I placed in the contest for chicken thighs but I wasnt really 100% satisfied. How do you get the bite through skin in the FEC smoker without having to scrape all the fat off the skin and re-wrap it. I love the flavor but it takes FOREVER to scrape the skins. I'll do it if that is the only possible way.
Ask 20 comp cookers and you (might) get 20 different answers. The one technique I can offer you is to remove the skins, scrape the fat, add a light sprinkle of food glue(Google it), wrap and chill overnight.
The cooking technique varies from cook to cook. The two methods I'm familiar with:
!. Place the breasts in a foil pan with a good glob of squeezy butter under each lobe. Cover with foil and smoke at 250 for 1 hr. Remove foil and smoke about 45 minutes. Rest them 5 minutes, dip in sauce or glaze and lay them in your turn in box.
2. Follow the 1st part of step one. Afetr one hour foil one of your FEC racks. Place the foiled shelf in the 2nd lowest position. Place the foil pan on the lowest shelf and take them to 165 o. Glaze and box.
No doubt you'll get a number of other "how to's"
Keep in mind, "bite thru" skin is not subject to plus or minus pts by the judges...though a bite thru skin will likely score higher.
1st off, if you placed at the last contest, you might want to keep your technique in place?
Just to tag on with MaxQ, the quality of the chicken you use will have a lot to do with if there is a need to scrape it or not.
I don't scrape myself, but I've heard some folks that do say that the temp of the chicken during the scraping process has a lot to do with how much effort it takes.
No matter what method, chicken cooking takes practice.
I took a second to Mike Davis with this one.
Prep your chicken then started at 215 degrees, to get some smoke on it, for about 45 min. Then took it up to 300 to finish and glaze.
Pulled them at meat temp of 165 at bone. Did thighs.
FEC 100 (2)
To agree that there are lots of techniques.To also agree that if you got a walk,don't mess with success.
When you sit at a table with all Master judges,some may check the skin as a "test" as you suggest.Virtually all ot these "Masters" will toss the skin-regardless of "eat as presented by the cook"directions.Yes,in a large contest with a lot of "good cooks",there will be a lot of similar/good thighs.
Seems to me that when those close cooked thighs are looked at,the judge gets really focused on the moisture and how the chicken bites,and tastes.
You walked,and I believe Randy took Trigg's course.John spent a long time trying to teach Mike Davis everything he knew,so Randy probably cooks it a lot that way.
As a cook that judges some,I try to figure out how a cook did great skin,and then mostly how he cooked great thigh meat.
Like the other good cooks here,I'd guess you drew the wrong table,or the other cook cooked real good chicken.
Like you said that is a lot of time and thought going into the skin,which may not be worth the part of a point in the score.
Not that we haven't messed a lot with skin,but just my $0.02 worth.
Good Q 2 Ya,Tom.
Tom, your right. I took Johnny's and Rod's combined class. Aslo I have taken Mike's and Myron's classes.
All four had bite through skin. Two were very similar, like you said, but the other two were very different. But one thing was common for three. High finish temp.
The fourth was just different all the way through. The method ws what caused the skin to be bite through not the temp.
FEC 100 (2)
Randy,reference that temp.
For about a decade people that didn't have a hot spot cooker were carrying little 18 in charcoal grills stuck on the trailer.Many top cooks figured it was easier to get that "barbecued chicken" that had bite thru skin,grillmarks,and taste in 25 mins on the grill.
Cooking with Fast Eddy,when something wasn't cooking/finishing right,his favorite comment was "heat is our friend".
Good Q 2 Ya,Tom.
300-315 degrees. Lets the skin begin to fry, sort of like in a pan.
I have done it that way start to finish, and the skin did bite thru. But not much smoke flavor. Like to to low early then crank.
FEC 100 (2)
I hardly ever taste smoke on chicken when judging, it just seems to be more of a grilling category, oh well!
Yep,like cal says.Many cooks and judges go with the idea of "well it looks like bbq chicken".
Being a cook,I'm always trying to figure out how the presenter cooked good eating chicken.Especially,in large comps where cooks will present breasts to stand apart from the 90 boxes of thighs. .I've given strong scores for the nerve to turn in breasts,but in particular for being able to turn in great eating breasts.
Around the table afterwards,even all the Masters would say they gave terrible scores,because it didn't look like bbq.They don't care that it was 1/7 of the score,it didn't look like bbq!
I've seen it happen to thighs as well.
Good Q 2 Ya,Tom.
A couple years ago we cooked a whole chicken and turned in sliced breast and pulled white and dark meat. At a comp with a lower percentage of CBJs we took 4th. We thought we were on to something but the next few comps where there was a higher percentage of CBJs we got ripped chicken. We figured they were expecting thighs and didn't like it when that wasn't what they got.
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If you look at my chicken wins over the years, I'd say 90% of the high scores were boxes that had chicken breast in them. But they were PERFECTLY cooked. If they weren't when I tasted them, I didn't put them in the box.
Poorly cooked breast will kill you.
But then I don't get the whole "grilling" competition when it's supposed to be Smoked Chicken.
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It's done when it's done
Lots of things I shake my head at too, grilled chicken is just a small part of it, oh well!
Just wait till next year and we can have grilled pork also, but I guess I'd better not thread jack on that thought.
There was nothing wrong with my breasts
We all know it's always the judges fault
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