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Contest Poultry Cookers????

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am heading to Havabbq in Lake Havasu City, Arizona I am doing the Cornish Game Hens instead of chicken for the contest.

Wondering if anyone has won with cornish game hens or if everyone basically uses chicken cause that is what the judges prefer?

Don't get me wrong, I am doing game hens no matter the answer here, I just want to know if I should expect to be competitive with them or if I am just doing my thing and sending it in for my own gratification???

I don't really know how well trained the KCBS judges are? Is it extensive? Or is it this, this and this win, everything else ignore?

I have cooked mostly ACF type competitions and local organization competitions.
post #2 of 10
Cornish Hens ARE chickens Bob...young ones.

Most folks I see on the circuits are doing just thighs, not whole bird. Most will detach the skin, trim fat/meat for matching size, marinade/brine, and re-assemble. Go hi-temp -Get ya a good solid skin, and a nice sauce and you should be OK, man.

I been pondering a bit of cure for flavor/moistness...
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am talking about cornish rock game hens. They are not a baby chicken. They are a cross of the white rock roster on the cornish hen which created a bird that is about 22 ounces when it is finished.

But they are a chicken. What I am thinking of is sending in whole halves with crispy skin.
post #4 of 10
I see no reason you should not be competitive with cornish game hens Bob. I just finished watching a competiton on the Food Network. Seemed the thing most talked about on the chicken entry was the skin. You do not want the skin to come sliding off in the first bite.

I did a pheasant last fall which is similar to a cornish game hen. I smoked it at about 275 to 300. Didn't brine it first which if I do one again I think I would. But it turned out juicy and had a nice crispy skin.
Didn't take very long if I recall about 2.5hrs.
Best of luck when you get there make sure you let us know how it went.
post #5 of 10
Although teams occassionally do well with something outside of the norm, from what I have seen deviations from the expected are punished by the judges.

Can you do well? sure......but the deck is kind of stacked against you IMO.

Anyhow, good luck.......keep in mind that if you turn in whole halves, you will have to turn in 6 of them. Might be a challenge in the box to do that........and make it look good.
post #6 of 10
The team i was with last year has hit on a top 5 KCBS chicken.Couple firsts and all these comps had 40-100 teams competing.

Using thighs,which most i know use.A young ,properly raised thigh.....Bone in...

No marinating/injecting or brining.Standard trimming and scrapping....The key was the homemade rub and part of that is homegrown.....

Very simple cooking procedure etc....

I find it interesting though that mixon suggested to some folks on that TLC show to turn in some drums....They were 3rd out of 400...His point being 1/2 the judges at a Royal size comp were first timers....This is one reason i do not compete much at all anymore.....
post #7 of 10
Just remember that you have to have at least 6 pieces in the box. I am not sure what kind of presentation you would be able to do with that many halves. Seems like it would be pretty tight.
post #8 of 10
Chef...Have you judged a comp....Sound advice as usual...Just wondering my friend.....The whole thing tends to turn competent folk like yourself off.Turning me off,but i dont spend my dough...I hep and compete a few times every year-specialy after the winter thaw...
post #9 of 10
Nope, have not judged a comp yet, took the class though. And I helped out a team for one comp and we took first in chicken. I hope to compete and judge at least once each this year.
post #10 of 10
We did 1 comp. last year took everyones advice & did bone in thighs with our own rub & got a call for 2nd place in chicken!!
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