be? Now here's a case where a picture would in fact help a lot.

Otherwise, I would think that it depends on the judge. Charring of the skin is not against the rules. If you think your product will present better with charred skin, then you may want to try it.

Most judges would think that any kind of burnt sample would score a little lower because they would have no way of telling if you intended to 'char' it or not.

I hope this helps . . . or at least gets the discussion underway.

QansasjayhawQ
04-20-2011, 03:27 PM
What I'm interested in is if there is presentation value in the eyes of the KCBS judges if you "mark" the skin... expose it for a very short time over direct coals to sear in the grill lines.... otherwise, I would leave them skin up the entire cooking process....
Ah - OK - grill marks.

I think that most judges think grill or grate marks are attractive. But don't over do it so that you wind up with bitter tasting burn marks - lighter but visible will probably do better.

roksmith
04-20-2011, 03:48 PM
I think what you are looking for is the Maillard Reaction. That's where meat gets its color and enhanced flavor.
Beware though.. there is a fine line between browned and burnt.

Hub
04-21-2011, 06:41 AM
Be careful here. Other than the meat marking rules and the rules for types of greenery, KCBS has no appearance standards (on purpose). Thus "trends" develop based on what has done well in prior competitions -- word really gets around. Uniformity of size, color and shape is the predominant trend currently.

Grill marks (I think that's what you're talking about) can be very attractive but they are hard to "standardize" across six pieces. Good judges will evaluate the overall look of your presentation as well as any attributes of the individual pieces. In the last few years I've noticed the "grilled" effect getting less common and the cookie cutter sameness effect becoming more common. Neither is right or wrong. When I cook, though, I always worry about the judges who have trouble scoring something "different".

I judge mainly in the southeast and trends might differ by region.

YokeUp
04-21-2011, 01:59 PM
That was very helpful, thank you very much... I will digest this and adjust accordingly. God bless ya

jeff

Be careful here. Other than the meat marking rules and the rules for types of greenery, KCBS has no appearance standards (on purpose). Thus "trends" develop based on what has done well in prior competitions -- word really gets around. Uniformity of size, color and shape is the predominant trend currently.

Grill marks (I think that's what you're talking about) can be very attractive but they are hard to "standardize" across six pieces. Good judges will evaluate the overall look of your presentation as well as any attributes of the individual pieces. In the last few years I've noticed the "grilled" effect getting less common and the cookie cutter sameness effect becoming more common. Neither is right or wrong. When I cook, though, I always worry about the judges who have trouble scoring something "different".

I judge mainly in the southeast and trends might differ by region.

MoKanMeathead
04-21-2011, 03:46 PM
I used to put grill marks on my chicken with a charcoal chimney with a great on top. After I put the grill marks on I would cook as normal. We always got great scores for presentation. I don't do this anymore because we have a similar method now that does just as good.

It did make killer grills marks - almost looked like some drew them on with a sharpie. Here is a pic.

jbrink01
04-21-2011, 04:00 PM
Where is your beer Wayne...?

Bentley
04-21-2011, 08:44 PM
What I'm interested in is if there is presentation value in the eyes of the KCBS judges if you "mark" the skin... expose it for a very short time over direct coals to sear in the grill lines.... otherwise, I would leave them skin up the entire cooking process....

I guess if the judge thinks it makes the appearance look better hard to tell them what they like...I kind of look at it in the same way as a smoke ring...But when you said Char, that to me is a distinctive flavor profile and very rarely do I taste that here in CA. I think it enhances the flavor of chicken. But if you are merely talking aesthetics, I would have to reserve judgment for when it is in front of me.

yelonutz
04-22-2011, 12:55 AM
In Clearlake last year I got a comment card that they scored me down because of grill marks. Go figure...

NUTZ

Divemaster
04-22-2011, 12:26 PM
Personally, I like the flavor of "grilled" chicken better.

The problems that can come up are:
Burnning rather than browning
Tougher skin
If you "thin" (scrape) the skin it has a tendancy to stick and tear

While I'm not discounting the apperance score, it is still only 1/7th of the total. The biggest factor is alway going to be taste.

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big brother smoke
04-22-2011, 06:18 PM
True dat, Jeff! Only thing is in my limited comp experience 3 years+ I have never seen bad appearance score with great taste, texture and tenderness scores. Folks eat with their eyes first, YMMV! :boxing:

Personally, I like the flavor of "grilled" chicken better.

The problems that can come up are:
Burnning rather than browning
Tougher skin
If you "thin" (scrape) the skin it has a tendancy to stick and tear

While I'm not discounting the apperance score, it is still only 1/7th of the total. The biggest factor is alway going to be taste.

Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk