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Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers


The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.


G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon

The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review

kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review

PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for readers only

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review


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Are Competition Style Chicken Thighs An Acquired Taste

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  • Top | #1

    Are Competition Style Chicken Thighs An Acquired Taste

    So, this is my first post here (thanks @ABCBBQ Dave for introducing me to the site) and I thought I would get some perspective on competition style Chicken. I tried Harry Soo's method this weekend ( and was somewhat underwhelmed. I mean it was good, but I am so used to a crispy skinned thigh. Anyone else have this problem (acquiring the taste)? Does that sound normal?
    Attached Files

  • Top | #2
    Not to me. I love comp thighs much more than traditional thighs these days.


    • Top | #3
      I'm with you, ndogg138 .


      • Top | #4
        I very much admire Harry Soo, an what he has accomplished.
        I have not tried this receipt, so cain't speak, personally, to its outcome.
        If it tasted good, but soggy skin, I dunno...
        Mebbe ya could pull off a quick sear, over live fire, or in yer oven's broiler, to crisp th skin up a bit?
        Yers look great, but I wouldn't be mad if mine was a few shades darker, jus so long as they had th crispy skin...


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Oops, I fergot what Mudkat jus said:

          Howdy from Kansas Territory!

      • Top | #5
        Welcome to the Pit!


        • Top | #6
          I believe you should never have to “acquire a taste” of anything.

          Eat what tastes good to you and if it doesn’t taste good to you don’t eat it or change it next time so it tastes good to you.


          • Top | #7
            Welcome to the Pit. I am going to have to agree with Mr. Bones I haven't tried Harry's recipe, but crisping up the skin a bit would be a nice addition.

            That's the joy of doing the cooking yourself. Experiment with it. Next time you do a batch use the same recipe and then finish some going off original recipe, some over charcoal for a few minutes to crisp the skin, and then maybe throw some under the broiler to crisp it. Just some ideas to see what you prefer and then you can go from there.


            • Top | #8
              Welcome from Maryland.


              • Top | #9
                I've done Harry's method several times and love it. I also like high heat chicken cooks for the crispy skin. So in short, I love them both ways.


                • Top | #10
                  I have no reason to cook competition anything since I'm not a comp cook, so why stress over it? Are you planning on entering a bbq competition? If not, cook what you like to eat is my only advice.

                  And welcome to the Pit from the Republic of Texas.


                  • Top | #11
                    Welcome to the Pit!


                    • Top | #12
                      Welcome to The Pit.


                      • Top | #13
                        The rule in our household is cook per the recipe the first time ... then tweak it to suit your taste thereafter. Sounds like you need to make a few tweaks! But this batch of your chicken thighs sure looks yummy even if the skin isn't crispy!

                        My friend Keenan has done a few competitions and I've been allowed to watch what goes on in a couple of comps. If you made the chicken skin crispy in a competition, the skin would just get soggy in the presentation box while waiting for the judges. So there's no reason in this context for crispy chicken skin. It's kind of a different world -- what they do in competition doesn't always translate to what tastes best at home.


                        • Top | #14
                          Thanks all. I am so glad that I found this site - the constructive replies are so appreciated. To add, I was considering entering competition, but I think I am going to work on becoming a judge before competing. For the time being (as many have said) I am going to work on grilling the way I like it. Looking forward to sharing in the future.


                          • Top | #15
                            Welcome from Colorado ...