Cooking Chicken Breast are uneven and you have to adjust your grill so you cook the large parts over hotter heat and the thin parts over lesser heat. Julia Davison America’s Test Kitchen on BRN Radio Netowrk
I’ve seen meat on a chicken turn red because of the content of the smoke turned it red. The meat was completely done but the smoke generated by the fuel source, Mesquite Charcoal, turned the meat red. Nothing was wrong with it. It was good. Red Pepper Jelly is the best for final glaze.
Chicken Injections are becoming more popular. If you can inject Beef and Pork, Why not Chicken?. The problem with chicken is lack of meat mass in each piece as you would think but size of needle is the answer. A size 14 injection needle will put small quantities in each piece of chicken. Just the liquid not the seasoning with granules. Injection vs brine? You can do both but brine pushes the blood out of the chicken and makes an easier cooking product. If you brine you may not need to inject as your chicken will be very hydrated.
Inject half way or three quarters of the way through your cook. Some Championship cooks will pull there chicken 15 minutes out of the cook and inject again. The problem is as the chicken sets there before turn in and after turn in. The flavor profile is changing by the minute. Without the influx of more seasoning after all your work there can be little flavor. Resting chicken changes by the minute. Brine and inject during your cook is a good idea. Sucklebusters Honey Chicken Sauce has been winning contests for years.
Pounding a Chicken breast out to make it more uniform for cooking. If you want to grill it like a hamburger well okay pound it flat. The uniformity at witch it cooks depends on it on a dray grill that going to dry it out even more. Chicken breast should always be cooked in a pan. With plenty of Butter, or Chicken Broth, or even just water with seasoning on it. Chicken Breasts cooked at 300 F on the grill for 3 minutes on both sides then put in a pan are the best ones. Put tin foil on the pan and butter away. If you put it in a pan and take it more than 10 minutes before you eat it. It will still dry out. Leave it in the pan to your immediately are ready to eat. Sucklebusters is a great choice for a rub! Beer Can Chicken
The thing about cooking BBQ Chicken is Butter. Butter, Butter, Butter, did I say Butter. I just had a Paula Dean Moment. When you cook chicken you have to cook it in Butter. Parkay is the choice of Champions. Squeeze Butter Bottles don’t have much in them.
Most BBQ Cooks on the Competition Circuit do not like to prep chicken. I kind of like it. Its just another meat to BBQ and that can’t be all bad. Of course I don’t do it all the time maybe that is why.
Cooking internal Temperature of all Chicken to be done is 160. How long does it have to cook at 160 to be done is what practice will help you determine.
Dana L Hillis of www.bigpapascountrykitchen.com has won so many contest in the last 5 years there hard to count. Dana is a Super Stars Cook in the Florida BBQ Association and wins in all sanctioning bodies. Sign up for his school now on Big Papas Country Kitchen right now. Dana is a great guy and can make you a Champion. He’ll show you exactly what to do all you have to do is do it!
Complete Breakdown of competition chicken and a complete cook live you’ll see it all and the finished product right here on BBQSuperStars. We cooked it for The Denver Broncos Super Bowl appearance 2014
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Cooking BBQ Chicken
Pick out a High Quality Chicken. Springer Mountain Farms is an Organic Chicken, that means no Steroids. Regular Chicken in the market is bigger pieces and were grown with Steroids in the Feed. Which makes the chicken grow faster. Pilgrims is the choice of Champions for regular BBQ Chicken. Use Sucklebuster Chicken
- What is the difference between Pilgrims Chicken Thighs and other. They are bigger more uniform, and easier to trim. I don’t know why but its true.
- Competition BBQ Chicken is chicken thighs. Some have used drum sticks but without much success. Only South Pork has really mastered the drum stick maybe a couple exceptions. Lets do thighs that is the choice of Champions.
- Brine your chicken. I used to think it didn’t matter. It was going around that if the vein across the thigh bone was still red at the end of your cook that the judges would mark it as not done. No problem. Brine your BBQ Chicken and that will force the blood out of it and the vein will no longer be red before you cook it. Brine with what? Italian Dressing, lots of people use that. Course Salt, Honey, Chicken Broth about a gallon the rest water. Throw that Brine water out after your done. Just too much bacteria to mess with.
- Bite Through Skin: You have to pull the skin back on the thigh. Some people separate the skin from the thigh some leave it attached at the one end. What I’ve seen lately taking the skin loose is a good idea. If you have organic chicken you have to scrape the skin to make sure there are no feathers. If you have regular chicken you have to scrape all the fat off the skin and make the skin as thin as possible. Some people say put mayonnaise on it,Big Bob Gibson’s White that will make bite through skin. Ha Ha that’s a joke. You have to keep a clean knife when scraping skin. A clean blade fills up an stops working.
- Once you got all the fat off the skin. Take the knuckle off the end of the thigh bone. If you use scissors it will crush the bone and leave bone fragments. If you put it on a cutting board and use a cleaver it will cut the bone clean. There are really two knuckles on the thigh bone. Some cooks do Single Knuckle, Double Knuckle, or no knuckles, some will take the bone completely out. I wouldn’t do that the bone adds flavor. Single knuckle is what I’ve seen the most.
- Square your thigh up. Steve Over lay wants all his thighs to weight 100 grams. Others just compare sizes. A square pillow is what you want. Once you have them all square then its time to rub them.
- Rub the thigh down without the skin. Both sides. Then put the skin on. Put rub on the skin after it is on.
- Panning your Thighs is the whole ball game. An 8X8 pan or 9X9 pan is key. you can take 4 thighs and put them in a straight line. Always put them skin side up on first intake into the smoker. The shape of them touching each other and pushing against each other will help stabilize the shape of your BBQ Chicken Thighs. Some people use muffin pans to shape their chicken. That is a muffin pan with square holes not round. What ever shape it is when you put it in, that is going to be its permanent shape.
- You got your thighs stacked in there what do you put in there with it. Butter Parkay Butter, Chicken Broth with added Bullion. Chicken Flavor, if its not yellow don’t put in there for an added liquid. Coat your chicken down with another layer of rub.
- Put enough butter in there to get up on the chicken at least a half inch. Put it in the Smoker at 300 degrees.
- Take it out in 45 minutes. Turn all the pieces over. Bottom side up. Here is where you get the bite through skin. How thin is your skin. It you still have fat on your skin it will not be bite through.
- While the chicken is in get a pot and make your sauce. Roadhouse Sauce and a mix with something else is a winner. Get it kind of hot cold sauce is no good.
- Take the chicken out. Put it on a grate. Take it out of the pan one piece at a time dip it on the sauce, and put it on the grate. Do each piece. Don’t use a pig tail. A pig tail will bust a whole in the crust and the juice will run out. Right now all the juice is on the surface of the Chicken.
- After all the pieces are dipped and on the grate let the temperature of the smoker come down to 250 degrees and set the glaze. After 10 minutes take them out and dip a second time. Put them back in for 10 minutes.
- You can sprinkle some double ground Sucklebusters Gun Powder on the chicken after each dunk.
- When you take them back out get out The Red Pepper Jelly and coat them with that. Man That Braswell Pepper Jelly just sets it off. Your flavors are your own. I’m just throwing things out there.
- Now its ready to serve or put in the box. After you put it in the box or on the serving platter. Take a brush and add a little more sauce. It makes it shiny or and spray it with apple juice.
- To really find out the details of how to do a cooking process the real deal go to BBQ Schools. The Pro’s will show you the right way to do a Professional BBQ Cook. These are generalities he’ll show you the way.
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- The whole thing about Chicken Breast is keeping the meat Moist.
- When cooking Chicken Breast you have to start off selecting the best Chicken Breast. Non Steroid Breast are not as good in this case. Springer Mountain Farms would be the best organic Chicken in the Business.
- Pilgrims again has the best Chicken Breast in the business.
- Take the skin off your breast completely and scrape the the fat off the inside of the skin. Make sure you clean your knife blade every 20 seconds by wiping the fat off it with a paper towel. A knife full of fat will not scrape fat off the skin. Once all your skin is clean of fat and thin stack them up in a pile.
- Breast can be injected. Butter, Chicken Broth and added Chicken Bullion is a good injection. You gonna have to strain the injection before you put it through your injector large pieces will get caught in most injectors.
- Put as much as you can into the breast and then put them into the brine. Chicken Broth, Course Salt, and Honey are a good mix for the brine. Put the skin in the brine also. You can put them in a Italian Salad Dressing mix instead of a brine. A brine as you seen above will force the blood out of the chicken. Then put it in the refrigerator or cooler over night a minimum of 2 hours.
- Take your Breasts out of the cooler and put them in a pan. You may need to wipe some of the brine off the chicken as it may cause the rub not to stay on the Breast. Rub down the Breast with the rub you like then put the skin back on the breast and coat the skin with rub.
- Add liquid to the pan. Butter, Broth, and Extra Bullion are what they need to be cooked in. The key is you have to put more in. If you can cover the Breast at least 75%. Leave a small amount of the breast above the liquid in the pan sticking out. Cook them for an hour without foil over the pan at 300 degrees.
- Take the breast out of the cooker. Turn the breast over and cook them for 30 minutes more at 300 degrees. All this is done with out foil to let the smoke get to them. Foil them now and put them into The warmer.
- Wait till you are ready to serve them before you take them out of the pan and out of the liquid. It should be a last minute thing. Sauce the Breast just before serving or give them the option of saucing the Breast themselves.
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If you watch this video when we go back to the cooker its a good example of how much liquid to put into the pan at the 8:14 mark.
BBQ Chicken Wings
BBQ Chicken Wings vary in size a great deal. You have to get a consistent size of wing to get a consistent turn out on your wings.
- Where are the best wings to cook in American. Every Grocery Store has good wings. You have to buy consistent size wings to get a consistent product.
- The biggest thing I’ve seen people do wrong with wings is they are not done. Internal Temperature of 160 doesn’t mean the wing is done. How long does the wing have to be 160 to be done. That is what cooking is.
- You have to decide do I want full wings on chop the wings into 2 parts. The tip of the wing is no good. If you cut them into two parts then throw the tip away.
- Next you have to rub the wings down. Take the wings out of the cooler and let them set for 15 minutes to come to room temperature. That will allow the wings to accept rub better.
- Put the rub in a pan a throw away foil pan is good because you won’t have to wash it later. Sucklebusters Wing Rub is a good rub for BBQ Chicken Wings.
- When you start to cook your wings add some butter to the pan you rubbed them in and put them on the cooker at 300 degrees. Put foil over the pan let them cook. Let them cook for 45 minutes and take the pan out.
- Turn over the wings in the pan and put them back in for 30 minutes. Coat them down with rub again while you turn them over light coat. Take the foil off the this time.
- The check the internal temperature. Whole wings will take longer than wings in 2 pieces.
- Now comes the practice part. When are they done? Keep them in till the meat will pull off the end of the bones. Pour the liquid out of the pan and pour Anchor Bar Wing Sauce over the wings of the pan and put them into a warmer and cut the heat down to 200 degrees. Wait till its time to serve.
- If you want to serve BBQ Chicken right away when its time to serve Pour Red Ghost Wing Sauce all over them and put them into the smoker for 10 minutes at 250 degrees.
- Take them out and serve them. You have to set the glaze. Pick out what ever kind of Wing Sauce you like.
IBCA Competition Chicken
International Cooks BBQ Association is a tuff sanctioning body! Great judging. Great randomization. The Chicken Category is good competition. Everyone is on an even playing field. Every cook has to cook a Chicken half. What kind of challenges does that bring?
- Three different densities of meat on one piece, Breast, Thigh, and Wing
- One skin covering the whole half of chicken cannot really be removed
- The chicken wing tip must stay on the wing if it falls off you are disqualified
- The Breast can dry out before the thigh is cooked
- The wing can get way over done before the breast and thigh are done.
- The judges are not allowed to pick it up so it has to be tender enough to pull the meat off with a plastic fork
- Do you cook it in halves or as one whole chicken. Its done both ways
- If you hold it in a Cambro will the skin roll up on it. Can you get it tender without holding it in a Cambro?
The first problem was weather to cook it whole or in a half. I couldn’t cook it whole – to done and them cut it in half without tearing the skin all up. I personally had to cut it in half. I cut the actual backbone in half to make both sides the same size.
After I got it cut in half I tried to push the skin back down over the breast to make sure it was covered and injected from the inside not to make any wholes in the skin.
Once I got it injected I put Sucklebusters Clucker Dust on it as well as Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. The liquid butter went right into the injector. I did both Chicken Halves with this much and it loaded them down.
I injected with:
I placed it into an Aluminum Pan and put the rest of the injection into the pan. I added another cup of Budweiser Heavy. When I set one of the haves down it twisted a little. I got some aluminum foil and put under it. When it gets in to the heat it will set. That is the shape it will take from then on so this is an important stage.
I put it into the Fast Eddie PG 500 from Cookshack at 350 and no foil so it would get some smoke. The PG 500 was making some great smoke flavor. It smelled good. I left it there for 30 minutes and brought it out and wrapped it.
Every time I brought it out I sprayed it with apple juice to help caramelize the skin. Chris Chadwick told me to use butter flavored Pam so I instantly got some!
I put it back in for another 45 minutes and it was awesome. It was perfect so I put Smokin Coles on it and put it in for 10 minutes to set the glaze.
The results were awesome as you can see above but the chicken was to big. It was 5.6 pounds and fitting these huge things in a box would be impossible for turn in. I guess a 4 pound chicken or less would be used.
Lets cooks some Turkey!
Turkey can be handled a lot like chicken its a poultry product but it takes longer to cook. At 300 degrees it took these wings and legs 4 hours to cook. A full turkey takes 4 hours to cook at 300 degrees.
When cooking a full turkey you figure 1 hour per pound at 200 degrees for smoking just like a hog. If you cook at 300 degrees then over night will get that bird done! For complete details on how to cook a turkey click here
Cornish Hens area a delight on the grill. We did them a little Italian Style but we still put them in the smoke. These little hens were a wonderful treat. We packed the cavity with sausage, then coated the outside with Olive Oil, Onions finely chopped, Minced Garlic, Melted Butter, and Garlic Salt. I could not resist putting a little Smokin Coles on at the end.
About 30 minutes in I had to drizzle the hens with melted butter. I cooked them for a total of one hour are 375 degrees. I turned them over at 45 minutes and finished them on there bellies.
Cornish Hens make a great back yard cook, tailgate, or a delicate meal when the finest of friends come over. Get some Cornish Hens one for every guest and fill them up the first time around! Its a BBQSuperStars Hell Yeah!
BBQ Chicken on BBQSuperStars