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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 08-11-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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Default Muffin Pan Chicken Thighs??

Are are these things actually getting high scores on appearance?
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Unread 08-11-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
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Yep.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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To a certain degree. When I judge I can tell which entries were done in a tin. They tend to be small. If they were done in a rectangular tin, they score well as long as all other criteria is in line (color, sauce, etc). If they look like billiard balls they don't score well with me.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfour View Post
To a certain degree. When I judge I can tell which entries were done in a tin. They tend to be small. If they were done in a rectangular tin, they score well as long as all other criteria is in line (color, sauce, etc). If they look like billiard balls they don't score well with me.
I would agree with this. The mini loaf pans dont look bad.... Im not a fan of the round ones
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Unread 08-11-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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It certainly can depend on what judges/table you hit, but in my experience when we gave them a try in 5 competitions in a row we received maybe two 8's the entire time. The rest all nines. I also think 9 thighs in a box looks great since 6 is pretty common. We also had luck with 9 square'ish thighs that didn't use a pan.

Even though you can find some flaws in this with sauce and maybe a few other tiny details, this is what got us a lot of straight 9's in appearance. Now unfortunately the judges then had to eat them and we didn't have good taste on them so we stopped .
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Unread 08-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnbish View Post
It certainly can depend on what judges/table you hit, but in my experience when we gave them a try in 5 competitions in a row we received maybe two 8's the entire time. The rest all nines. I also think 9 thighs in a box looks great since 6 is pretty common. We also had luck with 9 square'ish thighs that didn't use a pan.

Even though you can find some flaws in this with sauce and maybe a few other tiny details, this is what got us a lot of straight 9's in appearance. Now unfortunately the judges then had to eat them and we didn't have good taste on them so we stopped .
Congrats on all those 9's in appearance with that technique, but personally, I don't like it. It does make me hungry for spaghetti and meatballs.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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Congrats on all those 9's in appearance with that technique, but personally, I don't like it. It does make me hungry for spaghetti and meatballs.
Heck I wish they didn't score them all 9's in appearance. I would have stopped chasing the muffin pan way earlier .
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Unread 08-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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I like my chicken to look like chicken.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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Well, this is where I disagree with a lot of you folks. Other than drumsticks, I have yet to see chicken at a comp "look like a normal piece of chicken"!

Maybe I don't visit the same places others do, or grew up eating chicken like some, but I have not seen chicken thighs trimmed in any restaurant or backyard get-together as of yet.

The judging should be based on what is presented, not what someone opinion is. This is almost as bad as saying, I don't like sweet glaze, so anything that comes across my table and is sweet will not get a good score.

I call BS! If you already have a preconceived notion about an item, what is the use.......... Since when does most of the chicken that is turned in look like a hot-dog in a bun, or is square, look "natural"?

Heck, I really don't even like thighs, but rather would pick a wing or breast first for my personal personal preference. But I cannot go into a contest as a judge with that mindset. Otherwise, I am doing most people a disservice at thighs are the most predominant part of the chicken that is cooked.

To the original post, I have scored pretty good using muffin pan chicken. A few comps, I scored 9's all the way across for appearance. But for taste and tenderness, I screwed those things up (hence the lower scores in the category).

Ready to defend myself!!

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Unread 08-11-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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The chicken looks like a Sculptured piece of meat, a muffin .. I think it looks fine, but in the end you still have to make it look good and taste good
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Unread 08-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
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Chicken balls worked well for us a couple years ago then there seemed to be back lash against them. We finally stopped doing it and our scores went back up immediately. I think you can score well with them still but think chances are high you will land on a table with a judge that doesn't like them.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I like my chicken to look like chicken.
I agree but then again all I ever hear is how they don't look "uniform"
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Unread 08-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Wallace- I should have elaborated...My statement was what "I" like but I judge what is presented. Almost any chicken is going to look more like chicken than the muffin pan version. I appreciate when the pieces are relatively symmetrical/uniform but the team does not get dinged if they are all not perfectly "groomed". I know teams get hit hard on BBQ critic for lack of uniformity. But for me they don't have to be *perfect*.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 08:41 PM   #14
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We started out using the round muffin pans. Got a call in our first contest. Switched to the square muffin tins and got a few more calls. Now no pans and have also gotten calls. I will admit though that I like non pan chicken. It looks more normal to me, but what ever works for you should be what you use.
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Unread 08-11-2013, 09:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa B View Post
Wallace- I should have elaborated...My statement was what "I" like but I judge what is presented. Almost any chicken is going to look more like chicken than the muffin pan version. I appreciate when the pieces are relatively symmetrical/uniform but the team does not get dinged if they are all not perfectly "groomed". I know teams get hit hard on BBQ critic for lack of uniformity. But for me they don't have to be *perfect*.
Thanks! IMO, chicken is the only thing that does not look natural in a competition.

I really wish just turning in "plain ol' smoked" chicken would work.

Sorry to get upitty, but, I like the muffin chicken idea; at home as well.

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