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View Full Version : Why scrape fat off the thighs?


QTEX
10-30-2012, 04:09 PM
Just curious as we use whole halves in Texas but have seen it mentioned on Pitmasters and on various forums about scraping off the fat from the chicken thighs. Doesnt fat add flavor and moisture and juiciness? We cook thighs at home all the time and have never scraped them and just have never thought I needed to. Just wondering out loud.

cpw
10-30-2012, 04:10 PM
If you scrape the fat of the skin, it helps to give bite through skin.

indianagriller
10-30-2012, 04:24 PM
you can achieve bite through skin without all the work

RangerJ
10-30-2012, 04:58 PM
Just curious as we use whole halves in Texas but have seen it mentioned on Pitmasters and on various forums about scraping off the fat from the chicken thighs. Doesnt fat add flavor and moisture and juiciness? We cook thighs at home all the time and have never scraped them and just have never thought I needed to. Just wondering out loud.

At some point at the house, that skin typically comes off and slaps you in the chin.

Which at home, is not a big deal. Sort of like ribs that fall off the bone.

While I don't think it has a thing to do with how I cook that particular piece, when I cook KCBS I adopt to what the perception is.

Not sure what temperature you cook at, but ramp it up, the fat will render out.

wjwheeler
10-30-2012, 05:55 PM
We all "love" prepping chicken. I was thrilled to hear Myron Mixon say "if you scrape the fat off the skin you are removing the flavor." I'll never scrape another chicken skin.

DawgPhan
10-30-2012, 07:43 PM
because the internet told all the new teams it was the thing to do.

fnbish
10-30-2012, 07:51 PM
because the internet told all the new teams it was the thing to do.

There isn't anything the Internet doesn't say so it kind of covers the entire spectrum of things to try one way or another.

QTEX
10-30-2012, 09:20 PM
because the internet told all the new teams it was the thing to do.

lol

As far as the bite through skin, seems to be okay for me without the scrape if you cook it hot enough. Tnx for the answers though.

HookedonSmoke
10-31-2012, 08:06 AM
I haven't found that taking time to scrape the skin has made a big difference in the end result. In addition, I'm not sure that the risk of tearing the skin is worth it.

Podge
10-31-2012, 08:15 AM
Scraping flavor off the skin is for people who do not know how to achieve bite-thru skin without doing so.

fnbish
10-31-2012, 09:34 AM
Scraping flavor off the skin is for people who do not know how to achieve bite-thru skin without doing so.

I do agree that scraping makes it easier and it can be achieved without scraping.

So to your statement would you also say people that use margarine/butter bath, higher temperature cooking, muffin pan cooking, foiling, using chicken broth to steam or any other technique other than just putting chicken straight on the smoker don't know how to achieve bite through skin and are using those techniques as a crutch for being not as skillful as a cook.

A good question is at what point are people then throwing skill out the window?

DawgPhan
10-31-2012, 09:45 AM
I do agree that scraping makes it easier and it can be achieved without scraping.

So to your statement would you also say people that use margarine/butter bath, higher temperature cooking, muffin pan cooking, foiling, using chicken broth to steam or any other technique other than just putting chicken straight on the smoker don't know how to achieve bite through skin and are using those techniques as a crutch for being not as skillful as a cook.

A good question is at what point are people then throwing skill out the window?


there are no shortcuts in the bbq. getting judges to like your food takes skill.

polishdon
10-31-2012, 09:51 AM
I do it because it adds trophies to my collection. In our last 5 comps we placed 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 17th place (72 teams).

fnbish
10-31-2012, 09:57 AM
there are no shortcuts in the bbq. getting judges to like your food takes skill.

I totally agree with you. But it seems as podge might not which is fine but i just wanted to clarify which is why i asked. Seems like scraping could be considered a "shortcut" to some.

glenntm
10-31-2012, 10:25 AM
There is no need to scrape chicken skin if you are cooking it properly. It's all about time and temperature.

fnbish
10-31-2012, 10:33 AM
There is no need to scrape chicken skin if you are cooking it properly. It's all about time and temperature.

Do you use any of the cooking techniques i mentioned above or do you simply get bite through skin from putting chicken straight on your cooker?

glenntm
10-31-2012, 11:28 AM
Do you use any of the cooking techniques i mentioned above or do you simply get bite through skin from putting chicken straight on your cooker?

It's more than just throw it on the pit. We use a combination of what you talked about earlier. A lot of it has to do with your pit, temperature, and dry or wet. At the end of the day its really about practice and figuring out what works for your style of cooking.

indianagriller
10-31-2012, 11:28 AM
Scraping flavor off the skin is for people who do not know how to achieve bite-thru skin without doing so.

When this guys talks... I listen

huminie
10-31-2012, 11:32 AM
Skin scraping is a brute force way to achieving bite through skin, and by doing so you give up a lot in terms of flavor and moisture. It is also no "short cut" in terms of prep time.

Finding a way to achieve bite through skin without scraping is ideal as it will save you time and allow you to create a more flavorful and moist end product.

Wampus
10-31-2012, 11:56 AM
I think the OP was just asking what was the whole idea behind scraping chicken skin.

That was answered correctly by stating that the whole point was to achieve bite through skin.

It has also been stated (by a couple of people I KNOW know what they're talking about :wink:) that this isn't necessary to achieve bite through skin. That doesn't mean that these people just throw the chicken on the smoker though. And I doubt that these guys are gonna tell you exactly what they DO do to achieve their goal.

Bottom line for me? Scraping skin is one way to get the skin the judges like. There are other ways as well. Is one better than the rest? Dunno. We all have to start somewhere. I know people who have scored well by scraping and people who have scored well without it.

Different strokes.


I ALSO think it depends on the chicken thighs. We've bought some that had a THICK layer of fat under the skin and have bought others that had very little fat.


All I know is......chicken prep SUCKS.

fnbish
10-31-2012, 12:39 PM
It's more than just throw it on the pit. We use a combination of what you talked about earlier. A lot of it has to do with your pit, temperature, and dry or wet. At the end of the day its really about practice and figuring out what works for your style of cooking.

Gotcha and I'm really just kind of playing devils advocate here because when I see comments like "if you use 'x' technique for cooking product 'y' then you don't know how to cook properly" it makes me wonder what things they may be doing that could also be construed as a "crutch" technique. So for chicken the butter bath helps to achieve the bite through as can brining, muffin pan, a foiled pan, etc.

Just wondering for those who think scraping skin is a crutch or "shows lack bbq skill in how to achieve bite through skin" then rank the other "techniques" I mentioned as to which are allowable without crossing the line of not being a skillful cook.

ique
10-31-2012, 12:45 PM
I think the OP was just asking what was the whole idea behind scraping chicken skin.

That was answered correctly by stating that the whole point was to achieve bite through skin.

It has also been stated (by a couple of people I KNOW know what they're talking about :wink:) that this isn't necessary to achieve bite through skin. That doesn't mean that these people just throw the chicken on the smoker though. And I doubt that these guys are gonna tell you exactly what they DO do to achieve their goal.

Bottom line for me? Scraping skin is one way to get the skin the judges like. There are other ways as well. Is one better than the rest? Dunno. We all have to start somewhere. I know people who have scored well by scraping and people who have scored well without it.

Different strokes.


I ALSO think it depends on the chicken thighs. We've bought some that had a THICK layer of fat under the skin and have bought others that had very little fat.

Ding, ding, ding. I've prepped chicken both ways and won plenty of ribbons both ways. I can assure you its possible to have plenty of flavor and moisture in a prep with scraped skins.

Podge
10-31-2012, 01:03 PM
I do agree that scraping makes it easier and it can be achieved without scraping.

So to your statement would you also say people that use margarine/butter bath, higher temperature cooking, muffin pan cooking, foiling, using chicken broth to steam or any other technique other than just putting chicken straight on the smoker don't know how to achieve bite through skin and are using those techniques as a crutch for being not as skillful as a cook.

A good question is at what point are people then throwing skill out the window?

The biggest contributing factor to bite thru skin, IMO, is quality of the chicken itself. Any technique used to get bite thru skin takes skill regardless. Using a technique to achieve bite thru skin, and still leave the fat in it, I believe takes different processes, which I believe ends up with a better product. I've scraped the skins plenty of times in competitions, did so for about a year. For me, I believe it's a waste of time, as I've never had a problem with bite thru skin for the last 6 years.

Looking back at my original post, it sounds insulting and for that I apologize. I reckon I more or less meant to say, is that sraping the skin is the very easy way to get bite thru, with just about any process. Like I've said above, I've given it a shot for a season, and decided to go back to my old way.

Still Smokin
10-31-2012, 02:46 PM
In my last comp, I scraped and did not get bite thru skin. I keep saying I am going to practice different techniques, but just have not found the time to do so.

didisea
10-31-2012, 02:50 PM
I think that part of whether you need to scrape the fat out of the skin depends on the chicken itself. There is one brand that I like because of the clarity of the skin and taste of the meat, but I cannot get it to bit through unless I scrape the skin.
The family pack of plain ole thighs I don't need to scrape and I can get it to bit through.

Q-Dat
10-31-2012, 03:01 PM
I think the real trick is knowing that your skin is bite through without having to bite it. Once you can do that you just need to find the method that gives you that with the most consistency.

big brother smoke
10-31-2012, 03:35 PM
I filet and will keep filleting my chicken skins until my scores tell me different. :boxing::cool:

bruno994
10-31-2012, 03:38 PM
I cook the chicken halves here in Texas and scrape just the heavy fat off the skin covering the breast and thigh. I am not shooting for bite thru skin as the judges in IBCA just take samples with a plastic forks and knives. Brine, smoke for 2 hours, then sauce for color. Top 10 in all 4 comps this year in chicken.

smokeyw
10-31-2012, 07:26 PM
Chris,
I have to agree with you. I just did my second competition and got a 6th place call in chicken. I had practiced chicken prior to the competition and tryed a lot of different methods but could not get the consistency I wanted so I ended up scraping the skins. I would still like to do chicken without scraping and will continue to experiment.

By the way my girlfriend just bought me Wicked Good Barbecue. It looks really good. I can't wait to try some of the techniques and recipes.

Ding, ding, ding. I've prepped chicken both ways and won plenty of ribbons both ways. I can assure you its possible to have plenty of flavor and moisture in a prep with scraped skins.

Pelkster
11-01-2012, 07:23 AM
I do it because it adds trophies to my collection. In our last 5 comps we placed 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 17th place (72 teams).

I don't scrape the skins and in my 5 competitions this year I finished 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 24th (out of 60). :becky:

NorthwestBBQ
11-01-2012, 07:30 AM
Scrape the skin and hot tub them.