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Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-15-2008, 08:33 AM
I have never really had any success with chicken and wanted some input. I generally marinate in Itailian dressing overnight, move the chicken (thighs) to a foil pan covered with foil for an hour and a half on the smoker and finish on my chicken grill with a little smoke and high heat then sauce with a sweet mix of sauce, juice and some corn syrup. bite through skin,trimming and presentation dont seem to be the issue. Im not sure if I am even in the ball park with this, what do you think?
Sal

VA BBQ PIRATES
11-15-2008, 09:00 AM
Our chicken has been all over the place. One thing I think I've been doing is over cooking it. This might be part of what's going on with yours too. What temp is it when you move it to the grill?

Tom

Bbq Bubba
11-15-2008, 09:23 AM
Pics??? :biggrin:

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-15-2008, 09:29 AM
Our chicken has been all over the place. One thing I think I've been doing is over cooking it. This might be part of what's going on with yours too. What temp is it when you move it to the grill?

Tom

I switch it over about 140 and because of the way the MeadowCreek chicken cooker I can "flip" the chicken for about 45 min. to finish the chicken. The "fire" is far bellow the grate so I havent had any time getting it up to 170ish with out burning it, after the carry over it generally is about 180ish when it is resting.

big brother smoke
11-15-2008, 10:45 AM
Pics??? :biggrin:


What he said!:biggrin:

SaucyWench
11-15-2008, 11:53 AM
Don't know if you'd like a judge's input, but here goes anyway...

You say you cover your pan during the 1 1/2 hours of smoking, do you leave the foil loose so some smoke can get in? One of my major complaints with chicken is that often there's just no smoky flavor.

Also, without knowing how thickly you sauce, it sounds like your sauce could be pretty sticky/sweet. Maybe leave out the corn syrup? Chicken is always the messiest category, and while most judges will try the first bite with skin, sauce & all, we do tend to then try to get past the sauce into the chicken itself. IMO, the meat should be able to stand on it's own, and in 7 years of judging, I've never heard a judge say they wish there was more sauce on chicken.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-15-2008, 03:34 PM
this is the first attempt at a pic. I hope this works!!

NelsonC
11-15-2008, 04:03 PM
Having only cooked in one contest, I'm definitely no expert.... but I did win chicken at that contest, so I hope this helps. My prep was similar to yours (marinade, then rub), but I didn't use a pan or foil during the cooking process. The thighs went directly on the grate of the stumps, skin side up the entire time (no grill finishing). I did glaze with a sweet sauce about 30 minutes prior to pulling them to prepare my turn in box. I took the thighs all the way to 180* and had bite-through, not crispy skin. I don't really believe in resting chicken, because you don't cut, slice or pull it for turning in.

Here is a picture of my turn in from Rocky Mount

http://www.olddominionsmokehouse.com/chickenbox.jpg

nthole
11-15-2008, 04:10 PM
Here is a picture of my turn in from Rocky Mount



Wow...THAT is some gorgeous chicken. I'd give it a 9 hands down.

See how his chicken is more even on the overall look? You can also see there's a lot going on with it, spices, etc.

Doesn't sound like anything is wrong with your method. We've stopped trying to finish on the grill as well and have been doing better.

Sledneck
11-15-2008, 04:31 PM
Having only cooked in one contest, I'm definitely no expert.... but I did win chicken at that contest, so I hope this helps. My prep was similar to yours (marinade, then rub), but I didn't use a pan or foil during the cooking process. The thighs went directly on the grate of the stumps, skin side up the entire time (no grill finishing). I did glaze with a sweet sauce about 30 minutes prior to pulling them to prepare my turn in box. I took the thighs all the way to 180* and had bite-through, not crispy skin. I don't really believe in resting chicken, because you don't cut, slice or pull it for turning in.

Here is a picture of my turn in from Rocky Mount

What temp are you cooking at? top or bottom rack?

NelsonC
11-15-2008, 04:44 PM
What temp are you cooking at? top or bottom rack?

Between 225-235, bottom rack.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-15-2008, 05:43 PM
I have seen some great looking chicken on here. the pic is my turn in at Pickin' in the PanHandle, it was 13th. I really hope this thread not only helps me but others like the Brisket sauce thread probably will (I know it will for me!!)there are alot of guys doing well in chicken on here, I am not looking for recipes more for a technique. Any pointers would be great! thanks! I really dont even mind a critique of my method, just want to add another chapter to the brethern book.

ipls3355
11-15-2008, 06:22 PM
<snip>, it was 13th. <snip>
I think 13th place chicken is better then 1st around here.

Jacked UP BBQ
11-15-2008, 06:28 PM
The best we ever done in chicken was when it was dark red with a shiny glaze! Seems to be the magic for us. We tried other methods for coloring and it never scored as well. We cook at 300+.

SmokeInDaEye
11-15-2008, 08:39 PM
this is the first attempt at a pic. I hope this works!!

Ganome, it seems from the pix that you need a little more heat. The chicken looks kinda light and it make the grate marks very noticable. a thinned out sauce could also help even out the color, just make sure you give it a bit of time to set in.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=773352&postcount=82

SaucyWench
11-15-2008, 08:42 PM
Appearance is all fine and good, but if the chix don't taste great, pretty is the least of your worries. Gimme some delicious smoky meat!

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-15-2008, 08:53 PM
Ganome, it seems from the pix that you need a little more heat. The chicken looks kinda light and it make the grate marks very noticable. a thinned out sauce could also help even out the color, just make sure you give it a bit of time to set in.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=773352&postcount=82


I agree with the lightness in color, this is when I first tried to turn it in, 11:30 insted of 12:00. it went back on the smoker and did set up/darken a bit. I was a little ahead of my self, I was thinking of sausage turn in at NewHolland! after all was said and done I laughed even though walking up to the judges tent a half hour early and see any one else wasnt funny.:roll:

SmokeInDaEye
11-15-2008, 09:21 PM
I agree with the lightness in color, this is when I first tried to turn it in, 11:30 insted of 12:00. it went back on the smoker and did set up/darken a bit. I was a little ahead of my self, I was thinking of sausage turn in at NewHolland! after all was said and done I laughed even though walking up to the judges tent a half hour early and see any one else wasnt funny.:roll:

Hey, at least you were ahead of schedule the rest of the day, no?

ipls3355
11-15-2008, 09:37 PM
better 30 minutes early then 30 minutes late

Michael in PA
11-15-2008, 11:05 PM
We've only been to one KCBS competition, but we took first in chicken. We don't grill and we don't sauce. We pull the chicken and immediately apply avery little thin, sweet glaze. The chicken is hot and the glaze is hot so it cooks on immediately. Best thing is the skin stays crispy and is a little sweet and shiny.

PatioDaddio
11-15-2008, 11:10 PM
Three words...

Brine! Brine! Brine! :wink:

It gets flavor to the bone and greatly improves moisture retention, which means a lot more overcook insurance.

John

SaucyWench
11-15-2008, 11:40 PM
No, no, no! Brine just makes the chickie taste salty. Smoke, real smoke, is what you need to be trying for!

watertowerbbq
11-16-2008, 08:13 AM
No, no, no! Brine just makes the chickie taste salty. Smoke, real smoke, is what you need to be trying for!

Tell that to AB (Alton Brown) :eek:

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-16-2008, 10:45 AM
Three words...

Brine! Brine! Brine! :wink:

It gets flavor to the bone and greatly improves moisture retention, which means a lot more overcook insurance.

John

testing the brining waters today,
thighs

1 quart water
1/4c salt (kosher)
1/4c brown sugar
1 tbs dehydrated chopped onion (I really dont know why)

gonna let the thighs in the brine about 4-5 hours and smoke to temp. I will sauce at the end with Stubbs original (I think).
Sal

PatioDaddio
11-16-2008, 11:10 AM
No, no, no! Brine just makes the chickie taste salty. Smoke, real smoke, is what you need to be trying for!Not if you use a salt/sugar ratio of 2/3 cup to 1 cup, and brine for 6 hours. It works like a champ for me. The two times I tries not brining my scores plummeted.

John

Ron_L
11-16-2008, 11:29 AM
Not if you use a salt/sugar ratio of 2/3 cup to 1 cup, and brine for 6 hours. It works like a champ for me. The two times I tries not brining my scores plummeted.

John

I'm assuming that's 2/3 cup salt to 1 cup of sugar. How much water?

Do you rinse the chicken after the brine, SaucyWench? I forgot to rinse once and the chicken was way too salty.

MilitantSquatter
11-16-2008, 11:46 AM
Sal - I'd be careful with the grate marks on the top using the exanded steel grates. When I used to have my Pitts & SPitts, it always made chicken look unappealing on the top side with the large diamonds embedded. If you want, try skin up first until the skin tightens up and gets some color on it.

Also, it seems that aside from the color of the sauce, there is very little traceability of the original rub. Either coating was light to begin with or it got wiped away when sauce was applied.

As far as brines, marinades or injections - I think all are good options and one method is probably not much better than the other as far as overall noticeability as it would affect scoring as long as the flavor was pleasing.

I'd dare a good percentage of people couldn't tell which method was used on smoked chicken after all the rub and sauce is applied.

Good Luck !!

VA BBQ PIRATES
11-16-2008, 11:57 AM
testing the brining waters today,
thighs

1 quart water
1/4c salt (kosher)
1/4c brown sugar
1 tbs dehydrated chopped onion (I really dont know why)

gonna let the thighs in the brine about 4-5 hours and smoke to temp. I will sauce at the end with Stubbs original (I think).
Sal

Sal I brine with about that same ratio but only go about 2 hours. Let us know how it goes. (onion? I know why)

Dan - 3eyzbbq
11-16-2008, 12:23 PM
Sal I brine with about that same ratio but only go about 2 hours. Let us know how it goes. (onion? I know why)

Why?

VA BBQ PIRATES
11-16-2008, 02:25 PM
Gnomes like Onion:-D

And in addition to adding moisture you can add flavour with your brine. As the water is being forced into the chicken by osmosis it takes some of the flavor of the brine with it.

Tom

SaucyWench
11-16-2008, 07:22 PM
Oops, sorry, even though I read "brine", my brain turned brine into "inject," I'm just not a big fan of injecting (or Alton Brown.) I don't have any unexplainable prejudices against brining.

I agree that if the flavor's great, I'm gonna give a high score for taste, however you prepared it.

PatioDaddio
11-17-2008, 12:09 AM
I'm assuming that's 2/3 cup salt to 1 cup of sugar. How much water?1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning

No need to rinse.

John

Spydermike72
11-17-2008, 05:34 AM
When brining chicken, becareful not to keep it in the water too long, we usually go about 1 hour in a very simple brine of:

1 Gallon of water
1 cup of salt
1 cup of brown sugar

After 1 hour wash/rinse very good and let air dry until the skin is dry.

If you let it soak in the brine too long it will be salty... Chicken will take the brine quickly and about an hour is all that is needed.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-17-2008, 08:26 AM
Gnomes like Onion:-D

And in addition to adding moisture you can add flavour with your brine. As the water is being forced into the chicken by osmosis it takes some of the flavor of the brine with it.

Tom

thats what I was thinking, some of the flavor did transfer in, I had it in the brine too long. the skin was as tuff as MR.T , that is some thing I can fix. probably an hour or so would be enough. I will be tring again next weekend. I think I have WATG syndrome.

VA BBQ PIRATES
11-17-2008, 11:39 AM
I think I have WATG syndrome.


Not the dreaded WATG syndrome:eek:

You know the only cure for that is a call for chicken.

Tom

Big George's BBQ
11-17-2008, 11:50 AM
Gnomes like Onion:-D

And in addition to adding moisture you can add flavour with your brine. As the water is being forced into the chicken by osmosis it takes some of the flavor of the brine with it.

Tom

Gnomes can be a little funny up top. That is why the WATG syndrome can be so dangerous. I have brined in the past- pork with a lot of success. Have not tried chicken but I bet it would be good.

watg?
11-17-2008, 12:07 PM
Not the dreaded WATG syndrome:eek:

You know the only cure for that is a call for chicken.

Tom



Heyyyyy.....I resemble that remark....I am all better now.... at least thats what the Doctor says...now.......where did I put those thighs?:eusa_clap:shock::icon_smil:icon_frow:-?:lol:

Jacked UP BBQ
11-17-2008, 12:53 PM
Try removing your skin when putting the chicken in the brine

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-17-2008, 02:20 PM
Heyyyyy.....I resemble that remark....I am all better now.... at least thats what the Doctor says...now.......where did I put those thighs?:eusa_clap:shock::icon_smil:icon_frow:-?:lol:

Sorry, George...I just cant stop!!!!!!!!!every stinkin' weekend for months and I still dont have anything to show for it!!!!!!!!why is chicken so darn hard..I know it must be the judges fault!!!yea thats the ticket!!arghh!!!:evil:

SaucyWench
11-17-2008, 03:21 PM
Try removing your skin when putting the chicken in the brine


Doesn't removing your skin hurt?:eek:

Big Ugly's BBQ
11-17-2008, 03:46 PM
Relax Sal, and keep you hands away from sharp objects:shock::shock:

We talked about this at Bel Air this year, remember?? You said you were happy with your Chicken results so far, what has changed?

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
11-17-2008, 05:22 PM
Relax Sal, and keep you hands away from sharp objects:shock::shock:

We talked about this at Bel Air this year, remember?? You said you were happy with your Chicken results so far, what has changed?

I was drunk or something:eek:

I am just looking to improve about 30 spots, I havent broken the top 10 yet. now how about tips on your brisket:lol:


as far as sharp objects...my yellow bunny safe-t scissors as safe for those of us 4 and older and I am in that range!!:icon_cool

Big Ugly's BBQ
11-18-2008, 08:47 AM
now how about tips on your brisket:lol:


Brisket??? I don't do Brisket, I do Roast Beef, or at least that what family Chief Financial Officer says:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: