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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #1
packerfannate
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Join Date: 06-23-11
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Default Chicken thighs and legs

I was asked to participate in a smoking competition at work. This year they are allowing participants to select their meat. I have smoked a few things. But I haven't smoked a lot. I have smoked pork butt, pork tenderloin, turkey drumsticks, beef tri-tip roast, trout, chicken quarters, drumsticks and thighs, and a few others.

By far the best meat I have smoked is chicken drumsticks and thighs. Maybe they are the easiest but they seem to taste the best. That is why I chose this as my meat.

There is a prize for the top 3 and as an amateur I am asking for suggestions. Here are the details of the competition.

1. I will receive the meat on Friday (tomorrow). I will smoke it over the weekend but the contest is not until Tuesday. I will only have access to a crock pot to warm the meat.

2. I can serve the meat in a sauce or with a sauce on the side or no sauce (not required).

I have some questions:

- Brine or no brine? I will have time to brine.
- What dry rub would you recommend?
- any tips for warming this in a crock pot on the day of? I want it to be warm but not dry out. I was thinking of placing a rack in the bottom of the crock pot and adding some water to keep it moist. Then stack the drumsticks in the crock pot separated by foil.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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You actually shot yourself in the foot choosing chicken. Reheated BBQ chicken is nasty! If it was me I'd make pulled BBQ chicken Samiches. Add a little of your favorite Rub to some chicken stock and put it on the pit when you cook the chicken to use for the sauce once you pull it. Tastes great and reheats nicely in a crackpot.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:59 AM   #3
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If you only have access to a crock pot to warm the meat, I think you are setting yourself up to fail if you do any sort of chicken. Chicken skin needs high heat to recrisp. Chicken also is very easy to overcook and is very unforgiving when you overcook it. No matter how much moisture you try to add to chicken if it is over cooked it still tastes dry. The best chance you have is to do pulled chicken as opposed to whole thighs/drumsticks.

I would start by brining the thighs/sticks for a couple of hours. PatioDaddio has a really good brine recipe for poultry.

The rub for chicken I personally like some salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, paprika, Lawry's season salt, onion powder, garlic powder. Make sure to get some rub under the skin. Although using something like Plowboy Yardbird would definitely be outstanding.

I would smoke the chicken at 325 till it reaches the internal temperature of 160, then pull it off and let it rest for 15-30mins(carry over cooking will take it to 165). I would then shred the chicken and taste to see if it needs a sprinkling of seasoning. If not then I would put it in a ziplock bag.

Day of reheating I would put the chicken into the crock pot with some bbq sauce (your choice here) And set it on low/medium till it comes up to temperature
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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If it's not too late to change my meat, what would you recommend?
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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I would recommend pork butts for pulled pork. It is a very forgiving piece of meat to cook and it reheats really easily in a crock pot.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
packerfannate
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thanks to those with the quick response. Probably saved me a lot of grief.

I was able to switch my meat to pork butt. Same rules and same questions. Any advice for this new meat? I have only ever smoked one pork butt.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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For the rub, Plowboys yardbird is amazing on pork butts. If you want to do a home made rub this is what I use as my base rub.

3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

I would rub the butt and smoke Sunday (assuming you work normal hours 8-5 monday-friday) at 250-275 or higher if you want. When you get the color you want on the pork butt, I would pan it up, that way you get quite a bit of juices/fat drippings. Take it off the smoker when the bone wiggles free (if boneless when it probes like warm butter) Let it rest for 2-4 hours. Pull the pork into chunks and put in a ziploc bag and add some of the drippings into the bag.

When warming in the crock pot, put the pulled pork in with a little apple juice and let it come up to temperature. Serve the sauce on the side. I personally like using a little bit of a vinegar based sauce, but I serve several difference sauces so there is a choice for people.

A great vinegar based sauce that goes well with pork is

Shack Attack Sauce
1 1/2cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce (I use Franks, as I love the flavor of it and it isn't super spicy)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #8
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Chicken cooks super fast... Why not just wake up a little early on Tuesday and cook before work? Use a makeshift Cambro out of a cooler. Or as suggested better yet change your meat
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
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I don't recommend Shack Attack sauce for a competition if you want to win as it's not Sweet. Sweet wins. JMoney gave me a great sauce for All things Pork that is KicKAZZ.

JMONEY'S RED SAUCE

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp each: garlic, onion, season salt, black pepper, chipotle, red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon, allspice, cumin, mace,
2 tbs Worcester
Heat on stovetop till simmering, remove and cool and allow spices to meld. Tastes darn close to BH Tennessee red.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I don't recommend Shack Attack sauce for a competition if you want to win as it's not Sweet. Sweet wins. JMoney gave me a great sauce for All things Pork that is KicKAZZ.

JMONEY'S RED SAUCE

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp each: garlic, onion, season salt, black pepper, chipotle, red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon, allspice, cumin, mace,
2 tbs Worcester
Heat on stovetop till simmering, remove and cool and allow spices to meld. Tastes darn close to BH Tennessee red.
I will definitely have to give this sauce a try. thanks for the recipe.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
You actually shot yourself in the foot choosing chicken. Reheated BBQ chicken is nasty! If it was me I'd make pulled BBQ chicken Samiches. Add a little of your favorite Rub to some chicken stock and put it on the pit when you cook the chicken to use for the sauce once you pull it. Tastes great and reheats nicely in a crackpot.
I agree, if you are stuck with chicken (hopefully whole chicken), do pulled chicken. I have found pulled chicken will reheat nicely actually with a little bit of stock in the pan. I have done, tons and tons of whole chickens for pulling that have been reheated with success.

Reheated chicken skin is the worst.

*edit* whoops, didn't see change to pork. haha, never mind.
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Last edited by legendaryhog; 07-11-2013 at 11:55 AM.. Reason: didn't see change to pork.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #12
Gilstarr
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I think I would change to pork.. Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
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I would smoke some ribs and cut into 4 rib sections, foil them with and cover with brown sugar and BBQ sauce then on the day of the contest take them out of the fridge and put them in the crock pot to warm. Everybody is going to do Pork so why not do something EVERYBODY likes?
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
EWizza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
For the rub, Plowboys yardbird is amazing on pork butts. If you want to do a home made rub this is what I use as my base rub.

3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

I would rub the butt and smoke Sunday (assuming you work normal hours 8-5 monday-friday) at 250-275 or higher if you want. When you get the color you want on the pork butt, I would pan it up, that way you get quite a bit of juices/fat drippings. Take it off the smoker when the bone wiggles free (if boneless when it probes like warm butter) Let it rest for 2-4 hours. Pull the pork into chunks and put in a ziploc bag and add some of the drippings into the bag.

When warming in the crock pot, put the pulled pork in with a little apple juice and let it come up to temperature. Serve the sauce on the side. I personally like using a little bit of a vinegar based sauce, but I serve several difference sauces so there is a choice for people.

A great vinegar based sauce that goes well with pork is

Shack Attack Sauce
1 1/2cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce (I use Franks, as I love the flavor of it and it isn't super spicy)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
I would actually add a good apple cider vinegar into the plastic bag. Maybe a 50/50 juice cider.
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