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RedRyderBBQ
09-14-2011, 07:14 PM
hi all,

just wanted to tell you about my first competition experience at the roots n' blues n' bbq this past weekend. I had a blast! I met a great group of bbq'ers; guys from ripple q, serious q, and plowboys. great group of guys that made me feel welcome and allowed me to pick their brain. Also had the opportunity to taste each of jeff's (ripple q) categories and have him try mine. Also tried serious q's brisket which was great.

Team red ryder scored 46th overall, which is a bit far from my goal, but what can you do first time out. Highlights were we scored 25th in chicken. this is funny because i thought it would be out worst. At the last second, i made the decision to remove the skins as they were still rubbery and served them skinless. But was happy with our score and wonder what we could have gotten with the skins! Another highlight was we got a perfect score by one judge on pork. I use a homemade sauce called hogen' sauce on pork that is really sweet and i think complements the pork well. As jeff at ripple q said, its kind of a love it or hate it sauce which explains the scores.

One problem i had was with brisket. Now i admit the slices weren't flavor packed but they were cooked correctly and sliced relatively uniform. However our scores in brisket were: 777.877.668.868.665.756.... two 5's? from two different judges? i didn't understand how i could get two 8's and two 5's on the same piece of meat. I took a judging class with the st. louis bbq society so this may be different but if we marked a 5, we had to write why. Is that also true of KCBS? if so do i have access to that?

My overall scores were:

Chicken: 888. 888. 998. 799. 888
Ribs: 866. 877.877. 998. 777.988
Pork: 889. 999. 877. 778. 788. 979
Brisket: 777. 877. 668. 868. 665. 756

Also here are pictures of the turn in boxes. Critiques are always welcome!

http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb322/mtwt2c/chicken.jpg

http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb322/mtwt2c/pork.jpg

http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb322/mtwt2c/ribs.jpg

http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb322/mtwt2c/brisket.jpg


Thank you to all i met and who helped me, i had a great time and can't wait to do it all again!

PimpSmoke
09-14-2011, 07:15 PM
Photos aside, all those boxes look like solid boxes too me. Less green and more meat is all I could say.

Actually, looking further WAY more meat And you were right to take the chicken skin off.

Coldholler
09-14-2011, 07:16 PM
Wow -- thanks. I'm inspired! Good job!

Roby
09-14-2011, 07:48 PM
Congrats on your first comp!

fnbish
09-14-2011, 08:49 PM
All looks great. We just did our 5th competition in our first year out and you will only get better. We are still learning so much each time out. Keep on practicing, which is what we do. At first it didn't seem like cooking the same chicken/butt/ribs/brisket over and over would make it better, but it does.

Advice that I got on my first few boxes that I'll share as I see some of the same in yours (again keep in mind I am new to comps as well) is to try to keep the cuts of ribs and brisket smooth/clean. A few of them look to have some "bumps" along the cut. Also watch the smudges of sauce on your front rib and front piece brisket.

Brisket has been our toughest category like a lot of folks. Scores can definitely vary from one judge to another on brisket for us. This last weekend we added burnt ends to the box and I think it helped overall with our flavor since our flats always seem to lack flavor and are a little dry.

Thanks for sharing. You'll probably get better advice from some more experience guys too. As long as you practice you'll keep getting better.

Shiz-Nit
09-14-2011, 09:13 PM
congrats on getting a comp under your belt. I am doing my 1st next weekend (By Myslef with no Help). I am in for a uphill battle I think.
Food and boxes look good... congrats again

Pack-A-Smokes
09-15-2011, 12:08 AM
My wife and another team member's wife do our boxes and all I do is choose which cuts go in the box and how I want them arranged. I have had a few epiphanies when the cuts are a litte of that have paid off.
All that being said, I have found boxes that I can fill full of meat and still add enough green to make it look nice have done the best. Last comp I though our ribs looked like crap, but we put 9 in the box with a nice frame and got 2nd. Same thing the last time we got 2nd in Ribs. So my best advice it to fill that box full to the point where you can still get some nice garnish in there. If you notice, your chicken and pork got the better apperance scores and they are also the fullest boxes.
The only thing I can say about the brisket is that it looks like some sauce is kind of splotchy.
I, like you, wish we could get comment cards on anything below a 6. Really I would like one on anything below a 7. The last bad comment card I got was on ribs last year in Gaffney, SC. Had a judge score me 966. Said they were too spicy. Funny thing is I placed 2nd out of 30-somthing teams. His/her score was tossed.

rip
09-15-2011, 07:05 AM
It was nice meeting you Matt. Is was fantastic to see a MIZZOU college student enter the comp!
BTW Red Ryder cooked everything on one 22 WSM!

mobow
09-15-2011, 08:01 AM
sorry i did not make it by to say hi. glad you had a good time and hope i am able to look you up if we end up at the same contest in the future. keith

King
09-15-2011, 09:11 AM
Congrats on the jump to KCBS...which SLBS contests have you done? is it worth it? I'm thinking about entering SLBS contests before going KCBS too. Right now, I'm doing extremely well in unsanctioned/backyard events, so I could use a little more competition. Are you doing any more contests soon?

Great job on the turn in boxes. I think all the advise above will help you get even better...good luck.

King
09-15-2011, 09:19 AM
It was nice meeting you Matt. Is was fantastic to see a MIZZOU college student enter the comp!
BTW Red Ryder cooked everything on one 22 WSM!

Holy Crap! I have a WSM too and I would find that impossible to do. I would put the brisket near the water pan and the pork butt, ribs and chicken would go on the top rack...but that is a tight fit, I like to use at least 2 racks of ribs. Were they all on at the same time?

RedRyderBBQ
09-15-2011, 05:01 PM
Congrats on the jump to KCBS...which SLBS contests have you done? is it worth it? I'm thinking about entering SLBS contests before going KCBS too. Right now, I'm doing extremely well in unsanctioned/backyard events, so I could use a little more competition. Are you doing any more contests soon?

Great job on the turn in boxes. I think all the advise above will help you get even better...good luck.

I haven't done any slbs events, I just did a judging class through them to get a better idea of what the judges were looking for. I would say you don't have to do slbs events before kcbs. I would just jump in. Sounds like you are ready for it.

Not sure about any events in the future. Definitely the roots n blues next year. Entry fees and all other comp expenses are hard on a college student... But I would really like to be a judge in the upcoming wildwood bash in a couple weeks.

RedRyderBBQ
09-15-2011, 05:05 PM
Holy Crap! I have a WSM too and I would find that impossible to do. I would put the brisket near the water pan and the pork butt, ribs and chicken would go on the top rack...but that is a tight fit, I like to use at least 2 racks of ribs. Were they all on at the same time?

I had it timed well. It wasn't preferrable but it was what I had. So i cooked two shoulder on the top rack and two briskets on bottom. Then at about 7am foiled them and stacked them all on top of each other on the bottom rack and put 3 slabs of ribs on top. Then at 10 moved the pork and brisket to a holding cooler with towels and put the ribs on the bottom and chicken on top. Looking back I would have brought up a kettle to do chicken on. But the rest wasn't too bad.

RedRyderBBQ
09-15-2011, 05:06 PM
It was nice meeting you Matt. Is was fantastic to see a MIZZOU college student enter the comp!
BTW Red Ryder cooked everything on one 22 WSM!

Thanks Jeff. Hopefully see you back next year. Maybe we'll be neighbors again!

mobow
09-15-2011, 05:09 PM
I had it timed well. It wasn't preferrable but it was what I had. So i cooked two shoulder on the top rack and two briskets on bottom. Then at about 7am foiled them and stacked them all on top of each other on the bottom rack and put 3 slabs of ribs on top. Then at 10 moved the pork and brisket to a holding cooler with towels and put the ribs on the bottom and chicken on top. Looking back I would have brought up a kettle to do chicken on. But the rest wasn't too bad.
good space management. i do about the same ecpect just one brisket. i do use a cheap brinkmans for chicken. see at rootsnblues next year. keith

PorkQPine
09-15-2011, 05:32 PM
I think you might have scored higher on appearance with the chicken if you had not put the strange looking ones in the box. You are much better putting in 6 perfect thighs than 9 that are different sizes to fill the box. Don't agree with filling the box to get higher scores when you fill with substandard product because you will get a lower score every time. Chicken and ribs are very hard to get 6 perfect pieces and if you increase that you run the risk of getting a bad piece in there and it will drop your score. Ribs score better when you don't show the sides.

CBJ

PimpSmoke
09-15-2011, 06:47 PM
I think you might have scored higher on appearance with the chicken if you had not put the strange looking ones in the box. You are much better putting in 6 perfect thighs than 9 that are different sizes to fill the box. Don't agree with filling the box to get higher scores when you fill with substandard product because you will get a lower score every time. Chicken and ribs are very hard to get 6 perfect pieces and if you increase that you run the risk of getting a bad piece in there and it will drop your score. Ribs score better when you don't show the sides.

CBJ

So, what would you suggest for someone who doesn't cook pillow puff thighs and doesn't get six exact in appearance?

For the record I think they look good and would look even better with more meat.

RedRyderBBQ
09-15-2011, 07:04 PM
good space management. i do about the same ecpect just one brisket. i do use a cheap brinkmans for chicken. see at rootsnblues next year. keith

thanks! and im looking forward to it!

RedRyderBBQ
09-15-2011, 07:06 PM
I think you might have scored higher on appearance with the chicken if you had not put the strange looking ones in the box. You are much better putting in 6 perfect thighs than 9 that are different sizes to fill the box. Don't agree with filling the box to get higher scores when you fill with substandard product because you will get a lower score every time. Chicken and ribs are very hard to get 6 perfect pieces and if you increase that you run the risk of getting a bad piece in there and it will drop your score. Ribs score better when you don't show the sides.

CBJ

I put 9 in the box because the were so small. I think I would of had points taken off if the box looked too empty.

Also when i took the judging class, the people giving the class said they like to see all side of the meat, so they like when you get to see both the tops and side meat section of the ribs so that's how i organized my box. Looking at the pictures i think i should have picked a better side rib.

Brewer
09-15-2011, 07:47 PM
Congrats - it's addicting isn't it :-D

Pack those boxes fuil of meat - it covers any garnish faults and makes the meat look more appealing.

For an example, take a look (below) at the brisket and chicken box we handed in last weekend - they're not perfect by any means but they give you an idea w/re. to what a near full box looks like.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=232158006834711&set=a.232157906834721.67594.184034871647025&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=232158026834709&set=a.232157906834721.67594.184034871647025&type=1&theater

RedRyderBBQ
09-15-2011, 10:26 PM
Congrats - it's addicting isn't it :-D

Pack those boxes fuil of meat - it covers any garnish faults and makes the meat look more appealing.

For an example, take a look (below) at the brisket and chicken box we handed in last weekend - they're not perfect by any means but they give you an idea w/re. to what a near full box looks like.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=232158006834711&set=a.232157906834721.67594.184034871647025&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=232158026834709&set=a.232157906834721.67594.184034871647025&type=1&theater

damn those are huge thighs! but those and the brisket looks fantastic! If you don't mind me asking do you brush a sauce on the slices or just an au jus mixture?

Brewer
09-16-2011, 11:02 AM
damn those are huge thighs! but those and the brisket looks fantastic! If you don't mind me asking do you brush a sauce on the slices or just an au jus mixture?

On that turn-in, I used sauce on top and au jus on the sliced face. I've tried saucing the face on past turn-ins and in my experience, it mutes the finer details of the slice - eg. bark, smoke ring, meat color - which may affect presentation and overall scores. That particular box took 3rd out of 67 teams.

Judges aren't supposed to judge the smoke ring but in my experience having a good smoke ring and a nice mahogany bark contrasted by the natural color of the meat has improved my presentation (and maybe T&T) scores. That said, I also know teams who heavy sauce their slice faces and take first place - so YMMV. If you do sauce the face, I'd recommend you thin the sauce out.

Hope this helps.

RedRyderBBQ
09-16-2011, 11:22 PM
On that turn-in, I used sauce on top and au jus on the sliced face. I've tried saucing the face on past turn-ins and in my experience, it mutes the finer details of the slice - eg. bark, smoke ring, meat color - which may affect presentation and overall scores. That particular box took 3rd out of 67 teams.

Judges aren't supposed to judge the smoke ring but in my experience having a good smoke ring and a nice mahogany bark contrasted by the natural color of the meat has improved my presentation (and maybe T&T) scores. That said, I also know teams who heavy sauce their slice faces and take first place - so YMMV. If you do sauce the face, I'd recommend you thin the sauce out.

Hope this helps.

agreed, i think next time i will probably make up an au jus and dip my slices in them. Hopefully that will help my scores!