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Sweet Breathe BBQ
07-27-2011, 08:13 AM
This past weekend I scraped chicken skin a day before cooking, normally I do it the morning of. After scraping I placed skins back on on a put in ziploks and back into cooler on ice. When I cooked them, the next day, the skins seemed to shrink right up on me. Has anyone else had this happen? Wondering if they lost moisture? Thinking I might have to go back to doing it morning of but would like to save some of the hassle of rushing through it. Thanks.

boogiesnap
07-27-2011, 08:29 AM
i scrape day before. no issues....yet.

but i stack them on a plate and reassemble before cooking.

don't see how that would make a difference though.

15 of them at a clip. uuuggghhhh! make me ill just thinking about it.

mclancey
07-27-2011, 08:59 AM
I scrape mine before hand as well and haven't had this problem. I vacuum seal mine when I'm done scraping and I also marinate them before cooking.

If drying is the problem you might be able to re-hydrate by marinating or brining.

J_Don
07-27-2011, 11:51 AM
I am not a Competition cook YET but definitely considering it and trying to learn everything I can here with the Brethren. Short of spending a lot of money that I don't have right now for a school I'm hoping I can get an answer to a question that's been bothering me for quite a while now. Some of you talk about taking the skin off and scraping the fat off and then reattaching the skin before putting it back on the grill. This much I understand but how do you get that bite through crispy skin without the whole skin coming off with that first bite? :confused:

Sweet Breathe BBQ
07-27-2011, 12:00 PM
magic :-P

Sweet Breathe BBQ
07-27-2011, 12:02 PM
I had never had a problem until this weekend. Maybe the cooker was heating a bit warmer than normal given the heat/humidity, and that just caused it to pull up during the cooking process. It didn't come out terrible but didn't get me a call either.

boogiesnap
07-27-2011, 02:08 PM
....

[TX]Aceboy
07-27-2011, 02:12 PM
I've heard about scraping chicken but have yet to try it. Could any of you give a few tips (perhaps with pics) on doing this. Do you remove the whole skin and place it back or just enough to get under the skin?

Disconnect
07-27-2011, 03:19 PM
I'll get pics later (our practice this weekend includes chicken) but the best tip we've come up with is secret...
:tape:
...ok I'll tell you anyway, since everyone here is so incredibly helpful :)

There is a post (I think on pickled pig) that covers most of it, but here's what we do for thighs:
Pull the skin off (gently, don't tear it) and stack them (we do them by 10s)
Throw the pile of skins in a ziplock and into an ice bath
Cut excess fat off the chicken and trim them to an even size
Put them on ice (steam tray over ice bath, plastic wrap over top) to keep them fresh
Pull the now-cold skins out and lay them inside-up
Here's the scraping part: Take a -very- sharp knife and get under the membrane between the fat and the skin itself, then gently pull and slice the fat off. If it warms up too much, throw it back in the ice for a minute and start dipping the knife also (to cool it off)
Once the fat is off (its -really- gross) you'll have nearly transparent skins, hopefully with no nicks or cuts. If they are significantly larger than your thighs, or strangely shaped, trim them up accordingly.

When you go to cook, take a thigh and lay it out bone-side down. Drape a skin over it (preferably outside-out, but if you did it right it might be hard to tell) and make sure its not a -lot- larger than the meat. Curl the ends under the meat and cook accordingly..

The trick is the ice water - makes separating the fat a LOT easier. Otherwise the membrane is glued down and you end up basically shaving gooey fat off one microscopic layer at a time..

(We have another technique that we're practicing this weekend, might cut a lot of the manual labor out of that process. I hope. We've done about 100 of them in the last month, practicing, and while it gets faster it doesn't get any more fun...)

And our first competition isn't till Sept, so this advice may be worth less than you paid for it ;)

[TX]Aceboy
07-27-2011, 07:46 PM
I'll get pics later (our practice this weekend includes chicken) but the best tip we've come up with is secret...
:tape:
...ok I'll tell you anyway, since everyone here is so incredibly helpful :)

There is a post (I think on pickled pig) that covers most of it, but here's what we do for thighs:
Pull the skin off (gently, don't tear it) and stack them (we do them by 10s)
Throw the pile of skins in a ziplock and into an ice bath
Cut excess fat off the chicken and trim them to an even size
Put them on ice (steam tray over ice bath, plastic wrap over top) to keep them fresh
Pull the now-cold skins out and lay them inside-up
Here's the scraping part: Take a -very- sharp knife and get under the membrane between the fat and the skin itself, then gently pull and slice the fat off. If it warms up too much, throw it back in the ice for a minute and start dipping the knife also (to cool it off)
Once the fat is off (its -really- gross) you'll have nearly transparent skins, hopefully with no nicks or cuts. If they are significantly larger than your thighs, or strangely shaped, trim them up accordingly.

When you go to cook, take a thigh and lay it out bone-side down. Drape a skin over it (preferably outside-out, but if you did it right it might be hard to tell) and make sure its not a -lot- larger than the meat. Curl the ends under the meat and cook accordingly..

The trick is the ice water - makes separating the fat a LOT easier. Otherwise the membrane is glued down and you end up basically shaving gooey fat off one microscopic layer at a time..

(We have another technique that we're practicing this weekend, might cut a lot of the manual labor out of that process. I hope. We've done about 100 of them in the last month, practicing, and while it gets faster it doesn't get any more fun...)

And our first competition isn't till Sept, so this advice may be worth less than you paid for it ;)

That's awesome man, thanks for the tips. I'm going to try that a few times this weekend and see how it turns out.

Pelkster
07-27-2011, 09:07 PM
I don't scrape my skins, but my cooking process gets me bite through skin every time. I tried scraping once, but it was way too much work, and I found it unneccessary. Finished 10th last time out :-D

glenntm
07-27-2011, 09:22 PM
I don't scrape my skins, but my cooking process gets me bite through skin every time. I tried scraping once, but it was way too much work, and I found it unneccessary. Finished 10th last time out :-D

I agree with Keith. There are methods to cook chicken where scrapping is not required. It takes a little practice, and cooking at the proper temperatures.

CTSmokehouse
07-27-2011, 09:32 PM
I am not a Competition cook YET but definitely considering it and trying to learn everything I can here with the Brethren. Short of spending a lot of money that I don't have right now for a school I'm hoping I can get an answer to a question that's been bothering me for quite a while now. Some of you talk about taking the skin off and scraping the fat off and then reattaching the skin before putting it back on the grill. This much I understand but how do you get that bite through crispy skin without the whole skin coming off with that first bite? :confused:

That is the million dollar question! The search for the Holly Grail....

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff

J_Don
07-28-2011, 07:23 AM
I'll get pics later (our practice this weekend includes chicken) but the best tip we've come up with is secret...
:tape:
...ok I'll tell you anyway, since everyone here is so incredibly helpful :)

There is a post (I think on pickled pig) that covers most of it, but here's what we do for thighs:
Pull the skin off (gently, don't tear it) and stack them (we do them by 10s)
Throw the pile of skins in a ziplock and into an ice bath
Cut excess fat off the chicken and trim them to an even size
Put them on ice (steam tray over ice bath, plastic wrap over top) to keep them fresh
Pull the now-cold skins out and lay them inside-up
Here's the scraping part: Take a -very- sharp knife and get under the membrane between the fat and the skin itself, then gently pull and slice the fat off. If it warms up too much, throw it back in the ice for a minute and start dipping the knife also (to cool it off)
Once the fat is off (its -really- gross) you'll have nearly transparent skins, hopefully with no nicks or cuts. If they are significantly larger than your thighs, or strangely shaped, trim them up accordingly.

When you go to cook, take a thigh and lay it out bone-side down. Drape a skin over it (preferably outside-out, but if you did it right it might be hard to tell) and make sure its not a -lot- larger than the meat. Curl the ends under the meat and cook accordingly..

The trick is the ice water - makes separating the fat a LOT easier. Otherwise the membrane is glued down and you end up basically shaving gooey fat off one microscopic layer at a time..

(We have another technique that we're practicing this weekend, might cut a lot of the manual labor out of that process. I hope. We've done about 100 of them in the last month, practicing, and while it gets faster it doesn't get any more fun...)

And our first competition isn't till Sept, so this advice may be worth less than you paid for it ;)

Thank you very much for your reply and much appreciated instructions. I also see other replys saying that this is not needed. This may be true also but that is the way I have been cooking yardbird all my life so I think I know how to grill chicken without pulling the skin. The reason I was asking this was because of all the hoopla I saw watching the BBQ Pitmaster series with so many trying to copy Myron Mixon with the trimmed thighs all being the same size, stuffing them in a muffin pan etc. I know that everyone does not try to do this and it is probably just part of the series. I also know that presentation is scored so now at least I have something to work with. Thanks again for your reply. :thumb:

JayAre
07-28-2011, 07:38 AM
For what its worth...when I scrape skins, I dont use a knife...I use a 3 dollar 1 inch red devil paint scraper, job is done in half the time of a knife. I can scrape and trim 18 thighs in 45 minutes

Sweet Breathe BBQ
07-28-2011, 07:47 AM
Thanks for all the great ideas

Crash
07-29-2011, 03:41 AM
I agree with Keith. There are methods to cook chicken where scrapping is not required. It takes a little practice, and cooking at the proper temperatures.
Hook me up then Tom....:-D. You know we're no threat at all now....not like we ever were before on the CHX....LOL

glenntm
07-29-2011, 11:23 AM
Hook me up then Tom....:-D. You know we're no threat at all now....not like we ever were before on the CHX....LOL

Your a great chicken cooker. I don't think you need my help. Never know you might come back to Arizona.

Jeff_in_KC
07-29-2011, 11:30 AM
I am not a Competition cook YET but definitely considering it and trying to learn everything I can here with the Brethren. Short of spending a lot of money that I don't have right now for a school I'm hoping I can get an answer to a question that's been bothering me for quite a while now. Some of you talk about taking the skin off and scraping the fat off and then reattaching the skin before putting it back on the grill. This much I understand but how do you get that bite through crispy skin without the whole skin coming off with that first bite? :confused:

You cannot get crispy skin with smoked chicken. Not happening. Your goal should be bite-through skin. There are tricks to getting bite through skin with smoked chicken. That's the way to go.

Sawdustguy
07-29-2011, 11:43 AM
Thank you very much for your reply and much appreciated instructions. I also see other replys saying that this is not needed. This may be true also but that is the way I have been cooking yardbird all my life so I think I know how to grill chicken without pulling the skin. The reason I was asking this was because of all the hoopla I saw watching the BBQ Pitmaster series with so many trying to copy Myron Mixon with the trimmed thighs all being the same size, stuffing them in a muffin pan etc. I know that everyone does not try to do this and it is probably just part of the series. I also know that presentation is scored so now at least I have something to work with. Thanks again for your reply. :thumb:

Most all of the pros scrape the skin. I know Myron Mixon scrapes the skin. Most pros smoke the chicken instead of grilling to get the smokey flavor the judges look for.

Crash
07-30-2011, 01:58 AM
Your a great chicken cooker. I don't think you need my help. Never know you might come back to Arizona.
Pretty sure we'll manage to stumble through life out here and not move back to AZ. That being said, I've helped you and Paul out PLENTY by drinking your beer.....least you could do is offer some chicken advice. :becky:

Crash
07-30-2011, 02:02 AM
Most pros smoke the chicken instead of grilling to get the smokey flavor the judges look for.

With all due respect, I don't think that's accurate. It might actually be the opposite...."might" is the key word.

Most comp cooks that I know......well, umm, they.....never mind. I've already said too much.

Greendriver
07-30-2011, 09:19 AM
This past weekend I scraped chicken skin a day before cooking, normally I do it the morning of. After scraping I placed skins back on on a put in ziploks and back into cooler on ice. When I cooked them, the next day, the skins seemed to shrink right up on me. Has anyone else had this happen? Wondering if they lost moisture? Thinking I might have to go back to doing it morning of but would like to save some of the hassle of rushing through it. Thanks.

I'm guessing they only shrunk up like they did because the thighs were not trimmed down small enough. when mine finish cooking I have plenty of coverage and in fact before they go on the cooker the skin some times overlaps the thigh (meaning I had enough skin to wrap around the thigh and then some). As far a drying out before they are put on - seems like that would be a + in a good final product.

azwildcat
07-30-2011, 08:19 PM
I agree with Keith. There are methods to cook chicken where scrapping is not required. It takes a little practice, and cooking at the proper temperatures.

I scraped for the first year of competition, never got me anywhere. Stopped scraping, cook them now at 315 in a UDS (in a pan) before taking out and flipping on an open UDS to finish, my bite thru was still good and my scores went way up. Gotta marinade and trim well though.

Disconnect
07-31-2011, 01:22 PM
For what its worth...when I scrape skins, I dont use a knife...I use a 3 dollar 1 inch red devil paint scraper, job is done in half the time of a knife. I can scrape and trim 18 thighs in 45 minutes

Wow. Tried it yesterday (only found a 2" but same basic idea, plastic paint scraper) and most skins are under 2 minutes this way. (Less if the cutting board is dry enough for them to stick instead of sliding around.)

Just wow. You are AWESOME! Thanks! :clap2:

Greendriver
07-31-2011, 01:37 PM
paper towel in hand helps me keep that skin from sliding same as it helps pull membrane off ribs.

azmark
07-31-2011, 03:31 PM
I did half a pack of thighs from Costco and man I can see how prepping chicken can be a drag. We'll see how they taste tonight.

Thanks for the great tips:thumb:

QansasjayhawQ
07-31-2011, 07:42 PM
I use a BernzOMatic Hand Torch (http://www.bernzomatic.com/quickfire-hand-torch.aspx) to render the fat off the underside of the skin - no scraping for me!






(just kidding)

Sweet Breathe BBQ
07-31-2011, 08:24 PM
I think my temps were a bit high. This weekend I scraped/trimmed morning of, reduced initial temps and didn't have a problem. I did trim the thighs down a bit more than usual and I think that helped too. I was pretty happy with the results, scored a 6th place.

Sledneck
07-31-2011, 09:16 PM
I think my temps were a bit high. This weekend I scraped/trimmed morning of, reduced initial temps and didn't have a problem. I did trim the thighs down a bit more than usual and I think that helped too. I was pretty happy with the results, scored a 6th place.

Congrats on the gc

azmark
07-31-2011, 10:36 PM
Good grief, did the prep for the first time and scrapping is the sickest thing :sick: But it was an amazing piece of chicken doing it that way.

I by the time I was done scraping I wasn't in the mood to form the thighs and trim them so I just placed the skin on top and in they went. It was worth all of the work though.

Thanks for the tips!