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wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 03:17 PM
Continuously getting my @ss handed to me in ribs at kcbs comps. Anyone willing to offer advice on what they're using that's doing well I'd greatly appreciate it. 3 comps and haven't scored over 155, don't have the slightest clue as to what I'm doing wrong. Appearance scores are good, taste is what's hurting me and as with any kcbs comp, when your taste is suffering, the tenderness scores are down also. I'm using a variation of the 3-1-1 method at 230 degrees on a backwoods party. Tried a couple different rubs, couple different sauces, can't hit the magic numbers with any of them. Again, I'd really appreciate any help you guys can offer. Thanks.

Sledneck
05-23-2011, 03:20 PM
slabs.com amazing glaze

Jacked UP BBQ
05-23-2011, 03:35 PM
the amazing glaze is amazing

Sawdustguy
05-23-2011, 03:57 PM
Forget all the methods, 3-2-1, 2-2-1 etc., just forget them all. Simply use a good commercial rub and sauce and cook them until the bone pulls back 1/4" and the rack bends at a 60 degree angle.

Frank Sacco
05-23-2011, 03:59 PM
Make one change at a time. Don't change every aspect of your ribs each time you don't score well. Have a base line rub and sauce that you use. Tweak as you see fit to your pallet. Then let the judges make their decision. Gotta start some where!

Ford
05-23-2011, 03:59 PM
assuming you're doing st louis, you are probably undercooking them. 250 for 6 hours with 2 hours in foil.

Taste - do they taste like spicy candy on a stick? If not you can add rub and heat and add lots of brown sugar, honey and butter when wrapping. It may take you 3 or 4 cooks to get it down but then you'll see higher scores. Of course the ribs taste like S*&T when you eat more than a couple of bites.

wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 04:21 PM
assuming you're doing st louis, you are probably undercooking them. 250 for 6 hours with 2 hours in foil.

Taste - do they taste like spicy candy on a stick? If not you can add rub and heat and add lots of brown sugar, honey and butter when wrapping. It may take you 3 or 4 cooks to get it down but then you'll see higher scores. Of course the ribs taste like S*&T when you eat more than a couple of bites.

I'm cooking back ribs that are trimmed down to around 2.0lbs....I can assure you they aren't under done, possibly over done, but not under and I assumed that they tasted exactly as you said "candy on stick"....the judges just don't seem to be tasting the same thing I am. Guess its time to change to st. louis, that what everyone seems to be cooking.

Ford
05-23-2011, 04:35 PM
back ribs - start at 2-1-1 at 250 and tweak from there. Sounds like it's the rub or rub/sauce combo. Try a commercail rub and sauce from the same company - smoking guns, slabs, rib rangers, etc. of course add honey to the sauce.

Cook
05-23-2011, 04:48 PM
Take a judging class.

wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 04:51 PM
Cook- I'm cbj #60558, it's also on my signature. The judging class taught me about as much about how I should be cooking bbq as my first grade teacher....

Sledneck
05-23-2011, 05:20 PM
Cook- I'm cbj #60558, it's also on my signature. The judging class taught me about as much about how I should be cooking bbq as my first grade teacher....

hahahahahha

quarters69
05-23-2011, 05:23 PM
Take a judging class.
Taking a judging class will not help you with your scores. I took a class and taste was never even brought up in the class, every pallet is different.

Sledneck
05-23-2011, 05:36 PM
Make one change at a time. Don't change every aspect of your ribs each time you don't score well. Have a base line rub and sauce that you use. Tweak as you see fit to your pallet. Then let the judges make their decision. Gotta start some where!

one rib win and suddenly your an expert, pffffft :twisted:

Fishiest1
05-23-2011, 05:44 PM
Any chance it might be too much wood or the type? Everything else you mentioned seems to put you pretty close to the spot.

wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 05:54 PM
Any chance it might be too much wood or the type? Everything else you mentioned seems to put you pretty close to the spot.

I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess you could be right. I'm using mesquite, so maybe I'll change the wood and see how that goes. Thanks.

Fishiest1
05-23-2011, 06:21 PM
I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess you could be right. I'm using mesquite, so maybe I'll change the wood and see how that goes. Thanks.


A few chunks of cherry or apple wood in lieu of the mesquite may remedy this for you. Ford actually talked to me before about the potential heavy smoke we can get with our BWS since then I try to take it lighter. Good luck!

Lake Dogs
05-23-2011, 07:19 PM
^^^ Yeah, mesquite is awefully heavy. We use hickory, which is also fairly heavy, but not nearly as heavy as mesquite. I use a 1.5,2.5,.25 at 250 on baby backs. They're a little overcooked by traditional KCBS standards, but more to a MIM/MBN standard. Being in TN, your judge base may prefer something closer to a Memphis rib.

I do like the recommendation about a baseline and change one thing at a time. It takes time, but otherwise you'll never understand what they liked better, etc.

Also, I'm not so much for the judging class as actually judging a few competitions to see first hand what comes across the table and what scores well, and why. I know you're certified. Have you judged a few competitions?

Also, another thought, how warm is your entry? Sometimes things that taste great hot dont taste nearly so well luke warm, and honestly some dont taste worth a darn cold. I've seen entries where folks are hell bent to keep the garnish fresh and cold that they put small sliced ribs (which lose heat fast) atop only to find they're getting cold, fast.

wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 07:45 PM
I'm yet to judge a competition, but would love to for the reasons you mentioned. My boxes are parsley turf, set out about an hour before turn in so the garnish isn't cold enough to drag down my meat temp. As for how hot they are: on saturday they were off the smoker, boxed, and on the turn in table within 8 minutes. A few people have mentioned I might need to let them rest before cutting, but I'm not sold on that yet. Thanks for the advice, I'll take heed and adjust accordingly.

^^^ Yeah, mesquite is awefully heavy. We use hickory, which is also fairly heavy, but not nearly as heavy as mesquite. I use a 1.5,2.5,.25 at 250 on baby backs. They're a little overcooked by traditional KCBS standards, but more to a MIM/MBN standard. Being in TN, your judge base may prefer something closer to a Memphis rib.

I do like the recommendation about a baseline and change one thing at a time. It takes time, but otherwise you'll never understand what they liked better, etc.

Also, I'm not so much for the judging class as actually judging a few competitions to see first hand what comes across the table and what scores well, and why. I know you're certified. Have you judged a few competitions?

Also, another thought, how warm is your entry? Sometimes things that taste great hot dont taste nearly so well luke warm, and honestly some dont taste worth a darn cold. I've seen entries where folks are hell bent to keep the garnish fresh and cold that they put small sliced ribs (which lose heat fast) atop only to find they're getting cold, fast.

Sledneck
05-23-2011, 07:46 PM
what are you wrapping with?

Rich Parker
05-23-2011, 07:47 PM
I'm cooking back ribs that are trimmed down to around 2.0lbs....I can assure you they aren't under done, possibly over done, but not under and I assumed that they tasted exactly as you said "candy on stick"....the judges just don't seem to be tasting the same thing I am. Guess its time to change to st. louis, that what everyone seems to be cooking.

This could be your problem. Are you getting low scores on taste or tenderness?

Lake Dogs
05-23-2011, 08:16 PM
I'll never forget the first contest that I judged. Ribs, MIM on-site. I came away saying to friends that the worst ribs I had that day were better than any I'd ever had before. It was a good day, and a good draw. I've beat around the bush, so let me get to it: For me anyway, a picture was literally worth more than the 1,000 words. To see it, touch it, squeeze it, smell it, taste it first hand; well, that taught quite a bit. I'll disagree with Ford somewhat, in that the pork (even ribs) that I see win never make it off the judging table; the darned judges snarf it all right there. Meaning, they're good enough to eat, and eat more. Most MIM/MBN competitions provide ribs in 2 rib bone sections vs. the KCBS standard of just 1 bone. Of the best entries, these darned judges are eating quite a bit! IMHO, the winning entries aren't that sweet, but really find a balance of sweet with a little spicy kick, but not terribly sweet, nor terribly spicy. Smoked, but dont taste like a smoke stack. Again, smoke flavor to enhance the meat flavor. I can talk about it all day, but if you judge a few contests you'll know first hand.

Good luck with them!!!!

Mister Bob
05-23-2011, 08:27 PM
Cook- I'm cbj #60558, it's also on my signature. The judging class taught me about as much about how I should be cooking bbq as my first grade teacher....

:thumb: :heh:

Frank Sacco
05-23-2011, 08:51 PM
one rib win and suddenly your an expert, pffffft :twisted:


LOL :becky: Nothing to do with ribs, basic bbq knowledge is all I'm offering.

Frank Sacco
05-23-2011, 08:53 PM
what are you wrapping with?

A-1 and honey

wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 09:04 PM
what are you wrapping with?

Apple Juice/brown sugar....

wormdrink67
05-23-2011, 09:06 PM
This could be your problem. Are you getting low scores on taste or tenderness?
Yes, those two are killing me. Between the taste and tenderness categories I racked up five 7's and one 6 from the judges with the kiss of death (a note) saying my ribs were too salty. My first comp I cooked at 4.5 hours, 2nd comp I cooked for 5 hours, 3rd comp I cooked for 5 hours 10 minutes....can't seem to find the tenderness they want.

watertowerbbq
05-23-2011, 11:01 PM
Yes, those two are killing me. Between the taste and tenderness categories I racked up five 7's and one 6 from the judges with the kiss of death (a note) saying my ribs were too salty. My first comp I cooked at 4.5 hours, 2nd comp I cooked for 5 hours, 3rd comp I cooked for 5 hours 10 minutes....can't seem to find the tenderness they want.
I'm no expert by far, but 5 hours for 2 lb baby back seems WAY TOO LONG. I cooked some very tender ribs on Sunday and used 2 - 0.75 - 0.75 with the sauce on for the last 20 minutes. Passed the bend test nicely. Cook temp was 275F.

Crash
05-24-2011, 12:56 AM
Lots of great info...especially the 86 the mequite part.

Brewer
05-24-2011, 02:20 AM
Cook- I'm cbj #60558, it's also on my signature. The judging class taught me about as much about how I should be cooking bbq as my first grade teacher....

LOL :laugh: +1, I could not agree with you and Mister Bob more. I learned very little about what the judges are looking for, but I learned a great deal about what other cooks were cooking :thumb:

CBQ
05-24-2011, 09:53 AM
Who knows what judges want? When you get 9s and 6s on appearance for the same box, what do you do? :rolleyes:

I do agree the mesquite is probably a mistake, especially on the smaller meats like ribs and chicken. Fruit woods work nicely with ribs. Too much mesquite will give you a bitter taste. Use it for grilling, not smoking.

Smokesman
05-24-2011, 10:50 PM
Yes, those two are killing me. Between the taste and tenderness categories I racked up five 7's and one 6 from the judges with the kiss of death (a note) saying my ribs were too salty. My first comp I cooked at 4.5 hours, 2nd comp I cooked for 5 hours, 3rd comp I cooked for 5 hours 10 minutes....can't seem to find the tenderness they want.

Was this your first comp when you got the comment card? Have you only changed the cook time in your recipe? Other changes? Share your scores from comp to comp and what changes you have made. For sure though nix the mesquite! Is there an echo in here? :laugh:

Rich Parker
05-25-2011, 12:44 PM
Yes, those two are killing me. Between the taste and tenderness categories I racked up five 7's and one 6 from the judges with the kiss of death (a note) saying my ribs were too salty. My first comp I cooked at 4.5 hours, 2nd comp I cooked for 5 hours, 3rd comp I cooked for 5 hours 10 minutes....can't seem to find the tenderness they want.

Well the tenderness cbj's are taught in class is if they can take a bite from the middle of the rib the meat should pull cleanly from the bone leaving meat on both sides of the bite and the bone should turn white and dry out fairly quickly. Can your ribs pass this test?

For taste try your current rub on one rack and then buy one of the popular commercial rub and try it on another rack to taste them together. If your rub is drastically saltier than the commercial rub then you are probably outside of the norm the cbj's are looking for.

Practice.....Practice....Practice - my favorite part!

Scottie
05-25-2011, 02:37 PM
Smokin' Guns Hot, Blues Hog and a toothpick is all you need.

YankeeBBQ
05-25-2011, 03:24 PM
Smokin' Guns Hot, Blues Hog and a toothpick is all you need.

sgh, cp, as, h, bs, aj and bh of course oh and I almost forgot fc's

boogiesnap
05-25-2011, 03:45 PM
sgh, cp, as, h, bs, aj and bh of course oh and I almost forgot fc's

hmmm, i get 4 of those....

but what about SP, OP, or the illustrious TS?

Scottie
05-25-2011, 04:37 PM
sgh, cp, as, h, bs, aj and bh of course oh and I almost forgot fc's


You make it too complicated. I might throw some of that new Slabs Sauce in there. We were drinking it like Patron...

Three porks
05-25-2011, 04:59 PM
I've heard good things about the glaze. I have a bottle on the way. Can't wait to get it! You make it too complicated. I might throw some of that new Slabs Sauce in there. We were drinking it like Patron...



Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk

boogiesnap
05-25-2011, 10:13 PM
ok. so what's cp, as, and fc?

Maddog's
05-25-2011, 10:38 PM
My issue is that I can't trust my palette. It's shot for various reasons. So, I follow basic recipies, guidance from the masters, I listen in forums like this one for fresh ideas and I try them out but never alter more than one factor at a time. If you want to trust something, serve your friends and don't bother to ask them IF they like it. You don't care. Ask them to DESCRIBE it! If three of them talk about the salt, no matter what YOU taste there, you've got a salt issue. Ask them to describe the BALANCE between the character of the meat, influence of the smoke and then finally ANYthing else....have 'em describe that relationship. Listen for trends. No, don't ask 'em in a group but one at a time. Then go back and look at any judging comments you have and compare...THEN finally, check your own palette and see which of those trends you are hitting or missing. Balance the profile...balance, Balance, BALANCE! As for "trigg-sweet-brown sugar-parkay-tiger-whatever" find out what the locals are liking. If it's candy, I'm honestly sorry for you but if you wanna win, ya gotta become a candy maker. If you're lucky enough to live where they judge on that fine balance which still respects good meat, then work for it and ENJOY WHAT YOU'RE COOKING!

psny75
05-25-2011, 10:42 PM
Try hickory

Smokesman
05-26-2011, 01:41 AM
or the illustrious SBR - the sauce of champions!

Crash
05-26-2011, 02:15 AM
or the illustrious SBR - the sauce of champions!

Couldnt agree more. That stuff rocks. :clap2:

YankeeBBQ
05-26-2011, 11:37 AM
ok. so what's cp, as, and fc?

I'll give you one. cp is Cayenne Pepper

Sledneck
05-26-2011, 11:42 AM
I'll give you one. cp is Cayenne Pepper

ok. so what's cp, as, and fc?

FC: fromunda cheese!!!!!!!

Lakeside Smoker
05-26-2011, 12:09 PM
sgh, cp, as, h, bs, aj and bh of course oh and I almost forgot fc's

What about msg?

YankeeBBQ
05-26-2011, 12:24 PM
What about msg?

MSG is Evil don't you read the internet ?

YankeeBBQ
05-26-2011, 12:25 PM
FC: fromunda cheese!!!!!!!

Yeah Sled make sure you put extra on yours

Scottie
05-26-2011, 01:00 PM
sgh, cp, as, h, bs, aj and bh of course oh and I almost forgot fc's


What about grape jelly?

BTW those stickers are already coming off from the rain and tornados they got to experience on the way home from Vegas.... If you are going to tag, you have to start will a superior product!

Sledneck
05-26-2011, 01:38 PM
Yeah Sled make sure you put extra on yours

:wink:

QansasjayhawQ
05-26-2011, 01:47 PM
All the judging classes in the world won't help unless you get out and actually USE those credentials a couple dozen times.

Even after judging ten competitions, I was still a little confused about a few things - but now that I am closing in on 30, my mind seems to be getting better and better all the time at recognizing 'excellence in BBQ'. Now when I cook something in my back yard - I can REALLY tell when I've hit 'it'.

You may think you know - but you don't. I know that once upon a time I did . . . but now I KNOW know. You know? :-)

Also - I think the advice above about using commercial rubs and comparing what you're doing to them - and also asking your friends what their impressions are - those are awesome thoughts. Oh, and yeah - I've only met a couple judges that liked mesquite - and they were from Texas and had funny teeth. :-)

boogiesnap
05-26-2011, 07:21 PM
I'll give you one. cp is Cayenne Pepper

aw geez, and i use that one too!!!

gimme a hint on the others....:icon_pissed:fish2:

Smokesman
05-26-2011, 10:31 PM
Shot in the dark here - AS - allspice? No clue on FC. Hint as well please.

Boogs...SP, OP & TS...you forgot LSS straight from JT's kitchen. Feel like I'm around my military brother with all these abbreviations!

Dale P
05-27-2011, 03:45 AM
FC= Fish Collar?

redneck cooker
05-27-2011, 12:39 PM
I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess you could be right. I'm using mesquite, so maybe I'll change the wood and see how that goes. Thanks.


Well theres your problem,...Hicory or 1/2 Hickory 1/2 pecan.....

TN_BBQ
05-27-2011, 03:40 PM
Might want to shigg something from Mr Trigg

http://www.bbqbug.com/forums/pork/1737-trigg-rib-shigg.html


Mike Davis has done pretty well, too

http://www.lottabullbbq.com/video.html