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DBrentster
07-22-2008, 10:21 PM
Anyone have websites or tips for trimming thighs for comps?

Do you do most of the trim pre-cook?

billm
07-23-2008, 07:42 AM
Now that's funny right there! I wonder if they still make that thing?

On topic: Yes you trim chicken thighs before cooking. The only trimming you should do when cooked is to snip off any little pointy bits that form on the edges. Any further cutting will be very obvious and hurt your appearance scores more than it helps.

many teams trim them more than cutting off the "little pointy bits" and do very well

Jeff_in_KC
07-23-2008, 07:49 AM
I have no clue when it comes to getting thighs ready to cook so I'll stay out and watch for knowledge from the experts...

Mutha Chicken BBQ
07-23-2008, 08:16 AM
I have no clue when it comes to getting thighs ready to cook so I'll stay out and watch for knowledge from the experts...


Absolutly no expert here but this has helped me in the past. Although I have changed what I do now.

These were done hastely,It was the first time I had tried to trim them. Hope this helps you get to where you want to be. Some need more trimming, Some need less. Good Luck with em.

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken004.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken005.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken006.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken007.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken008.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken009.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w310/muthachickenbbq/CompetitionChicken010.jpg

Divemaster
07-23-2008, 08:45 AM
^^^^^ What he said....

I actually pin mine with skewers to keep the skin tight while cooking....

Captain Caveman
07-23-2008, 11:03 AM
^^^^^ What he said....

I actually pin mine with skewers to keep the skin tight while cooking....

I sometimes pin also, but I am always afraid of forgeting to remove a toothpick in for turn-ins.

CivilWarBBQ
07-23-2008, 04:26 PM
All I can say is in three years of cooking and judging in the Southeast I've never seen aggressive trimming of cooked thighs that I know of. How do you keep it from being obvious? How can you cut on a cooked piece without compromising the skin?

Maybe this is a midwestern thing, or a technique used for folks who grill thighs rather than smoke them? I'd love to hear more about this!

Oops, sorry. This post was meant as a reply to billm's, comment. Forgot to use the quote function.

Jeff_in_KC
07-23-2008, 04:57 PM
All I can say is in three years of cooking and judging in the Southeast I've never seen aggressive trimming of cooked thighs that I know of. How do you keep it from being obvious? How can you cut on a cooked piece without compromising the skin?

Maybe this is a midwestern thing, or a technique used for folks who grill thighs rather than smoke them? I'd love to hear more about this!

Oops, sorry. This post was meant as a reply to billm's, comment. Forgot to use the quote function.

I cut down to the skin then sort of scrape (shave, whatever, Andy! :roll: ) in off the skin so the skin stays intact.

The Pickled Pig
07-23-2008, 05:00 PM
I cut down to the skin then sort of scrape (shave, whatever, Andy! :roll: ) in off the skin so the skin stays intact.


Are you scraping the skin after the chicken's cooked Jeff?

We scrape but do it before cooking.

CajunSmoker
07-23-2008, 05:31 PM
I pull the skin off the thigh and scrape as much fat off the inside of the skin as I can. THen I cut as much yellow fat off the meat as I can while I try and shape the thigh. THen I roll the thigh back up in the skin, cut off any excess and put it skin seam side down in a pan to marinade.

billm
07-23-2008, 07:18 PM
All I can say is in three years of cooking and judging in the Southeast I've never seen aggressive trimming of cooked thighs that I know of. How do you keep it from being obvious? How can you cut on a cooked piece without compromising the skin?

Maybe this is a midwestern thing, or a technique used for folks who grill thighs rather than smoke them? I'd love to hear more about this!

Oops, sorry. This post was meant as a reply to billm's, comment. Forgot to use the quote function.

similar to what the pictures above show..we actually remove the skin then cut the "oyster" out , trim up the sides then wrap skin back on. All the peices look uniform and look great in the box. As far as it looking obvious im not sure what you mean.

Jeff_in_KC
07-23-2008, 07:35 PM
Are you scraping the skin after the chicken's cooked Jeff?

We scrape but do it before cooking.


Sorry Paul... I wasn't clear. I do all my scraping before cooking and before marinating. I do very little trimming after cooking. Only things that have started to stick out after cooking.

DBrentster
07-23-2008, 09:45 PM
Mutha Chicken BBQ I owe you a cold one (or many)

Hopefully I'll run into you at one of the mid-atlantic comps one of these days. 8)

CivilWarBBQ
07-24-2008, 02:44 AM
similar to what the pictures above show..we actually remove the skin then cut the "oyster" out , trim up the sides then wrap skin back on. All the peices look uniform and look great in the box. As far as it looking obvious im not sure what you mean.

You are doing this with the finished chicken just before building the box?

Our skin is so tender and bonded to the meat when the thighs come out of the cooker there's no way we could remove the skin at that stage without ruining the chicken. We've always done all our trimming raw except for cleaning up those odd bits that form during cooking. Whenever I've tried to do any serious cutting on a cooked thigh the result is always very noticeable - it sort of looks like somebody chopped off a bite before putting the piece in the box so we end up not using it anyway.

It seems like trimming after cooking would be more work because you'd have to reapply sauce and return them to the heat to set it after all that handling. What do you see as the advantages of trimming after cooking rather than before?

Mutha Chicken BBQ
07-24-2008, 07:04 AM
Mutha Chicken BBQ I owe you a cold one (or many)

Hopefully I'll run into you at one of the mid-atlantic comps one of these days. 8)

We'll be in stevensville this weekend! :-D Stop by anytime we'll have plenty in our camp!

Hope it gets you started, Again there were some very good tips provided in all the reading here. Good luck with it.

Divemaster
07-24-2008, 09:07 AM
I sometimes pin also, but I am always afraid of forgeting to remove a toothpick in for turn-ins.

That's the reason I don't use toothpicks for the pinning... I use the longer metal skewers that would normally be used when sewing up a turkey... You can't miss it, it doesn't burn if your are browning on a grill, and it leaves a smaller set of holes...

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
07-24-2008, 09:11 AM
And if you do choose to use toothpicks, don't use the colored ones which can leave colored holes. I saw that with a turn-in that I judged.

Rightstuff
07-24-2008, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the post. I did a practice smoke the other day; my wife and I fumbled through getting the chicken ready for the smoker. This helped a lot.

big blue bbq
07-24-2008, 10:00 AM
I sometimes pin also, but I am always afraid of forgeting to remove a toothpick in for turn-ins.


I do the pinning too after trimming. Last comp I missed one and DQ'd on chicken. That will surely bring your overall score down some!!!!!:icon_blush:

I will be looking for a new easier to see way to pin.

Larry

billm
07-24-2008, 11:37 AM
You are doing this with the finished chicken just before building the box?

Our skin is so tender and bonded to the meat when the thighs come out of the cooker there's no way we could remove the skin at that stage without ruining the chicken. We've always done all our trimming raw except for cleaning up those odd bits that form during cooking. Whenever I've tried to do any serious cutting on a cooked thigh the result is always very noticeable - it sort of looks like somebody chopped off a bite before putting the piece in the box so we end up not using it anyway.

It seems like trimming after cooking would be more work because you'd have to reapply sauce and return them to the heat to set it after all that handling. What do you see as the advantages of trimming after cooking rather than before?
no...before cooking ...like i said similar to the above pictures in this thread

Divemaster
07-24-2008, 01:42 PM
I do the pinning too after trimming. Last comp I missed one and DQ'd on chicken. That will surely bring your overall score down some!!!!!:icon_blush:

I will be looking for a new easier to see way to pin.

Larry

That's the reason I don't use toothpicks for the pinning... I use the longer metal skewers that would normally be used when sewing up a turkey... You can't miss it, it doesn't burn if your are browning on a grill, and it leaves a smaller set of holes...

The skewers I speak of are about 3 1/2 to 4 inches long... Trust me that you wont forget it because you won't be able to get the chicken in the box.

Jeff_in_KC
07-24-2008, 02:13 PM
I've just ALWAYS toothpicked chicken and it's habit for me to remove two per piece every time. We also make it a habit to count toothpicks when we're done.

DBrentster
07-24-2008, 04:49 PM
We'll be in stevensville this weekend! :-D Stop by anytime we'll have plenty in our camp!

Hope it gets you started, Again there were some very good tips provided in all the reading here. Good luck with it.

I am totally bummed the Chesapeake was the same weekend as the Monmouth comp. We are doing the Jersey one so family can come and experience it.

Good luck!

Big George's BBQ
07-24-2008, 09:05 PM
Mutha nice pictorial. It is easier to trim the thighs before marinating and/or cooking. Touch up trimming after cooking if needed

CivilWarBBQ
07-24-2008, 11:01 PM
Ah ok, it's just miscommunication then. I thought you had some new method I'd not seen before! You must have missed what I was saying about trimming AFTER cooking in my original post you replied to.

I wrote:

Now that's funny right there! I wonder if they still make that thing?

On topic: Yes you trim chicken thighs before cooking. The only trimming you should do when cooked is to snip off any little pointy bits that form on the edges. Any further cutting will be very obvious and hurt your appearance scores more than it helps.

billm wrote:many teams trim them more than cutting off the "little pointy bits" and do very well

DBrentster
07-29-2008, 06:12 PM
Mutha Chicken - Thanks again for the tips, obviously we WAY overcooked (and probably sauced too) the chicken and ended up with postage stamps but at least the trimming was an improvement from our last effort. Also I'm going to use other suggestions in this thread an pin the skin next time.

Appearance: 6,5,7,7,9,7 (lets call that room for improvement:-o)

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/2719/chickenturninwe8.jpg (http://imageshack.us/?x=my6&myref=http://load.imageshack.us/)

chibi
07-30-2008, 08:13 AM
Also when trimming your thighs do not forget to pull out the vein that runs along the bone. That can burst sometimes and discolor the meat. Judges may think it is not cooked properly due to the red color. Happened to a friend of mine.
Also trim out the little pocket of fat that is just under the meat near the bone.

timzcardz
07-30-2008, 08:15 AM
Having never done this, a thought does come to mind. So I'll offer up what may possibly be a silly question.

Could you take the skin off of a thigh, and then completely wrap the thigh in the larger skin from a breast thereby leaving a very neat piece with the only edges of skin being on the underside?

SmokeInDaEye
07-30-2008, 08:35 AM
Having never done this, a thought does come to mind. So I'll offer up what may possibly be a silly question.

Could you take the skin off of a thigh, and then completely wrap the thigh in the larger skin from a breast thereby leaving a very neat piece with the only edges of skin being on the underside?

Wouldn't the whole giant piece of skin come off with the first bite? I would think you'd want to have the skin somewhat connected to the meat but I'm a member of the 13th place chicken club so what do I know?:mrgreen:

The Pickled Pig
07-30-2008, 09:29 AM
Having never done this, a thought does come to mind. So I'll offer up what may possibly be a silly question.

Could you take the skin off of a thigh, and then completely wrap the thigh in the larger skin from a breast thereby leaving a very neat piece with the only edges of skin being on the underside?


I have interchanged skins before w/o a problem. However, if you trim the thigh down to a small enough size, it's own skin will easily wrap around it.

Fatback Joe
07-30-2008, 09:38 AM
I have interchanged skins before w/o a problem. However, if you trim the thigh down to a small enough size, it's own skin will easily wrap around it.

I do the same thing. Last comp when I brined my thighs every piece of skin came off the thighs so when I removed them from the brine I had to wrap each and every thigh and I am sure only a small % if any got their original skin..........it was good for 9th and I don't think the intermingled skin was a factor. LOL All the thighs were cut down to a uniform size/shape so it didn't matter a bit.

Plowboy
07-30-2008, 09:49 AM
Having never done this, a thought does come to mind. So I'll offer up what may possibly be a silly question.

Could you take the skin off of a thigh, and then completely wrap the thigh in the larger skin from a breast thereby leaving a very neat piece with the only edges of skin being on the underside?

Interesting idea. Kind of overkill and unnecessary, IMHO. However, very creative and doable.

Wouldn't the whole giant piece of skin come off with the first bite? I would think you'd want to have the skin somewhat connected to the meat but I'm a member of the 13th place chicken club so what do I know?:mrgreen:

Not going to come off with first bite if it isn't 100% rubber. I remove the skin completely when I prep. Just easier that way, and I like to get rub on the actual chicken, too.

I stop short of getting the Lady Schick razor out. :rolleyes:

BBQ_Mayor
07-30-2008, 10:04 AM
I stop short of getting the Lady Schick razor out. :rolleyes:


Thats for your chicken, right? :mrgreen:

Plowboy
07-30-2008, 10:29 AM
Thats for your chicken, right? :mrgreen:

Not for MY chicken.

Dale P
07-30-2008, 11:04 AM
All of these ideas are fine with me but it seems the poor ol pork butt is getting held back.

Try this:
We brine our chicken skin in seperate containers from the meat. Chicken in salted Sun Drop and the skin we marinate in Blueberry vinegar.


Anybody want to buy a bridge?

Scottie
07-30-2008, 11:32 AM
What a waste of a perfectly good mixer for Jack Daniel's....

KC_Bobby
07-30-2008, 07:30 PM
I was hoping this thread would energize me for my thigh trimming ... it didn't, but I still need to do it tonight because I'm driving to IA tomorrow night.

Off to trimming I go. :icon_sleepy

CivilWarBBQ
07-30-2008, 09:04 PM
Having never done this, a thought does come to mind. So I'll offer up what may possibly be a silly question.

Could you take the skin off of a thigh, and then completely wrap the thigh in the larger skin from a breast thereby leaving a very neat piece with the only edges of skin being on the underside?

I've tried this with thighs as well as breasts - basically removing the largest possible sheet of skin ala Silence of the Lambs. It worked alright, but the results weren't good enough to justify all the extra work and waste.

It's great that you're thinking like this though. That's how new techniques come to be discovered. My advice is when you come up with a new and crazy concept go ahead and experiment yourself and see if it works. Once you post the idea on a forum the cat's out of the bag and the next guy over might start using your "secret" technique to beat you to the stage! :icon_shock1:

Alexa RnQ
07-31-2008, 10:24 AM
A cautionary tale: We normally trim thighs before we leave for a comp, put them in Foodsaver bags and keep them iced down.

Running short of time before Modesto, we just flung the packages from Costco into the cooler, figuring we'd have time to trim after setup. They were those multipacks with three thighs in each smaller sealed pouch.

Setup didn't run any better for time after such a long trip, and there we were in the dark opening packages of thighs. About the second package I opened was RANK. I mean, it purely stank even though it was within the freshness date.

By the time we realized that about every other package was spoiled, I was starting to panic. We were very, very lucky that some of the pieces that weren't spoiled were good ones that gave us a lot to work with, but if they'd been mostly weedy ones we'd have been screwed. As it was, I had to pick and scrape to get together the number of thighs we'd normally cook.

We've sworn that we'll never get left out in the field without recourse again.

BBQNUTT
07-31-2008, 11:41 AM
similar to what the pictures above show..we actually remove the skin then cut the "oyster" out , trim up the sides then wrap skin back on. All the peices look uniform and look great in the box. As far as it looking obvious im not sure what you mean.


What part of the thigh are you calling the "oyster"? I trim my thighs very little other than the extra long pieces of skin. I am curious to know what the "oyster" is so I can try trimming it off. :smile: