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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 01-31-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
Fat Freddy
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Default KCBS Chicken: Thighs vs boneless skinless breasts

Getting ready for the new season and I have a question on KCBS chicken.

Last year I did butter bath thighs and was very inconsistent. I think part was my trimming and I think some may have just been the size of the chicken itself. But the main problem was just me.

For home and practice I cook quite a bite of boneless skinless breasts and have always been pretty happy, but like I say thats just at home. I feel the breast are for the most part a constant size, easy to trim and slice and a blank slate for whatever flavors I want to go with. I do understand the window for a perfect chicken breast is small and that is a downside. I also dont want to trim my chicken breasts off a bird because I am lazy, so they would not have skin. So if I was to think about going this route would the lack of skin potentially hurt my scores?

I have even kicked around the idea of breasts and thighs in the box, but I feel that would be harder than I really want.

I would appreciate any thoughts on chicken thighs vs chicken breasts
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Unread 01-31-2013, 04:41 PM   #2
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As mostly a judge/sometime competitor, I'd go w/ not always the case on the skinless breasts. Depends on if the box is a breast only box or a combo box. If breast only, I'd say you might get dinged some by some of the judges but a combo (from the ones I've had) mostly don't have skin on the breasts & it's one breast sliced into 6+ chunks along w/ thighs. With breasts, I think the tenderness/moistness is the primary factor in how it's scored overall by a judge. Remember don't put anything in that box that doesn't add positively to your box. If you make the best thighs in the universe but breasts suck, don't use them as your overall score will be brought down by the breasts.
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Unread 01-31-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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Cook what you cook best and turn it in.

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Unread 01-31-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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We have had success with breasts only and also with thighs and breasts (5th in chicken at The Jack). When we decide to use breasts we also cook thighs just in case the breasts aren't perfect. If you are looking to possible turn in both, consider doing boneless thighs that way everything will fit in the box without being to cramped.
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Unread 01-31-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
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Cook the breasts like you would at a comp, do your box just as you would, close it, and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Then try the breasts and see if you like the results. I'll bet that they will have dried out.
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Unread 01-31-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Cook the breasts like you would at a comp, do your box just as you would, close it, and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Then try the breasts and see if you like the results. I'll bet that they will have dried out.
I would agree. I wonder if most folks that try to use breasts are using the wrong approach. Every time I see or hear about them being used it is large chicken breasts that are sliced and put in the box. What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.
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Unread 01-31-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Dat View Post
What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.
Interesting idea. I had never considered that. There may be a few practice cooks in my future.
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Unread 02-01-2013, 02:46 AM   #8
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i think an inherent problem with breast is even at it's tenderest and juiciest it will never match that of a thigh.

while judge as presented is the guideline, still a big hurdle to overcome.
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Unread 02-01-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
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We did breasts and thighs for part of the season last year. We just felt like it was more work to keep track of the breast, and slice it along with the thighs. Also we used smart chicken breasts and they are bone in skin on (if you want the skin). Then for boxing we just de-boned, and sliced into 6 nice pieces. We had to order a case to get them at our local store, so just started to be a pain to have all the chicken in my freezer so we dropped the breast out of the box. Didn't see a change in scores really, won't likely go back to breasts again unless we need more challenge, ha, ha.

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Unread 02-01-2013, 08:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Dat View Post
I would agree. I wonder if most folks that try to use breasts are using the wrong approach. Every time I see or hear about them being used it is large chicken breasts that are sliced and put in the box. What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.
That would be my approach, and they wouldn't be skinless or boneless. BUT, finding breasts that small would seem to be a problem. The trend seems to be bigger breasts, not smaller (Yeah, I'm talking about chickens! Keep it on topic )
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Unread 02-01-2013, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
That would be my approach, and they wouldn't be skinless or boneless. BUT, finding breasts that small would seem to be a problem. The trend seems to be bigger breasts, not smaller (Yeah, I'm talking about chickens! Keep it on topic )
Yeah the ones I usually see are pretty big. Might have to get them off of whole chickens.
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Unread 02-01-2013, 09:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggspert View Post
We did breasts and thighs for part of the season last year. We just felt like it was more work to keep track of the breast, and slice it along with the thighs. Also we used smart chicken breasts and they are bone in skin on (if you want the skin). Then for boxing we just de-boned, and sliced into 6 nice pieces. We had to order a case to get them at our local store, so just started to be a pain to have all the chicken in my freezer so we dropped the breast out of the box. Didn't see a change in scores really, won't likely go back to breasts again unless we need more challenge, ha, ha.

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Around here it is just the opposite. Hyvee carries the boneless skinless smart chicken breasts everyday. But to get smart chicken thighs I have to order a whole case(supposed to be here tomorrow).
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Unread 02-01-2013, 09:46 AM   #13
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breast meat can be great...as good or better than thighs, but thighs are so easy. why make it more difficult?
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Unread 02-01-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Dat View Post
I would agree. I wonder if most folks that try to use breasts are using the wrong approach. Every time I see or hear about them being used it is large chicken breasts that are sliced and put in the box. What if you used smaller breasts so that six would fit in the box like thighs and left them whole? Seems like a properly cooked chicken breast left whole should not dry out in the time it takes for the judges to get to it.
I've trimmed up skin-on breasts to look just like thighs. Overbrined and they came out the texture of chicken lunchmeat, but plenty juicy. Was about mid-teens if I remember correctly. I've only done it the one time.
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Unread 02-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #15
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We used to do breasts, bone in, skin on, removed from bone just before putting in the box. It was moist and juicy, and what didn't go into the box was still moist and juicy 45 minutes later, or more.

But we found judges like thighs mostly. Best we did was a 5th place call. Meh....gotta do what scores I guess!
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