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View Full Version : Chicken advice PLEASE!


jelser
02-10-2012, 08:24 AM
My chicken scores are killing me on my overall score. Two questions, what brand of chicken do you have the best luck with and what internal temperature do you cook thighs to?

Ford
02-10-2012, 09:31 AM
buy from sams. it does vary by region of the country. best results for me are to about 190f.

Is your problem with taste or tenderness? Is the skin bite thru? Does moisture leak out when you bite it (test 15 minutes after sending the box off for judging not before you build the box)? If you take 2 or more bites does the heat stick on your tongue? Can you taste the sweet?

If you plan to be at SAMS Tampa or Haines City maybe I can save a piece for you to taste.

jelser
02-10-2012, 10:11 AM
Ford, wow 190 seems high to me and would seem to be dry even if brined. Iíve tried it so many different ways from barely 165 to 180ish, in a butter bath, no butter bath, heavy smoke, light smoke, and Iím always scared to overcook it. At 165, it is moist but seems like the judges donít care for the texture. I have no problem getting bite thru skin. In Winter Haven last week, I brined, cooked it to 175ish without a butter bath and got hammered 45 out of 55. I will be working on taste and texture for sure before next weekend. I will be in Tampa and Haines City so Iíll take you up your offerÖsee you next weekend.

southernstyle
02-10-2012, 09:23 PM
i use publix thighs. brined and sauce at at 180. 10 min of setting sauce not really sure of the internal then. maybe 185. usually score good in chicken. are you bone in or out " makes a differance when brining and temp. i will also be in tampa. you can get a sample of mine as well.

jbrink01
02-10-2012, 09:34 PM
190, and I get it there pretty quickly. 30 - 35 minutes. Sam's or Smart Chicken.

Jacked UP BBQ
02-10-2012, 09:41 PM
bell and evans, smokin guns, BH, internal of 190 so it is soft and you could pull it. dont pull but it will have the texture of pulled pork

JimmyDAL
02-11-2012, 07:22 AM
jimmy don't know chicken, but Fatback Joe does. And his is the best i've ever had!

bover
02-11-2012, 08:43 AM
Costco thighs, and 185-190ish internal. Drum is rolling around 300 when I do them too. They cook fast.

CBQ
02-11-2012, 10:29 AM
It depends on what you temps you cook at. Using my Klose offset I would take it up to near 200, and it would get there in 25 minutes on the hottest rack. If I try that on the cooler FEC, I get dry chicken, so I go to 170 taking over an hour to get there to get similiar results.

You have to play with it, it took me about 6 months to get it right when I switched cookers.

bam
02-11-2012, 03:49 PM
Bell and Evans 185-190.

GreenDrake
02-12-2012, 08:11 AM
I do mine on a Traeger at 225, bath, seal and waterfall sauce set. I have found the Safeway fresh never frozen thighs do very well.

jelser
02-12-2012, 06:03 PM
i will also be in tampa. you can get a sample of mine as well.
Thanks Roger.

Bover, I just started cooking them on a drum areound 275-300. How long does it usually take to get to those temps?

jelser
02-12-2012, 06:06 PM
I have been cooking bone-in publix chicken and probably not cooking it long enough.

BBQ Nuts
02-12-2012, 07:51 PM
Costco bone in thighs to 175-180.

SHBBQ
02-12-2012, 09:49 PM
what if i told you i do not temp my chicken, and that it hasn't made much of a difference where i bought them. does that help at all?

boogiesnap
02-12-2012, 09:54 PM
what if i told you i do not temp my chicken, and that it hasn't made much of a difference where i bought them. does that help at all?

no.
but, how do you place?

jelser
02-12-2012, 10:00 PM
no....^^^^^what he said^^^^^^^

SHBBQ
02-12-2012, 10:20 PM
no.
but, how do you place?

7 top tens out of 12 contests

MoKanMeathead
02-13-2012, 12:17 PM
We use Smart Chicken but don't temp the thighs now. When we first started cooking our current method we temped but now just go by time. Our temps were around 180 to 190 when we did check.

BC Squared
02-13-2012, 01:38 PM
A lot about temp, not much about the Holy Grail...tender skin!

HoosierSmoke
02-13-2012, 09:12 PM
Anyone ever use something other than the thigh? How do the judges react to either using a whole chicken and including legs, pulled meat? Just curious.

big blue bbq
02-13-2012, 11:43 PM
We use Publix Greenwise, never temp. Finished in topp 125 TOY with only 9 comps in 2010 in chicken.

GreenDrake
02-14-2012, 06:57 AM
After three different brands this last weekend, I have to say that in my opinion, the chicken DOES matter. Two of the grocery store off brands I bought, one organic, were very unattractive in that they had sinewy connective tissues and sloppy fat distribution. I still just look for bright pink never frozen meat with plenty of skin and have had good luck using that selection method. The Safeway thighs I picked up were the same as I remember and trimmed easily, I could get the vein easily and scrape the skin easily. Works for me.

SmokinOkie
02-14-2012, 07:54 AM
...

Is your problem with taste or tenderness?

Ford asked a great question.

What are your scores? You should really look at them close (I tracked mine on a spreadsheet). Taste is twice as many points as tenderness which is twice as many as appearance.

Get your taste scores up to 8's, 9's

Tenderness same thing. Thing ribs. Fall off the bone ribs are overcooked, so if you overcook the thighs (190) a LITTLE, you'll get more tender. But be careful. Overcooked is a tricky area

Apprearance is important (you eat with your eyes), but I've seen people score will with lower Appearance scores but all 8's and 9's in T & T.

The_Kapn
02-14-2012, 08:02 AM
I see that you are in Winter Haven.

If you are cooking FBA as opposed to KCBS the weighting is different.

ROUGHLY 10% for appearance/presentation and 45% each for taste and tenderness.

Gotta work both taste and tenderness to score well.

My chicken (thighs) do best in the 175-190 range.

Good luck.

TIM

southernstyle
02-14-2012, 08:04 AM
Ford asked a great question.

What are your scores? You should really look at them close (I tracked mine on a spreadsheet). Taste is twice as many points as tenderness which is twice as many as appearance.

Get your taste scores up to 8's, 9's

Tenderness same thing. Thing ribs. Fall off the bone ribs are overcooked, so if you overcook the thighs (190) a LITTLE, you'll get more tender. But be careful. Overcooked is a tricky area

Apprearance is important (you eat with your eyes), but I've seen people score will with lower Appearance scores but all 8's and 9's in T & T.

jim mainly competes in the fba where tenderness makes up the bulk of the points. that being said taste is extremely important

jelser
02-14-2012, 08:19 AM
Yes I mainly compete in the FBA but also do a few KCBS per year. Turely both taste and tenderness needs some work, but tenderness scores are all over the place. I"ll make sure not to be afraid of cooking it past 175.

Chenernator
02-14-2012, 01:20 PM
Anyone ever use something other than the thigh? How do the judges react to either using a whole chicken and including legs, pulled meat? Just curious.

We used legs last year because we couldn't find any decent thighs. I thought we'd get drilled on appearance, but ended up winning the category.