BBQ chicken in book

Hi Bill,

Had a couple of questions about your BBQ book and the chicken process. Your book mentions to flatten out the skin so you can wrap it around the thigh during cooking.  How do you flatten it out?  I’ve been experimenting a bit and I tried some thighs where I completely removed the skin, scraped all the fat off and cooked at ~ 275F like your guide says.  I still didn’t get bite-through skin and it seemed to cook too hot as the skin turned dark.  it didn’t really burn, but got really dark (I was cooking on a UDS).  I typically use a butter bath for comp chicken but tend to not get good smokey flavor as one does when cooking straight on the grate.  Any recommendation here would be appreciated.
In all your experiences with BBQ comps and judging, have you ever used cornish hens?  Or, have you seen other teams turn in hens for a comp?
I thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

One thought on “BBQ chicken in book

  1. Tim:

    Well… there are many ways to cook chicken thighs – with the trimming method I use today, I pull the skin off the thigh and just leave it attached by the “hinge”. That way I can easily season under the skin and stretch it over the nds and all around.

    The #1 way to get more bite through skin is to buy chicken with thin skin from the start. Brands like Tyson and Perdue are tough as shoe leather.

    We use Publix Greenwise. Other good brands ate Springer Mountain Farms and Smart Chicken.

    If it’s getting too dark, it may be because you are not measuring your pit temp correctly – your lid thermometer may be +- as much as 100 deg off from where your meat is. Too much sugar in your rub or marinade will get dark too.

    I currently cook hot & fast with a pan of butter. The videos at will pay for themselves in no time flat. It’s actually cheaper to watch the videos than not watch them and keep competing and not taking home a paycheck… that can get expensive real quick.

    I would stick with whole thighs. Maybe legs. Nobody uses cornish hens – there must be a reason.


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