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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 10-08-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
bigracksbbq
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Default Half Chickens for Competition

Do you cook them split, or whole? Any advantage to either?

Have been cooking them split on the green egg, but notice a lot of people cooking them whole.

Any other tips for half chickens? It is our most inconsistent category.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 09:42 PM   #2
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I've seen them cooked both ways. I cook them split. Took me a while to to get down my flavor profiles and cooking technique. Has to been tasty to the bone and moist. I've tasted other top 10 places, and they taste nothing like mine. I have been able to place top 10 fairly consistanly over the last year and a half. So once you hit top 10, stay consistant.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:05 PM   #3
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We did our first IBCA a couple weeks ago and had to do half a chicken. We split ours smoked it and even used a pan to get the bite through skin and finished them on direct heat and cooked the sauce on. We were one or two places out of making finals. I noticed every one else just put theirs over direct heat and grilled the chicken. They had the boxes out after the awards so I tried to pull a piece of skin off the first place chicken and could not tear it, all of it came off together, so I guess they were not looking for bite through skin. I am going to judge my first IBCA comp tomorrow to see what everyone is turning in so I will know for my next IBCA comp in November.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:40 PM   #4
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Remember, an IBCA judge uses a plastic knife and fork to cut off a piece.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 11:54 PM   #5
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You may try spatchcocked chicken.When it's done just cut in half.

No back bone to deal with. We have done very well with this.

Good luck.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 03:00 AM   #6
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Thillin is exactly right. Bite through skin has much less of an impact on scoring in IBCA events due to the plastic knife/fork rule. As a matter of fact, a few IBCA judges (at least out here), have told me that they bypass the skin altogether and head right for the meat.

In answer to the original question, we split our birds and remove the backbone before cooking. Brining helps, as does high heat.

Also, take this advice for what it's worth. 2010 has been our 1st year that we cant get a chicken call to save our soul.

Best of luck to you.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
Thillin is exactly right. Bite through skin has much less of an impact on scoring in IBCA events due to the plastic knife/fork rule. As a matter of fact, a few IBCA judges (at least out here), have told me that they bypass the skin altogether and head right for the meat.

In answer to the original question, we split our birds and remove the backbone before cooking. Brining helps, as does high heat.

Also, take this advice for what it's worth. 2010 has been our 1st year that we cant get a chicken call to save our soul.

Best of luck to you.
Crash, clean out your PM box. I have a couple of questions.

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Unread 10-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #8
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Chicken is many teams most difficult category, you're not alone. I've only done one IBCA and we did a spatchcocked, backbone removed, brined, and high heat cooked method. We came in middle of the pack. The guy that took 1st in chicken went low n slow, that's all I know about how he did it. Skin doesn't matter as much as it does in KCBS but if you serve shoe leather they'll know it.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 12:18 AM   #9
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Keeping the meat juicy is the #1 key when cooking half chickens. It is maybe the hardest part of the competition since you are working with white and dark meat. Brining and a good flavor profile helps. A lot of teams are going hot and fast, but I like mine low and slow (smoking around 275) and have been pretty consistent in Top Tens.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 12:02 PM   #10
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We enjoy cooking half chickens over pieces any day. We split in half and remove the back bone, and smoke them with skin on.

We did two IBCAs this year, and received a 2nd (March) and 6th (May) in chicken.
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Unread 10-10-2010, 06:14 PM   #11
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I cook em spatchcocked at a higher temp but have placed higher with low n slow. It was a personal hangup of mine of the appearance on temp cooked at. I did like cooking them split in case one was cooking faster than another. I stopped because we felt the chickens were not as juicy.

We cook IBCA and TGCBCA.
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Unread 10-11-2010, 06:07 PM   #12
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I've only cooked chicken a few times on my bubba kegs and each time it comes out really juicy. However, I only rub the skin with spices and it seems none of it makes it through the skin. Do you guys peel back the skin and hit the meat with rub? Thanks.
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