View Full Version : Practice Chicken

09-12-2013, 04:18 PM
This is my first ever practice attempt at competition chicken. I've watched an obscene amount of videos, read articles, blogs, forums and recipes. It was time to give it a shot. Here's what the final product looked liked. I know photos are tough but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx308/Goatboy25/null_zps499da826.jpg (http://s766.photobucket.com/user/Goatboy25/media/null_zps499da826.jpg.html)

09-12-2013, 04:24 PM
Here's another angle of the same plate.
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx308/Goatboy25/null_zpsfb78c8f2.jpg (http://s766.photobucket.com/user/Goatboy25/media/null_zpsfb78c8f2.jpg.html)

09-12-2013, 05:26 PM
I'm no competition judge, but...

Wow, they sure do look nice.

09-12-2013, 07:55 PM
I can tell you that most judges prefer to eat a recognizable piece of chicken. Muffin chicken was semi popular briefly after BBQ Pitmasters season 1 aired some years ago. It has since disappeared from all the judging tents I've been in the last couple years at least.
Your color looks good but the sauce looks a bit thick and gloppy in spots. What you're going for is a nice thin layer lightly set in your cooker with a near mirror finish.
Remember, you're not trying to please all the judges as that's very difficult to do. You're trying to please the highest percentage of them.
Anyway, appearance is the least of your concerns with any comp meat. With chicken, having the right flavor profile, tender juicy meat and bite through skin will get you the most mileage at a competition. Don't get me wrong, appearance is very important also as you will not GC without getting as many 9's in appearance as possible. Just saying that appearance is weighted least of the three criteria.
Tell me how did it taste? was it juicy and did your teeth bite all the way through the skin without having it flop down into your chin?

Meat Man
09-12-2013, 07:58 PM
Nice color, looks good. You might want to rethink the muffin pan though. This is just my opinion but, a fair amount of judges prefer a more natural looking piece of chicken.

09-12-2013, 08:11 PM
I agree with ditching the muffin pan but I did want to try it to see what I thought for myself. Everyone's first reaction to it seems to be the same. The skin turned out very well. Bit right through it cleanly. It didn't pull off a bit. Honestly, that was the most exciting part to me. I've cooked chicken on my smoker a thousand times but just never with competition in mind. Although, I'm glad I did the muffin thing one time I personally thought it looked funny (not in a good way) and it seems others do to. It's a homemade sauce that I used. I didn't have time to brine it this time around but I usually do. It was still juicy.

09-17-2013, 01:43 PM
Comp chicken is about:
Perfectly even sizes and shapes
Perfectly even color
Perfect skin and no big bits of spices in the sauce or little bits of skin hanging on
Light sauce that doesn't overwhelm
Bite through skin
Non rubbery texture
Nice flavor, with no oversmoked bitter taste
NO muffin pan

09-19-2013, 03:02 PM
Thanks, gang. I appreciate the advice. I agree on the muffin pan (this is the first time I ever did it) and my reaction was the same as yours. My first competition is 10/11. We'll see how it goes.

Big Poppa
09-20-2013, 06:05 AM
I agree with most....the issue that we face is the sauce....some will not give you a good score if it looks like a piece of glass they want a semi gloss super set......its the worst part of comp bbq. Judges are supposed to judge what is presented....if they only think there is one acceptable chicken....that is the worst judge.

did you also take an ending IT? FOr years you could turn in chicken that was mushed out 205...that won in most places over the last two years I have noticed a strong trend of around 175-180. Im happy about that.

09-21-2013, 11:42 AM
The chicken tasted awesome. I dipped in sauce so it should be relatively consistent but I need practice. I put a light spray on them of a cider/juice mixture right before taken them off the smoker. My IT was 168 when I pulled them but I did not get an IT with carry over (which probably isn't much with such a small piece of chicken).

Any thoughts on bone-in/bone out? I felt like I did a solid job with the skin being that it was the first time I ever scraped the back of the skin. My 8" chef's knife did a great job. I may list it as a member of my team.

09-26-2013, 12:57 AM
I believe the bone helps retain moisture. I also believe that the bone affords some flavor. Some will argue that point. Some will echo it. The flavor of any great soup always begins with bones in a pot.

Big Poppa
09-26-2013, 05:50 AM
I like thighs with bones.

Candy Sue
09-30-2013, 06:44 AM
If you're set on using a pan, try the loaf style tins. It'll change your look without changing your method.