View Full Version : Comp box help - Pork

08-29-2011, 10:05 AM
Hey all, I was wondering if my fellow brethren would offer some advice. We cooked the When Pigs Fly comp in McPherson, KS this weekend and overall we sucked! Instead of taking a step forward we took 2 steps back.

Our pork and ribs totally bombed, ribs 29th out of 33 and pork 32. The last comp we did we were middle of the pack on these two meats, I believe 13 in pork and ribs got 26th out of 32 even though we only put 6 ribs in the box and 2 were hanging together by a piece of bark (1's appearence).

The one cardinal rule we broke was we switched rubs from our old reliable to a commercial and the bark on the pork was like leather even after foiling for a couple hours. And we cooked the pork on our new GMG Whole Hog instead of the tucker cooker. Appearence and taste had several 6's and 7's. Texture was okay. We submitted pulled, lightly sauced and chunks dipped in sauce. The sauce was our rasberry chipotle that we have done decent with in the past, diluted with rasberry/cranberry juice.

The ribs we also used the new rub otherwise I cooked them identical to how I have in the past. The judges hated the taste (2-6's and 2-7's!), where we got all 8's and 9's last time.

Lesson we learned - don't try new things at Comps!!!

Got our first call in Chicken (8th) though after being right on the line for quite awhile.

Here are pictures of our turn-ins, let me know what you think. I didn't think the pork looked great but was it 6 worthy? :pray:

We are cooking the Garden City, KS comp in a month and we would like to take a step forward from this one.

Pictures are Pork, Ribs, Chicken (guess how it's prepped?), Brisket. Cell phone pics, sorry:doh:





Lake Dogs
08-29-2011, 10:14 AM
I dont know if the pork was "6" worthy, but the pic is very dark...

I think you hit it dead on here:
> Lesson we learned - don't try new things at Comps!!!

08-29-2011, 10:33 AM
What Lake Dogs said. I totally switched rubs and sauces at the first contest of the season and regretted it, although we did get a call in pork. Went back to our "original recipe" and got our first GC in Tongy. All I can say is practice, practice, practice. I WOULD like to know more about that chicken :becky:

08-29-2011, 11:59 AM
Yes its a six. How do I know...I've turned in several boes that looked exactly like yours, that I thought looked good and got the same scores you did...consistently. I don't think it looks bad at all, but then again I've gotten sixes most of the time in Pork appearence. The last contest we spent a lot of time sliceing the money muscle, glazing it and reassembling it in the box. It paid off we got 8s and 9s. You never know what the eye of the beholder is expecting. There are a ton of pictures on this and other sites posted by guys that consistenly place. We basically relented and pretty much are trying to follow their lead. Do I hate the whole appearence catagory? Yes, yes I do.

08-29-2011, 12:37 PM
>Lesson we learned - don't try new things at Comps!!!

We switched cookers offseason, and despite practicing it took us 3 months of comps to get back to where we were. Changing your rubs and cooker at the same time is not recommended. We changed only the cooker, but we had to adopt our process to the new machine. Pick a recipe and a cooker, and make same incremental changes to see what works and work doesn't. Changing many things at once will only confusing things.

08-29-2011, 01:11 PM
Yes its a six. How do I know...I've turned in several boes that looked exactly like yours, that I thought looked good and got the same scores you did...consistently. I don't think it looks bad at all, but then again I've gotten sixes most of the time in Pork appearence.

I did try to slice the money muscle, but the bark was so tough it just fell appart. Not even the Ken Shun would slice it:doh: our intention was to do money muscle slices and chunks. Like I said, lesson learned! Thanks alot for all the feedback. Next comp we are planning on going back to the old KC style rub we make or Yardbird.

08-29-2011, 01:20 PM
Pictures are Pork, Ribs, Chicken (guess how it's prepped?)

Is that a Deboned Chicken Galantine?
If so...bravo to you...I've been wanting to try that but I don't have the stones to do it in a comp.

08-29-2011, 01:23 PM
I WOULD like to know more about that chicken :becky:

It's a deboned whole chicken rolled and tied:crazy:. Moisture and tenderness has been awesome, trying to perfect the appearance. Haven't got horrible appearance scores, but the light saucing looks blotchy. I want something more of a smooth glaze but don't want to mess with the flavor and moisture of the meat.

We do this for catering with chickens and turkeys. We had been doing so horribly in chicken that what did we have to lose in a comp? Another DAL? The couple times we have done it one judge always seems freaked out that it isn't another square thigh and gives us (like this comp) all 7's. The other judges have been receptive of the change.:becky:

Lake Dogs
08-29-2011, 01:28 PM
suggestion: invite a few friends over and cook 2 or 3 different recipes (one being your previous tried-and-true recipe). ask them to judge.

08-29-2011, 03:33 PM
i think you might benifit from trying to foil at the mohogany stage of the cook, then unfoil in the last half hour of the cook to crisp the bark back up, not that i have ever managed to do it successfully.:becky: also, i really like the chicken prep, but would maybe like to see a nice smooth glaze of sauce across each slice. could you perhaps post a photo tutorial of how you do that? thanks.

08-29-2011, 03:53 PM
Phil, I'll try to catch some pictures when my dad does it next. He does the chicken prep and I do the rolling/tie. I have not been able to perfect the bird cleaning, it looks like chopped chicken when I get done.

I'm going to play with it this weekend and work on the glaze. The seasoning we use works well, so I hate to change the flavor profile to much.

I'll also be practicing ribs and pork:oops:, obviously!

08-30-2011, 08:44 AM
Just a comment from a judge - It is a wee bit difficult to tell the true color of the bark on the chunks, but if it really isn't as black as it looks (which I'm assuming it isn't), then I'd give that box an 8-9 on appearance. If it really is "black" then it would be in the 6-7 range. The pork looks moist and delicious and I like that you put more than one type of piece in there (pulled AND chunks with bark).

The ribs box would get a 7 on appearance as I definitely like to see ALL of the ribs, as well as being able to see the side of at least one rib (which I should be able on the end ribs in your box). These are quite large ribs!

I would also give the chicken a 7, not because of your choice of meat, but because the slices are not consistent. The middle slice on the right and the back slice on the left have MUCH more dark meat than the other slices. They look a wee bit blotchy, but moist and tender.

The brisket looks similar to the pork in color and I would judge the appearance accordingly. 8-9 if not black, 7-6 if indeed black.

Just my humble opinion.