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View Full Version : Flavor Profile: Go Big? Or Go Bland?


Q-Dat
04-21-2011, 04:53 PM
Hey folks. I have been thinking alot about my flavor profiles. I have South Louisiana tastebuds. Consequently there are many times that I cant tell when something might be too much for someone from the Midwest where it seems like a great number of CBJ's are from.

At the Covington comp, I got to try samples from the teams around me. None of them had as much flavor as what we turned in. Now I know that more flavor does not necessarily mean better flavor, but I really feel like our meats come out pretty well balanced flavor wise. By that I mean you can taste the meat, the rub, the smoke, and the sauce. I really don't feel like we are making anything too spicy, but just right to me might be overkill to someone from Missouri. Conversely they might think that something, that I find bland might be spot on.

I am really starting to think that the amout of flavor is as important if not more so than the type of flavor, provided that typical BBQ seasonings are being used.

Anyone want to give their take on this other than to tell me that its a crapshoot?

Sawdustguy
04-21-2011, 05:06 PM
We have cooked our fair share of contests and have learned that perfectly cooked meat wins contests. Of course flavor plays a huge part also but unless your meat if moist and tender, flavor doesn't mean much. Usually if you get marked down for texture, you will get marked down for taste. They go hand in hand. Let the flames begin.

Q-Dat
04-21-2011, 05:12 PM
We have cooked our fair share of contests and have learned that perfectly cooked meat wins contests. Of course flavor plays a huge part also but unless your meat if moist and tender, flavor doesn't mean much. Usually if you get marked down for texture, you will get marked down for taste. They go hand in hand. Let the flames begin.



Last week our brisket was tender and juicy. I got to try another competitor's brisket and it was very tough and just ok on moisture. His beat ours that day. I agree though it is hard to separate them.

Sledneck
04-21-2011, 05:15 PM
Smokin Cracker once told me, make the best average bbq you can......

Sawdustguy
04-21-2011, 05:36 PM
His beat ours that day. I agree though it is hard to separate them.

"He beat ours that day". That is the key. As you will learn the best does not always win. There are many, many variables involved. It could have been the table your turn in box went to etc. It is not as black and white as you suggest. Lot's of teams use the same rubs and sauces (ie Blues Hog, Smoking Guns etc.). What separates them is how well the meat was cooked.

Lake Dogs
04-21-2011, 05:40 PM
Middle of the road works best consistently.

You're trying to please everyone. In reality, you cant truly please everyone, but you can reduce the number of people who you offend. So, too far any one direction will generally average down.

Perfectly cooked meat, with an average balance of sweet and hot.

bover
04-21-2011, 05:40 PM
Judges are only going to be taking 2-3 bites of your entry, so in my opinion you've got to go bold on the flavors. Pack as much as you can in to those few bites. If you're looking to cater to the midwest flavor profiles, I'd say cut back on the heat and up the sweet but don't be bland.

huminie
04-21-2011, 05:42 PM
Along those lines a piece of advice I received was "create BBQ that offends no one and you will do well".

Lake Dogs
04-21-2011, 05:46 PM
Along those lines a piece of advice I received was "create BBQ that offends no one and you will do well".

^^^ This is the main reason that Q with a mustard sauce, even a really great mustard sauce that compliments the meat, just doesnt fare well, consistently. Because only 4 out of 10 people like a mustard sauce. Right off you've alienated 60% of your audience. Dont alienate your audience.

DawgPhan
04-21-2011, 09:12 PM
Last week our brisket was tender and juicy. I got to try another competitor's brisket and it was very tough and just ok on moisture. His beat ours that day. I agree though it is hard to separate them.


I dont think that you can learn too much from trying the food that someone else didnt put in the box. Unless it was the nth piece that just didnt make the box, but chances are that went to the cook or someone else right next to him.

Ford
04-22-2011, 10:47 AM
Going bold is great but hot and sweet wins KCBS so more heat means more sweet. One bite is what to plan on.

If you're at baton rouge I'd gladly share some with you especially now that I'm coking 16 chicken in 2 pans.

Divemaster
04-22-2011, 01:16 PM
The biggest reallity check is to try it cold.

Try this to get a feeling of what the judge is tasting. Cook your meat, slice it, put it on a room temp plate, and walk way from it for 20 minutes.

Now take a taste. What you previously thought was the perfict spicing is now flavorless or worse, some important flavor dropped off an now it has a completely different flavor.

We did this with nour chicken and after trying it I felt like I should have called every judge to say I was sorry they had to try it. Yes, it was that bad.


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