Chicken broth/stock, cooked bones or raw?

Joined Oct 3, 2010
Hi all, new here and have a couple questions. want to make a broth/ stock as an injection for juiciness and flavor in my competition bbq chicken.  Do I start with a deboned raw chicken bones or is it okay to debone an already cooked or boiled chicken?

Going to roast the bones btw.

I want to make a finishing glaze for the chicken that will make it have a better presntation and also accentuate the bbq chicken flavor.

I have boiled chicken thigh meat and the backbones then added salt and butter, its okay but looking for better. Sould I try some knorr or other chicken base powders?, the juices need to be clear as possible within the meat when cooked.

Any an all suggestions for a glaze and or broth/stock to make my chicken better appreciated.
Joined Feb 26, 2007

Hi and welcome to the forum.  If you use the search facility here you will find lots of information on making chicken stock.  There is a differing of opinions slightly but generally, it's all fairly similar.  But as for salting before the stock is ready - don't  As you reduce it, the salt flavour will (could) become too intense.  Not sure why you are using butter, the chicken produces a lot of fat if the skin is left on, which needs to be taken off as a fat cap after chilling.

Have a look and if nothing suits you, let us know.  Good luck with your comp!
Joined Oct 3, 2010
Thank you for the reply. I had done a search before I even registered on the forum and did not see the answer anywhere so I registered and am now asking, raw or cooked?

Was going to ask this morning, is this the wrong part of the forum to ask this particular question sisce there are no replys?

As far as butter its just for the flavor but like the fat it also floats to the top. Just had the idea beacuase the "Butter"ball turkeys are so poular at thanksgiving.

On the salt I just add it to taste when the boiling is just about complete.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
First, the broth/stock for "injecting":

Have you tried brining, including "flavored brine" ?

When making a stock, I do not "boil", I "simmer", trying to keep the temperature around 180°F (82°C).

As far as "re-using" cooked bones (carcasses), you'll give up a little on flavor, IMHO, but that can be overcome by reducing the stock a little further.

I'm not sure I understand WHY you want a glaze and how it would enhance the BBQ flavor. In any case, the"quality" of your "glaze" will depend on the "quality" of what you start with.

BDL will probably "weigh-in" with some more focused ideas.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Sounds like you're okay at 'q-ing but just starting on some of the other cooking basics. 

You might want to learn to make chicken stock before getting into the variations.  There are several threads here on CT, as well as tons of good recipes all over the net.  There's really nothing special about the things you're trying to do. 

Stock is made without salt, because it's a stepping stone to something else.  Finish the stock without salt.  Then you can add it when you're transmuting the stock into something else.  You've probably got enough salt in your rub to use it as your primary seasoning. 

You may want to use butter in your inject or your glaze, but it's not part of the stock making process.  Save it for way later.  While on the subject, your "butterball" reasoning is interesting.  However, (a) it's just a word; and (b) people overcook the heck out of turkey breast.  If you're (a) overcooking and (b) competing with breast, it's time to take a couple of steps back and do some rethinking on methods and ingredients. 

If you're looking for super high quality stock, you don't want to use any bouillon cubes or powder.  If you're in a hurry and you need to skip steps, don't use anything crappier than "Better than Bouillon." 

You can use leftover bones.  Roast them first.  Roasted bones and aromatics will make for a better tasting stock.  It will also darken it.  You walk a fine balance.  

If you want your chicken to taste more like chicken, start with better chicken.  Buy local chickens from a slaughterer.  If you can't cook before rigor sets in, use it as soon as possible after it eases.  Once you've figured out how to deal with the skin and not to overcook or under-cook your bird, the biggest improvement you can make in comp 'q is usually poultry quality.

Take it for what you will.  I'm a big fan of injecting shoulder and brisket, but never found injecting chicken -- especially thighs -- to be particularly useful. Brine is fine for most comp flavor profiles, marinades cover the rest.  If you want your chicken to taste more like chicken, use better chicken.  If you're looking to replicate one of the commercial comp injects: while they do include chicken flavors, they're also loaded with tenderizers, MSG and all sorts of phosphate compounds (especially tri-p).

I'm not saying you should or should not use MSG and/or papin in your brines and/or rubs.  If you decide to try using phosphates, you'll save yourself time by going with something like Butcher's as opposed to searching for the right stuff in appropriate quantities.

If what you're really trying for is the effect of all the chemical tricks, plus chicken bouillon try FAB -- because that's what it is.  If you like it, you can always tweak it or even create your own version.  But you're better off starting with a baseline rather than whistling in the dark and throwing darts.  

About the glaze... in competition it's usually not a good idea to get too far from what everyone else is doing, no matter how good it is.  Even if all you're looking for is a little gloss, a jus, even a butter mounted jus, is probably not safe -- no matter how good.  And, if you absolutely must use a jus -- in contrast with a white stock you'd use to inject -- use roasted chicken stock (with everything "caramelized" before the stock is made), as it will give you a more desirable surface color.

For comp try and be better without being too different.  Judges want excellence without creativity.  There are perfectly good reasons for this, too.  Consistency of judging is the main one. 

First rule of KCBS and MIM:  Don't be the only one.

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Joined Oct 3, 2010
Thanks guys.

Yes I have tried and still use a brine as well. Have tried several different things in the brine and found that a little salt and pepper is best in my case. As BDL implys the judges really just want the best quality product , my words.

However in Q comps this is what they look for: 1 appearance 2 smell 3 taste 4 texture/ tendernes 5 flavor, flavor being the most influential one for a good score.

Meat cannot be prepped or seasoned or marinated before inspection, usually 6pm friday night, turn in times around noon next day so a little brine works well and then seasoning before cooking. Have consistently been a top ten chicken my ways and techniques and occassionaly top two or three, we're talking 50 to 100 teams btw. Looking for a better more cinsistent 1st to 3 places.

We dont have professional judges or cooks/chefs to judge our entries, just regular folks walking by or who happen to be at the events. Talking IBCA in Texas btw. Some regions like pecan some hickory some mesquite some bbq sauce on the chicken and to some it is sacriligious to do that. So the most inconsistent thing in our events is actually the judges but a good bbq is usually consistently top ten anywhere nonetheless, youd be surprised what some people turn in  he he.

Used to do very well with the butterball chickens from Alberstsons but they about all run out of Texas by HEB so we have only HEB and a few smaller chains to buy chicken from, for sure the "quality" chicken (butcher type) does not exist in the lower half of Texas below San Antonio.

The glaze/bbq sauce is not used all the time only certain areas where I know that the judges like it.

Injection is to add a little more juiciness after the chicken rests, sometimes it sits in the box for half an hour or longer and is cold by the time it gets to the final judges so it has to be good and juicy but not oily greasy at that time too.

I dont personally care for msg and other tenderizers as they seem to break everything down and make meat "mushy" but some judges dont know the difference anyway, sometimes do try a tiny dash of msg and it seems to help.

Please escuse my ignorance, what is FAB and JUS?

As far as getting the chicken to taste more like chicken its because we have all tried the different marinades ect but in the end the judges favor a really good juicy chicken that tastes like well um "chicken".

Thanks you very much for your suggestions, I'm seeing that I have a lot to learn and not about bbq but cooking in general, I'm all eyes and ears now as I love to cook  all kinds of food and wish I had started reading these forums a long time ago. I dont watch much TV but almost anytime I'm in front of one its on a cooking channel for sure.

I have many many cookbooks about bbq and a few others. Would like to learn more about spices/herbs and what they do and also sauces (not bbq) and how to make them ect. is there any one or two really good books that cover most bases well so I dont have to buy 50 books again?


Joined Feb 26, 2007
re "FAB", just click on BDL's link for FAB and it will take you there.

re" "JUS".  It's basically a simple sauce that you end up with in the pan after roasting/frying, with the fat skimmed off.  Or you can Google/Wiki it for a more detailed description /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif
Joined Oct 3, 2010
Oh wow I just looked up that Fab stuff, looks interesting so I may have to try it to see if it lives up to the hipe.

BDL thanks for all that great info and tips, I'm amazed after soing some searches here  how that some chefs here are quite expert at bbq too. My respect to you guys. Been reading q forums for years and never heard of that fab stuff, maybe  its a "Grill Masters" inside secret.

Ok l gotta go, gonna start searching for some rib and brisket secrets now.
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