Choosing a chicken for comp

All other competition related questions or comments about recipes, techniques, and related topics.

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Scott P
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Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby Scott P » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:45 am

I'm curious to see what chickens folks are buying for competitions. I know to go for the ones not packed in a solution. My main question is in regards to size. How big or small of a bird are you buying? I look for birds in the four pound range, but have only cooked in one competition. I've got the brine, rub and sauce down, I just need to pick out the meat.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby PaulWhita » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:43 pm

I have a hard time finding birds under 5 pounds. Last one I turned in was 5.6# and I had a hard time getting the box to close.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby Swamp Donkeyz BBQ » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:46 pm

We get ours at HEB and usually go for 4.5-5 pounds.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby bruno994 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:55 pm

I'm with Swamp, I like the HEB birds. My time frame is worked around a 4.5 to 4.75 pound bird, with a max of 5. I know I can comfortably cook this size bird to be done on time for turn ins, not to mention being able to fit inside the turn in box.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby 3 star redneck » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:54 pm

bruno994 wrote:I'm with Swamp, I like the HEB birds. My time frame is worked around a 4.5 to 4.75 pound bird, with a max of 5. I know I can comfortably cook this size bird to be done on time for turn ins, not to mention being able to fit inside the turn in box.



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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby Speed » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:28 pm

I've had great luck with Brookshires brand chickens in the 3.75-4.5lb range. I wont cook anything larger than that unless I have too. HEB or Sandersons would be my second choice.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby js-tx » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:58 pm

I look for a 4.5-5lb HEB all natural bird. They seem to be fresher and "cleaner" than the others.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby k.a.m. » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:38 am

HEB birds for sure. I have been cooking 4.5 to 5.0 birds but have been practicing some with birds in the 5.0 to 5.5 range we will see if it works out. :lol:
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby TXLNGHRN » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:56 am

One more for HEB
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby RLTXBBQ » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:21 am

Another vote for hebutt
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby Scott P » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:27 am

I grabbed two HEB natural birds, one at 3.7 lbs and one at 3.4 lbs. The air chilled ones were twice the price. I usually use Sanderson ones, but thought I'd go with smaller ones this time.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby bruno994 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:32 am

Uh-oh, KAM's been practicing...
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby k.a.m. » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:12 am

bruno994 wrote:Uh-oh, KAM's been practicing...

Well a mans gotta eat ya know. :wink: :lol:
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby BigDave » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:04 pm

I prefer the no anti biotic, no injection birds. these birds will be smaller and more flavorful than those "roastin" birds called fryers now. I prefer a 4 pound bird and can usually get within a tenth of a pound.

Now if'n i aint using the "natural" birds, i prefer Sanderson Farms birds and they are large just like all the other brands. I start lookin a week before comps and can usually get them right at 4 to 4.3 pounds after goin to at least 4 stores! Askin the meat dept mgr to hold the size bird ya want helps sometimes. But most birds now are 5 pound plus so findin 4 pounders can be a challenge at times if the natural birds are not available.

I usually cook 2 birds per comp. Turn in the best half/halves and eat the others fer lunch or freeze for another day.
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Re: Choosing a chicken for comp

Postby JMoney7269 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:32 pm

4.75-no larger than 5. I look for the short squatty ones with big breasts :mrgreen:
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