PDA

View Full Version : Why cook so much meat?


Teamfour
08-24-2012, 06:38 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to be a smart a$$. But...

If I only have to put six ribs in a box, or 6-8 slices of brisket, why would I cook two packers and four slabs?

If I cook a bunch of meat and maybe stagger the times I pull it off, doesn't it stand to reason that I am increasing my chance of lucking out somewhere along the line with decent Q? I know I still need to know the basics and still won't beat the pros via luck.

Wouldn't a true champion be able to cook one slab and either get it right or not?

OK, I have my kevlar on.:mad2:

boogiesnap
08-24-2012, 06:42 PM
every piece of meat is different, however marginal.

those small variances can mean the difference between GC and MOTP.

Alexa RnQ
08-24-2012, 06:48 PM
Meat is a tremendously variable product. From one steer to the next, from one hog to the next, you don't *really* know what you've got until it's on the cutting board.

A true champion will cook a particular piece of meat to its greatest potential, but that's not to say some other guy with a better brisket/slab/whatever couldn't luck out and do better that day -- that's why you sometimes see choice briskets beat wagyus.

Ron_L
08-24-2012, 06:50 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to be a smart a$$. But...

If I only have to put six ribs in a box, or 6-8 slices of brisket, why would I cook two packers and four slabs?

If I cook a bunch of meat and maybe stagger the times I pull it off, doesn't it stand to reason that I am increasing my chance of lucking out somewhere along the line with decent Q? I know I still need to know the basics and still won't beat the pros via luck.

Wouldn't a true champion be able to cook one slab and either get it right or not?

OK, I have my kevlar on.:mad2:

WHAT!?!? How could you ask a question like that???

:becky::becky:

Sorry, I had to make it worth putting on the Kevlar suit :)

As Boogiesnap said, every piece of meat is unique, and I want the best shot at putting the perfect meat into the box. I typically cook 24 thighs, 4 ranks of ribs, two butts (at least 9 lbs) and two briskets (at least 12 lbs.) that gives me a good variety to pick from.

There is a great variation in thighs, so I want as many as possible to pick from. I choose ribs that are close, but not exactly the same size so one may be more done than another, but usually at least two are where I want them.

For the butts, I could probably get by with one since they almost always taste the same, but I still cook two.

For brisket, they almost always taste different, so I can choose whichever one tastes best.

NRA4Life
08-24-2012, 06:59 PM
I don't know, but let's say you cook one rack of ribs. And it falls on the ground. You think you've got any chance of getting all those foreign objects off of it so you don't get DQ'd? Or since you invested a chitload of time and money, is it really worth saving that extra $24 by not throwing those other 2 racks of ribs on when your only rack is laying in the dirt?

I cook 2 butts and 2 packers because invariably 1 of the 2 is better than the other and unless you're a "meat whisperer" you wouldn't know which of the 2 is going to be the best until you cook them.

Teamfour
08-24-2012, 07:04 PM
Great answers! I wasn't trying to refute the practice, just trying to learn. I did wonder if one could be skilled enough to be a meat-whisperer. Also, I could cook 100 thighs and be DAL.

JD McGee
08-24-2012, 07:09 PM
For every competition we cook 2 briskets, two butts, 6 ribs, and 16 thighs...if we don't show up for work Monday am with BBQ for our co-workers we get the cold shoulder...lol! :becky:

But seriously now...to answer your question...we increase our odds of producing a good, better, or best product by cooking more meats to choose from. We have (on several occasions) been very glad that we did...:cool:

Eggspert
08-24-2012, 07:36 PM
I struggle with this too. This is our first year competing and competition BBQ is really expensive. We cook what we need for competition. We don't cook extra brisket or butts. If we cooked twice the meat we would have to limit our competitions. So far it is working for us. If you are getting sponsorship and getting a great deal on your meat, fine, cook 2x the meat. It starts to get to the point where even if you win GC or RC you break even.

Eggspert BBQ

boogiesnap
08-24-2012, 08:13 PM
I don't know, but let's say you cook one rack of ribs. And it falls on the ground. You think you've got any chance of getting all those foreign objects off of it so you don't get DQ'd? Or since you invested a chitload of time and money, is it really worth saving that extra $24 by not throwing those other 2 racks of ribs on when your only rack is laying in the dirt?

I cook 2 butts and 2 packers because invariably 1 of the 2 is better than the other and unless you're a "meat whisperer" you wouldn't know which of the 2 is going to be the best until you cook them.

i agree, but if you think a rack of comp ribs cost 12 bucks...

it all nickel and dimes you to death.

MilitantSquatter
08-24-2012, 08:49 PM
I don't know, but let's say you cook one rack of ribs. And it falls on the ground. You think you've got any chance of getting all those foreign objects off of it so you don't get DQ'd? Or since you invested a chitload of time and money, is it really worth saving that extra $24 by not throwing those other 2 racks of ribs on when your only rack is laying in the dirt?

I cook 2 butts and 2 packers because invariably 1 of the 2 is better than the other and unless you're a "meat whisperer" you wouldn't know which of the 2 is going to be the best until you cook them.


Trust me....

It's worse when you're pal / teammate "unintentionally" drops the entire rack of perfectly cooked, glazed chicken parts falls on the ground just before placing in boxes .. :shocked:

You'd think 18-24 pcs would be safe... :icon_blush:

safe enough to prevent a DQ, but not safe enough to place 68th of 72 (when everyhing else was Top 5 - 10) :shocked:

Ask Sledneck why I retired :tsk:

:laugh:

Contracted Cookers
08-24-2012, 08:56 PM
we presale all of are leftovers. ribs 1 bad cut get a tear we will change racks

lcbateman3
08-24-2012, 09:11 PM
Selection..Selection..Selection.

I cooked four racks of ribs once. Each rack seasoned the same way. Each had a different tenderness and taste.

Brisket, had one too tender, one too tough, etc.

I rather be safe. As everyone else said, sell the leftovers, feed family & friends, freeze it. (I have way to much left over BBQ in the freezer)

kenthanson
08-24-2012, 11:57 PM
We cook two Butts because certain parts are the perfect doneness at different temps. We do four racks of ribs because we have the room and it gives us the big get margin for getting 6-8 perfect ribs. Chicken is cheap so we do 20 trimmed thighs, 10 un-trimmed and a dozen drums just for fun.

NRA4Life
08-25-2012, 07:15 AM
i agree, but if you think a rack of comp ribs cost 12 bucks...



I'm normally paying around $36 for a 3 pack of ribs that I trim to St. Louis, I normally buy 2 packs to get 3 good racks, but I sell the extras for what I paid to my buddies that want to cook them and my 3 racks normally cost around $12 each.

Lake Dogs
08-25-2012, 09:01 AM
+1 what they've all said above. Selection, and frankly disaster recovery. I personally
witnessed Bub-Ba-Q trip with this chicken box and dump the entire contents in the gravel & sand as we were heading to turn-in (actually it was his wife carrying the box who tripped). Thankfully for him he'd cooked plenty, he went back to his table, wiped out the box, put 9 pieces of chicken in now without garnish, placed 2nd in chicken that day and GC'd.

I smile when I read about how expensive it is to compete and the meat costs... Try MBN sometime. HOLY TAMALE!!! I actually cook a little extra at each competition because I enjoy the leftovers and so do my friends. We stock the fridge and freezers...

boogiesnap
08-25-2012, 09:43 AM
I'm normally paying around $36 for a 3 pack of ribs that I trim to St. Louis, I normally buy 2 packs to get 3 good racks, but I sell the extras for what I paid to my buddies that want to cook them and my 3 racks normally cost around $12 each.

agreed, i didn't express myself properly. your philosophy is sound.

i was saying, it's more rub, sugar, butter, honey, sauce, foil, bags, etc. if you double what you cook, you double your ingredient list. the meat itself isn't really all that pricey per say. it's all the stuff ya need to do to it to compete that adds up.

all in i'd estimate a rack of my comp ribs at @ $30 each.

dhuffjr
08-25-2012, 10:36 AM
I'm normally paying around $36 for a 3 pack of ribs that I trim to St. Louis, I normally buy 2 packs to get 3 good racks, .
This is what I do. Saturday morning I open one pack and see how they really look. Sometimes I don't even need to open the second cryopak. I toss the unused ribs back in the cooler under ice and freeze when we're home for later cooking.

I'm on the fence about finalizing a butt/brisket ratio with our new cooker and extra cooking space.

It was a bit easier when I had just the two Eggs to cook on and could only fit so much in :biggrin1:

NRA4Life
08-25-2012, 10:41 AM
agreed, i didn't express myself properly. your philosophy is sound.

i was saying, it's more rub, sugar, butter, honey, sauce, foil, bags, etc. if you double what you cook, you double your ingredient list. the meat itself isn't really all that pricey per say. it's all the stuff ya need to do to it to compete that adds up.

all in i'd estimate a rack of my comp ribs at @ $30 each.

Oh, I see where you're coming from now. Yes, there are those added costs, I was just talking meat cost.

Jorge
08-25-2012, 12:20 PM
It goes both ways. There are a handfull of VERY successful cooks that believe they can turn out a better product by conentrating on fewer pieces of meat. It carries some weight with me....if the cook is good enough. There's not much margin for error with one brisket and one butt. I'm not that good.

rolfejr
08-25-2012, 08:33 PM
I cooked six racks at Bel Air from the same case and only one rack had the right look, let alone the taste and tenderness.
We choose that rack because we knew we would at least score well in one area.

We got our best rib finish in our second comp 12 / 52.

swamprb
08-25-2012, 08:50 PM
Meat is a tremendously variable product. From one steer to the next, from one hog to the next, you don't *really* know what you've got until it's on the cutting board.

A true champion will cook a particular piece of meat to its greatest potential, but that's not to say some other guy with a better brisket/slab/whatever couldn't luck out and do better that day -- that's why you sometimes see choice briskets beat wagyus.

For every competition we cook 2 briskets, two butts, 6 ribs, and 16 thighs...if we don't show up for work Monday am with BBQ for our co-workers we get the cold shoulder...lol! :becky:

But seriously now...to answer your question...we increase our odds of producing a good, better, or best product by cooking more meats to choose from. We have (on several occasions) been very glad that we did...:cool:

I struggle with this too. This is our first year competing and competition BBQ is really expensive. We cook what we need for competition. We don't cook extra brisket or butts. If we cooked twice the meat we would have to limit our competitions. So far it is working for us. If you are getting sponsorship and getting a great deal on your meat, fine, cook 2x the meat. It starts to get to the point where even if you win GC or RC you break even.

Eggspert BBQ

we presale all of are leftovers. ribs 1 bad cut get a tear we will change racks

Presale, Presale, presale!

CBQ
08-25-2012, 09:49 PM
It goes both ways. There are a handfull of VERY successful cooks that believe they can turn out a better product by conentrating on fewer pieces of meat. It carries some weight with me....if the cook is good enough. There's not much margin for error with one brisket and one butt. I'm not that good.

Also depends on your smoker. Airflow and temp control are affected by how much you load into the thing. We now cook a lot less than we used to, and our scores are better. We used to overload it with "just in case" meat, and it changed the results of everything. (Worse, the extra meat varied in amounts...so it was hard to be consistent.)

We normally have 1 or 2 cookers. If you are one of those teams that has 6 cookers for 4 meats, go for it :becky:

Sledneck
08-29-2012, 02:10 PM
Trust me....

It's worse when you're pal / teammate "unintentionally" drops the entire rack of perfectly cooked, glazed chicken parts falls on the ground just before placing in boxes .. :shocked:

You'd think 18-24 pcs would be safe... :icon_blush:

safe enough to prevent a DQ, but not safe enough to place 68th of 72 (when everyhing else was Top 5 - 10) :shocked:

Ask Sledneck why I retired :tsk:

:laugh:
I really just wanted to steal your spot at new holland. :tongue:

musicmanryann
08-29-2012, 02:36 PM
I don't know, but let's say you cook one rack of ribs. And it falls on the ground.

This has happened to me...twice.:doh: Both times I lost two racks and had two left over as we cook 4.

DMDon
08-29-2012, 03:08 PM
Sounds like you need to lightin up on the beverages or your little mojo dance while handling the bones

This has happened to me...twice.:doh: Both times I lost two racks and had two left over as we cook 4.

DMDon
08-29-2012, 03:21 PM
For me it comes down to a couple basic reasons.
1. How can you afford not to cook extra? Even without meat, we are in for $300-400 at minimum. Don't hamstring yourself by having 3 solid turnins and not so good 4th, because you didn't cook extra. I know having extra has put us into some prize money that we wouldn't touched otherwise.
2. We don't always trim at home, I never do. On more than one occasion upon opening the cryovac, it smelled like a skunk ****e on the meat. Always nice to have some back instead of frantically searching more quality meat. At one contest we had both bad chicken and a pack of ribs that went south.

pat
08-29-2012, 03:30 PM
Very sound advice Boondiggity Don.

Diva
08-29-2012, 03:36 PM
We use one butt, one brisket, one pack of chicken from Sams and two slabs of ribs.

Brew-B-Q
08-29-2012, 03:37 PM
Just because you only need to put 6 pieces in a box doesn't mean that's all you want to put in the box. I can't get 9 or more ribs from one rack, so I cook 3. I usually pick 4-5 from the best two and that's my box. My chicken looks similar before I start cooking, but inevitably some of them look very different from the rest after cooking. I cook 16 pieces of chicken. Pork I do 2 butts as that is how they are sold and it seems to give me enough to work with. I cook one brisket and that usually is good enough. I try to open my meat and trim if possible before getting on site. If I can't do that, I may bring an extra brisket and just keep it on ice in case it is bad or has a big slice in it.

Stoke&Smoke
08-29-2012, 04:08 PM
Just because you only need to put 6 pieces in a box doesn't mean that's all you want to put in the box. I can't get 9 or more ribs from one rack, so I cook 3. I usually pick 4-5 from the best two and that's my box. My chicken looks similar before I start cooking, but inevitably some of them look very different from the rest after cooking. I cook 16 pieces of chicken. Pork I do 2 butts as that is how they are sold and it seems to give me enough to work with. I cook one brisket and that usually is good enough. I try to open my meat and trim if possible before getting on site. If I can't do that, I may bring an extra brisket and just keep it on ice in case it is bad or has a big slice in it.

Somebody told me you had stinky butts last year!:shocked:
PS, congrats on the Back to Back GC at Kenosha!

Podge
08-29-2012, 04:32 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to be a smart a$$. But...

If I only have to put six ribs in a box, or 6-8 slices of brisket, why would I cook two packers and four slabs?

If I cook a bunch of meat and maybe stagger the times I pull it off, doesn't it stand to reason that I am increasing my chance of lucking out somewhere along the line with decent Q? I know I still need to know the basics and still won't beat the pros via luck.

Wouldn't a true champion be able to cook one slab and either get it right or not?

OK, I have my kevlar on.:mad2:

A "True Champion" can cook just one slab of ribs and beat the pants off of just about any average joe. But when you go to a contest with 30 pro's, you want the best of the best to pick from, therefore you need a bit of a selection, because they do too. If you notice, the scores for KCBS go 4 decimal places. Every little detail, counts.

cpw
08-29-2012, 05:01 PM
all in i'd estimate a rack of my comp ribs at @ $30 each.

Out of curiosity, what kind of ribs are you using that cost $30 each?

boogiesnap
08-29-2012, 06:09 PM
Out of curiosity, what kind of ribs are you using that cost $30 each?

thats all in. ribs, rubs, foil ingredients, sauce, butter, etc. etc.

i buy racks of hatfield farm st louis cut for @ 12 per or RD if i like what i see for about the same.

if i buy the neiman ranch racks they are @ 20 bucks a rack alone.

cpw
08-29-2012, 06:32 PM
thats all in. ribs, rubs, foil ingredients, sauce, butter, etc. etc.

i buy racks of hatfield farm st louis cut for @ 12 per or RD if i like what i see for about the same.

if i buy the neiman ranch racks they are @ 20 bucks a rack alone.

Aaahh. That makes sense.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

Teamfour
08-29-2012, 06:45 PM
Wow, I can't believe this thread has such long legs. Still playing the devil's advocate: it appears that a real good cook can increase their chances of scoring high by throwing lots of meat at the smoker in order to cull out the choice turn-ins. On the other hand, a great cook can take one unit of meat and be able to modify the smoking process to turn out a winner. I know this is pushing my point, but I'm having fun playing the devil. :twisted::twisted:

fnbish
08-29-2012, 08:45 PM
Wow, I can't believe this thread has such long legs. Still playing the devil's advocate: it appears that a real good cook can increase their chances of scoring high by throwing lots of meat at the smoker in order to cull out the choice turn-ins. On the other hand, a great cook can take one unit of meat and be able to modify the smoking process to turn out a winner. I know this is pushing my point, but I'm having fun playing the devil. :twisted::twisted:

I doubt there are many or any great cooks who would roll the dice with 1 rack of ribs or just 6 pieces of chicken. So your statement of "On the other hand, a great cook can take one unit of meat and be able to modify the smoking process to turn out a winner." might be a little off. Can it be done, sure. But every time? I don't think anyone would take that chance.

I haven't seen as many great teams in person as others on this forum probaly have, but the handful of top teams I have seen all cook multiples when it comes to chicken, ribs, and butts. Brisket may be the only category where teams cook just 1.

Untraceable
08-29-2012, 08:56 PM
sounds like some would like to see the BBQ equivalent of a softball one pitch tourney. only allowed to cook 1 chicken, 1 rack of ribs, 1 shoulder, and 1 brisket. Stakes would have to be insanely high cause I doubt anyone would put that to chance

Brew-B-Q
08-29-2012, 10:09 PM
sounds like some would like to see the BBQ equivalent of a softball one pitch tourney. only allowed to cook 1 chicken, 1 rack of ribs, 1 shoulder, and 1 brisket. Stakes would have to be insanely high cause I doubt anyone would put that to chance

I would rather enter a contest that required you only cook 1 piece of chicken, 1 slab of ribs, 1 butt, and 1 brisket than one that is "pure" and prohibits pellets, electricity, foil, etc.

I think both ideas are silly, but at least one isn't claiming some historical precedent.