View Full Version : Chicken Practice box - pic inside

04-05-2006, 02:06 PM
My teammate has been practicing his chicken presentation. Can you jugdes and competitors give us opinion please?




04-05-2006, 02:09 PM
Pictures never do justice to the way the food actually looks. That being said, the layout looks nice and they all appear the same size(important).

I would also say they look a little to red in the picture. Again it could be the picture. I like it when it looks darker like it was grilled.

04-05-2006, 02:10 PM
I know chit about boxes but that looks real good to me.

04-05-2006, 02:11 PM
9! Mista they are gorgeous!

04-05-2006, 02:20 PM
First, I would take the macro function off the camera and try to get the whole thing in focus.

If the picture is true to color, I would say it looks really red to me. I have also been told more than once to try your best to offer more than the required 6 servings, so I would try to fit more in. I know the garnish is not supposed to be judged, but having it very even seems to help out, too.

Being a CBJ without having judged yet, I would probably go with a 7. It looks better than average but not so good I want to grab one right out of the box.

Then again, what do I know? :)

04-05-2006, 02:39 PM
I am starting to thing I'm just going to go for 6 thighs in a box this year. Last year I got 8 in the box each time but it tended to look sloppy.

Mista, while it does look pretty red, I like it. Depending on how it looked in "real life", I'd go 7 maybe up to an 8.

04-05-2006, 02:50 PM
I never thought of putting Ketchup on chicken. :wink: In all honesty - looks good. The heavy saucing appears to take away from the crispy appearance of the skin

04-05-2006, 03:03 PM
I judged 2 events so far this year. I can only speak for myself but when each item was shown to me I was so focused on the actual cooked product I practically blurred out everything else including the garnish. I see no need to put more than 6 pieces of chicken in the box. If the table captain doesn't get a piece, well, hes not voting anyway.

04-05-2006, 03:26 PM
Thanks for all of the opinons! Keep 'em coming. I'll make sure BBQJunkie comes over here to check them out.

04-05-2006, 03:39 PM
Looks good to me.....but, this is one of the reasons that I do not compete. You have to follow somebody else’s rules that are often arbitrary and capricious. Why do they have to be the same size? Size doesn't make any sense if it tastes good. Here we have a perfectly good pit master fixing great food and we are hung up on whether or not they all look the same size. It is the same way with the Professional Photographers of America. They have rules that make everybody's pictures look the same cheesy way. I do not compete with them either. Anyway, I do not mean to hijack this thread so don't respond to my rant. Just had to get it off my chest.

04-05-2006, 03:44 PM
Here's something else to consider...

Originally Posted by bittertruth
Whats a "Skin Nazi"?

It's a phrase I stole from Dr. BBQ.

Here's some of the email exchange in the NEBS Yahoo Group....

Dr. BBQ wrote...
When I smoke a chicken to eat at home, the skin is rubbery. I know that true smoked chicken has rubbery skin. I discard it, eat the meat and donít consider this to be a failure at all. Unfortunately if I turned that in at a cookoff, you and many other judges would score it down. Isnít this contrary to knowing the product and judging it fairly?

This kind of thing has created the grilled/poached thigh contest that we have in most KCBS cookoffs.

And I said..

Ray, you obviously have a lot more experience and success then I do, but if you know that the skin is rubbery and will effect your score why don't you discard if before you turn it in?

Or does this get back to the lack of standards in BBQ judging? If rubbery skin is the standard for smoked chicken - then the judges should be taught to accept it.

And Ray replied..
I know better than to turn that in, I was making that reference to your comment about knowing a product from experience and also just the BS idea that judging a lot makes you a better judge. Many experienced judges pick up bad habits from each other and the chicken skin is a prime example. I think many judges are more worried about the skin than the meat. Itís like a skin nazi thing and itís ridiculous.

I think the Master Judge program has been a complete disaster. All itís done is create a bunch of judges who think they are superior because theyíve eaten 30 free meals.

04-05-2006, 03:57 PM
Thanks everyone for your help along the way. Neil, thanks for posting the picture. The picture did turn out a bit red, but I think that the sauce might have turned out a bit towards the red side as well. I will correct this tonight.

On the other point of rubbery chicken skin. To overcome this has been difficult. When I work to get it crispy, the skin shrinks so much that it just looks like a weird patch on the chicken thigh.

Any thoughts on making the chicken crisp while keeping skin "shirnkage" to a minimum?

I also heard about turning it in without the skin. From a judging standpoint I don't recall ever getting a chicken thigh without the skin. I have seen other pieces turned in without the skin, such as the breast, but the thigh always has had the skin. It seems expected.

04-05-2006, 04:02 PM
I think people turn it in with the skin to get the presentation score up, but like the good Doctor said, it's the taste that counts. I would think more times than not that without the rubbery skin the taste score would be higher. Seems like a wash to me.

04-05-2006, 04:45 PM
When trimming the theighs to size, leave the skin long so that it will wrap around the whole theigh and secure with a tooth pick. Finish at a higher heat to crisp the skin.

Don't forget to remove all tooth picks or you will be DQ'ed

But what do I know:rolleyes:

04-05-2006, 05:43 PM
My teammate has been practicing his chicken presentation. Can you jugdes and competitors give us opinion please?

Outstanding! Get that sauce hotter next time so it glazes and the excess runs off.

04-05-2006, 05:59 PM
I'll be busy worrying about Bark. Glad I have teammates!

04-05-2006, 06:13 PM
It is an attractive box overall.
Balanced, neat, and professional.

Question--do you taste meat or sauce?


04-05-2006, 07:58 PM
Mista, absolutely beautiful! If I was allowed to give you a ten as a judge I would! Great job, one of the best I have seen.

04-05-2006, 08:10 PM
Look great to me...

That would get a 9 on my scorecard..

I'm with Smoker on the piece count. I've judged the same two contests this year with him and at no point did I even question if there are more than 6 pc in the box. I would however just make sure the 6 pc fill the box nicely. In our society, big generally gets construed as better. Garnish looks fine but I don't focus too heavily on garnish either.. If it's there great, if not, I don't care.

04-05-2006, 08:17 PM
I'm not a judge, never competed. The picture may be off as some said, it looks a little like a chinese sweet and sour sauce. Makes me want to try some!!!!!!!
As far a shrinkage goes I smoke chicken at a low temp, 225* till just barely done. I will then finish on char grill with almost no shrinkage.

My 5000th of a hundred dollar bill

04-05-2006, 08:19 PM
hmmm...newbie judge, pretty, I;m going to say I'm not a fan of the lettuce. I kow, not a penalty, but I really try to pay attention and try to remove it mentally from the picture. I;d probably go with an 8, 'course I'm using what they gave me at the training as a six...yuk!! Scott

04-05-2006, 08:41 PM
hey Mista,
first i wanted to complement you and your teams dedication to great bbq! i look foward to seeing the fruits of your labors. this chicken turn in box is a great improvement from the last one. the only thing i can say is that i would look for really small thighs that are perfectly uniform and try to get nine of them neatly in the box. the only reason for this is that odd numbers look more appealing in food portions... why? i don't know. i just read this someplace and have been following it since. also, if you want to buffer that red color in the bbq sauce try using balsamic vinegar. overall it looks great though.

04-05-2006, 09:25 PM
Well, I have been fairly well educated reading this thread. I will definitely not trim so much skin the next time I do chix. This last cook I did, I was able to get the skin crispy but it was too dark (something I can regulate with temp control) and the skin pulled way back. Now, I have a new technique to try. :-D

04-05-2006, 10:28 PM
I rub all of my chicken with olive oil or veggie oil before I apply the rub. I also add some oil to my spray bottle and spray every hour. I have never had a problem with rubbery skin, it is usually very crisp and a nice dark brown color. Shrinkage and splitting is very rare on my chicken but it does happen thats why you should cook extra pieces. I think the type of rub you use can also make a difference in the skin.

The box looks great. very white and shinny the way I like my styrafoam... oh wait, the chicken looks great but looks like too much sauce. Is the sauce pooling in the bottom? It may be just the pic that makes it look so red but I don't think the color should matter that much to most judges.

I give it a solid 8 (based on the pic.)

04-06-2006, 07:29 AM
that looks like a 9 to me

04-06-2006, 10:57 AM
looks good
waaaaaay better that the first try..