by Cole Pepper
April 12, 2014
Chicken is the first category that will be judged in the Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships. Here are a few tips that I have acquired that can help you make great competition-style chicken in your backyard.
- Remove the skin and trim fat from it. Chicken skin has fat on the underside. You want to carefully slice that away.
- Brine thighs for around 2 hours (I like to use a traditional, all natural lemonade or apple juice as a base for the brine)
- Season or dust thighs (I prefer a combination of garlic powder and lemon pepper with salt)
- Replace skin by wrapping around thighs
- Smoke with a baste. I like to use a BBQ sauce that is diluted with lemon juice early, then a pure BBQ sauce layer in the final couple of minutes…you don’t want to over-caramelize the sauce on the chicken. I also like to use a mix of hickory with apple or cherry wood.
I went on Channel 4 to talk about the technique and the Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships:
Here’s a photo of the thighs I smoked: