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View Full Version : Competition turn in box questions.


bearnakedbbq
02-13-2011, 11:03 AM
Pork Butt
Is it fair to say that most people turn in both sliced and chopped/shredded pork? If this is the case, are most of you cooking three or 4 butts? 2 for sliced and the other one or two for shredded? Sliced is around 185 and pulled is around 205 isnít it. Canít do both with one butt.

Brisket
What do you think the percentage of competitor that turn in Burnt ends? Do most just turn in sliced or do they add a little chopped?

Chicken
Understand the reasoning for using thighs, but if you got a kick butt chicken breast do you think you get any additional points by including it?

Ribs
So we either turn in backs or spares. Ever put both into a box?

Overall general questions.

Anybody use Cilantro? Why or why not? Would using it be too much out of the box? Would the flavor transfer to your meat?

Any other thoughts or secret that I should know about before i head to Sacramento

bigdogphin
02-13-2011, 12:19 PM
Checkout the Contest Roadmap thread above. It will answer most of your questions.

I think Cilantro starts to wilt when you put hot meat on it and it has a strong flavor to it.

Captain P.J.
02-13-2011, 11:10 PM
Pork Butt
Is it fair to say that most people turn in both sliced and chopped/shredded pork? If this is the case, are most of you cooking three or 4 butts? 2 for sliced and the other one or two for shredded? Sliced is around 185 and pulled is around 205 isnít it. Canít do both with one butt.

I can add my two cents as I have gotten a few calls with my pork entries. I usually only do 2 butts at a comp and trim up the money muscle which I use for slicing. I then pull the rest of both butts using the best stuff for the box. Then I will also put in some chunks that have some bark on them. I stick to using iceburg lettuce and curly parsley for my boxes. Hope this helps! Best of luck and hope you can post some pictures!!

Hub
02-14-2011, 07:23 AM
As to the butts, slice the money muscle and shred/pull the rest. Cook as many as it takes to get what you like. At comps I'd say the "norm" seems to be to cook at least three or four.

Most brisket shows up sliced and I'd estimate about 20% include burnt ends. Chopped brisket is fairly rare. Chopping it may be the "salvation" of a bad cook.

White meat chicken is seldom seen but perfectly legal. If yours kicks butt give it a try -- no extra points, though.

I've never seen two kinds of ribs in one box but there's no law against it. I'd say spares are used 80% of the time or more. BB's are harder to get a uniform appearance from. I think most cooks use the best, center ribs from several racks.

I think there is a love/hate thing with cilantro. It has quite a tang and wilts easily. Parsely stands up well and has almost no flavor (should anyone get a leaf or two on their sample -- most judges pick off the greens).

As to general advice -- always go for BALANCE in your entry. This means the flavor should come from the combination of all you do (meat, rub, injection, mop, sauce, smoke, etc.). As a judge I see too many entries that are one-dimensional, e.g. relying on sauce to provide flavor and/or appearance.

Good luck!

daedalus
02-14-2011, 10:26 AM
I am speaking from the position of a judge as opposed to an experienced cook, so this is based on what I have seen.

Pork Butt
Is it fair to say that most people turn in both sliced and chopped/shredded pork? If this is the case, are most of you cooking three or 4 butts? 2 for sliced and the other one or two for shredded? Sliced is around 185 and pulled is around 205 isnít it. Canít do both with one butt.

It seems that most winning entries have both. I rarely see chopped. Many of the best looking boxes have chunked, pulled and sliced.

Brisket
What do you think the percentage of competitor that turn in Burnt ends? Do most just turn in sliced or do they add a little chopped?

I am from Kansas City, so it is probably a lot higher percentage here than most places, but still only 50% or so. I almost never see chopped.

Chicken
Understand the reasoning for using thighs, but if you got a kick butt chicken breast do you think you get any additional points by including it?

If you can do a really good breast, then it can put you over the top. Keep in mind though, that you don't know how long that box will sit until it gets to the judges, and that breast dries out really, really fast. I would say that 95% of the time cooks include breast, it hurts them rather than helping.

Ribs
So we either turn in backs or spares. Ever put both into a box?

Now that you mention it, I have never seen both in a box. Interesting idea though. If you do it, let us know how it works!

Overall general questions.

Anybody use Cilantro? Why or why not? Would using it be too much out of the box? Would the flavor transfer to your meat?

I have really only seen cilantro used in alternate categories like sides, etc. I would probably avoid using it. It is so strong that I would be afraid the aroma of it once heated by the meat on top would alter the flavor too much. Plus, as others have mentioned, it will wilt more easily than parsley.

Any other thoughts or secret that I should know about before i head to Sacramento

Keep it simple. Have your timing down. HAVE FUN!:thumb:

ammoore
02-14-2011, 10:39 AM
Pork: We usually only do 2 butts. I usually don't slice but will use all the money muscle and the tenderest of pieces (that I can find) with bark to build my box.

Ribs: I have turned in both. I usually do BB but did both BB and Spares at one contest. I was so pleased with the way they both turned out I put 6 BB on the bottom and laid 6 spares (STL cut) across the top. That box was full to the rim with ribs. (We did get a call that day)

Brisket: My scores started getting much better when I started including Burnt Ends. Although you do have to remember to make a concious decision...if they aren't up to snuff, leave them out.

Chicken: What can I say, my brother tried for 2 years to get a single call using breast meat. Our scores did get better once we started trimming the breast with a large biscuit cutter. The pieces ended up about the size of a large thigh. We used the thick part of the breast, once trimmed they all had a uniform size, thickness and shape. All done at the same time and we solved the drying out once sliced issue. That helped...but when I took over chicken and switched to thighs, we got a top 10 call right out of the gate, so I never went back to white meat. I think it is possible with some patients, tweaking and refining.
I'm now using wings and got a few calls last year.

The Virginian
02-14-2011, 11:22 AM
I use two butts, slicing the money muscle and pulling the rest. Because I take it up past 190, I check to make sure the mm slices do not fall apart when picked up, which indicates they are overcooked. If that happens, I just go with the pulled.
Brett

landarc
02-14-2011, 03:33 PM
I would not use cilantro as there is a portion of the population that are hard wired to not get the taste of cilantro. They can taste incredibly small amounts of it and it tastes extremely bad to them. Why take a chance?

Parsely and lettuce are readily available, taste neutral and easy to work with to get a nice dense bed of green under your meats.

swamprb
02-14-2011, 04:03 PM
I cook primarily PNWBA and Cilantro is not allowed as garnish, it is allowed in KCBS, but I would not recommend using it.

If you do decide to, let us know how it worked out for you.