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Eggspert
04-18-2013, 04:26 PM
I know there are a lot of past threads about chicken. I have read them all. I have searched high and low on the internet. I have also been to a class and seen a top scoring chicken recipe. I still do not get cooking chicken thighs.

I buy top quality chicken, use pieces weighing around .4-.5 prior to trimming, remove copious fat, trim to a nice shape, and use a commercial rub and sauce frequently used in competition BBQ. No injection or brine/marinade. We cook at 275.

My issues:
#1 skin: I can get bit through skin without too much issue, but it doesn't taste good. In my opinion it doesn't have a nice texture. It's soft and kind of slimy. It is bite through, but if it were me eating it, I would pull it off and slather sauce straight on the chicken. I have tried oil, parkay, plugra, butter, and a mix of all in the bottom of the pan and on top of the chicken.

#2 Meat Flavor: I am struggling to get flavor in the meat. The sauce is so flavorful, but if you just taste the meat, it is pretty bland. We don't use wood, because in my opinion it over smokes chicken. Just lump charcoal.

#3 Consistency: I cook the darn chicken the same way every time. The thighs are the same size and sometimes the meat is over done and dry/mealy/grainy. While a piece right next to it is dripping with juices and rubbery texture. Then the third piece will be perfect. I can't figure out why some pieces of chicken are good and some are not.

Any help is appreciated!

Eggspert

boogiesnap
04-18-2013, 04:35 PM
brine the meat. try oakridge game changer.

ViciousGame
04-18-2013, 04:38 PM
Scrape the fat off the skin and then reapply prior to cooking. That'll help get you bite-through skin without the slimy unrendered fat.

sfisch
04-18-2013, 04:46 PM
Remember you are cooking for the judges not your personal taste preference, throw some fruit wood on, the mild smoke penetrates the meat adding flavor as does the rubs mentioned above. Good luck.

Ford
04-18-2013, 04:55 PM
Congrats. You're one of the field fillers that cooks for themselves not for judges. If you want to win, do what they did in class. Scrape skin, brine, cook in butter in a pan, trim knuckles, use wood chunks, cook hot 300, take chicken to 185. And practice. And sauce.

Fat Freddy
04-18-2013, 06:04 PM
How long do you foil your pan? I do an hour and am pretty happy so far.

Pickin' Porkers
04-18-2013, 07:48 PM
I quit reading when I read...we do not use wood.

gettinbasted
04-18-2013, 08:17 PM
brine the meat. try oakridge game changer.

This

Butt Rubb'n BBQ
04-18-2013, 09:00 PM
Just like boogiesnap said brine the chicken and all your problems will go away. You will never have dry chicken again unless you over cook it. Do you cook it wet or dry. Mine use to come out slimy as well and I stopped turning it over and now I cook it skin side up all the way and that problem went away. The secret to the brine is to put your rub in the brine and simmer it for a little while to infuse the flavors and your chicken should be super flavorful. What internal temp do you cook it to?

ViciousGame
04-18-2013, 09:02 PM
brine the meat. try oakridge game changer.

What's the advantage to brining rather than injecting it with something like FAB C or Butcher BBQ Bird Booster...or simply chicken broth?

Butt Rubb'n BBQ
04-18-2013, 09:20 PM
I'm not familiar with the other mixes you mention but the salt from the brine will pull the flavors into the meat and when you brine it completely changes the texture of the meat. Brining makes the meat moister by hydrating the cells and allows them to hang on to their moisture during the cooking process. All that happens through diffusion.

Q-Dat
04-18-2013, 10:22 PM
I've had it with them too. I'm sick of trimming them all to look alike only to have none of them look alike after cooking.

I'm about to start some "groundbreaking" wing and drumstick experiments. Ok maybe not groundbreaking, but I have high hopes.

boogiesnap
04-18-2013, 10:29 PM
What's the advantage to brining rather than injecting it with something like FAB C or Butcher BBQ Bird Booster...or simply chicken broth?

other than it is a whole lot easier, i see no advantage.

flavor profile's *gulp* aside.

boogiesnap
04-18-2013, 10:32 PM
I quit reading when I read...we do not use wood.

many do not use raw wood to flavor their chicken. charcoal or wood coal only.

i think the "many" may be some of the best.

quit reading and end learning.

rtc
04-18-2013, 10:53 PM
I'd be happy to give you the Chicken Secrets if you guys are willing to give up the Tri-Tip secret...

Mad About Que
04-18-2013, 11:01 PM
Here's a question, anyone ever thought to try...wait.... Gonna try it myself before I ask here.. Don't wanna give away a trick. Ha. What I do.., trim down and brine. Google any basic brine for ratios. I let that sit for 8 hours or so then rinse. Rub just before it goes on. I have been cooking in low sodium chic broth, skin down for about 90 min, turn over and take out of juice then let go another 30 or so. Glaze for 15. Not sure about judges, but the num-nuts friends that graze at the house used to not talk about the chic, and now I get requests. For whatever that's worth.. My trail trick is going to be using buttermilk and seasoning for brine. Makes killer fried chick. Can't see why smoked would be any different. And no wood? Pffffft. I use small pecan chunk for first 30 to 45 min...

Mad About Que
04-18-2013, 11:03 PM
I'd be happy to give you the Chicken Secrets if you guys are willing to give up the Tri-Tip secret...

Olive oil salt and pepper. 325 until internal is 135.. Slice thin. It's friggin awesome beside the chic in the above posts....

ViciousGame
04-18-2013, 11:26 PM
other than it is a whole lot easier, i see no advantage.

flavor profile's *gulp* aside.

So you think brining is a lot easier than injecting? Perhaps I'll give it a shot.

ViciousGame
04-18-2013, 11:31 PM
many do not use raw wood to flavor their chicken. charcoal or wood coal only.

i think the "many" may be some of the best.

quit reading and end learning.

FWIW a well known pitmaster out west you won KCBS TOY Chicken for 2012 said that he does not use any wood lately to flavor his chicken...only the smoke from the burning coals.

Crash
04-19-2013, 04:14 AM
FWIW a well known pitmaster out west you won KCBS TOY Chicken for 2012 said that he does not use any wood lately to flavor his chicken...only the smoke from the burning coals.

That same cook says that he cooks thighs to an internal temp of 145 and then lets it carry over to 150 before it goes in the box. Is there some truth to it.....who knows??

Butcher BBQ
04-19-2013, 06:39 AM
What's the advantage to brining rather than injecting it with something like FAB C or Butcher BBQ Bird Booster...or simply chicken broth?


I will give the results of what we got on 2 different occasions. We used untrimmed thighs. We did a test on weight ( since weight is moisture ). 3 different mixes. 1- we weighed to start, used an over the counter soak available to buy, 2- we weighed to start, used our Bird Booster. So we had a starting, reweighed in one hour, 2nd hour, 3rd hour, and the 4th hour. At this point the 1#product that was soaking (brining) gained 6.5% weight and the #2 injected had gained 22%. I decided to take this to the extreme and said lets let all the product set over night. We only had fractions of change over night.

I couldn't replicate every way of cooking so I decided to take the product out of the brines and I then set it on a raised cookie sheet and let it set for 1 hour to see how it retained the moisture. Both products lost less then 1% in weight.

So my finding are 7% gain with saoking/brining or 22% gain with Bird Booster injecting. I will also say I had no Fab C to run a test with.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
04-19-2013, 07:10 AM
I actually do use FAB C (and D) and can say that even though I have never weighed the end product that it comes out bursting with juice. I believe that the Fab helps keep it in while adding flavor. I probably add 1-2 oz. of injection per chicken piece.

Eggspert
04-19-2013, 07:44 AM
I'd be happy to give you the Chicken Secrets if you guys are willing to give up the Tri-Tip secret...

Ha, ha, ha . . . Tri-Tip is easy compared to making chicken that you can't wait to eat after cleaning 15 of them! Tri-tip you just rub with olive oil, season with Santa Maria, let it sit with rub and come to room temp. Then cook at 250 indirect for 30-45 with cherry wood, then sear it till you get medium rare temp. Rest for 15-20 minutes, slice against the grain and enjoy! It helps to get waygu tri-tips too!

Eggspert

Eggspert
04-19-2013, 07:48 AM
I will give the results of what we got on 2 different occasions. We used untrimmed thighs. We did a test on weight ( since weight is moisture ). 3 different mixes. 1- we weighed to start, used an over the counter soak available to buy, 2- we weighed to start, used our Bird Booster. So we had a starting, reweighed in one hour, 2nd hour, 3rd hour, and the 4th hour. At this point the 1#product that was soaking (brining) gained 6.5% weight and the #2 injected had gained 22%. I decided to take this to the extreme and said lets let all the product set over night. We only had fractions of change over night.

I couldn't replicate every way of cooking so I decided to take the product out of the brines and I then set it on a raised cookie sheet and let it set for 1 hour to see how it retained the moisture. Both products lost less then 1% in weight.

So my finding are 7% gain with saoking/brining or 22% gain with Bird Booster injecting. I will also say I had no Fab C to run a test with.

I am definitely trying your bird booster next. I have some, just have to work the courage up to cleaning/trimming more chicken.

I have tried a number of different finish temps. 170-200. I have not found a "sweet finish temp" yet to pull. I hear a lot of people pull at 185, but my chicken is dry/mealy at that temp. 180 it seems rubbery when you chew it but juicy as can be.

I say we all switch to party hot wings! I can cook those like nobody's business, slather them in hot sauce, light a fire under those judges! They won't be able to taste anything else for the rest of the competition!

Eggspert

Bigmista
04-19-2013, 08:01 AM
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

John Bowen
04-19-2013, 11:24 AM
My skin changed for the better when I did not brine it along with the thigh. I keep the skin seperate until I prep to cook.

kcmike
04-19-2013, 12:53 PM
I will give the results of what we got on 2 different occasions. We used untrimmed thighs. We did a test on weight ( since weight is moisture ). 3 different mixes. 1- we weighed to start, used an over the counter soak available to buy, 2- we weighed to start, used our Bird Booster. So we had a starting, reweighed in one hour, 2nd hour, 3rd hour, and the 4th hour. At this point the 1#product that was soaking (brining) gained 6.5% weight and the #2 injected had gained 22%. I decided to take this to the extreme and said lets let all the product set over night. We only had fractions of change over night.

I couldn't replicate every way of cooking so I decided to take the product out of the brines and I then set it on a raised cookie sheet and let it set for 1 hour to see how it retained the moisture. Both products lost less then 1% in weight.

So my finding are 7% gain with saoking/brining or 22% gain with Bird Booster injecting. I will also say I had no Fab C to run a test with.

Not sure what your test proves other than injecting a brine (any brine) introduces more solution into the meat vs. soaking. The results for updake were scientifically (and statistically) incomplete since you did not use the competitor's product as an injection and your product as a brine, thereby allowing you to compare "apples to apples" results from both products using both methods... :wink: just sayin'....

ViciousGame
04-19-2013, 02:44 PM
That same cook says that he cooks thighs to an internal temp of 145 and then lets it carry over to 150 before it goes in the box. Is there some truth to it.....who knows??

Are you sure about those temps? I don't recall him stating that, but I could've missed it.

ViciousGame
04-19-2013, 02:51 PM
Not sure what your test proves other than injecting a brine (any brine) introduces more solution into the meat vs. soaking. The results for updake were scientifically (and statistically) incomplete since you did not use the competitor's product as an injection and your product as a brine, thereby allowing you to compare "apples to apples" results from both products using both methods... :wink: just sayin'....

Are the objectives of both products the same? Are they meant to accomplish the same thing via different methods or are they meant to be applied for different reasons? He only compared the two after they were applied as directed. One is an injection and one is a brine so why would we apply each product as not directed?

What I would like to know is, after each product is applied as directed, what product would make the finished meat more tender, juicy, taste better etc.

I plan to try both BTW.

kcmike
04-19-2013, 03:47 PM
Are the objectives of both products the same? Are they meant to accomplish the same thing via different methods or are they meant to be applied for different reasons? He only compared the two after they were applied as directed. One is an injection and one is a brine so why would we apply each product as not directed?

What I would like to know is, after each product is applied as directed, what product would make the finished meat more tender, juicy, taste better etc.

I plan to try both BTW.

You make a good point. I'm not familiar with David's product nor do I know the "other" product he was using in his testing. However, I do know that in the case of our Game Changer brine, even though it was built as a soak, many are now using it quite successfully as an injection too. So, given that understanding, I guess my presupposition was that any brine/soak/etc. can be used interchangeably as either a soak or an injection. But maybe his can't. Thanks for the feedback!

jmoney7269
04-19-2013, 07:08 PM
FWIW a well known pitmaster out west you won KCBS TOY Chicken for 2012 said that he does not use any wood lately to flavor his chicken...only the smoke from the burning coals.

Do don't use any wood either, just lump. It's hard to beat central market mesquite lump. IMO it's just as good as wicked good charcoal. Also you can just move to TX, we only cook halves down here, judge can sample what they like.

shirknwrk
04-19-2013, 11:05 PM
Not a competition cook but I'll cast another vote for Oakridge Game Changer.

Crash
04-20-2013, 04:16 AM
Are you sure about those temps? I don't recall him stating that, but I could've missed it.

100% positive. Here you go......

http://thebbqcentralshow.com/harry-soos-chicken-method/

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152852

I don't know the ins and outs of his procedure, nor do I want to. The fact is that it works for him in the KCBS world.

Trust me, I don't have the moink balls to try it.

BigBellyBBQ
04-20-2013, 04:27 AM
use fresh chicken, never frozen..fresh no need to brine..you also stated "I cook the darn chicken the same way every time" do you think this could be the issue????

big matt
04-20-2013, 05:20 AM
I use frozen without brine,marinade or soak and don't scrape the skin at all..bite through every time and bursting with juice..it's all about your process and how well you can replicate it over and over..we had a 1st place last year(more than one)and in one instance the chicken had been frozen for 5 months..I don't doubt a soak or injection would increase moisture though and probably would add another flavor to the mix..and for you guys that have just done a few comps..try this after you turn in your chicken let one of those extra pieces sit 15 min then take a bite..that's really the true test.

ViciousGame
04-20-2013, 12:36 PM
I use frozen without brine,marinade or soak and don't scrape the skin at all..bite through every time and bursting with juice..it's all about your process and how well you can replicate it over and over..we had a 1st place last year(more than one)and in one instance the chicken had been frozen for 5 months..I don't doubt a soak or injection would increase moisture though and probably would add another flavor to the mix..and for you guys that have just done a few comps..try this after you turn in your chicken let one of those extra pieces sit 15 min then take a bite..that's really the true test.

Interesting. We had used frozen chicken thighs (not by choice) at our last competition and did fairly well (6th of 40+), but we were certainly surprised with the outcome. We didn't inject or brine, but we did scrape. Every time I've tried not scraping, at least a few peices end up with rubbery skin. We'll keep at it...

ViciousGame
04-20-2013, 12:38 PM
100% positive. Here you go......

http://thebbqcentralshow.com/harry-soos-chicken-method/

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=152852

I don't know the ins and outs of his procedure, nor do I want to. The fact is that it works for him in the KCBS world.

Trust me, I don't have the moink balls to try it.

Hmm. I don't have the courage either! LOL. In his class he certainly did not advocate this practice; however, it is completely understandable as to why not.

rooster445
04-20-2013, 05:54 PM
Brisket