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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 04-08-2013, 02:52 AM   #1
Smokey Bones
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Default IBCA comp and chicken size to buy.

I will be doing my first IBCA comp and have a question on Chicken. It is to be a half chicken, but what is a good size? What size full chicken should I buy to cut in half so it best fits the styro? Not to small that more could be included for the judges, by not so large it gets crammed in and doesn't fit right?
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Unread 04-08-2013, 07:14 AM   #2
jmoney7269
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We cook 4.5-5 lb birds if its just one half to turn in. You can fit a pretty big half in a box diagonally
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Unread 04-08-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
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Jmoney is correct - 4.5-5 lbs is a good size, if you're turning in one half. But keep in mind - the box MUST close. I've seen some HUGE half chickens, even with the backbone cut out, and I know the judges struggled to get those boxes closed after they took their sample! Depending on the number of teams in the contest, tho, you may have to turn in two halves (50+ teams usually requires 2 half chickens) - your box will be larger. Both halves laid diagonally will fit and display nicely.

Lynn H.
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Unread 04-08-2013, 09:15 AM   #4
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J$ is right on the $...as is Lynn. I always cook 2 birds (4 halves), this way I have several choices for turn ins, plus some eating when friends show up midday Saturday.
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Unread 04-08-2013, 10:29 PM   #5
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Thanks, so I will look for 4-1/2 to 5 lb birds. Agree that two birds and four halves gives the best option for picking one to turn in.

In my practice, I can get juicy meat, but as always skins are the issue. For KCBS thighs I can scrape, but not with the full halves. Any suggestions for rendering out the fat for more "bite-through" skin texture?
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Unread 04-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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Higher heat, for a short time, works for me. And don't use a hen(but then again, that too could be just another part of the crappy meat we get in this town...).

Lynn H.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Honestly, I'm not sure how much the skin plays a part in the judging process. The judges are using plastic knives and forks to get a sample bite off your bird, so as long as they can cut through or pull back and expose the meat, you should be fine. Higher heat does work, I have been playing with a long smoke, then a high heat finish to set sauce and tighten up the skin, so far it's been a success.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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Some judges can and will DQ a try if it will not close. We always tell them at the cooks meeting the tray "MUST" close, i can never figure out why some. Ooks just dont pay attn.
Good advice above, i like 4.5ers
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Unread 04-09-2013, 08:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Bones View Post
In my practice, I can get juicy meat, but as always skins are the issue. For KCBS thighs I can scrape, but not with the full halves. Any suggestions for rendering out the fat for more "bite-through" skin texture?
Your not be able to get crispy skin to where the judge is gonna be able to cut it, it usually all comes off in one piece. We started doing better focusing on cut through skin rather than crispy. Mayo or olive oil really helps. My buddy uses mayo, I use olive oil and we go back and forth beating each other.
One I did last night. I didn't spritz or do anything to it like I normally do at a comp but the skin was still cut through. 350 and it took 1hr 10 min like usual.
Looks dry right there, but boy does it shine up once I spritz my magic juice in there.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 12:55 AM   #10
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We prefer them just a bit smaller. 4lbs is our preference but we've never used a bird larger than 4.5lbs.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #11
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Have seen many many judges eat the skin especially men so its best imo if they. An cut through it although crispy tastes better always. Try to find a balance there.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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After I cut the bird in half I can slide the skin down the leg and thigh and away from the breast. I remove fat from the underside of the skin season the meat pull the skin back in place and attach it with tooth picks then season and olive oil the skin... Cook at 350 and always works for me.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmholler View Post
Jmoney is correct - 4.5-5 lbs is a good size, if you're turning in one half. But keep in mind - the box MUST close. I've seen some HUGE half chickens, even with the backbone cut out, and I know the judges struggled to get those boxes closed after they took their sample! Depending on the number of teams in the contest, tho, you may have to turn in two halves (50+ teams usually requires 2 half chickens) - your box will be larger. Both halves laid diagonally will fit and display nicely.

Lynn H.
Wow... how in the world do you get two halves in a box? Would love to see a pic of that.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Parker View Post
Wow... how in the world do you get two halves in a box? Would love to see a pic of that.
You've never seen a crawfish box (aka "super jumbo foam hinged container")?

http://www.genpak.com/product-info/SN270/

(basically, they're 10x13 rather than 9x9. If I can get them in THIS backwater town(where I spent hours yesterday looking for a decent sized fresh whole chicken without its wingtips cut off!), they must be available all over)

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Unread 04-11-2013, 08:35 AM   #15
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Man that burns me up when I open up the chicken and it don't got the wing tips. I look carefully now.
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