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cucklebur 08-28-2011 02:40 PM

Chicken Question
 
I am fixing to enter my first sanctioned bbq event and I have a problem getting the skin to crisp, its always rubbery. Any advise would be much appreciated.

Larry Wolfe 08-28-2011 03:14 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cucklebur
I am fixing to enter my first sanctioned bbq event and I have a problem getting the skin to crisp, its always rubbery. Any advise would be much appreciated.

Brine the chicken in a simple brine,'grill' indirect (350* range) and glaze with Orange Marmalade Sriracha Sauce

Dale53 08-29-2011 12:27 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
I am not a competition barbecuer. However, I can definitely agree 100% with Larry Wolfe on this one. His Orange Marmalade Sriracha Sauce glaze AND indirect method is now my favorite chicken, ever!

I also like the same method with a commercial barbecue sauce and use them both - one time it'll be one and one time the other (for that OTHER sauce, I use Sweet Baby Ray's or Bullseye Original). Make no mistake, however, Larry's is the BEST!

Brining (I use nothing but salt and water) keeps the meat moist while allowing you to cook long enough to crisp the skin without drying out the meat.

FWIW
Dale53

Qjuju 08-29-2011 07:53 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
So that's where I got that recipe... The orange Marmalade sauce rocks. I use it on wangs all the time.

swampsauce 08-29-2011 07:54 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
IMO, crispy chicken is not a good way to go. Work on "bite through" skin. It will be better and I think easier. I like Mr. Wolfe's Siriracha chicken. Wife doesnt. So if I were you, I would try to please everyone. Sweet usually does that. Good luck, and have lots of fun!

dollarbill 08-29-2011 09:08 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Larrys sriracha glaze kicks ass! However I did use it in competition and didn't do very well. I think because it is so different when compared to a more traditional type of sauce. Maybe I would have done better if I was one of the first to turn in. Just thought i'd throw it out there. Pee Dee is right, "bite thru" is what the judges are looking for.

bigwheel 08-29-2011 10:08 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Got to agree with Mr. Buckethead on this one. Rubber skin chicken is mostly caused by long slow cook times. The problemo cures itself with fast grilling in the 350 range. Few chunks of wood on the coals to give it some smoke flavor. We cook half chickens here in God's Country and I try to cook 4 halves at once. Have noticed if it takes more than an hour to get them to 175 in the thigh they will drop in the judging one place for each additional 5 mins past the 60 min target time. I use a short stubby ECB bullet smoker with just a little water in the pan. Firepan with a bunch of extra holes drilled in it so it gets hot hot. Whether brining is a good plan depends on whether the chicken has already been brined at the factory before you got it. Certain brands such as Tyson, Pilgrims Pride and Butterball to name but a few have already been pumped to the gills so they dont need it. If you get an unbrined model such as Sanderson Farms brining is a good plan. Never allow show chickens to undergo a hard freeze or it will make big black spots in the meat where the marrow and blood have been forced out of the bones. Light freeze such as sometimes found when you buy them dont seen to hurt any. Whatever chicken parts you are cooking it must be remembered the skin is a barrier to gettting flavor to the meat. Person needs to learn the trick of peeling back the skin and apply rub then pinning the skin back in place and putting more rub on top of the skin. Works the same way if you get into one of the yankee thigh cooking contests. Thighs only need to get to 155 or that is whut a yankee tole me one time. If you decide to brine try 2 hours at room temp using 1 gallon hot tap water..half cup of salt and 1/4 cup of your favorite rub. I been doing that to porkchops and it turns out great. Should work on yard birds too. Be sure to let the bird or its sundry parts rest wrapped in the hot box for at least an hour. They gets rid of any red spots in the joints etc. After the resst and about 20-30 mins prior to turn in time drag it out of the hot box and apply a glaze. Never tried Larrys Sirriachi Marmalade deal but it sounds good. I do a glaze of Headcountry Regular sauce sweetened up with a little honey or pure Maple Syrup. Let it burn in just a bit..turn it in and get ready to collect your money:)

boar_d_laze 08-29-2011 10:36 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
It's a good idea to brine chicken, period. There are lots of good brines. If you find one which works for you now in terms of time, taste and convenience -- fine. Just don't close yourself off to fooling around with lots of others. In terms of bringing flavors to the party, brines tend to be relatively subtle which lends some degree of freedom. But the caveat of not pushing flavors profiles very far in comps, applies here too.

One key to formulating brines is to remember that when tasting them by themselves is to remember they should not taste good, but way too salty. One key to using them is to remember they bring A LOT of SALT to the party, and to limit the amount of salt in your rub accordingly. None is a good starting point.

NEVER, NEVER brine chicken in a hot or warm brine (sorry, Bigwheel). Even if it's "only" a couple of hours, it's a major food-handling no-no and an actual safety issue. Furthermore, if your comp is inspected you will and should be DQd. You want the brine below 40F before or very soon after the chicken goes in (and before the inspector shows up!).

ALWAYS use the best and freshest chicken available. If all you can get is pre-brined, Mississippi/Arkansas mega-factory chicken that's all you can get. But if you can get better, use it. Chicken tastes best either immediately after or between 12 and 48 hours after slaughter (you don't want to cook it when it's still in rigor). If it means locating a fresh poultry operation convenient to the comp site... good luck with that.

Cooking at a relatively high heat will net you much better skin than going low and slow. However, you can cook low and slow, then tighten the skin later with high heat. This isn't limited to basting them with barbecue sauce and cranking the temp. For instance, you can get a little smoke into leg quarters, then bread and fry; or smoke a whole chicken low and slow, then hit it with a torch.
https://cdn.cheftalk.com/2/2c/750x375...PostTorch.jpeg
Of course, you can't use a torch for KCBS. But you can certainly finish on a high-heat grill.

There are an awful lot of ways to skin each one of these many cats. The more specific you are in terms of knowing what you're trying to do, the better the answers can be tailored to your situation.

For KCBS comp, the best approach just for skin is to bring a second, small cooker just for chicken -- so you can go high-heat and/or direct heat -- either for the whole cook, or just for the finish. Our best comp results came using an old "Portable Kitchen," cooking thighs over moderate, indirect (around 300F) until almost done, glazing, and hitting with high direct until the skin tightened and crisped. There's no reason you couldn't do quite well on a number of other pits: WSM, ECB, Weber Kettle, etc.

"Bite through" is better than "crisp," although you want both, ideally. Obviously you don't want flabby skin, but you don't want the whole piece of skin to come off the chicken with the first bite, either. A little acid in the brine helps promote bite through (I use a mix of citrus). So does not overcooking during the finish.

Still talking about comp, it's pretty much suicide to do anything creative with flavor profiles. Very few judges will be open to sriracha/orange. True for any comp using "trained judges," and triple for KCBS. Judges are trained to look for traditional, and (usually) want one of a few southern-regional or mid-Mississippi valley origin tastes.

BDL

bigwheel 08-29-2011 01:37 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Well Boar you the second person to nag on that hot water brine. It was published in People magazine as being the favorite food (in it's pork loin steak incarnation) of one of the Jonas Brothers. Surely you have heard of him. Very famous guy. The recipe was given by some kinda world class hoity toity homo sapien Chef over on Oaklawn in Big D. They charge five bucks for a glass of water etc. I can't believe if this recipe was a health hazard that we would not hear on TV urging folks not to try it. Sides me and the Jonas Brothers and half the millionaires in Dallas would all be dead. I think there is just some homophobic type sentiments lingering around here. Now which food rule do it break? Thanks.

dollarbill 08-29-2011 01:42 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
You will only be DQ'd in competition if it is brined "before" the meat inspection for a KCBS event. After the inspection all meats are fair game to season/ brine etc. etc.. If you get there early usually you can get the meat inspection done by noon and brine overnight if you wanted too. I cook thighs generally for comp. on my Weber kettle for what its worth.

bigwheel 08-29-2011 02:56 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Yep thats whut I meant:) Aint nothing illegal or immoral about it. Just gives you a short brine time which works good..at least on pork. Aint tried it on yard birds yet. Should be made to order for comp. Dont have to mess with the birds till daylight give a person more drinking and fraternizing time. Now do seem like the original brine recipe called for storing in the ice box for the two hours as opposed to on the counter..but I tried both ways and cant tell much difference. I brined on the counter last time and by the time the two hours had passed the formerly hot water was fairly well chilled.

Captain Morgan 08-29-2011 03:28 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
a lot of folks get caught up in the internet threads and confuse comp cooking
with real cooking. I brine chicken wings in warm water. Grill em. Eat em.

Still typing.

course, BW be the law, or used to be, so I kind of hate to admit that here. Might
get a ticket, and Texas is a long way to go to plead my case.

bigwheel 08-29-2011 03:41 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Well Cappy last time I checked you da man with the gun and badge. Looks like you done moved the bullet from the shirt pocket to the cylinder. I surrender:) Dont taze me Bro!!

boar_d_laze 08-29-2011 07:38 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Pork isn't chicken.

Soaking chicken in simmering, hot brine is making soup; not the road to high scores.

Soaking chicken for several hours in warm brine is incredibly wrong. I'm sure everyone has raised generation after generation of healthy, wealthy Harvard graduates by serving food which was improperly prepped, cooked, stored and/or canned. But the issue isn't you, your family, or your village.

Sometimes people do get sick from badly handled food. The idea is to prevent it, not luck out.

The question isn't and never was, "brine or no brine?" Neither is it and never was, "brine on or off site? Rather it is and was clearly stated as, is soaking chicken in a luke warm brine for several hours is safe?

Anyone here want to go on record -- with his real name -- that soaking raw chicken for three hours in a 120F salty, but low-acid, brine is safe? You're a fool if you do.

It's been a while since my last competition, but I've seen people DQd for poor food storage. I'll clarify again, since it seems necessary: I'm not talking about what they brought, but what they did with what they brought at the comp site.

BDL

swampsauce 08-29-2011 09:43 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Well, I dont brine, so im not worried about of the bad stuff Y'all worried about. I use frozen chicken also. And, I still use a lettuce box, no putting green. KISS it, make it taste good, place it in box neatly, and you should do good.

Nick Prochilo 08-29-2011 09:59 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boar_d_laze
Pork isn't chicken.

Soaking chicken in simmering, hot brine is making soup; not the road to high scores.

Soaking chicken for several hours in warm brine is incredibly wrong. I'm sure everyone has raised generation after generation of healthy, wealthy Harvard graduates by serving food which was improperly prepped, cooked, stored and/or canned. But the issue isn't you, your family, or your village.

Sometimes people do get sick from badly handled food. The idea is to prevent it, not luck out.

The question isn't and never was, "brine or no brine?" Neither is it and never was, "brine on or off site? Rather it is and was clearly stated as, is soaking chicken in a luke warm brine for several hours is safe?

Anyone here want to go on record -- with his real name -- that soaking raw chicken for three hours in a 120F salty, but low-acid, brine is safe? You're a fool if you do.

It's been a while since my last competition, but I've seen people DQd for poor food storage. I'll clarify again, since it seems necessary: I'm not talking about what they brought, but what they did with what they brought at the comp site.

BDL

That is perfectly stated! Excellent!

Larry Wolfe 08-30-2011 11:13 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boar_d_laze
Pork isn't chicken.

Sometimes people do get sick from badly handled food. The idea is to prevent it, not luck out.

BDL

'Badly Handled' is the key. Most food bourne illnesses are caused by undercooked or cross contamination by putting cooked meat where raw meat was.

Brining meat in warm water is not harmful as long as the chicken is cooked properly and thoroughly period.

I'll use my method of smoking turkeys for a prime example. I put the bird on as cold as it can be, sometime ice crystals are still inside. I cook my turkeys in the 245*-260* range and it takes approximately 3-3.5 hours and the turkey is in the 'danger zone' (40*-140*) the whole time. So what's the difference in that in brining in warm water? Nothing. I cook the turkey until the breast hits 160* and the thighs are between 165*-170*. I have smoked many of turkeys using this method and I wouldn't call it 'lucking out' as you stated, I would call it knowing what your doing and being smart about things, during prep, cook, after cooking and storage.

Larry Wolfe 08-30-2011 11:15 AM

Re: Chicken Question
 
[quote=Nick Prochilo]
Quote:

Originally Posted by "boar_d_laze":3hhfzf54
Pork isn't chicken.

Soaking chicken in simmering, hot brine is making soup; not the road to high scores.

Soaking chicken for several hours in warm brine is incredibly wrong. I'm sure everyone has raised generation after generation of healthy, wealthy Harvard graduates by serving food which was improperly prepped, cooked, stored and/or canned. But the issue isn't you, your family, or your village.

Sometimes people do get sick from badly handled food. The idea is to prevent it, not luck out.

The question isn't and never was, "brine or no brine?" Neither is it and never was, "brine on or off site? Rather it is and was clearly stated as, is soaking chicken in a luke warm brine for several hours is safe?

Anyone here want to go on record -- with his real name -- that soaking raw chicken for three hours in a 120F salty, but low-acid, brine is safe? You're a fool if you do.

It's been a while since my last competition, but I've seen people DQd for poor food storage. I'll clarify again, since it seems necessary: I'm not talking about what they brought, but what they did with what they brought at the comp site.

BDL

That is perfectly stated! Excellent![/quote:3hhfzf54]

Nick, you know that's not true in many cases. Sure, prevention is key, but I wouldn't call it lucking out........

Nick Prochilo 08-30-2011 05:34 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
[quote=Larry Wolfe][quote="Nick Prochilo":1in4giid]
Quote:

Originally Posted by "boar_d_laze":1in4giid
Pork isn't chicken.

Soaking chicken in simmering, hot brine is making soup; not the road to high scores.

Soaking chicken for several hours in warm brine is incredibly wrong. I'm sure everyone has raised generation after generation of healthy, wealthy Harvard graduates by serving food which was improperly prepped, cooked, stored and/or canned. But the issue isn't you, your family, or your village.

Sometimes people do get sick from badly handled food. The idea is to prevent it, not luck out.

The question isn't and never was, "brine or no brine?" Neither is it and never was, "brine on or off site? Rather it is and was clearly stated as, is soaking chicken in a luke warm brine for several hours is safe?

Anyone here want to go on record -- with his real name -- that soaking raw chicken for three hours in a 120F salty, but low-acid, brine is safe? You're a fool if you do.

It's been a while since my last competition, but I've seen people DQd for poor food storage. I'll clarify again, since it seems necessary: I'm not talking about what they brought, but what they did with what they brought at the comp site.

BDL

That is perfectly stated! Excellent![/quote:1in4giid]

Nick, you know that's not true in many cases. Sure, prevention is key, but I wouldn't call it lucking out........[/quote:1in4giid]

If I'm not mistaken, that is exactly what bdl would call lucking out!

bigwheel 08-30-2011 09:24 PM

Re: Chicken Question
 
Well all that remains is tell us which of the various harmful organisms enjoys the pleasures of warm salt water and could survive a trip through the cooking process. That would be helpful. Thanks.


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