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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 07-26-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
71-South
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Default Idiot Savant Chicken

Actually savant idiot chicken...

A month ago we got a perfect 180 in chicken at Buckner. Today, with nearly the exact same recipe, we took 53rd of 54 in Lee's Summit. It was a combination of Table of Death (I think), plus taking 5th place at said table (ouch.) It was a *tiny* bit tighter than last time, but looked and tasted identical. Weird stuff.

Important: This is not a complaint by any means. Schtuff happens. I'm looking for input to improve my craft.

I found out afterward that my partner had purchased Smart Chicken instead of regular like last time. I didn't notice it, though, when sampling.

So, I guess we'll stick w/ the same recipe in 3 weeks at our next comp (cooking 5-10 minutes longer). My thought is we'll find out whether the 180 was an aberration or the near DAL was.

Does that sound right?

Thanks much,
Bret
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Unread 07-26-2014, 09:17 PM   #2
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Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield. Today was a bug day.
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Unread 07-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #3
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Ha. That's the truth on chicken. We were fortunate on brisket, though, so it wasn't a total loss.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 06:23 AM   #4
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Congrats on the brisket call! it was nice meeting you guys.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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I'm not sure what you do to get tender skin, but sometimes the Smart chicken we get has a pretty heavy fat layer. Some methods of getting bite through skin that work most of the time won't work with really heavy fat on the skin.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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Why don't you post EXACTLY what your process is - ya know, just so we can help ya figure it out. Nobody will shig :)

Seriously, I wouldn't worry about making any changes at this point. Like Ron said, sounds like you may have just had a "bug day".

Blessings on your next cook!
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Unread 07-27-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
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I know a guy that went from Butt to Butt champ to DAL in sixtie days.
I would give it a couple comps before making any sizable changes.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJ65 View Post
I'm not sure what you do to get tender skin, but sometimes the Smart chicken we get has a pretty heavy fat layer. Some methods of getting bite through skin that work most of the time won't work with really heavy fat on the skin.
It's not the "white" fat that is a concern, but avoid the "yellow" fat or you'll find out how good of a cook one must be on chicken.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backfirin' BBQ View Post
Congrats on the brisket call! it was nice meeting you guys.
Thanks Jeff. Nice meeting you too. We'll have to pull out the guitars again sometime.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Thanks all. We're going back to regular chicken, if for no other reason than it's cheaper and we did better w/ it. We're also cooking just a tad bit longer. We'll see how it goes.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 11:29 AM   #11
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It's because judges are taught that the texture of chicken is to be "nice".. so, I expect chicken to be all over the place for everybody..
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Unread 07-27-2014, 12:11 PM   #12
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I'm afraid your experience is similar to mine. Chicken is *strange* this way... As a result, I'm not much of a fan of it. I've never had a perfect score, but I had a string of top 5's in chicken, then same recipe, twice in a row, not DAL but right there at it... Go figure...

Dont change, and as you said, go back to that earlier chicken. Slight variations in enhancement solutions and frankly chicken diets can have effects on how your spices interact with it and go from that perfect balance to an ever-so-slight-off flavor.

Other times, I truly think it's TOD vs. TOA thing... I guess I'd gotten the TOA's for a while then a string of TOD's. It's just the way it goes.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 12:26 PM   #13
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I forgot to give a nod to the chicken gods this time. :)
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Unread 07-27-2014, 01:04 PM   #14
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I would not change anything because of one contest. I wouldn't change anything until the 4th or 5th bad contest. Look at this weekend in Colorado. The biggest teams in the country were all there. Leading the standings in KCBS is Iowa's Smokey D's. By their standards, I'm sure they think they had a bad showing. I bet you $100 they don't change a thing.
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Unread 07-27-2014, 01:29 PM   #15
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Yeah don't change. Though really look at the scores and see if maybe it was a low scoring table in general or if there might be some real indicators that you could have done something wrong that you didn't catch.

We were lucky to have 180 ribs earlier this year and at the next comp I swore they were even better and they were 20th out of 40 . Then they didn't hit again, but just this last weekend they were back on track. Give it one more then rethink.

Chicken it the most finicky of them all though in terms of hitting tables that like it or don't like it. Our chicken has hit 1st twice this year and has never really varied at each contest, but man it can be hit or miss.
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