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View Full Version : Brisket Rub for Comps, not the usual question..


bigzthamoose
10-28-2011, 11:44 AM
Hey guys, I got a dumb question, and chances are good i wont even word it correctly to make sense of it :tsk: anyways, I was just wondering, are judges looking for a heavy pepper flavor in brisket? The reason I ask, I have recently been trying out a few commercial rubs that have been recommended, and when i taste it before the smoke, just straight out of the jar, i dont get the big hit of pepper, which is good for me, bc i dont like overpowering pepper flavor, but for some dang reason, EVERY time i have cooked one with it, my end result is a heavy pepper taste, with pretty much no other taste along with it. I dont like that. I also know that im not cookin for me, im cookin for a judges flavor. The rubs i isued beforehand, was one i made, and the end result was a flavor of many spices and gave a good savory/ salty taste, which i really enjoyed. The thing is, am i just so new that i dont realize that the reason these commercial rubs make it peppery, is bc thats what the judges are lookin for??? If it is, cool, i will quit losing my mind. It looks good going in, tastes good before cooked, and then the only flavor i get is pepper afterwards. Anyways, see, i told yall this was a dumb question. I just keep thinking im messin something up. By the way, my first comp, i used the rub i made, just bc thats what i had, i didnt have any knowledge of this site, so i didnt know good commercial rubs, i got a 22nd out of 63 teams, so i wasnt just toally off on my flavors, but also not totally on. S any help in directing me towards the flavor, itd be awesome! As i made all of you dumber for reading this, i apologize. :doh:

INmitch
10-28-2011, 02:25 PM
I mix a couple comercial rubs then add MORE black pepper. And yes I even grind some more and put it in my injection.:thumb:
The way I think of it is the judges have already judged 3 catigories. They aren't hungry. They are only gonna take one bite. It needs to be a good one. Put some zing in there.

Podge
10-28-2011, 03:17 PM
I mix a couple comercial rubs then add MORE black pepper. And yes I even grind some more and put it in my injection.:thumb:
The way I think of it is the judges have already judged 3 catigories. They aren't hungry. They are only gonna take one bite. It needs to be a good one. Put some zing in there.


I'm writing this one down. :thumb:

bigzthamoose
10-28-2011, 03:39 PM
wow. i guess my tastes are just nowhere near what the judges are expecting. I get having pepper, but when its all you taste, i cant figure that one out. not good to me at all. got point though

bbq.tom
10-28-2011, 03:49 PM
As a judge, I'm NOT looking for PEPPER flavor when tasting brisket. What I am looking for is a flavor that complements/enhances the flavor of the MEAT, while still in balance! AND, contrary to what most cookers (including INmitch) think, I ALWAYS take at least TWO bites of each piece of brisket presented. The amazing thing that I've observed (tasted) is that MOST brisket entries taste pretty much the same - unlike all of the other categories. I've experienced an occasional "pot roast", and a few entries that were absolutely GREAT, but the vast majority of brisket entries have VERY similar flavor. One caution is to NOT use too much salt!

bigzthamoose
10-28-2011, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the post. I like hearing a judges perspective. I understand complimenting the flavor, and thats why I was caught off guard that every time i use rubs that are made by very successful teams, all I get is friggin pepper. No other flavor. Just pepper. Thank u sir!

Boshizzle
10-28-2011, 07:11 PM
As a judge and a table captain that takes careful note of how judges score entries, the most important thing is moistness. After that is balance in flavor. You shouldn't be able to taste an over powering flavor. It should all compliment the beef. Also, some judges are turned off by a strong au jus/broth flavor. Think moist and balanced.

Rookie'48
10-28-2011, 11:28 PM
And please don't make me look for the taters & carrots! Brisket should taste like brisket, not pot roast. Moisture is what will make or break you a lot of times.

bigzthamoose
10-28-2011, 11:31 PM
Ok, makes sense. I was just wondering if there is a taste that they are lookin for, kinda like how "candy" ribs are favorable. I just didnt know if i was the only one who doesnt like the over the top pepper taste

bbq.tom
10-29-2011, 06:11 AM
Ok, makes sense. I was just wondering if there is a taste that they are lookin for, kinda like how "candy" ribs are favorable. I just didnt know if i was the only one who doesnt like the over the top pepper taste

Since you mentioned it, I DO NOT favor "candy" ribs!!! Most of the "candy" ribs are so sweet that there is no way you will ever taste the flavor of the meat! Give me a "lightly" sauced or glazed rib and it will probably score higher than one sugar coated in the taste category.

Podge
10-29-2011, 08:27 AM
INmitch has a great brisket. I'm sure when he adds pepper to brisket, it ain't going to be overpowering. His brisket is very well balanced. His past brisket awards prove it.

smokinb
10-29-2011, 08:39 AM
I make my own brisket rub. Trying to get away from store bought rubs. I think judges appreciate the customized flavor profiles. I injected my brisket last night, then rubbed. Would have liked to brine or marinate overnight but was trying to do a competition cook scenario.

Anyway, the rub I'm using, which I like a lot, is as follows:
1 tsp salt
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs chili pwdr
1 tsp cumin
1+ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbs red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbs paprika
2 tbs black pepper

Then, I cut up eight onions, rings about 1/8", and put into a big cast iron pan with a few garlic cloves chopped and one jalapeņo pepper, butter and a little olive oil. Smoked for an hour until golden delicious. Wow. The onions were juicy and had heat the everyone loved on the brisket!

JD McGee
10-29-2011, 10:12 AM
Balance is the key...in the right ammounts black pepper will compliment the meat...too much and it can be overpowering. We season our brisket in layers so as to get the correct ammount of each spice...not a pre-made rub that will give an un-even distribution. Try sprinkling on a moderate layer of salt, then pepper, then garlic powder, then onion powder...add your own spices to suite your tastes such as chili powder, cayenne, rosemary, thyme, etc...have fun! :-P

bigzthamoose
10-29-2011, 10:17 AM
lol, i knew when i said candy ribs itd get someone goin. What i meant was, it seems theres always some flavor profile that is ideal, and I figured maybe pepper is a preferred "taste" the judges like at the end bc thats all im experiencing with commercial bought rubs. Thanks all!

CBQ
10-29-2011, 10:22 AM
Ok, makes sense. I was just wondering if there is a taste that they are lookin for, kinda like how "candy" ribs are favorable. I just didnt know if i was the only one who doesnt like the over the top pepper taste

Not for brisket. Brisket should be beefy. The rub and/or sauce should compliment the flavor, but be a lot more "in the background" vs. the other categories.

bigzthamoose
10-29-2011, 01:29 PM
Thats what i thought, and was told to try and achieve, but when i was onto my last commercial rub, and all i get at the end was pepper, i was starting to question it.

Q-Dat
10-29-2011, 02:53 PM
Bigz, just out of curiosity, when you say pepper taste are you referring to the distinctive taste of Black Pepper or hotter peppers like Cayenne?

The reason that I ask is that a higher heat cook will go a long way towards mellowing Black Pepper.

Pigs on Fire
10-30-2011, 09:03 AM
It's funny how no one seems to like or want the pot roast flavor profile and texture of brisket but that is what finishes up top.

Sledneck
10-30-2011, 12:08 PM
Steak sauce

Smokesman
10-31-2011, 07:57 AM
It's funny how no one seems to like or want the pot roast flavor profile and texture of brisket but that is what finishes up top.

Says who??? We were cooking pot roast with the best of them and our brisket scores were all over the map. Finally simplified our recipe and found the beefy with a little heat and spice everyone was talking about. And guess what...our scores improved dramatically! A good beefy brisket flavor is very different that a pot roasty flavor and once you tasted the difference it is one of the smack yourself in the head kinda moments! :doh:

G$
10-31-2011, 10:25 AM
As a judge and a table captain that takes careful note of how judges score entries, the most important thing is moistness. After that is balance in flavor.

Interesting, the KCBS weighting would seem to disagree right?

HarleyGirl14226
10-31-2011, 11:50 AM
When I was judging I was looking for a good beefy flavor, and tender moist meat. I'm not a big fan of sweet sauce on the brisket, or meat with caked on rub either.
Like everyone is saying - something balanced, but in the background.

tdwalker
10-31-2011, 01:21 PM
Random thoughts inspired by this thread:

1. I can't tell you how much I hate the "cook for the judges" philosophy.
-As a judge, having six samples of nearly identical meat is getting old, especially chicken/ribs. I don't know that that I would score "good and different" higher than "good," but I sure do appreicate the "good and different" more.
-As a future competitor, I know that "cook for the judge" is how comps are won, but its going to take a lot of personal disappointment before I sell out.

2. No pot roast.

3. Pepper flavor one its own is neither good or bad to me (as a judge). However, if it is obviously the predominant and unbalanced flavor, it probably won't score well.

4. I agree with an above poster saying watch the salt.

bbq.tom
10-31-2011, 03:02 PM
I may be in the minority of judges, but I truly enjoy something other than the SOS (same old stuff) when it comes to enhancing the natural beef flavor of brisket. I don't want anything that overpowers the beef flavor, but something different than the usual aus jus could be good and score higher in the taste category.

Just saying...

SCSmoke
10-31-2011, 06:35 PM
I may be in the minority of judges, but I truly enjoy something other than the SOS (same old stuff) when it comes to enhancing the natural beef flavor of brisket. I don't want anything that overpowers the beef flavor, but something different than the usual aus jus could be good and score higher in the taste category.

Just saying...

I hear what you are saying but do you have any suggestions?

musicmanryann
10-31-2011, 07:06 PM
I don't think I have had enough 'pot roast' to know what people mean when they say they don't like it in a brisket. Can someone please explain it in more detail possibly?

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
10-31-2011, 07:29 PM
In addition to a good honest beef taste, I also look for a good smoke taste in brisket. Without that, I get the pot roast impression.

Bigmista
11-01-2011, 12:36 PM
Brisket should taste like brisket, not pot roast.

Can you explain to me what this means? What does brisket taste like? How do you distinguish the flavor of brisket from pot roast if they are both beef? This is like saying that pork should taste like pork or chicken should taste like chicken.

How would you describe the flavor to me if I was from another planet and had never had beef? What is the difference in flavor between brisket and pot roast? Assume I am an idiot (I probably am.) and explain it to me like the only thing I had ever tasted was water.

Bigmista
11-01-2011, 12:38 PM
I don't think I have had enough 'pot roast' to know what people mean when they say they don't like it in a brisket. Can someone please explain it in more detail possibly?

Apparently, someone else feels the way I do.

big brother smoke
11-01-2011, 12:41 PM
Can you explain to me what this means? What does brisket taste like? How do you distinguish the flavor of brisket from pot roast if they are both beef? This is like saying that pork should taste like pork or chicken should taste like chicken.

How would you describe the flavor to me if I was from another planet and had never had beef? What is the difference in flavor between brisket and pot roast? Assume I am an idiot (I probably am.) and explain it to me like the only thing I had ever tasted was water.


Your brisky does not fall in the "pot roast" category.

Pot roast tastes institutional; think cafeteria beef with no depth in flavors.

Kenny Rogers
11-01-2011, 01:14 PM
Can you explain to me what this means? What does brisket taste like? How do you distinguish the flavor of brisket from pot roast if they are both beef? This is like saying that pork should taste like pork or chicken should taste like chicken.

How would you describe the flavor to me if I was from another planet and had never had beef? What is the difference in flavor between brisket and pot roast? Assume I am an idiot (I probably am.) and explain it to me like the only thing I had ever tasted was water.

IMO the primary difference is texture. And what Steph said, depth of flavor.

JD McGee
11-01-2011, 01:19 PM
If folks are looking for the "true beef flavor"...then stop seasoning it...anything you add will mask it...doubt the judges will go for it though...just sayin'...

Kenny Rogers
11-01-2011, 01:25 PM
If folks are looking for the "true beef flavor"...then stop seasoning it...anything you add will mask it...doubt the judges will go for it though...just sayin'...

Looking for "true beef flavor" x10... Magnified. But not brothy? I LOVE the au jus from brisket! I have always called it "heaven sauce" I could drink it straight, and often save as much as I can to put into just about everything I cook!
Just like prime dust.... Pure beef flavor! YEAH DOGGY!

bbq.tom
11-01-2011, 01:32 PM
Can you explain to me what this means? What does brisket taste like? How do you distinguish the flavor of brisket from pot roast if they are both beef? This is like saying that pork should taste like pork or chicken should taste like chicken.

How would you describe the flavor to me if I was from another planet and had never had beef? What is the difference in flavor between brisket and pot roast? Assume I am an idiot (I probably am.) and explain it to me like the only thing I had ever tasted was water.

The flavor is difficult to explain, but if you've ever cooked a beef roast in a crock pot with Lipton onion soup mix and water, then you know the flavor of pot roast. Believe it or not, that is the flavor of at least one entry at just about every KCBS contest that I've judged. As for how that differs from the "normal" brisket flavor, try it yourself and you will see how that "pot roast" flavor is different from your "brisket" flavor - at least I hope!!!

Bigmista
11-01-2011, 02:27 PM
The flavor is difficult to explain, but if you've ever cooked a beef roast in a crock pot with Lipton onion soup mix and water, then you know the flavor of pot roast. Believe it or not, that is the flavor of at least one entry at just about every KCBS contest that I've judged. As for how that differs from the "normal" brisket flavor, try it yourself and you will see how that "pot roast" flavor is different from your "brisket" flavor - at least I hope!!!

So what I am hearing is that if I don't use Lipton Onion Soup Mix my brisket will taste like brisket. That's not helpful.

I guess what I'm getting at is that perhaps we should re-evaluate what is being judged at contests. Brisket is a rub and injection contest.

Like JD said, if I turned in a perfectly smoked brisket with no seasoning on it, I would probably get DAL. Why? You would have nothing but "beefy" flavor because there is nothing but beef. So to say I want brisket to taste like beef is a useless description to a cook. Before you can judge something it needs to be quantified in some way. And since no one can describe what beef tastes like, it has to be the rub and injections that we are judging.

bbq.tom
11-01-2011, 02:49 PM
Brisket is a rub and injection contest.

Like JD said, if I turned in a perfectly smoked brisket with no seasoning on it, I would probably get DAL. Why? You would have nothing but "beefy" flavor because there is nothing but beef. So to say I want brisket to taste like beef is a useless description to a cook. Before you can judge something it needs to be quantified in some way. And since no one can describe what beef tastes like, it has to be the rub and injections that we are judging.

If, in your opinion "Brisket is a rub and injection contest" then you have missed the whole point of the contest (IMHO). Judges are NOT judging the rub and injection, but the MEAT and how the rub and injection (if presented that way by the cook) enhances the flavor of the MEAT. Give me that "nothing but "beefy" flavor" and I will probably score the entry fairly high in "taste", as I believe that it IS a meat contest.

As far as the comment "Before you can judge something it needs to be quantified in some way", I guess that you have the answer on HOW to quantify what we are to judge?

JD McGee
11-01-2011, 02:59 PM
This is all about personal tastes and what the judge(s) percieve to be "true beef flavor"...it could be Auntie Rosies pot roast...or a steak from a high end restaraunt, or a tv commercial telling you what "true beef flavor" is supposed to be...most likely it's the flavors that he or she grew up with that floats their boat. For us (as comp cooks) to figure that out is pure luck...flavor wise...now texture is a different breed of critter altogether. I say cook for texture and keep your seasonings and sauces moderate so as not to offend any judge!

Candy Sue
11-01-2011, 03:19 PM
Best brisket I ever cooked was salt, black pepper and granulated garlic over a rub of worchestershire sauce and no injection. Lots of smoke. No orange rub to change beefy color, no sauce. Might have to try that this weekend in Harrison...

bigzthamoose
11-01-2011, 04:55 PM
ya, i was talkin black pepper. thats the taste i get using commercial rubs. I might just be messin them up and its coincedence. I have used Bovine Bold and also The Slabs beef rub just as tests to see what they taste like, but all I get is straight pepper. I dunno. Just find it weird. Thanks guys and i get the whole pot roast thing, but at the same time, good point bigmista, hard to describe the difference

INmitch
11-02-2011, 10:17 PM
ya, i was talkin black pepper. thats the taste i get using commercial rubs. I might just be messin them up and its coincedence. I have used Bovine Bold and also The Slabs beef rub just as tests to see what they taste like, but all I get is straight pepper. I dunno. Just find it weird. Thanks guys and i get the whole pot roast thing, but at the same time, good point bigmista, hard to describe the difference
PM sent.

Rich Parker
11-03-2011, 11:44 AM
PM sent.

I didn't get one yet? :tape:

smokeyw
11-04-2011, 05:41 AM
Being from North Carolina I didn't grow up eating brisket. I have only been cooking brisket for a couple of years but I can tell you that brisket has a much different taste than any other cut of beef I have ever eaten. I absolutely love a properly smoked brisket. There is no comparison to any other cut of beef.