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View Full Version : Muffin Pan Chicken Thighs??


Dex
08-11-2013, 11:04 AM
Are are these things actually getting high scores on appearance?

BMerrill
08-11-2013, 11:35 AM
Yep.

Teamfour
08-11-2013, 11:46 AM
To a certain degree. When I judge I can tell which entries were done in a tin. They tend to be small. If they were done in a rectangular tin, they score well as long as all other criteria is in line (color, sauce, etc). If they look like billiard balls they don't score well with me.

Dex
08-11-2013, 11:59 AM
To a certain degree. When I judge I can tell which entries were done in a tin. They tend to be small. If they were done in a rectangular tin, they score well as long as all other criteria is in line (color, sauce, etc). If they look like billiard balls they don't score well with me.

I would agree with this. The mini loaf pans dont look bad.... Im not a fan of the round ones

fnbish
08-11-2013, 12:43 PM
It certainly can depend on what judges/table you hit, but in my experience when we gave them a try in 5 competitions in a row we received maybe two 8's the entire time. The rest all nines. I also think 9 thighs in a box looks great since 6 is pretty common. We also had luck with 9 square'ish thighs that didn't use a pan.

Even though you can find some flaws in this with sauce and maybe a few other tiny details, this is what got us a lot of straight 9's in appearance. Now unfortunately the judges then had to eat them and we didn't have good taste on them so we stopped :becky:.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j395/fnbish69/IMG2561_zpsadb1f637.jpg (http://s1083.photobucket.com/user/fnbish69/media/IMG2561_zpsadb1f637.jpg.html)

Podge
08-11-2013, 12:55 PM
It certainly can depend on what judges/table you hit, but in my experience when we gave them a try in 5 competitions in a row we received maybe two 8's the entire time. The rest all nines. I also think 9 thighs in a box looks great since 6 is pretty common. We also had luck with 9 square'ish thighs that didn't use a pan.

Even though you can find some flaws in this with sauce and maybe a few other tiny details, this is what got us a lot of straight 9's in appearance. Now unfortunately the judges then had to eat them and we didn't have good taste on them so we stopped :becky:.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j395/fnbish69/IMG2561_zpsadb1f637.jpg (http://s1083.photobucket.com/user/fnbish69/media/IMG2561_zpsadb1f637.jpg.html)

Congrats on all those 9's in appearance with that technique, but personally, I don't like it. It does make me hungry for spaghetti and meatballs.

fnbish
08-11-2013, 01:15 PM
:clap2:Congrats on all those 9's in appearance with that technique, but personally, I don't like it. It does make me hungry for spaghetti and meatballs.

Heck I wish they didn't score them all 9's in appearance. I would have stopped chasing the muffin pan way earlier :crazy::clap2:.

Theresa B
08-11-2013, 04:16 PM
I like my chicken to look like chicken.

sdbbq1234
08-11-2013, 06:46 PM
Well, this is where I disagree with a lot of you folks. Other than drumsticks, I have yet to see chicken at a comp "look like a normal piece of chicken"!

Maybe I don't visit the same places others do, or grew up eating chicken like some, but I have not seen chicken thighs trimmed in any restaurant or backyard get-together as of yet.

The judging should be based on what is presented, not what someone opinion is. This is almost as bad as saying, I don't like sweet glaze, so anything that comes across my table and is sweet will not get a good score.

I call BS! If you already have a preconceived notion about an item, what is the use.......... Since when does most of the chicken that is turned in look like a hot-dog in a bun, or is square, look "natural"?

Heck, I really don't even like thighs, but rather would pick a wing or breast first for my personal personal preference. But I cannot go into a contest as a judge with that mindset. Otherwise, I am doing most people a disservice at thighs are the most predominant part of the chicken that is cooked.

To the original post, I have scored pretty good using muffin pan chicken. A few comps, I scored 9's all the way across for appearance. But for taste and tenderness, I screwed those things up (hence the lower scores in the category).

Ready to defend myself!!

wallace

BRBBQ
08-11-2013, 07:08 PM
The chicken looks like a Sculptured piece of meat, a muffin :mrgreen:.. I think it looks fine, but in the end you still have to make it look good and taste good

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-11-2013, 07:28 PM
Chicken balls worked well for us a couple years ago then there seemed to be back lash against them. We finally stopped doing it and our scores went back up immediately. I think you can score well with them still but think chances are high you will land on a table with a judge that doesn't like them.

BaggerBill
08-11-2013, 07:53 PM
I like my chicken to look like chicken.

I agree but then again all I ever hear is how they don't look "uniform"

Theresa B
08-11-2013, 08:30 PM
Wallace- :icon_frow I should have elaborated...My statement was what "I" like but I judge what is presented. Almost any chicken is going to look more like chicken than the muffin pan version. I appreciate when the pieces are relatively symmetrical/uniform but the team does not get dinged if they are all not perfectly "groomed". I know teams get hit hard on BBQ critic for lack of uniformity. But for me they don't have to be *perfect*.

K-Train
08-11-2013, 08:41 PM
We started out using the round muffin pans. Got a call in our first contest. Switched to the square muffin tins and got a few more calls. Now no pans and have also gotten calls. I will admit though that I like non pan chicken. It looks more normal to me, but what ever works for you should be what you use.

sdbbq1234
08-11-2013, 09:16 PM
Wallace- :icon_frow I should have elaborated...My statement was what "I" like but I judge what is presented. Almost any chicken is going to look more like chicken than the muffin pan version. I appreciate when the pieces are relatively symmetrical/uniform but the team does not get dinged if they are all not perfectly "groomed". I know teams get hit hard on BBQ critic for lack of uniformity. But for me they don't have to be *perfect*.

Thanks! IMO, chicken is the only thing that does not look natural in a competition.

I really wish just turning in "plain ol' smoked" chicken would work.

Sorry to get upitty, but, I like the muffin chicken idea; at home as well. :mrgreen:

wallace

swamprb
08-11-2013, 11:57 PM
I like my chicken to look like chicken.

I tend to agree, thats why we are using these molds.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/IMG_0191.jpg

ModelMaker
08-12-2013, 08:14 AM
I personally very much dislike Christmas tree ornament chicken. They have nothing to do with what a piece of chicken should look like. BUT I don't judge on what I like, if you turn in balls of chiken and they look delicious and I'm anxious to try one, then that is excellence in appearence and you will get a 9 from this judge.
I judge what's presented to me and have learned to leave my likes and dislikes in the car.
Ed

BB-Kuhn
08-12-2013, 09:02 AM
While I agree that the spheres are getting a little ridiculous in terms of it no longer looking like chicken anymore, I can not deny that it looks amazingly "tight" and uniform in the box.

Like many others said above, once you take subjectivity and opinion out of it, there's no denying that 6 or 9 perfectly shaped and glazed globes is a nice presentation and shows care.

I have been making muffin globe chicken for a while, (home and comp) and I like it overall. You'd be hard pressed to make a more moist, tender piece of chicken. I only stopped doing it in comp because I had a heck of a time finishing the skin out correctly.

I've recently switched to drumsticks and done better (first place in a smaller comp last week). I haven't given up on the cupcake thighs, but can't argue with results, lol.

IronBoarSmokers
08-12-2013, 10:13 AM
Thanks! IMO, chicken is the only thing that does not look natural in a competition.

I really wish just turning in "plain ol' smoked" chicken would work.

Sorry to get upitty, but, I like the muffin chicken idea; at home as well. :mrgreen:

wallace


Amen to that.

We got much better score when we didn't use the muffin pan than when we did. Its a lot more work trimming and tending to the meat during the cook to keep it looking good, but the scores were higher.

GT-Q
08-12-2013, 03:37 PM
I've gotten calls on chicken without using the pan and instead making 9 small squarish thighs. They look great and taste good too. My personal issue is that, other than at a competition, nobody anywhere, ever, would prep and serve chicken this way. But you do what you have to do to win.

Balls Casten
08-14-2013, 11:36 AM
Is this natural enough for ya?

Capn Kev
08-14-2013, 07:02 PM
Is this natural enough for ya?

Yeah, looks great, except for that big ol' purple vein looking me straight in my right eye :wink:

Lake Dogs
08-14-2013, 07:20 PM
...
The judging should be based on what is presented, not what someone opinion is. This is almost as bad as saying, I don't like sweet glaze, so anything that comes across my table and is sweet will not get a good score.

I call BS! If you already have a preconceived notion about an item, what is the use..........

wallace


No need to defend. You're correct on all of this.

I judge appearance on one thing, whether it's appetizing and I'd like to take a bite. I can tell you, I've seen other things (other than chicken) take on the appearance of something that would make you puke to think of eating it (ie. I've seen MM's and other pork products presented to look like a mans penis, and other times it looks like a fresh steaming dog turd). Sorry, they didnt get 9's in appearance from me. If it looks like ****, then it does. I'm sure as hell not thinking to myself "hey, I want to scarf that down right now".

Chicken, you're right, it's sculpted all to hell n back, but most still look like some variation on/of chicken. Every once in a while you'll have them so perfect they no longer look like a food item at all. To me, it's not appetizing and again doesn't trigger that "Holy cow I want to eat that right now" response.

More often than not, rather than just blistering them with the true score I had in mind, I give them bonus/brownie points for the time and attention to detail, and usually give them like a 7, when my inclination was to be a score that represented "inedible".

And, in fnbish's example, I probably would've given those an 8, perhaps even a 9. To me they're not so **** sculpted that they look like something else; they still look like overly sculpted chicken balls to me. Like I said, I have seen them so perfect that it wouldnt have crossed my mind that they were food at all...


There's the other side of this. Would you want to be the judge who saw an actual dog turd come across the table that had been glistened with a little finishing sauce and placed ever-so-neatly in that perfectly sculpted bed of greens give it a 9 in appearance saying "Damn, I really wanted to take a bite of that turd"? I know, a bit over the top, but used to make a point. If it doesn't look like food, how on earth can you score it a favorable food appetizing score? You can't. You shouldn't, not even if it's the prettiest presentation of a turd you've ever seen (or christmas ornaments).

BABYGOTBUTT
08-14-2013, 08:07 PM
Well, this is where I disagree with a lot of you folks. Other than drumsticks, I have yet to see chicken at a comp "look like a normal piece of chicken"!

Maybe I don't visit the same places others do, or grew up eating chicken like some, but I have not seen chicken thighs trimmed in any restaurant or backyard get-together as of yet.

The judging should be based on what is presented, not what someone opinion is. This is almost as bad as saying, I don't like sweet glaze, so anything that comes across my table and is sweet will not get a good score.

I call BS! If you already have a preconceived notion about an item, what is the use.......... Since when does most of the chicken that is turned in look like a hot-dog in a bun, or is square, look "natural"?

Heck, I really don't even like thighs, but rather would pick a wing or breast first for my personal personal preference. But I cannot go into a contest as a judge with that mindset. Otherwise, I am doing most people a disservice at thighs are the most predominant part of the chicken that is cooked.

To the original post, I have scored pretty good using muffin pan chicken. A few comps, I scored 9's all the way across for appearance. But for taste and tenderness, I screwed those things up (hence the lower scores in the category).

Ready to defend myself!!

wallace

Well said..I also use pans.....how does a loaf pan make chicken look more like chicken than a round pan? Why would you score down for one and not the other. I could at least understand if the judges scored down for using any type of pan but even the un-panned chicken doesn't look like chicken after trimming. This is part of the inconsistency in judging that should be addressed.

Balls Casten
08-14-2013, 08:56 PM
Yeah, looks great, except for that big ol' purple vein looking me straight in my right eye :wink:

That's what I meant ... Natural untrimmed chicken

sdbbq1234
08-14-2013, 09:19 PM
No need to defend. You're correct on all of this.

I judge appearance on one thing, whether it's appetizing and I'd like to take a bite. I can tell you, I've seen other things (other than chicken) take on the appearance of something that would make you puke to think of eating it (ie. I've seen MM's and other pork products presented to look like a mans penis, and other times it looks like a fresh steaming dog turd). Sorry, they didnt get 9's in appearance from me. If it looks like ****, then it does. I'm sure as hell not thinking to myself "hey, I want to scarf that down right now".

Chicken, you're right, it's sculpted all to hell n back, but most still look like some variation on/of chicken. Every once in a while you'll have them so perfect they no longer look like a food item at all. To me, it's not appetizing and again doesn't trigger that "Holy cow I want to eat that right now" response.

More often than not, rather than just blistering them with the true score I had in mind, I give them bonus/brownie points for the time and attention to detail, and usually give them like a 7, when my inclination was to be a score that represented "inedible".

And, in fnbish's example, I probably would've given those an 8, perhaps even a 9. To me they're not so **** sculpted that they look like something else; they still look like overly sculpted chicken balls to me. Like I said, I have seen them so perfect that it wouldnt have crossed my mind that they were food at all...


There's the other side of this. Would you want to be the judge who saw an actual dog turd come across the table that had been glistened with a little finishing sauce and placed ever-so-neatly in that perfectly sculpted bed of greens give it a 9 in appearance saying "Damn, I really wanted to take a bite of that turd"? I know, a bit over the top, but used to make a point. If it doesn't look like food, how on earth can you score it a favorable food appetizing score? You can't. You shouldn't, not even if it's the prettiest presentation of a turd you've ever seen (or christmas ornaments).

Dude, I laughed my rear-end off reading this!!! I so much agree.

Ok, but the comments about the dog turd and penis, well, I am going to really thinking about those words when we prepare the MM!!

"Damn, I really want to take a bite of that turd!" :mrgreen:

Thanks!

wallace

Lake Dogs
08-15-2013, 08:05 AM
...
This is part of the inconsistency in judging that should be addressed.


Baby, I'm not sure that any sanctioning body can address this. The
reason is, IMHO, the single most SUBJECTIVE thing in cooking, whether competitions, at home, or in a restaurant, of any food type, is the appearance and what is and isn't appetizing to the individual. You cannot tell someone what is appetizing to them. What may be appetizing to you, I may find disgusting, and visa versa. It just IS.

I'm not saying we all disagree all the time. For the most part, we all agree down the line. The problem is when people want to draw outside of the lines. A few judges will penalize someone for drawing outside the lines; the better judge looks at it much simpler, and asks him/herself, do I want to eat that? Is it begging to be snarfed? There are degrees of yes and degrees of no (hence a score), but basically that's it.

I was at a GBA table judging a few weeks back and of the 5 judges 3 of us were almost gagging at how much like a turd one particular MM looked like, and the other 2 didnt see it. Honestly, it didnt look like BBQ. I wasnt watching, but a bystander came up later and was asking "what was wrong, most of you jumped back". Seriously, it was that vivid. Who was right; who was wrong? I would debate with you that nobody was wrong. It was what it was. 2 looked at it and it apparently said "eat me" to them, and 3 of us looked at it and wondered if we should bother putting any on our plate...

Only if we re-classify appearance and call it "neatness" or something. Yes, you can neatly arrange christmas balls and dog turds and money muscles and tiny balls of chicken, but you cant necessarily make all of them appetizing to everyone....

Funny thing, there have been a few (very few mind you) that werent as neat in appearance as many but the meat screamed EAT ME, NOW, RIGHT NOW, DO NOT WAIT, DO NOT HESITATE. And, to everyone, that factor is different. We're human <last I checked>.