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Competition Style Chicken Thighs

These competition style chicken thighs are super moist, pack some big flavor and have that tender ‘bite through’ skin that the judges look for. There’s nothing worse than rubbery chicken skin that pulls off in one whole piece and slaps you in the chin. Burnt or shrunken skin isn’t very appetizing either. Follow these instructions and your chicken thighs will be competition ready!

Start off with neatly trimmed chicken that look something like this. For instructions on how to trim your thighs for competition, go here:

The first thing to do is turn the thighs skin side down and give them a healthy coating of your favorite spice rub. I use my own Mister Bob’s Blue Ribbon Spice Rub which you can find in our store.

After about 15 minutes, turn the chicken over and give it a healthy coating on the skin side.

Put a thick pad of butter (or margarine) on top of each piece

and put them in the cooker at 275 degrees. Leave them uncovered for the first hour, then cover with aluminum foil and cook for one more hour.

I used the Big Green Egg for this batch and controlled the temperature with my BBQ Guru CyberQ II.

After the two hours is up, bring them inside so we can cover them in sauce. Here, I used a 50/50 mix of Blues Hog Original and Blues Hog Tennessee Red sauce.

Now they go back on the cooker (still running at 275) for 15 minutes to set the sauce.

And this is what they’ll look like when they’re done, enjoy!

18 Responses to “Competition Style Chicken Thighs”

  • Erik:

    look at that glaze! awesome

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  • Mister Bob:

    Thanks Erik, that’s the Blues Hog in the mix that gives it that beautiful glaze. Adding a good dose of honey to almost any sauce will also achieve that kind of result.

  • Mister Bob… these look amazing. I talked a bit with Mr. Arnold from Blues Hog. A very gracious and humble man who makes one hell of a BBQ sauce! Going now to check your post about trimming up these thighs.

  • Mister Bob:

    Thanks Kevin, those thighs are a consistent top ten finisher, and took fourth place in our last two competitions.

  • Mister Bob, one word…..AWESOME!!!!

  • mark petersen:

    mister bob,do use a brush for applying the sauce and if so what kind,love the way they look

  • Mister Bob:

    Hi Mark,
    I fully submerge each piece then carefully lift them with a spatula and put them back in the cooker for 15 minutes to set the sauce. That’s how I get that perfectly even glaze. Also, make sure you use a sauce with honey in it, and if yours doesn’t, add some.

  • Joe:

    Mister Bob Thanks for the receipe on your Competition Style Chicken Thighs.
    I used my own rub and sauce during turkey hunting in New York for 6 of us.
    I always burn the chicken but this not this time, made 28 pecies and not a one was left. Thanks for the tips and timming


  • Mister Bob:

    Hi Joe,
    I’m glad you liked the method, it really does produce tender and delicious thighs with bite through skin. I sometimes go a little extra on the grill at the end to get a slight char, but you have to be careful not to let things get out of control. It’s always smart to have a cool spot on the grill to retreat to if necessary.
    Mister Bob

  • bas:

    Bob the hog blog has become my new number one bbq information site it is very generous of you to provide all your experience and techniques to help so many people out that are interested in turning out great bbq.looking forward to competing locally someday thanks

  • Mister Bob:

    Thanks bas, and good luck in competition!

  • Steve:

    Mr. Bob,

    Does the chicken absorb enough smoke flavor being in the pan? I have no experinece with a BGE but this looks really good.


  • Mister Bob:

    Thanks, this really is a good recipe. Chicken has a tendency to absorb too much smoke, so the time it spends uncovered is more than enough.

  • Andrew:

    do you need to cook it longer at 275 if you dont scrape fat under skin or does it still turn out right

  • Mister Bob:

    I cook thighs in a ‘butter bath’ at 275 for 2 hours whether I scrape or not. One hour in the smoke, one hour covered then sauced and back in the smoke for about 10 minutes. The only time I’ve had a problem was with Tyson thighs that had particularly thick skin in the first place. I try to use Bell and Evans, air chilled all natural chicken. The skin is thin and the finished product is always very tender with bite through skin. In fact I’m picking up 32 of those thighs this afternoon, which I’ll cull to the best 24 to cook at this weekend’s competition so I can turn in 6 perfect thighs. The rejects will still be delicious and have bite through skin.

  • Brad:

    Mister Bob, is the butter bath the secret to the bite-through skin? I have tried a similar method and can’t seem to get the skin just right. I look forward to trying this method.

  • Mister Bob:

    We’ve been tweaking that recipe. A better example of how to guarantee bite through skin every time can be found in this post.
    The second hour the chicken is in the cooker covered up, steams the skin to tenderness while the meat is braising.