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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 10-03-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
bigzthamoose
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Default where did my chicken go wrong?!?

Hey all, new to the site, but have been lurkin on it for months and months! Anyways, quick question, and im sure its hard to answer wo pictures, but, I help out a friends team, once a year max, and i am the dreaded chicken guy. They always sucked bad at it, my chicken started off its run at 23rd out of 62 teams, then the next year, same chicken, 17th out of 62, and then this year, i had the help of this site, took some information and put it to work with mine. Both of those i did not have bite through skin AT ALL. lol. Not even close, in fact, last year, put it on the smoker, no temp reading, let it just smoke for 2 hours, sauced and in, no trimming, nothin. This year, i spent hours gettin that dang fat off the skin, trimmed, lookin all pretty, and this time, i did it hot n fast, on my kettle. Got done in about an hour? Anyways, it looked great. got 43rd out of 62, i was just at a loss, i know i dont do comps a lot, but all i did has improve it, bite through skin, tasted more juicy, but just bombed! One comment card said "cooked to fast perhaps? maybe low and slow should be the method next time" or something. But damn. It was so much better than my oversmoked, dried out ones in the past. I plan on starting my own team up this coming year, and i practice every weekend and rotate two diff meats every weekend all year long, but it just stumped me. any ideas how it went from good smoked and drier with no bite through to basically the method brought up here with butter/ fat off the skin, etc? sorry for the novel.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
watg?
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If you get this chicken thing figured out, let me know
Seriously though, keep working at it, practice, reasearch and read, cook as often as possible and try to maintain consitancy, then you are off to a good start. Good luck and have fun.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #3
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It wasn't my fault. I wasn't there I swear!
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Unread 10-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #4
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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What part of your scores dropped.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 09:00 PM   #5
Brewer
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First problem is that you only cook once a year. It's tough to get any trending off a once a year cook to diagnose any issues. Second problem is that you only cook once a year and you're expecting that all judges will be consistent at each comp. Third problem is that you only cook once a year...blah blah blah...

In my experience, you need at least 3 comps to interpret results. Then you need 3 more comps to determine whether your changes helped or hurt. I'd recommend that you start with a baseline and cook 3 comps without changing anything. Then measure the result, make changes and do it all again.

One thing I've found is that leaving the fat in-tact (no scraping) produces a juicer thigh - likely from the fat breaking down and basting the top thigh section which can get dry with scraped skins. I've found that my scraped thighs are less buttery, less juicy and less tender than the thighs I don't scrape. If you buy good quality thighs and cook them at the right temp - you can achieve both tenderness and bite-through skin. The trick is finding the right cooking process.
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Unread 10-03-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
bigzthamoose
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lol. i know, i do need to cook more comps. I was just helping a team out. This year though, im gonna start it up! I have been practicing every weekend, on a timed schedule. The chicken kinda took the back burner, in hopes i could nail the other "big ones". Anyways, thanks guys! Hopefully ill get some comps under my belt and be able to figure more stuff out!
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Unread 10-04-2011, 06:43 AM   #7
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in my opinion chicken is the bigger one. its worth the same amount of points, and worth the same amount of effort. you can turn that same chicken in at the next two comps and get first place. thats just the nature of the beast unfortunately. try to bring your meat temp to about 175 before saucing this will give your skin a chance to crisp up before saucing. you may have to marinade to keep the ckicken from drying out due to the higher meat temp. dont give up keep working on it. good luck
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Unread 10-04-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigzthamoose View Post
lol. i know, i do need to cook more comps. I was just helping a team out. This year though, im gonna start it up! I have been practicing every weekend, on a timed schedule. The chicken kinda took the back burner, in hopes i could nail the other "big ones". Anyways, thanks guys! Hopefully ill get some comps under my belt and be able to figure more stuff out!
Keep at it, you'll figure it out - everyone starts out hating chicken until they start dialing it in. I cooked so much damn practice chicken this year my wife threatened to divorce me if I didn't stop making comp chicken for dinner I went from bottom third to walking at the end of the season - but it took a lot of practice. Keep it simple and focus on the basics - tenderness and flavor profile. Once you've got those down, work on the skin.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 06:21 AM   #9
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It has taken me about a year and a half of practicing chicken to raise my scores into the ribbon zone. I think I have it down, as others have said, you need to look at feedback from judges and scoring patterns. I forced myself to do chicken twice a week with different brands and the same method I know works before I started tweaking the profile a bit. I can trim out chicken in no time now, not such a pain in the butt to do.

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Unread 10-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #10
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I took a bbq competition class last year... Dude it helped me so much!!! its the little things that make a differance... remove that vein next to bone trim your skins to fit... trim them uniform keep the cook temp the same all the way though till turn in...
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