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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 07-27-2011, 08:13 AM   #1
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Default Chicken Prep Question

This past weekend I scraped chicken skin a day before cooking, normally I do it the morning of. After scraping I placed skins back on on a put in ziploks and back into cooler on ice. When I cooked them, the next day, the skins seemed to shrink right up on me. Has anyone else had this happen? Wondering if they lost moisture? Thinking I might have to go back to doing it morning of but would like to save some of the hassle of rushing through it. Thanks.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #2
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i scrape day before. no issues....yet.

but i stack them on a plate and reassemble before cooking.

don't see how that would make a difference though.

15 of them at a clip. uuuggghhhh! make me ill just thinking about it.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 08:59 AM   #3
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I scrape mine before hand as well and haven't had this problem. I vacuum seal mine when I'm done scraping and I also marinate them before cooking.

If drying is the problem you might be able to re-hydrate by marinating or brining.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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I am not a Competition cook YET but definitely considering it and trying to learn everything I can here with the Brethren. Short of spending a lot of money that I don't have right now for a school I'm hoping I can get an answer to a question that's been bothering me for quite a while now. Some of you talk about taking the skin off and scraping the fat off and then reattaching the skin before putting it back on the grill. This much I understand but how do you get that bite through crispy skin without the whole skin coming off with that first bite?
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Unread 07-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Unread 07-27-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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I had never had a problem until this weekend. Maybe the cooker was heating a bit warmer than normal given the heat/humidity, and that just caused it to pull up during the cooking process. It didn't come out terrible but didn't get me a call either.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 02:08 PM   #7
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Unread 07-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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I've heard about scraping chicken but have yet to try it. Could any of you give a few tips (perhaps with pics) on doing this. Do you remove the whole skin and place it back or just enough to get under the skin?
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Unread 07-27-2011, 03:19 PM   #9
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I'll get pics later (our practice this weekend includes chicken) but the best tip we've come up with is secret...

...ok I'll tell you anyway, since everyone here is so incredibly helpful :)

There is a post (I think on pickled pig) that covers most of it, but here's what we do for thighs:
Pull the skin off (gently, don't tear it) and stack them (we do them by 10s)
Throw the pile of skins in a ziplock and into an ice bath
Cut excess fat off the chicken and trim them to an even size
Put them on ice (steam tray over ice bath, plastic wrap over top) to keep them fresh
Pull the now-cold skins out and lay them inside-up
Here's the scraping part: Take a -very- sharp knife and get under the membrane between the fat and the skin itself, then gently pull and slice the fat off. If it warms up too much, throw it back in the ice for a minute and start dipping the knife also (to cool it off)
Once the fat is off (its -really- gross) you'll have nearly transparent skins, hopefully with no nicks or cuts. If they are significantly larger than your thighs, or strangely shaped, trim them up accordingly.

When you go to cook, take a thigh and lay it out bone-side down. Drape a skin over it (preferably outside-out, but if you did it right it might be hard to tell) and make sure its not a -lot- larger than the meat. Curl the ends under the meat and cook accordingly..

The trick is the ice water - makes separating the fat a LOT easier. Otherwise the membrane is glued down and you end up basically shaving gooey fat off one microscopic layer at a time..

(We have another technique that we're practicing this weekend, might cut a lot of the manual labor out of that process. I hope. We've done about 100 of them in the last month, practicing, and while it gets faster it doesn't get any more fun...)

And our first competition isn't till Sept, so this advice may be worth less than you paid for it ;)
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Unread 07-27-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disconnect View Post
I'll get pics later (our practice this weekend includes chicken) but the best tip we've come up with is secret...

...ok I'll tell you anyway, since everyone here is so incredibly helpful :)

There is a post (I think on pickled pig) that covers most of it, but here's what we do for thighs:
Pull the skin off (gently, don't tear it) and stack them (we do them by 10s)
Throw the pile of skins in a ziplock and into an ice bath
Cut excess fat off the chicken and trim them to an even size
Put them on ice (steam tray over ice bath, plastic wrap over top) to keep them fresh
Pull the now-cold skins out and lay them inside-up
Here's the scraping part: Take a -very- sharp knife and get under the membrane between the fat and the skin itself, then gently pull and slice the fat off. If it warms up too much, throw it back in the ice for a minute and start dipping the knife also (to cool it off)
Once the fat is off (its -really- gross) you'll have nearly transparent skins, hopefully with no nicks or cuts. If they are significantly larger than your thighs, or strangely shaped, trim them up accordingly.

When you go to cook, take a thigh and lay it out bone-side down. Drape a skin over it (preferably outside-out, but if you did it right it might be hard to tell) and make sure its not a -lot- larger than the meat. Curl the ends under the meat and cook accordingly..

The trick is the ice water - makes separating the fat a LOT easier. Otherwise the membrane is glued down and you end up basically shaving gooey fat off one microscopic layer at a time..

(We have another technique that we're practicing this weekend, might cut a lot of the manual labor out of that process. I hope. We've done about 100 of them in the last month, practicing, and while it gets faster it doesn't get any more fun...)

And our first competition isn't till Sept, so this advice may be worth less than you paid for it ;)
That's awesome man, thanks for the tips. I'm going to try that a few times this weekend and see how it turns out.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #11
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I don't scrape my skins, but my cooking process gets me bite through skin every time. I tried scraping once, but it was way too much work, and I found it unneccessary. Finished 10th last time out
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Unread 07-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelkster View Post
I don't scrape my skins, but my cooking process gets me bite through skin every time. I tried scraping once, but it was way too much work, and I found it unneccessary. Finished 10th last time out
I agree with Keith. There are methods to cook chicken where scrapping is not required. It takes a little practice, and cooking at the proper temperatures.
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Unread 07-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Don View Post
I am not a Competition cook YET but definitely considering it and trying to learn everything I can here with the Brethren. Short of spending a lot of money that I don't have right now for a school I'm hoping I can get an answer to a question that's been bothering me for quite a while now. Some of you talk about taking the skin off and scraping the fat off and then reattaching the skin before putting it back on the grill. This much I understand but how do you get that bite through crispy skin without the whole skin coming off with that first bite?
That is the million dollar question! The search for the Holly Grail....

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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disconnect View Post
I'll get pics later (our practice this weekend includes chicken) but the best tip we've come up with is secret...

...ok I'll tell you anyway, since everyone here is so incredibly helpful :)

There is a post (I think on pickled pig) that covers most of it, but here's what we do for thighs:
Pull the skin off (gently, don't tear it) and stack them (we do them by 10s)
Throw the pile of skins in a ziplock and into an ice bath
Cut excess fat off the chicken and trim them to an even size
Put them on ice (steam tray over ice bath, plastic wrap over top) to keep them fresh
Pull the now-cold skins out and lay them inside-up
Here's the scraping part: Take a -very- sharp knife and get under the membrane between the fat and the skin itself, then gently pull and slice the fat off. If it warms up too much, throw it back in the ice for a minute and start dipping the knife also (to cool it off)
Once the fat is off (its -really- gross) you'll have nearly transparent skins, hopefully with no nicks or cuts. If they are significantly larger than your thighs, or strangely shaped, trim them up accordingly.

When you go to cook, take a thigh and lay it out bone-side down. Drape a skin over it (preferably outside-out, but if you did it right it might be hard to tell) and make sure its not a -lot- larger than the meat. Curl the ends under the meat and cook accordingly..

The trick is the ice water - makes separating the fat a LOT easier. Otherwise the membrane is glued down and you end up basically shaving gooey fat off one microscopic layer at a time..

(We have another technique that we're practicing this weekend, might cut a lot of the manual labor out of that process. I hope. We've done about 100 of them in the last month, practicing, and while it gets faster it doesn't get any more fun...)

And our first competition isn't till Sept, so this advice may be worth less than you paid for it ;)
Thank you very much for your reply and much appreciated instructions. I also see other replys saying that this is not needed. This may be true also but that is the way I have been cooking yardbird all my life so I think I know how to grill chicken without pulling the skin. The reason I was asking this was because of all the hoopla I saw watching the BBQ Pitmaster series with so many trying to copy Myron Mixon with the trimmed thighs all being the same size, stuffing them in a muffin pan etc. I know that everyone does not try to do this and it is probably just part of the series. I also know that presentation is scored so now at least I have something to work with. Thanks again for your reply.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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For what its worth...when I scrape skins, I dont use a knife...I use a 3 dollar 1 inch red devil paint scraper, job is done in half the time of a knife. I can scrape and trim 18 thighs in 45 minutes
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