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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 09-22-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
powerpig
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Default Crunchy VS Bite Through Chicken Skin

I have my first KCBS competition coming up in a couple of weeks and I've been practicing with chicken thighs.

I've never cooked thighs until this week and have read that you have to have "bite through" skin.

The first batch was very tender and juicy, but gummy skin.

I reverted back to the way I've always cooked chicken breasts and ended up with tender meat and super crunchy skin. When my wife bit into the thigh, it sounded like one of those potato chip commercials with a loud crunch.

My question is should I keep trying for bite through skin or leave well enough alone with the super crunchy skin? Thanks for any and all input.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerpig View Post
I have my first KCBS competition coming up in a couple of weeks and I've been practicing with chicken thighs.

I've never cooked thighs until this week and have read that you have to have "bite through" skin.

The first batch was very tender and juicy, but gummy skin.

I reverted back to the way I've always cooked chicken breasts and ended up with tender meat and super crunchy skin. When my wife bit into the thigh, it sounded like one of those potato chip commercials with a loud crunch.

My question is should I keep trying for bite through skin or leave well enough alone with the super crunchy skin? Thanks for any and all input.

cook one of those crunchy breasts and stick it on a ziploc for 20 minutes...then pull it out and take a bite. If you like the result, turn it in.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DawgPhan View Post
cook one of those crunchy breasts and stick it on a ziploc for 20 minutes...then pull it out and take a bite. If you like the result, turn it in.
That's not a bad idea. I did let it set for 15 minutes before taking a bite. They were thighs, not breasts. I just cooked them like I do breasts.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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From one judge's perspective, I don't care if the skin is crunchy or not, as long as I can bite through it without it all coming off and slapping me on the chin! I think that I've only had one entry that actually had crunchy skin and it did score fairly high on tenderness, as the meat was moist and tender and the skin had good bite-through.

Definitely do the 15-20 minute wait in a MOIST environment (like the inside of a closed clam-shell) to see how the skin holds up.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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Care to share your tips on getting the skin crunchy?
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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Care to share your tips on getting the skin crunchy?
I figured someone would ask. I'll tell you how, it's easy, but won't give you my brine recipe.

After brining and drying. Put the thighs on a tray and place back in the refrigerator for about two hours. Remove and rub with squeeze Parkay and Soy Sauce plus your favorite rub. Put the chicken on a just lit grill or cold oven. Bring it to 325 and cook for about an hour once temp is reached.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerpig View Post
I figured someone would ask. I'll tell you how, it's easy, but won't give you my brine recipe.

After brining and drying. Put the thighs on a tray and place back in the refrigerator for about two hours. Remove and rub with squeeze Parkay and Soy Sauce plus your favorite rub. Put the chicken on a just lit grill or cold oven. Bring it to 325 and cook for about an hour once temp is reached.
Thanks. The cold-start process makes sense, but would be challenging to implement in a competition BBQ setting...especially if you want to get them exposed to some good clean smoke. Time to do some experimenting!
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Unread 09-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #8
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Intresting Idea never thought of that gonna try it soon
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Unread 09-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Thanks. The cold-start process makes sense, but would be challenging to implement in a competition BBQ setting...especially if you want to get them exposed to some good clean smoke. Time to do some experimenting!
You could start with the Minion Method and have your smoke chunks buried just below the top layer of charcoal. That way the grill would come up to heat slowly and then start the smoke as it reaches the wood chunks.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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I'm taking two Traeger's, two WSM's and a Weber Smokey Joe to the competition. The Traeger's are what I cook the chicken on.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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You can get crunchy chicken skin with sauce on there too? Saw your method, but didn't see any mention of sauce. Maybe you don't sauce?
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Unread 09-22-2011, 03:40 PM   #12
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You can get crunchy chicken skin with sauce on there too? Saw your method, but didn't see any mention of sauce. Maybe you don't sauce?
Yes, I dip it in my soon to be famous Powerpig sauce and put it back on the grill for about 5-10 minutes to finish.

After the competition, I'll give my secret brine ingredient. No one has ever guessed it but all like the taste.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 04:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerpig View Post
I have my first KCBS competition coming up in a couple of weeks and I've been practicing with chicken thighs.

I've never cooked thighs until this week and have read that you have to have "bite through" skin.

The first batch was very tender and juicy, but gummy skin.

I reverted back to the way I've always cooked chicken breasts and ended up with tender meat and super crunchy skin. When my wife bit into the thigh, it sounded like one of those potato chip commercials with a loud crunch.

My question is should I keep trying for bite through skin or leave well enough alone with the super crunchy skin? Thanks for any and all input.
Bite thru is optional, and go read the KCBS rules. No where does it say Bite thru skin is required. Concentrate on flavor, moisture, and just cooking correctly and the your score will follow.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher BBQ View Post
Bite thru is optional, and go read the KCBS rules. No where does it say Bite thru skin is required. Concentrate on flavor, moisture, and just cooking correctly and the your score will follow.
Butcher your very correct about the rules..
Butt we all know CBJ's are looking for bite thru skin.
And will score you lower if it doesn't bite thru.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 04:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butcher BBQ View Post
Bite thru is optional, and go read the KCBS rules. No where does it say Bite thru skin is required. Concentrate on flavor, moisture, and just cooking correctly and the your score will follow.
Yes, but, a piece of rubbery skin is not tender. keith
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