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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 09-04-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default Do you find it better to de-bone chicken?

Hi ya'll,

The other fat boy and myself are stoked about our first upcoming competition. (a local KCBS competition) Both of us are FNG's to the whole competition thing; So, I thought I'd ask the experts. Do ya'll think it's better to de-bone chicken, from a judging standpoint? It seems thighs could come out quite small once they're deboned, but much easier to eat.

Oh, and this is an awesome site! Cant wait for clearance to snoop around the recipe section.

Mike

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Unread 09-04-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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i judged a contest yesterday that had a deboned turn in. it was also muffin panned. was the size of a 2.5" meatball. the presentation was also pretty cool. there were nine of them in the box. very tender & jucy. scored pretty good on our table.
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Unread 09-04-2011, 07:09 PM   #3
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do it if you want both ways can score well. i think as a general rule a well done bone in will beat a well done boneless. keith
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Unread 09-04-2011, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
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do it if you want both ways can score well. i think as a general rule a well done bone in will beat a well done boneless. keith
really...Im suprised to hear that. I figured by de-boning it would make it easier for the judge to eat, more or less... brownie points
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Unread 09-04-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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If ease of eating is a factor in scoring then the wrong judge is in the seat. Just my opinion.

Well cooked chicken will score well regardless of the presence or lack of a bone. I prefer to cook bone-in. It seems to me that the bone adds flavor as it cooks and helps with the moisture level. But i suck at chicken lately, so you may want to do the opposite
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Unread 09-04-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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I am not a good chicken cook but have always done better bone in then when we tried boneless.
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Unread 09-04-2011, 09:35 PM   #7
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I think I've got decent chicken. In 6 KCBS contests, I've placed in two with a 1st, 7th and also got 13th (over 100 field) in another. I cook bone in. In my 1st comp, I cut the knuckles off and did not score well. I feel bone-in makes for a more natural presentation.
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Unread 09-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPig View Post
I think I've got decent chicken. In 6 KCBS contests, I've placed in two with a 1st, 7th and also got 13th (over 100 field) in another. I cook bone in. In my 1st comp, I cut the knuckles off and did not score well. I feel bone-in makes for a more natural presentation.
i tried to cut the knuckles off once too and did not do well. i think if your going to go that route, just take the whole bone out. i would have liked to, but never have managed to get nine in the box. it just seems to me that these would be way smaller, and not recognizable as thighs. once i took thigh meat and cut it in strips the size of the bone and wrapped the thighs around it to take up the space. that kept the size uniform.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 01:57 AM   #9
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I prefer to de-bone mine. Some do come out on the smaller size, but when I trim them it's a lot easier to get them all a uniform size prior to cooking. My chicken tastes great, but my presentation (missing spots with the sauce/rubbing the sauce off) has hurt me. I did get a 10th place call at Boston Hills back in June, and the other two its finished in the top 15. I've only cooked 3 competitions, but I've also cooked hundreds of thighs over the past two years perfecting things. If I could only remember to grab the ends instead of right around the middle....
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Unread 09-05-2011, 07:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
If ease of eating is a factor in scoring then the wrong judge is in the seat. Just my opinion.

Well cooked chicken will score well regardless of the presence or lack of a bone. I prefer to cook bone-in. It seems to me that the bone adds flavor as it cooks and helps with the moisture level. But i suck at chicken lately, so you may want to do the opposite
Very good point, that says it all right there. Thanks ya'll
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Unread 09-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #11
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From a judging standpoint, I don't think it matters-I judge the meat and skin, not the bone. It is appreciated to at least pull the large vein out of the thigh though. It's not the most pleasant thing to eat.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 06:46 AM   #12
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We de-bone and our score have been all over the place. We get 9 in a box and get good presentation scores most of the time. We cook hot and fast, so I don't know how much the bone would help.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 07:54 AM   #13
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I have judged a handfull+ contests in the past two years. The last contest that I was at, New Holland, PA, was the first time I saw muffin pan chicken - actually had three entries that way.

My personal feeling with this, and shared by a few others at the judging table, is: it just don't look right. It is not natural, and it took my mind a minute or two to adjust. These things were almost perfectly round. If I am at a friends cookout, I don't think I am eating these things.

Having said that, I would not let that opinion affect my scoring. In fact, I beleive all three scored very well with me and the table.

Had boneless before, and I am fine with that.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 08:29 AM   #14
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As a judge, I don't think it really matters...just make it look the most appetizing piece of chicken you have ever seen and you'll be fine. As a cook, I prefer boneless because for me it makes for a more consistent product both in doneness as well as presentation.

Bottom line, practice both ways and see what works best for you. Don't fret too much about judge bias because every table at every contest you go to is going to have a different mix of judges. Right or wrong, someone is going to take exception to whichever route you choose to go. That's just how things are.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
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I've never done to well in chicken but my lowest scores were when I went boneless
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