Competition BBQ Chicken Thighs


Chef Tom breaks down our method of preparing competition chicken thighs. This is the recipe we use in KCBS competitions and incorporates tips, techniques and methods we have learned from competition barbecue pitmasters like Andy Groneman of Smoke on Wheels Competition BBQ (Kansas City) and “BBQ Brian” Misko of House of Q (British Columbia, Canada).

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Full recipe:

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49 replies
  1. Charlie Becker
    Charlie Becker says:

    I can appreciate all the work to get your competition thighs perfect, but I have a 3 step method that rocks and is easy.
    Step #1 Pressure cook in instant pot very fast only 2 minutes at pressure in a good seasoned stock.
    Step #2 Traditional grilling with charcoal and wood chips just enough time to get them smokey. Low temp not too much heat #3 Dip in a great BBQ sauce like in this video and finish off in the oven so you don't burn the sauce. It's always juicy
    always cooked to the center and never burned the sauce. Perfect every time and only take about 45 minutes

  2. Rico Espinoza
    Rico Espinoza says:

    I've tried this process…but after being covered, the skin has pulled back and scribbled up. Its almost like the steam from being covered up shrinks the skin…..any ideal on why this happened? Its happened twice.

  3. 4wolverines
    4wolverines says:

    question. I totally understand the bite thru of the skin. Why are you not allowed to crisp up the skin on say a hot grill? Are grill marks not allowed in competition? Whats wrong with the skin being crispy and bite-thru? You'll still have all of the smoke flavor you put into the thighs? Thanks

  4. analogdistortion
    analogdistortion says:

    "You're gonna learn what the judge is like" exactly why there is no reason to enter any competition that is based just on the taste of the judge. You'd be an idiot to bother trying hard to please somebody like that in a competition where there is only one taster.

  5. Veritas Rex
    Veritas Rex says:

    Competition cooking is different than home BBQ, not better just different. In competition, the chicken must look a certain way but it suffers from the lack of fat that the untouched skin has, also in some contests there is not a whole amount of time to marinate chicken which has a neutral flavor and benefits from long marinades. Contests usually have a certain flavor profile that the judges are looking for and going outside that box can be tricky. Like all things when money is involved you lose a lot of the original idea for the competition. From my experience in the food industry, the best meals I've been served have been from home cooks who are talented and caring about the product being served to family and friends at their table, sometimes because of volume and financial reasons the same care is lacking in commercial establishments . My advice is to make friends with good home cooks and BBQer's it' well worth it for the cost of a bottle of wine or a case of beer you are almost always rewarded.


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