I've never competed. When I make wings I use a dry rub and smoke them with cherry at 350 and they turn out great! I've brined them before but the difference between non-brined to me wasn't significant enough for me to mess with it. I brine all my other chicken, though. If I was competing I may look at it differently. You can make killer wings a 1000 different ways, just make sure the skin on them is crispy.
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*A Texan transplant*
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