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smokehunter
03-06-2010, 02:54 PM
I bet this has been addressed 1000 times over her, but this is the first time I've been to the comp forum....A couple of buddies and I are entering a competition in a couple of weeks for the first time. We are actually just entering the backyard category or ameture division. I've been put in charge of the chicken. I've got a good recipe, but could use some tips as to what the judges will be looking for. For starters, is it really necessary to debone the thighs or is that optional? They don't bother me but it seems like thats what they "do on tv." Any other tips anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

Ron_L
03-06-2010, 03:36 PM
You don't have to debone. When I have judged I've only seen a couple of boneless entries.

smokehunter
03-06-2010, 03:55 PM
Thanks Ron. Besides flavor, do you think the next most important thing is somewhat "crispy" skin, or at least bite through?

big blue bbq
03-06-2010, 04:28 PM
I am more concerned with my flavor than bite thru skin. If you can get that, it is a good thing. Crispy skin is hard to get on one cooker. I used to put mine over the fire box skin down for about 60 seconds to try to help, but found cooking at a little higher temperature during the cooking did the same thing.

Ron_L
03-06-2010, 04:46 PM
If you think you want to turn in crispy skin, cook some chicken that way and then put it in a styrofoam container with whatever garnish you wan to use and let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes. That's what the judges will get. I'll bet that with the steam from the chicken and the moisture from the garnish that the skin isn't crispy anymore. It may be, but it doesn't seem likely.

Concentrate and cooking the chicken well (juicy, tender) and get your flavors right, and then work on the skin.

SirPorkaLot
03-06-2010, 05:20 PM
I am more concerned with my flavor than bite thru skin. If you can get that, it is a good thing. Crispy skin is hard to get on one cooker. I used to put mine over the fire box skin down for about 60 seconds to try to help, but found cooking at a little higher temperature during the cooking did the same thing.

Is there a rule that says we can't use more than one cooker that I am unaware of? I always finish my chicken on high heat on my Weber to achieve the texture I am seeking.

sampson
03-06-2010, 05:29 PM
Is there a rule that says we can't use more than one cooker that I am unaware of? I always finish my chicken on high heat on my Weber to achieve the texture I am seeking.

IMO judges aren't expecting deboned chicken. As for bite through skin, if you can cool, but most can't. Like RonL said, try putting any chicken, even fried, into a styrofoam box for about 10 minutes with some leaf lettuce and see what you get... I've tried skinless before but didn't score any better than normal.

professor smokeybones
03-07-2010, 01:34 AM
I like to taste chicken that has skin I can bite through and enough spice to set it apart from all the other samples. All too often i will get six thighs that are almost smoky, almost tender and almost memorable. I and many of my judge friends are most impressed by a sample that has a more pronounced smoke and spice then the rest. Seldom do I get a piece that is too smoky or spicy but I regularly get pieces that are gray, boring, bland and forgetible. In an effort not to "offend any of the judges" I have found that I have allowed my own chicken entries to get a bit boring. hope this helps

big blue bbq
03-07-2010, 06:47 AM
Is there a rule that says we can't use more than one cooker that I am unaware of? I always finish my chicken on high heat on my Weber to achieve the texture I am seeking.
There is no rule against using more than one smoker, I see it done alot. I am just on a limited budget and taking extra cookers and using extra charcoal does not fit into what I do. Lots of people use a big green egg for chicken only at comps and others use a weber kettle to finish it off on.

smokehunter
03-07-2010, 07:35 AM
Thanks for the help guys. I will take all the tips I can get.

Ford
03-07-2010, 07:37 AM
Concentrate and cooking the chicken well (juicy, tender) and get your flavors right, and then work on the skin.
Bingo. The right rub with the right sauce that compliment each other. And juicy is a key. Try putting a piece off to the side and waiting 15-20 minutes as the judges will wait that long usually. Then bite into it. If juices run down your chin you've nailed it. That with good flavor will win. Skin is easy to get bite thru as part of cooking. Lots of tips here on that.