2004 State Fair 4-H Chicken BBQ Contestant Suggestions:


You will be judged as to how you demonstrate BBQ skills (how did you manage your work area, your fire, the food product),  and you will also be visited by the judges for short interviews as you cook.  Your cooked chicken product will be evaluated.  So, be sure and know how to evaluate when chicken is “done”.  You will be furnished a large disposable plate on which to present your product to the judges.  Garnishes will not be required on nor points added for garnishes on the plate.

Following are some Chicken BBQ suggestions for Mississippi State University Extension Publication MCES Pub 351 which you might find helpful.  Here are some common mistakes and an explanation of how to correct them.


Common Mistakes Made in Grilling Broilers

·         Fire too hot -- Broilers must be cooked on a low to medium heat to prevent burning. Normally, when cooking fewer than 6 halves, allow one pound of charcoal to cook one chicken half. Allow ½ to ¾ pound when cooking more than 6 halves. Use only one layer of coals. The coals should touch each other and should cover an area a little larger than the area covered by the broilers being grilled. Occasionally, in covered grills, a few coals need to be added as a partial second layer. The heat is controlled in a covered grill by adjusting the air vents in the bottom and top of the grill. Keep these vents about three-fourths to fully open during the latter part of the grilling. Gas grills usually have to be set on low to grill broilers, and electric grills should be set on about 300o to 350o Fahrenheit.

·         Trying to cook too quickly -- Unlike steak and pork chops that can be grilled in 10 to 20 minutes, broilers require a grilling time of at least 1½ hours under near ideal conditions. If you have trouble keeping a good fire, the cooking time can require 2 hours.

·         Using a tomato basting sauce -- Nearly all commercially prepared barbecue sauces have a tomato or ketchup-like base. Using such products while grilling broilers almost always results in burning and a poorly finished product. If you insist on using the tomato-based barbecue sauce, baste the broilers with only cooking oil during the first three-fourths of the cooking period, while the coals are hottest. Then mix a little oil with the barbecue sauce for the last 30 minutes of cooking, after the heat has subsided. This helps prevent burning.

·         Not using enough salt -- Broilers readily take up seasoning, and salt is one of the main seasonings. Salt the broiler halves thoroughly before cooking by opening the spout on the salt box and sprinkling salt over the moist broiler half. Use approximately one tablespoon of salt per half. Salt the broiler halves until you are sure you have used too much, and you may have enough. Most of the salt washes off during cooking.
If you elect not to salt the broilers before grilling, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of salt, depending on the salt content of the ingredients, to the recipes shown later. Heat and stir the mixture until the salt is dissolved.

·         Having the grill rack too near the fire -- With open top grills, the greater the distance the chicken is from the fire, up to 18-inches, the better. A distance of only 6 to 10-inches may be possible with small grills. Unless the fire decreases considerably, keep the grill rack at the highest setting throughout the cooking period. With closed top grills, 5 to 10-inches between the fire and grill rack is adequate, because the heat is easier to control.

Grilling, Turning and Basting

Approximately 70 percent of the total grilling time should be with the cut side down and skin side up. Start grilling with the cut side down, cook 10 to 15-minutes, baste skin side, turn gently with tongs, baste cut side. Turn about every 10 to 15-minutes, basting before and after turning. A hot fire requires more frequent turning. Do not let the broilers get dry or burned, especially on the skin side.

Basting sauce should be gently brushed or dripped on the broilers rather than rubbed on

Flame Control

A thoroughly washed liquid dish washing detergent bottle makes a perfect water dispensing container to control flame-ups during cooking. You may also use water to help control a too-hot fire. Don't over use and completely douse the fire.

When Are My Broilers Done?

While lightly holding the broiler to the grill with tongs, grasp the drumstick with a folded paper towel and twist. The broiler is done when the bone easily breaks loose at the leg-thigh socket. The broiler is not done if the bone does not turn loose with minimum effort; keep cooking.




Good News from1999

Missouri's 4-H Representative came in 3rd at Louisville.  Good Show......