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Willie's BBQ
04-01-2010, 07:31 PM
Am I the only one who thinks that it is odd that we cut,trim,manipulate chicken to look like a square piece of meat??:confused: Why don't we turn in chicken that actually looks like chicken?? ........Just askin..:tape:

tonto1117
04-01-2010, 07:36 PM
Am I the only one who thinks that it is odd that we cut,trim,manipulate chicken to look like a square piece of meat??:confused: Why don't we turn in chicken that actually looks like chicken?? ........Just askin..:tape:

Because that would make way to much sense and make our lives easier. That's like asking why they sell 8 hot dog buns in a bag and a 10 pack of hot dogs......:crazy::becky:

davidh9946
04-01-2010, 07:52 PM
I don't have the answer but I have not done competitions. I have judged (KCBS certified) and I think it might have something to do with the symmetry of 6 perfectly placed, identical pieces of chicken in the presentation box. Just my 2 cents.

Paulmark
04-01-2010, 08:08 PM
I don't have the answer but I have not done competitions. I have judged (KCBS certified) and I think it might have something to do with the symmetry of 6 perfectly placed, identical pieces of chicken in the presentation box. Just my 2 cents.

Must be a six-pack mentality:confused:

G$
04-01-2010, 08:08 PM
Yeah, I don't want to take this off topic, but if I were making a governing body from scratch, I'd require (2)half chickens be cooked.

Also, what's worse is those chicken squares are looking more like chicken balls recently.

Smokin' Joe
04-01-2010, 08:18 PM
Because even, symetrical, simliar looking pieces of chicken are appealing to the eye, lumpy, uneven, ragged not so much. Looks goods...tastes good kinda thing.

FWIW, I know a pretty successful KCBS team that turns in thighs that look "tidy" but are not uniform (ie, square or round) and score very very well on a regular basis.

For us on the other hand, our chicken doesn't taste good enough for it to look less than perfect:doh:

Merl
04-01-2010, 09:22 PM
Since last summer all the chicken I see in the judges tent looks like a round biscuit cooked in butter or parkay margarine. But that is just my thoughts.

MoGreen
04-01-2010, 09:56 PM
You're all missing the obvious... it's hip to be square! I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. Off to the penalty box...

slowerlowerbbq
04-01-2010, 10:00 PM
Yeah, I don't want to take this off topic, but if I were making a governing body from scratch, I'd require (2)half chickens be cooked.

G$, I love that idea. Last year in Dover, I did just that. Had to cut it up to get it in the box. Needless to say I didnt do well, but at least I beat out Paul Peterson :thumb: of course I had no idea what I was doing. At least it looked like chicken.

However, I have to agree with Smokin' Joe. Symmetrical pieces make a better presentation and that's 1/3 of the score, aint it?

Jeff Hughes
04-02-2010, 06:45 AM
1/3 of the score, aint it?

Not exactly.

Appearance, taste, and tenderness are weighted, with appearance counting the least...

MattCom
04-02-2010, 07:16 AM
I would think part of it is to show the judges they are all tasting the same exact piece of meat, with that said, then the burden goes on the judges to hopefully have consistent scores... Am I expecting too much?
Let's just hope the trend doesn't carry over to Pulled Pork. It might be tough getting pieces of pulled port to look alike...:noidea:

SmokinOkie
04-02-2010, 11:05 AM
Since last summer all the chicken I see in the judges tent looks like a round biscuit cooked in butter or parkay margarine. But that is just my thoughts.

Merl, I understand you can tell a round biscuit, but how do you tell it was cooked in butter or parkay just by looking? :doh:

smoke it if ya got it
04-02-2010, 11:08 AM
I always thought it was so the judge with the small piece didnt get chicken envy!:-P

Alexa RnQ
04-02-2010, 11:23 AM
I would think part of it is to show the judges they are all tasting the same exact piece of meat
I just don't see how one could demonstrate that with chicken. Unless you've gotten hold of a Chernobyl chicken with six legs!

I have to admit that I don't like "machined"-looking pieces of chicken, but I don't like raggedy, untrimmed chicken either. There's a middle ground of nicely trimmed, presented pieces.

Smitty250
04-02-2010, 11:39 AM
Am I the only one who thinks that it is odd that we cut,trim,manipulate chicken to look like a square piece of meat??:confused: Why don't we turn in chicken that actually looks like chicken?? ........Just askin..:tape:

I agree!! Here's something funny. When I first started competing last year before all of this competition chicken research I have been doing I placed in the first 2 competitions in the chicken category. All I did was lightly trim, marinade, rub, and smoke. After those 2 competitions and some heavy research I practiced and competed using the bone-out, heavy uniform trim, scrape skin, parkay bath method and haven't placed in chicken since then! :confused: I guess it's time to go back to basics and keep it simple!

G$
04-02-2010, 12:41 PM
I agree!! Here's something funny. When I first started competing last year before all of this competition chicken research I have been doing I placed in the first 2 competitions in the chicken category. All I did was lightly trim, marinade, rub, and smoke. After those 2 competitions and some heavy research I practiced and competed using the bone-out, heavy uniform trim, scrape skin, parkay bath method and haven't placed in chicken since then! :confused: I guess it's time to go back to basics and keep it simple!

We got a first place chicken in Taylor (in 2008 I think) without trimming, deboning, or scraping.

MattCom
04-02-2010, 03:26 PM
I just don't see how one could demonstrate that with chicken. Unless you've gotten hold of a Chernobyl chicken with six legs!

I have to admit that I don't like "machined"-looking pieces of chicken, but I don't like raggedy, untrimmed chicken either. There's a middle ground of nicely trimmed, presented pieces.

I don't agree with the cloned look of it either, I see it as the trend though.
The chicken we usually put out resembles small catchers mitts and by the score we recieve... they must taste like a mitt too!:heh:

ZILLA
04-02-2010, 03:51 PM
As an outsider looking in (to the KCBS world) it appears that appearance scores do indeed have more weight than the score sheet would tell. Just because appearance is supposed to matter the least doesn't mean it won't effect the other scores in a detrimental way. If this were not true than why are folks still using garnish and producing ultra uniform unnatural looking chicken? If it really doesn't matter if a tray is garnished or that chicken pieces are naturally different from one another and are presented in their natural form then why does it seem to matter so much? It either matters or it doesn't, it can't be both.

monty3777
04-02-2010, 04:02 PM
Because it's harder and takes more skill to sculpt chicken. There is no rule that says you need to conform to this standard. Be a REBEL - c'mon, go for it!!!! :)

Alexa RnQ
04-02-2010, 04:12 PM
It either matters or it doesn't, it can't be both.
Honestly, I think it can be both.
I think it does matter, all other things being equal -- but it doesn't matter as much as some think it does.

Good chicken doesn't have to be in unnatural shapes, but unnaturally shaped chicken still has to be good.

ZILLA
04-02-2010, 05:25 PM
Do you drink Diet Coke with a slice of chocolate cake? :wink:

Alexa RnQ
04-02-2010, 05:35 PM
Oh hell yes -- mainly because the real-deal cane Coke makes me silly, giggly drunk. http://www.divaherself.com/funny/shiner.gif

ZILLA
04-02-2010, 07:24 PM
I can see it now :dancer:

ZILLA
04-02-2010, 07:36 PM
Honestly, I think it can be both.
I think it does matter, all other things being equal -- but it doesn't matter as much as some think it does.

Good chicken doesn't have to be in unnatural shapes, but unnaturally shaped chicken still has to be good.

OK, back on topic. Even if it doesn't matter as much as people think, could it still matter too much? You see as much as I love to stir a pot now and again I'm not trying to do it here. I really do think that we need better judging systems for BBQ in all three countries. The USA, Texas, and Canady, we all need to improve. I here and see so much discussion about appearance scores and dissatisfaction with the status-quo, all over the Internet I see it, I don't see how It can't be a problem. FYI, I'm very much dis-satisfied with the Texas system but will take it any day over the current version of the KCBS set. That being said the KCBS rules are close to what we all need but they still need a few heavy tweaks IMO. What's it gonna take? :confused:

Alexa RnQ
04-02-2010, 07:49 PM
Well, that's where we'll part ways. I don't have any heavy-duty dissatisfactions with KCBS's rules at the moment. I have my moments about IBCA, but we cook satisfactorily under their rules, too.

Of course you'll see posts by those who dislike the status quo -- when was the last time you saw someone go online saying "I LOVE the rules!" :tongue: :laugh:

SirPorkaLot
04-03-2010, 01:14 PM
I for one refuse to:


De-bone thighs - takes away from the flavor believe it or not
Use a muffin pan - Myron has to be having the biggest laugh on that one
use parkay on my chicken or ribs (or anything for that matter)
Sell out - I cook for my pleasure. If it happens to please the judges - great!, if not - I enjoyed myself.

What I will do (do do?):


Trim thighs to get them as presentable (and similar size) as possible
Use my own process for bite through skin
Laugh by butt off watching other teams spend hours prepping chicken into balls, parkay baths & muffin tins - all while I relax with a cold beer
Only compete as time & money allows. Fortunately for me, it is a hobby. I am not trying to advertise my restaurant or catering biz, don't need a table full of trophies, and don't expect to walk away with any cash at the end of the comp. Just have a great time with great people.

BigButzBBQ
04-03-2010, 01:37 PM
After recently attending a KCBS judging certification, I do have to say that, they clearly do state that the appearance isn't weighed as heavily as the other factors, however, they spend more time going over appearance than anything else. They state what garnishes to use, how many pieces should be identifiable, pooling, puddling, etc., etc. but, when it comes to taste and tenderness issues, there is little time spent on them and they say that it is up to each persons interpretation. That is why I think there may be a bigger focus on the appearance factor than it truly merits, if it looks good, it looks good. Just make sure you got enough for everyone. I think people need to focus more on what they are happy with because by doing so, it will come out in the end product. On the upside, if they all look exactly the same, then I guess it would come down to purely taste and tenderness alone. :laugh:

BRBBQ
04-03-2010, 02:45 PM
Am I the only one who thinks that it is odd that we cut,trim,manipulate chicken to look like a square piece of meat??:confused: Why don't we turn in chicken that actually looks like chicken?? ........Just askin..:tape:This is the perfect time to see PIC's, maybe we can compare square vs muffin vs regular shape chicken:becky:

slowerlowerbbq
04-04-2010, 08:30 AM
I for one refuse to:


De-bone thighs - takes away from the flavor believe it or not
Use a muffin pan - Myron has to be having the biggest laugh on that one
use parkay on my chicken or ribs (or anything for that matter)
Sell out - I cook for my pleasure. If it happens to please the judges - great!, if not - I enjoyed myself.
What I will do (do do?):


Trim thighs to get them as presentable (and similar size) as possible
Use my own process for bite through skin
Laugh by butt off watching other teams spend hours prepping chicken into balls, parkay baths & muffin tins - all while I relax with a cold beer
Only compete as time & money allows. Fortunately for me, it is a hobby. I am not trying to advertise my restaurant or catering biz, don't need a table full of trophies, and don't expect to walk away with any cash at the end of the comp. Just have a great time with great people.


Well said John, I couldn't agree with ya more brotha. Especially about the Parkay....ick. That being said, I think I will still end up stressing more about the chicken than anything else at comps this summer.

STUPID CHICKEN!

BBQchef33
04-04-2010, 11:47 AM
I just spent what probably totaled 8 hours over 2 days working on chicken for plesent hill only to be rewarded with a pair of 6 in appearance. I think we should just swith to chicken fingers.

big brother smoke
04-04-2010, 12:43 PM
I just spent what probably totaled 8 hours over 2 days working on chicken for plesent hill only to be rewarded with a pair of 6 in appearance. I think we should just swith to chicken fingers.

Ouch, Phil that stings!

JD McGee
04-04-2010, 01:23 PM
Think drumsticks...looks like chicken...tastes like chicken...and has a handle that judges love! :cool:

Vince RnQ
04-04-2010, 02:16 PM
There is nothing I dislike more than trimming chicken for a competition but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Willie's BBQ
04-04-2010, 09:05 PM
[QUOTE=BBQchef33;1239172 I think we should just swith to chicken fingers.[/QUOTE]

the car or dolphin shaped?????:tape:

ique
04-05-2010, 02:36 PM
I just wrote something up on my blog on this topic:

http://ique2.blogspot.com/2010/04/competition-chicken.html

nthole
04-05-2010, 02:41 PM
I like the idea of drumsticks and wings. We're gonna give that a go this year and just see what happens. I agree with the comment that most of the judging class seems to be about visuals, which is a bit weird. The more judges that aren't cooks seem to be watching tv and looking at stuff they seem to think more and more that they should be eating mini chicken meat loafs (wait...there's an idea!). You start to wonder if they could even identify a thigh in a grocery store.

clk219th
04-06-2010, 12:37 PM
It doesn't make sense to me that what gets turned in looks nothing like a chicken thigh. If it looks good, it looks good even if they aren't all symmetrical. With that said, if the judges expect a box of squares, I guess that's what you have to give 'em.

jbrink01
04-06-2010, 01:12 PM
I spent 1 hour boning thighs and trimming yesterday for a practice cook. Then spent 2 hours prepping and cooking, all to be met with "I sure liked the ones with the bones better" from my wife. That coupled coupled with all of my chicken calls coming with nicely trimmed (not perfect, but uniform), bone-in thighs has answered this question for me.

heinz57
04-06-2010, 03:40 PM
[QUOTE=Willie's BBQ;1236115]Am I the only one who thinks that it is odd that we cut,trim,manipulate chicken to look like a square piece of meat??:confused: Why don't we turn in chicken that actually looks like chicken?? ........Just askin..:tape:[/QUOTE

Because this is how Myron does it!

Smokin' Joe
04-06-2010, 06:05 PM
I just wrote something up on my blog on this topic:

http://ique2.blogspot.com/2010/04/competition-chicken.html

Great looking chicken and nice work on the blog post (thanks for the plug :thumb:)

garyk1398
04-07-2010, 09:06 AM
I for one refuse to:


De-bone thighs - takes away from the flavor believe it or not
Use a muffin pan - Myron has to be having the biggest laugh on that one
use parkay on my chicken or ribs (or anything for that matter)
Sell out - I cook for my pleasure. If it happens to please the judges - great!, if not - I enjoyed myself.
What I will do (do do?):


Trim thighs to get them as presentable (and similar size) as possible
Use my own process for bite through skin
Laugh by butt off watching other teams spend hours prepping chicken into balls, parkay baths & muffin tins - all while I relax with a cold beer
Only compete as time & money allows. Fortunately for me, it is a hobby. I am not trying to advertise my restaurant or catering biz, don't need a table full of trophies, and don't expect to walk away with any cash at the end of the comp. Just have a great time with great people.


BRAVO!! :clap2: Seems like "appearance" has to mean "all the same shape and size" in many judges' eyes!