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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 05-13-2008, 04:00 PM   #1
mds2
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Default I need chicken help

Ok, I saw the pork help thread earlier, so I figured that I might as well ask about chicken.

It seems to be my nemesis. I think it tastes great but the judges disagree.
Here is my method:
Friday night I trim them and rub with a mixture of paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder, brown sugar, and a few other minor ingredients.
I smoke them at 240 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The last half hour in the cooker I brush with sauce. And then I brush again before I put them in the box.

Here is my last box:


I think this scored a 149.

I know they look dark. And in all the good boxes I see the chicken is a nice golden brown.

Im not asking for anybody's secrets, just a point in the right direction, a good starting point for seasoning, or sauce or something. I am willing to scrap everything I got and start over.

i have tried a dozen or so different recipes here at home, but I keep falling back to the one that I have been using for years, that isnt doing me much good at comps.

thanks in advance.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 04:11 PM   #2
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Start by looking at your individual scores. What is it exactly that needs to be tweaked? Appearance? Taste? Tenderness? Start there first.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 04:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Start by looking at your individual scores. What is it exactly that needs to be tweaked? Appearance? Taste? Tenderness? Start there first.
Pretty much 7's across the board.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 04:26 PM   #4
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Whats the internal temp? might be cooking them too long. I also use bigger thighs to fill the box.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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Whats the internal temp? might be cooking them too long. I also use bigger thighs to fill the box.
Usually around 170. I trim them down cause I thought the smaller thighs looked better. But if not, I can use bigger ones.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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try a batch using Slabs pork rub (sorry Steph but it's working for me). A light dusting bottom and top. Use Slabs sauce cut with honey 3 or 4 parts sauce to one honey. See how different it tastes.

Now if you really want to learn competition chicken look up Jumpin Jim's recipe as a start. Moister product. Or take a class with Johnny Trigg. I'd say Mike Davis but he's no longer doing public classes. Thanks Mike

Or do a search on moist chicken or chicken and foil pans or chicken and Parkay (magic blue bottle) and read. Try some other Forums as well for hints on this process.

Or you can be my slave for a contest and see exactly what I do. Last 6 attempts at cooking chicken - 1st, 2nd, 1st, 6th (what happened), 1st and 1st.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 04:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
try a batch using Slabs pork rub (sorry Steph but it's working for me). A light dusting bottom and top. Use Slabs sauce cut with honey 3 or 4 parts sauce to one honey. See how different it tastes.

Now if you really want to learn competition chicken look up Jumpin Jim's recipe as a start. Moister product. Or take a class with Johnny Trigg. I'd say Mike Davis but he's no longer doing public classes. Thanks Mike

Or do a search on moist chicken or chicken and foil pans or chicken and Parkay (magic blue bottle) and read. Try some other Forums as well for hints on this process.

Or you can be my slave for a contest and see exactly what I do. Last 6 attempts at cooking chicken - 1st, 2nd, 1st, 6th (what happened), 1st and 1st.
Ok, just found this. http://www.bbqsearch.com/jim_chicken.htm and I'll give that a shot.

Any other tips that I can try?
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Unread 05-13-2008, 09:29 PM   #8
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The best entries I have seen have the meat supported by the garnish. Not buried in the garnish like easter eggs in a basket. There are no sauce smudges or drops on the container. ( see bottom left ) The meat is uniform in size, shape, and color. ( usually a pleasing mahogany or cherry wood color ). There are no burned or chared edges but may have pleasing grill marks. The borders and cut edges of the meat are smooth avoiding irregular areas with flaked or missing bark. The meat fills the box leaving a pleasing border of garnish around one inch wide. Avoid pronounced flavors
ie. charcoal fluid, heavy bitter smoke, excess salt, excess heat, excess tang, excess of any particular spice or aromatic. I also think if an error is to be made in cooking it is safer to error on the more done side. I believe
judges will be more severe in their scoring with tough or undercooked meat. JMHO
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Unread 05-13-2008, 09:44 PM   #9
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Ok does anyone have a good rub recipe? I'd really like to find something that I could mix and tweak myself. Like I said before, I'm not asking for anyone's secrets, just a good jumping off point. I think the rub I use now is too spicy for the judges. I've never had a problem with it being dry, usually it is extremely moist. I will start taking it to a higher temp though.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 09:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mds2 View Post
Ok does anyone have a good rub recipe? I'd really like to find something that I could mix and tweak myself. Like I said before, I'm not asking for anyone's secrets, just a good jumping off point. I think the rub I use now is too spicy for the judges. I've never had a problem with it being dry, usually it is extremely moist. I will start taking it to a higher temp though.
Higher than 170? Or are you talking a higher cooking temperature... not internal temp?
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Unread 05-13-2008, 09:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mds2 View Post
Ok does anyone have a good rub recipe? I'd really like to find something that I could mix and tweak myself. Like I said before, I'm not asking for anyone's secrets, just a good jumping off point. I think the rub I use now is too spicy for the judges. I've never had a problem with it being dry, usually it is extremely moist. I will start taking it to a higher temp though.
Simple, and it's not a secret...Plowboys Yardbird rub, good stuff!
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Unread 05-13-2008, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
Or you can be my slave for a contest and see exactly what I do. Last 6 attempts at cooking chicken - 1st, 2nd, 1st, 6th (what happened), 1st and 1st.
Although I prefer the term pit bitch or BBQ sherpa, I'd jump at that opportunity.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 09:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
Higher than 170? Or are you talking a higher cooking temperature... not internal temp?
Internal temp. That link for "Jumping Jim's" recipe says to take them to 180 and then put them on the grill. Seems kind of high to me, but I'm willing to try anything new right now.


Do you think 170 is ok? That is what I have been going by for years.
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Unread 05-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Simple, and it's not a secret...Plowboys Yardbird rub, good stuff!
I was going to order some stuff this week, so I'll grab some of this too. Thanks.
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Unread 05-14-2008, 04:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pickled Pig View Post
Although I prefer the term pit bitch or BBQ sherpa, I'd jump at that opportunity.
I'll be at the GAB next weekend if you want to come out. Vern is already planning to be there starting Friday morning but 2 is fine. Email me if you're interested as it's the only time I expect I'll be in KC unless I qualify for the Royal.
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