View Full Version : Pork Butt Turn In Box

04-05-2011, 12:11 PM
Howdy from Texas! Can anyone give me a few pointers on how to layout a turn-in box for pork butt? In Texas, there are not many competitions that include this item, so I don't have any experience. Also, our competitions do not allow any garnishments or sauces applied inside the box. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

04-05-2011, 12:54 PM
Is this for KCBS competitions? There are a bunch of threads with box pictures posted and others critiquing then. There is a Google search near the bottom of the page that searched just this site. Search for 'pork box' and you should get a bunch of examples. A Google image search should also yield some results.

04-05-2011, 01:03 PM
Since you say that"our competitions do not allow any garnishments..." I will assume you are talking about an IBCA contest. The only IBCA contest I have done did not have a pork category but here is a thought.

Line the bottem of the box with pulled pork and then put sliced or chunks of pork on top of the pulled. I did this a couple of times at KCBS contests - got second once and got killed several times.

04-05-2011, 01:13 PM
yes, competitions are either IBCA(International BBQ Cookers Assoc) or LSBA(Lone Star BBQ Assoc). neither allow any garnishments. Thanks for your advice!

04-05-2011, 01:28 PM
There are just a few IBCA comps that have a Pork category. I have yet to cook one. I think Larry (Chromesporty) has cooked one. Hopefully he might chime in.

Lake Dogs
04-05-2011, 01:46 PM
Tamu, Our team competes mostly in MBN, everything pork, and never garnish.

Rule One: Fill the box. We'll take our less-than-preferable pieces and put them on
the bottom and then stack the better pieces on top.

Rule Two: Arrangement - dont throw it in there. Pieces, neatly stacked (not in rows
or anything, just placed one upon the other).

Rule Three: NO FAT

Mix in about 1/3 of the pieces to have bark on them. Pieces should be large enough to stay moist but small enough to take a bite, so about as big around as your thumb and perhaps about that long too. Dont shred it.

About 15 minutes before turn-in we take the butt (well, usually for us it's a whole
pork shoulder) and I have 2/3 folks pull it/them apart quickly, removing any fat whatsoever.
I'm usually the 4th person separating pieces into 3 piles, prettiest/most moist, 2nd tier, and the "dont use this piece for some reason" pile. Then, with 7 minutes to go
we fill the box bottom with the 2nd tier, then place that first tier best ones on top. This takes usually 4 minutes, so it's off to turn-in. Walk, briskly. DO NOT pull
a Bubba Latimer and dump the box. BAD THINGS (although SOAB if they didnt go back, refill their box, barely make turn-in and GC the whole darn thing).

Make sure you have good smoke ring showing and bark not too dark, because without sauce you cant really hide many sins.

Frankly, it's my preference this way (no garnish, no sauce); truly separates the best from the rest.

Some allow sauce on the side (in supplied containers). This is up to you. If your pork is better with the sauce, then go for it. If not, DONT.

I've had MANY MANY times where the best pork that day didnt win because they presented wonderful pork with a sauce that either smothered the meat flavors or conflicted with it. It is much better to go sans sauce than with a so-so sauce... Also, the judges should be trained that if sauce is presented it should compliment the flavor of the meat, not over-power it. I'm not certain about IBCA or LSBA judge training...

04-05-2011, 01:57 PM
tamu91- The few contests I have cooked in IBCA and LSBS that had pork butt as an entry allowed pulled pork only. No slices were allowed.

Just overcook the butt, turn it into shredded pork and fill the box. Won us a 3rd in Italy this year.

04-05-2011, 02:00 PM
They are going to tell you to have enough for the judges. But since they can't say "1 half fully jointed chicken" or " 7 slices 1/4 to 3/8 thick" it leaves a bit open to interpretation as to how much pork a judge could consume.

So, I would recommend you do a good search and review the Pork boxes on this site and then apply that to your turn in box, sans garnish.

When I lived in Arizona, every event included pork butt, IBCA and KCBS. My first event, I used the technique above to try and figure out how to arrange my box. Pulled in the center, with my "bark pieces" around the egdes was how I started.

In those competitions where I was given feedback my pork scores were steadily improving. Though, now that I'm back in Texas, I can't say I miss it, I never really got the hang of cooking it.

Good luck!

Carnivorous Endeavors BBQ
04-05-2011, 02:45 PM

If you are cooking IBCA, here is the listing from the IBCA website:

"Pork Pulled, sliced, or chopped ( All trays will be turned in the same,either pulled, sliced, or chopped as directed by Promoter/Head Judge)"

Therefore, I would suggest you ask the promoter how they are going to specify the Pork turn-in box or if the promoter is going to leave this to the head judge.

04-05-2011, 07:16 PM
Here's one I used recently. It got 899999 for appearance.

04-05-2011, 07:23 PM
The thirty seconds in my head after seeing that post.....

This is the great Dr. BBQ that is on TV all the time and that's the crap he puts in a box. What makes him so specia...wait a minute, now I get it. Funny stuff :-P

04-07-2011, 07:51 AM
It really did get those scores.

04-07-2011, 10:53 AM
Love the parsley bush :heh:

04-07-2011, 01:56 PM
All women judges?...sorry couldn't resist