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Fat Freddy
01-31-2013, 04:27 PM
Getting ready for the new season and I have a question on KCBS chicken.

Last year I did butter bath thighs and was very inconsistent. I think part was my trimming and I think some may have just been the size of the chicken itself. But the main problem was just me.

For home and practice I cook quite a bite of boneless skinless breasts and have always been pretty happy, but like I say thats just at home. I feel the breast are for the most part a constant size, easy to trim and slice and a blank slate for whatever flavors I want to go with. I do understand the window for a perfect chicken breast is small and that is a downside. I also dont want to trim my chicken breasts off a bird because I am lazy, so they would not have skin. So if I was to think about going this route would the lack of skin potentially hurt my scores?

I have even kicked around the idea of breasts and thighs in the box, but I feel that would be harder than I really want.

I would appreciate any thoughts on chicken thighs vs chicken breasts

hogzillas
01-31-2013, 04:41 PM
As mostly a judge/sometime competitor, I'd go w/ not always the case on the skinless breasts. Depends on if the box is a breast only box or a combo box. If breast only, I'd say you might get dinged some by some of the judges but a combo (from the ones I've had) mostly don't have skin on the breasts & it's one breast sliced into 6+ chunks along w/ thighs. With breasts, I think the tenderness/moistness is the primary factor in how it's scored overall by a judge. Remember don't put anything in that box that doesn't add positively to your box. If you make the best thighs in the universe but breasts suck, don't use them as your overall score will be brought down by the breasts.

The_Kapn
01-31-2013, 04:46 PM
Cook what you cook best and turn it in.

TIM

Red Valley BBQ
01-31-2013, 05:20 PM
We have had success with breasts only and also with thighs and breasts (5th in chicken at The Jack). When we decide to use breasts we also cook thighs just in case the breasts aren't perfect. If you are looking to possible turn in both, consider doing boneless thighs that way everything will fit in the box without being to cramped.

Ron_L
01-31-2013, 05:22 PM
Cook the breasts like you would at a comp, do your box just as you would, close it, and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Then try the breasts and see if you like the results. I'll bet that they will have dried out.

Q-Dat
01-31-2013, 10:57 PM
Cook the breasts like you would at a comp, do your box just as you would, close it, and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Then try the breasts and see if you like the results. I'll bet that they will have dried out.

I would agree. I wonder if most folks that try to use breasts are using the wrong approach. Every time I see or hear about them being used it is large chicken breasts that are sliced and put in the box. What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.

Red Valley BBQ
01-31-2013, 11:04 PM
What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.

Interesting idea. I had never considered that. There may be a few practice cooks in my future.

boogiesnap
02-01-2013, 02:46 AM
i think an inherent problem with breast is even at it's tenderest and juiciest it will never match that of a thigh.

while judge as presented is the guideline, still a big hurdle to overcome.

Eggspert
02-01-2013, 08:04 AM
We did breasts and thighs for part of the season last year. We just felt like it was more work to keep track of the breast, and slice it along with the thighs. Also we used smart chicken breasts and they are bone in skin on (if you want the skin). Then for boxing we just de-boned, and sliced into 6 nice pieces. We had to order a case to get them at our local store, so just started to be a pain to have all the chicken in my freezer so we dropped the breast out of the box. Didn't see a change in scores really, won't likely go back to breasts again unless we need more challenge, ha, ha.

Eggspert BBQ

Ron_L
02-01-2013, 08:12 AM
I would agree. I wonder if most folks that try to use breasts are using the wrong approach. Every time I see or hear about them being used it is large chicken breasts that are sliced and put in the box. What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.

That would be my approach, and they wouldn't be skinless or boneless. BUT, finding breasts that small would seem to be a problem. The trend seems to be bigger breasts, not smaller (Yeah, I'm talking about chickens! Keep it on topic :-D)

Q-Dat
02-01-2013, 09:14 AM
That would be my approach, and they wouldn't be skinless or boneless. BUT, finding breasts that small would seem to be a problem. The trend seems to be bigger breasts, not smaller (Yeah, I'm talking about chickens! Keep it on topic :-D)

Yeah the ones I usually see are pretty big. Might have to get them off of whole chickens.

Fat Freddy
02-01-2013, 09:29 AM
We did breasts and thighs for part of the season last year. We just felt like it was more work to keep track of the breast, and slice it along with the thighs. Also we used smart chicken breasts and they are bone in skin on (if you want the skin). Then for boxing we just de-boned, and sliced into 6 nice pieces. We had to order a case to get them at our local store, so just started to be a pain to have all the chicken in my freezer so we dropped the breast out of the box. Didn't see a change in scores really, won't likely go back to breasts again unless we need more challenge, ha, ha.

Eggspert BBQ

Around here it is just the opposite. Hyvee carries the boneless skinless smart chicken breasts everyday. But to get smart chicken thighs I have to order a whole case(supposed to be here tomorrow).

DawgPhan
02-01-2013, 09:46 AM
breast meat can be great...as good or better than thighs, but thighs are so easy. why make it more difficult?

Candy Sue
02-01-2013, 09:57 AM
I would agree. I wonder if most folks that try to use breasts are using the wrong approach. Every time I see or hear about them being used it is large chicken breasts that are sliced and put in the box. What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.

I've trimmed up skin-on breasts to look just like thighs. Overbrined and they came out the texture of chicken lunchmeat, but plenty juicy. Was about mid-teens if I remember correctly. I've only done it the one time.

Stoke&Smoke
02-01-2013, 01:49 PM
We used to do breasts, bone in, skin on, removed from bone just before putting in the box. It was moist and juicy, and what didn't go into the box was still moist and juicy 45 minutes later, or more.

But we found judges like thighs mostly. Best we did was a 5th place call. Meh....gotta do what scores I guess!:doh:

Podge
02-01-2013, 03:10 PM
Two rules:
#1 Be the best at cooking thighs.
#2 Turn in what you cook best.

sdbbq1234
02-01-2013, 03:18 PM
When I buy chickens or parts from a butcher up in Maryland, they are a lot smaller than what is from the grocery store. Free range chickens are a lot leaner and smaller from what I have found.

I wonder about getting some breats from them and see what sizes they are? Might be interesting to try 6 small breasts.

wallace

Eggspert
02-01-2013, 04:20 PM
Around here it is just the opposite. Hyvee carries the boneless skinless smart chicken breasts everyday. But to get smart chicken thighs I have to order a whole case(supposed to be here tomorrow).

Yes, you do have to order a whole case. In the grand scene chicken is pretty cheap. Hyvee can get bone in skin on breasts also, special order again and you will likely have to take another case. Do you see why we scrapped the breasts. I don't like frozen chicken for competitions and it was getting a little crazy!

Eggspert BBQ

Harbormaster
02-01-2013, 06:36 PM
We cook breasts for comps.
I start with bone in skin on and fillet the beasts off the bone before cooking.
We have gotten calls turning in breasts, but we have sucked at it too.

Stoke&Smoke
02-01-2013, 08:21 PM
We cook breasts for comps.
I start with bone in skin on and fillet the beasts off the bone before cooking.
We have gotten calls turning in breasts, but we have sucked at it too.

It does seem more recent crops of judges are more willing try something different

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

Big Mike
02-01-2013, 08:22 PM
I have turned in a box with nothing but boneless, skinless breast. Outside of my Jack turn-in, it was probably the best chicken I have ever turned in. It came in 23rd so the judges obviously had a different opinion than me.:shock:

I believe it was boogiesnap above that said no matter how tender or juicy the breast is, it is just not the same as a thigh and he is right.

I have talked to folks about this before and I really believe that judges are so used to judging thighs that when they get breast they have a hard time with the tenderness in particular. A tender breast has a different texture (don't know if that is really the word I am looking for) than a tender thigh and I think that gets lost in the translation when being judged. Hopefully that makes sense.