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MeatHead
07-15-2005, 08:23 PM
Well my brothers in smoke, I have entered my first competition (http://bbqandbeer.blogspot.com/2005/07/it-is-official.html). It is sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society and features three meat categories. I signed up as Uncle Carnies Sograte BBQ team (long story). While I have been cooking brisket (http://bbqandbeer.blogspot.com/2005/07/independence-day-barbecue.html) for years and can make some decent chicken, I need some major help with the pork spare ribs. Do you guys have any competition advice and/or suggestions for chicken and ribs? I will gladly absorb any advice and ideas you can throw at me.

willkat98
07-15-2005, 08:49 PM
Good luck MH

Make sure you post results!!!

I cannot offer advice, since I don't know Texas "tastes".

Figure your judges are from the region.

What does the region like? Sweet sauce? Vinegar sauce?
Play to the probable judges tastes

Good luck brother

roknrandy
07-15-2005, 09:10 PM
Good luck Meathead

MeatHead
07-16-2005, 01:06 PM
Thanks guys, I will post results as soon as I can. Hopefully it will not be a complete disapointment. Out of the three meat categories and beans hopefully I will get to hear my name at least once ;-). I have never had any ribs that were worth eating, but since it does not cost any more to enter additional categories I am going to give them a try. Any suggestions? Rubs?

willkat98
07-16-2005, 01:41 PM
I go sweet on ribs (personal taste) and glaze them with something sweet but not overpowering.

I hint of cinnamon, chilli powder, and sugar rub is something I whip up.

What do you like? Go with what you like best, and see if the judges agree

Ron_L
07-17-2005, 09:59 AM
Hey Meat! (or is it Mr. Head? :) )... The best ribs I've ever cooked were done using a sweet-hot rub and glaze. Here's the rub...

Sweet And Spicy Rub

2 tablespoons butter; or margarine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in all ingredients EXCEPT sugar. Remove from heat and then add sugar. Cool and rub onto meat. Makes 1/4 cup, enough for 4 pounds of meat. Posted to the BBQ List by Carey Starzinger on Jul 19, 1996.

For the glaze, I used a Triple-Berry Chipotle sauce that I bought through my daughter's school through Market Day (www.marketday.com). I also took the sauce, thinned it with some water and strained out the bits and pieces and used this for a spray while cooking.

Good luck and have fun!

MeatHead
07-17-2005, 07:13 PM
hmmm... sweet and spicy, that sounds like the answer I was looking for. I will mix some up this week and see how it turns out. I was getting worried about going to the big show with no ideas for the ribs.

That chipotle sauce sound great too. I love chipotle and after all, this is Texas. Kinda like the old Texas chilli cook-off (http://www.aarons-jokes.com/joke-5455.shtml) joke. I will browse around and see what kind of chipolte sauces I can find that would be a nice complimentary mop without overpowering the meat.

Thanks again for all of your help! I feel like a school kid on the first day of school, little nervous but very excited.

Ron_L
07-17-2005, 07:50 PM
The Market Day sauce might be hard to get, but i found a bottle of Bronco Bob's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce at Meijer today, and I'm goin to try it on some spares tomorrow. I'll let you know how that works out.

http://store.lwcbrands.com/broncobobs.html

chad
07-18-2005, 06:35 AM
Concentrate on getting the meat right! No amount of sauce or rub will fix lousy meat. :mrgreen:

Don't go changing your seasonings too much - most cooks find that trying to get the "local" flavor costs them. Hit a middle of the road on heat - go heavier on the sweet!

Even in Texas, BBQ judges don't want the taste buds burned out on the first entry - they WILL NOT reward you for hot & spicy!! Trust me, I'm one of them and we talk about this a LOT!

I've never had ribs too spicy (and I know the difference between spicy and hot!) but I've heard a lot of judges complain about too much heat. A nice kick is appreciated - consistent burn and the need for a glass of milk before the next entry is NOT good! :twisted:

Just my $.02 worth. And yes, I lived in San Antonio for 9 years and have an appriciation for Texas BBQ and all things spicy. :D

MeatHead
07-18-2005, 10:56 AM
I will be careful not to over season, and especially not over heat the ribs.

Concentrate on getting the meat right! No amount of sauce or rub will fix lousy meat.

The only ribs I have done were beef ribs. I tried them several time and always end up feeding them to the dog. Hey, she loves it when i que... she eats good!

What do you recommend 3-4 hours at about 225-250?

chad
07-18-2005, 11:25 AM
Depends on whether you're doing spares (St. Louis cut) or loinbacks (babyback). My spareribs are usually cooked about 2 hours (or until the meat pulls back from the end of the bone about 1/4 inch and then foiled with a spray of apple juice (you can add a brushing of sauce at this time or another dose of rub) - The ribs then cook for another 1.5 - 2 hours - you really have to watch them or they'll over cook and fall off the bones.

Baby backs are even less time - maybe 2 hour to the foil but then only 1 hour of so before pulling them and putting them in a cooler. The cooler time is great for tenderness but also will "over cook" the ribs.

I hate to sound so vague but you've got to experiment a bit to find what works best for you. We usually have a 12 noon turn in for ribs (FBA) and so we usually have the ribs in the cooker at 7:00 a.m. So, we shoot for 5 hours total time - we've never "walked" on ribs and have rarely had a toughness problem!! Usually we overcook. But, as I said, that's what practice and experimentation is for.

Temp wise: We've tended to cook "hotter" at 250 or so but I'm thinking of cranking it back a bit closer to 225 in the future - see if we can get the nice long cook time and resulting tenderness without the "fall off the bone" problem!

rbinms33
07-18-2005, 05:40 PM
I have never had any ribs that were worth eating


Is it just me or does it seem like the things people don't think will place end up placing and the things they think will place end up not placing. Or maybe I have too much time on my hands and I'm overanalyzing. :lol:

Good luck, Meathead!

BrooklynQ
07-18-2005, 06:07 PM
Good Luck Meathead. Just go out there and haved fun

Ron_L
07-18-2005, 09:00 PM
The Bronco Bob's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle worked out great! It is nice and sweet, with a nice kick. The only thing that might go against it is the raspberry seeds... Do you guys think judges will deduct for that?

MoKanMeathead
07-19-2005, 11:56 AM
So you are why I couldn't log on as Meathead.

Good luck in your first comp and with your ribs. Let us know how you do.

chad
07-19-2005, 12:01 PM
The only thing that might go against it is the raspberry seeds... Do you guys think judges will deduct for that?


Strain them out. It's not worth taking the chance. Some judge will probably get a seed under their dentures or stuck between their teeth!

Solidkick
07-19-2005, 04:23 PM
Best of luck! Do what you know is best, and hope the judges like it.

Go get'em brother!

MeatHead
07-20-2005, 10:51 AM
Thanks for all of the advise and encouragement. I am looking forward to the experience. Is there a better way to spend a weekend than cooking Q with a group of people that have a passion for cooking Q?

MeatHead
07-31-2005, 09:08 AM
We just got back from our first competition in Tahoka Texas. What an incredible experience that was. I will keep it short as I have a long day ahead of me getting everything unloaded, unpacked, put back up, return the borrowed RV and the borrowed trailer (I just hauled my backyard cooker on a trailer).

Now for the news you want to read about. We entered all three meat categories of chicken (half chicken), ribs and brisket plus the jackpot beans. The first turn-in due was the beans. They were damn sure good, proababy some of the best I have made. We did not make them any different than usual except we poured a full can of keystone in them and this was the first time to cook then in a pot over a fire and not in the controlled enviroment of a crock pot. We got 2nd place in beans! Missed the jackpot but what the hell, we got 2nd! Wow what a rush - could this possibly be a sign of things to come?

Our chicken was not done and we had to go to some extreme measures to make sure it was ready to turn in. We got it done but really lost the effect we were going for. Needless to say we did not place in chicken - but we did learn a few lessons.

We have NEVER cooked ribs before. Thanks to the brethen - I got some great advice. We used the 3-2-1 method and mopped about 15 minutes before pulling off the smoker. We could tell that they were looking very good and really got excited about them. The next problem after we got them cooked was to slice them. I had no idea how to do it other than watching enough Food TV and OLN to know about the "competition cut". They damn sure were not pretty - but the judges were specifically told not to account for appearence. The ribs got 6th place!

Brisket is our masterpiece. Been cooking brisket for years and it just gets better every time. We cooked four briskets - one for donation (part of the enrty fee - sold by silent auction for charity) and three to choose from for turn in. I sliced into the first one and it was dry, real dry. I have never had one dry like that. I grabbed the next one, which was the largest one of the cook, and sliced it open. It was beautiful! Juicy, flavorful tender, not overdone - perfect. Not my best but damn sure nothing wrong with it. Well, it got us 9th in brisket. I was really hoping for better but did not have any idea of what the competition was turning in. I had no idea what we were up against.

Overall I have to say that after the awards - everybody knew we were there! We placed in three out of the four categories we entered. We got more awards than a lot of the more experienced teams. After the awards I found out that the top three Texas cooks (1, 2 and 3 in LSBS points) were at this competition. These were obviously the ones that were called up in every category. We really got a huge boost of confidence and are totally hooked.

Thanks for all of the help and advice from all of you seasoned veterans. You actually helped more than you will ever know because I usually spend more time just lurking and reading that actually postings and talking.

Watch my blog bbqandbeer.blogspot.com (http://bbqandbeer.blogspot.com) for a little better detailed version of our experience along with some pictures and more thank you's that are due.

Jeff_in_KC
07-31-2005, 09:20 AM
Congrats, Meathead! I'm also looking forward to our first competition soon! I agree... this place is a great place to learn from some pretty damned knowledgeable guys! Don't know if you get the same feeling but I already feel like I know how to proceed with a lot of different situations at a contest, just from reading and asking questions here. I think being a Brethren definitely shortens the learning curve!

parrothead
07-31-2005, 09:54 AM
Congrats! Sounds like you had fun, and learned some stuff. Keep it up.

Ron_L
07-31-2005, 10:08 AM
Great job, Meathead!

BrooklynQ
07-31-2005, 10:33 AM
Congrats Meathead. Sounds like you have been bitten by the competion bug.

Smoker
07-31-2005, 11:21 AM
Excellent!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats.

Solidkick
07-31-2005, 06:06 PM
Very nice first contest.........you won just enough to really let it get under your skin........so??? when's your next competition??

chad
07-31-2005, 07:29 PM
Welcome to the dark side! :twisted:

The_Kapn
07-31-2005, 07:44 PM
Welcome to the dark side! :twisted:
I been waiting on Chad to post that :lol:
DITTO. He is so right :lol:

You will never go back now!

Congrats.

TIM

willkat98
07-31-2005, 07:57 PM
Congrats Meathead

I see you here constantly.

Just cuz you don't post alot, doesnt make you any less a brother, thats for sure.

I have to assume Keystone is a beer or something? If you can share (take out secret ingredient) bean recipe, please do so in WoodPile.

Good show, Bro

MeatHead
08-01-2005, 11:22 AM
Don't know if you get the same feeling but I already feel like I know how to proceed with a lot of different situations at a contest, just from reading and asking questions here. I think being a Brethren definitely shortens the learning curve!
Without a doubt! I felt like I had done it before. I knew exactly what to expect and how to handle it. I would not have even entered if it were not for all of the information and experience you guys share.

Very nice first contest.........you won just enough to really let it get under your skin........so??? when's your next competition??
It definately got under my skin. I finally know how mine compares to what the big boys are doing. We have a big one coming up in August at the local lake and I was invited to several more while at this event. I will just have to see what I can swing. Maybe I can talk the boss into providing me some support. I just have to see.

Welcome to the dark side! :twisted:
LOL :D

Just cuz you don't post alot, doesnt make you any less a brother, thats for sure.

I have to assume Keystone is a beer or something? If you can share (take out secret ingredient) bean recipe, please do so in WoodPile.
Thanks, *wiping eyes* you really know how to make a man feel welcome. Keystone (actually Keystone Light, it is not available in a full flavored version) is a very popular beer around here. I thought is was a national brand, quess not. It is just like Coors Light, only it saves you about $5.00 on a 30 pack. It is not a cheap beer, just cheaper than the big brands. The beans were very simple, I am on my way over to the woodpile to share my bean recipe.

willkat98
08-01-2005, 11:24 AM
The beans were very simple, I am on my way over to the woodpile to share my bean recipe.[/quote]

I meant Q Talk,

It was a late post

icemn62
08-01-2005, 11:27 AM
Congrats on the great job. Hope to hear more from you as your trophy mantle fills up.

MeatHead
08-01-2005, 11:43 AM
I thought Woodpile did not sound right, but oh well.. hehe I have not posted yet. I think you will be suprised by how simple it really is. Kinda seems a little too simple to place as well as they did. Maybe that is why they did so well, because they were not overloaded with add-ins.

iceman - I got a huge boost fo confidence - I am sure I will chime in a little bit more now.

txpgapro
08-01-2005, 11:14 PM
Way to go Meathead! I spent the day at the West c/o. Check out these picks.
View Texas Allstars @ West Pics (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/txpgapro/slideshow2?.dir=8931&.beg=0&.src=ph)

Trout_man22
08-02-2005, 05:38 AM
Congrats

MeatHead
08-02-2005, 12:24 PM
Nice pics txpgapro, did you introduce yourself in cattle call? Hey, it looks like you and I were separated at birth :shock:. I have pics to post but they are still on the camera. Here are a couple pictures (http://www.flickr.com/photos/47355344@N00/sets/685414/) a friend took and emailed to me.

YLBILL
08-02-2005, 03:32 PM
Congrats Meathead, it's always fun to see how ya stack up. Sounds like you did well!

txpgapro
08-02-2005, 09:44 PM
Sorry Meathead, but I'm not in the pics! That was the Head Cook - Redneck Cooker. I was just helping as one of the PB's. How big is the comp at the lake?