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nthole 05-10-2007 02:42 PM

Competition Chicken
So I rarely make chicken on the pit. But since I'm going to try a competition this year (two now actually, buddy said hey if we're going to do one, why not two!) in August and September I better get going on figuring out my recipe.

So I was hoping tomorrow or next weekend to sit down and just do a bunch of chicken a half dozen or so different ways to get things started.

But my main question is this: It seems thighs are the in thing. It's about all I've seen in comp pictures. Now me personally I'm a huge drummy fan. Is there a reason no one does drums? Would I get hammered if I decided to be different? Anyone here that's a judge, how would you feel after six boxes of thighs to open up a yummy box of drummies?

Thanks for the thoughts.

ipls3355 05-10-2007 02:50 PM

You readin my mind? I was gonna start the exact same thread. I will go ahead and ask another question.

Do you go sweet or spicy with chicken?

jtfisher63 05-10-2007 02:58 PM

We did thighs in the comp we have done. It seems about 90% of comps are getting thighs turned in. It's partly because they are easier to keep moist. The other reason I believe is because thighs were winning the comps so everyone followed along. I think we should start a revolution here and start turning in more parts to a chicken. I know some teams turn in wings, drums and breasts, but I'd like to see more of it myself. I am planning on doing some practice for my next comp using whole chickens and wings. Just say no the thighs!

BY the way, sweet seems to be king.

My $.02


Bill-Chicago 05-10-2007 03:01 PM

We had drums at our judging class.

The general thinking I've Heard (not as a cook) is thighs and drums are easier pieces to retain moisture.

I have also read here that Jim Minion for one would not hesitate to turn in breasts, does, and does well with them.

But I think you should go with drummies or thighs Neil, to nail down the moister cuts first, before going to the trickier stuff.

JMO from the patio next to the pile of drummy bones

nthole 05-10-2007 03:13 PM

I think I'll do some expiramenting with both, but I'm leaning towards working out a good bbq drum. Probably just because that's the only part of the chicken I really like, and if I have to eat 50 pieces of chicken to get a recipe honed...well, I darn sure better like it.

Plus I like the idea of standing out. Anything to make a judge think immediately he's in for something different.

Bill-Chicago 05-10-2007 03:17 PM

Neil, if you can take a KCBS Judging Class, I would strongly encourage it (for your buddy too)

It will give you a judging framework of how judges are initially instructed, with sample product to get a basis to understand judging criteria.

River City Smokehouse 05-10-2007 03:18 PM

You can use any piece of chicken you want. Saying that, you may want to follow what everyone else does unless you like to gamble. The result in the end will tell whether or not you will want to do legs again. I personally like thighs better because I feel they are much more juicy compared to legs. If I get a box with both legs and thighs I go for the thigh first if given the choice. To keep your scores in line with all the judges (which is like pulling "I" teeth to begin with) you may want to keep all the meat in the box equal for each judge. This is why I won't turn in a whole cut up chicken. Give a couple of judges a juicy thigh and a couple of judges a dry breast and you'll kill yourself in the scores. Wings usually don't do very well either, I think because there isn't really enough meat for a judge to sample.
Try legs one time and see how you do, then try thighs the next time. Heck, cook up both at a contest and then try them and see which one comes out to be the most worthy of turning in. Good Luck! It's any man's game! Go with your feelings.

Plowboy 05-10-2007 03:41 PM

On the question of spicy or sweet, I think balance is best. Err on sweet if anything. In the Midwest, sauce seems to sell with judges when it comes to chicken.

Pig Headed 05-10-2007 04:35 PM

At the few times I've judged, it seems that sweet rules. I personally like a little spice, but I was definitly in the minority. BTW, I did not let my preferrence influence my scores.

nthole 05-10-2007 04:45 PM

Not sure if I have time for a class this summer with the munchkin, but it's a worthy suggestion. I'll have to see if there's one anywhere near me.

I'm not really all that worried about actually winning. I would just like to see what kind of scores my q gets before deciding whether to really think about a scheduling a few events next season. Of course, I know what I like, and that's not always considered "competition style", so it's really a whole lot about preference isn't it!

I will probably do drums one comp and thighs one comp and use the same recipe with varied cook times and foil to try and get the moistness the same and just see how the scores compare. Since I'm really just testing the waters this season that seems to make sense. I'll definitely post the results for anyone else who's interested in seeing, won't be till late summer though.

BBQchef33 05-10-2007 04:55 PM

MilitantSquatter is a fan of the drummy turnin and does well. I'm sure hell chime in and offer up some pictures.

MilitantSquatter 05-10-2007 08:08 PM


Originally Posted by BBQchef33 (Post 392586)
MilitantSquatter is a fan of the drummy turnin and does well. I'm sure hell chime in and offer up some pictures.

I like cooking drums for the variety from others and ease of prep...

Here's some drum box pics... .. Still a work in progress and trying some new things, but overall appearance scores are very good regardless of what type and amount of rub/sauce/method of cooking.

Box 1 is what they usually look like.. glazed late in the cook.

Box 2 was cooked differently (different rub/cooked in a covered aluminum pan later in the cook with sauce in it)

The highest score I've gotten cooking drums was a 162... (the first box)... Lowest was not much lower...

QansasjayhawQ 05-10-2007 09:29 PM


Originally Posted by nthole (Post 392584)
I will probably do drums one comp and thighs one comp and use the same recipe with varied cook times and foil to try and get the moistness the same and just see how the scores compare.

Practice. It's what makes anyone great at anything.

Sure, you can have some measure of natural talent. But unless you practice enough to put a fine point on your art or craft, you'll always just be good.

And what makes practice easier? (Besides beer, that is.)
Being motivated about what it is that you're practicing. Loving all there is to love about your art or craft.

So if you love drummies, by golly practice those drummies! Hundreds of times! Practice every night. Read all about smoking drummies. Think about smoking drummies in your sleep. That's practice too, you know.

Then, when you finally get to your first competition, you can relax and have a good time smoking your drummies 'cause you've done it a hundred billion times already.

Smokin' drummies. It's what you do!

Pork Chop 05-10-2007 09:53 PM

:idea: Has anyone tried or turned in Cornish Hen?

BBQchef33 05-10-2007 10:38 PM

I'd like to chime in here for a minute.. just to let everyone know some background.

NThole(neil) is one of our very first original members. Hes been with us from day 1.

He is being humble in his abilities, for Neil is known to us as the Easy Bake King.

He has achived greatness that I doubt ANYONE has ever done before, or since.

Neil has sucessfully made an ABT.. in the world famous, Easy Bake Oven.

Here is a synopsis of the event.

First, he places an ABT and a piece of hickory on some foil to put into the EBO.

He feeds in gently in..

After watching his pit, he retrieves a perfectly smoked ABT. The wood is charred and the pepper is tender.

he prepares to enjoy with his favorite bash beverage.

The proud king of the EBO.

More photos can be found on page 8 on up in this gallery.


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