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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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Old 04-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
Eggspert
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Default Had it with chicken thighs!

I know there are a lot of past threads about chicken. I have read them all. I have searched high and low on the internet. I have also been to a class and seen a top scoring chicken recipe. I still do not get cooking chicken thighs.

I buy top quality chicken, use pieces weighing around .4-.5 prior to trimming, remove copious fat, trim to a nice shape, and use a commercial rub and sauce frequently used in competition BBQ. No injection or brine/marinade. We cook at 275.

My issues:
#1 skin: I can get bit through skin without too much issue, but it doesn't taste good. In my opinion it doesn't have a nice texture. It's soft and kind of slimy. It is bite through, but if it were me eating it, I would pull it off and slather sauce straight on the chicken. I have tried oil, parkay, plugra, butter, and a mix of all in the bottom of the pan and on top of the chicken.

#2 Meat Flavor: I am struggling to get flavor in the meat. The sauce is so flavorful, but if you just taste the meat, it is pretty bland. We don't use wood, because in my opinion it over smokes chicken. Just lump charcoal.

#3 Consistency: I cook the darn chicken the same way every time. The thighs are the same size and sometimes the meat is over done and dry/mealy/grainy. While a piece right next to it is dripping with juices and rubbery texture. Then the third piece will be perfect. I can't figure out why some pieces of chicken are good and some are not.

Any help is appreciated!

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Old 04-18-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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brine the meat. try oakridge game changer.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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Scrape the fat off the skin and then reapply prior to cooking. That'll help get you bite-through skin without the slimy unrendered fat.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Remember you are cooking for the judges not your personal taste preference, throw some fruit wood on, the mild smoke penetrates the meat adding flavor as does the rubs mentioned above. Good luck.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #5
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Congrats. You're one of the field fillers that cooks for themselves not for judges. If you want to win, do what they did in class. Scrape skin, brine, cook in butter in a pan, trim knuckles, use wood chunks, cook hot 300, take chicken to 185. And practice. And sauce.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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How long do you foil your pan? I do an hour and am pretty happy so far.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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I quit reading when I read...we do not use wood.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
brine the meat. try oakridge game changer.
This
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #9
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Just like boogiesnap said brine the chicken and all your problems will go away. You will never have dry chicken again unless you over cook it. Do you cook it wet or dry. Mine use to come out slimy as well and I stopped turning it over and now I cook it skin side up all the way and that problem went away. The secret to the brine is to put your rub in the brine and simmer it for a little while to infuse the flavors and your chicken should be super flavorful. What internal temp do you cook it to?
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
brine the meat. try oakridge game changer.
What's the advantage to brining rather than injecting it with something like FAB C or Butcher BBQ Bird Booster...or simply chicken broth?
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:20 PM   #11
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I'm not familiar with the other mixes you mention but the salt from the brine will pull the flavors into the meat and when you brine it completely changes the texture of the meat. Brining makes the meat moister by hydrating the cells and allows them to hang on to their moisture during the cooking process. All that happens through diffusion.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:22 PM   #12
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I've had it with them too. I'm sick of trimming them all to look alike only to have none of them look alike after cooking.

I'm about to start some "groundbreaking" wing and drumstick experiments. Ok maybe not groundbreaking, but I have high hopes.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViciousGame View Post
What's the advantage to brining rather than injecting it with something like FAB C or Butcher BBQ Bird Booster...or simply chicken broth?
other than it is a whole lot easier, i see no advantage.

flavor profile's *gulp* aside.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickin' Porkers View Post
I quit reading when I read...we do not use wood.
many do not use raw wood to flavor their chicken. charcoal or wood coal only.

i think the "many" may be some of the best.

quit reading and end learning.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:53 PM   #15
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I'd be happy to give you the Chicken Secrets if you guys are willing to give up the Tri-Tip secret...
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