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rookiedad
01-09-2006, 02:02 PM
i have never competed , but i thought it might be fun to enter grill kings this year. now never having done this before i was under the impression that the best way to compete was to try to cook great bbq. my proplem here is that i think great bbq is food that you could actually make a meal out of, and would want to eat more of, but in a recent tread by Dr. bbq and more recently in a podcast by Adam Perry Lang, two winning competitors, it was stated that it would be "hard" to eat a meal composed of the winning ribs due to intense seasonings, and that it was all about the first bite. here is my question. how do you cook this way? i am not asking anyone to part with their secrets, but the only way i can see to get these intense flavors would be through reductions and possibly extracts. but even then i'm not sure that i would be getting what i am looking for(as i also have never judged). perhaps you guys could tell me if i am on the right track.
also, Adam Perry Lang's perfect score rib had something like a peach essence on it right? wouldn't that be getting a little on the outskirts of traditional bbq? i have no problem with trying to cook like this,(i tend to like tamarind as a sauce flavoring) i am just trying to establish some perameters and was hoping that some of those who compete could help. thanks for reading this long winded post!
phil

chad
01-09-2006, 02:07 PM
In competition you aren't concerned with "the outskirts of traditional bbq"...your concern is to convince the judges that they just tasted the best ribs (chicken, pork, brisket) that they've ever put in their mouths.

All you can do is cook and present your best product on that day.

BBQchef33
01-09-2006, 02:17 PM
What the Doc is referring to is the WOW factor. You have to get them with ONE BITE. when we make good Q, as we devour serving after serving we are dribbling going 'good stuff'... BUT.. thats not good enuf...

It has to WOW them.. the kind of thing that on the first bite, u get Oh MY GOD!!! and their eyes roll into their heads and their socks go up an down on their legs. It does not have to be intense in the sense of overpowering, but intense in the sense of the best damn thing they ever ate. It does not have to knock there socks off, if i saw a judge just close their eyes and take a second bite with a moan or a smile, Id be just as happy.. It can be powerful and rich spicing, or subtleties and nuisances of spices and combinations, that make them go back to their childhoods, or wonder what the flavor is, that is only there for the second, but makes them savor it trying to figure what it is.... its finding something that in the the 1 minute they eat your entry, they will think that yours is best they EVER had...... then make them go back and eat the REST of yours when the scoring is done.

Complex flavors in spices, interesting sauces(peaches?), or simple spices and great smoke... its the combinations that are what you have to figure out.

rookiedad
01-09-2006, 02:23 PM
i'm with you on this phil! wouldn't this be something you would like to eat more of? thats where i am confused. thanks.
phil

Smoker
01-09-2006, 02:28 PM
"and their socks go up an down on their legs."

Now that line had me lmfao here at work.

chad
01-09-2006, 03:24 PM
'dad...it's not that it's not great! It's that what we turn in is too rich for most people to eat very much of...like a lot of desserts.

My family likes my competition stuff..but love the "regular" bbq. It's a matter of degrees...I use my finishing sauce at home but often they prefer some Sonny's out of the bottle.

I change the injection at home to bring it down a few notches. However, that being said: the brisket we scored 2nd with at Key Largo got a "best I've ever tasted" from my wife.

Comp cooking and home cooking (or bash cooking) are different areas...you have to respect your target audience.

CharlieBeasley
01-09-2006, 03:43 PM
Dad
Key Largo was a real eye opener for me as I was under the imperssion that cook great BBQ is what you are looking for. I was overwhelmed afterjust a few bites of the pork, brisket, and ribs. all of which scored well. The amounts, types, and intensity of the sauces were difficult to take. (I did not like the one soy based injection at all it had to me a nasty flavor I could tase over everything and would never use it even if it was the secret key to success but I would bet more than one team did does and will continue to use it.)
I hope to compete next yeat and would love to wash dishes for any and all that need a dishwasher/goofer and would pack a cooker and compete on the drop of a hat because I can cook. Will I win only if as one of the cooks at Key Largo said if all of the people who like my food are judges. Compete, Learn, modify, and try again. every one of the swinging well make that smokers out their started with a first compitetion. Do you best ask questions and have fun! ps if you are looking for a rookie dishwasher let me know! GRiN I'll whore a spot anywhere I can love to cook!

The_Kapn
01-09-2006, 04:43 PM
For the record--Dave and I do not use Soy in the injection.
That is, unless he is keeping secrets from me http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif
Charlie must be talking about another team, I hope http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_rolleyes.gif

AnyHoo--Charlie is great to have around. If any of the teams up there need some help--look to him.
You will do no better. Great Guy!!!! Fits right in! http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif

"The First Bite" is all ya get. Fact of life.
So, our comp flavors are, in fact, more "labor and $$ intensive" than my recreational Que.
"Stronger"???? Not necessarily so. Recreational is just not as carefully controlled and enhanced as what we do for the $$.
Could I or neighbors eat a full slab of competetion ribs or Butt or Brisket????--sure (I hope). I would hope they would enjoy them all.
But, I can not invest the time, labor, and $$ for recreational que that we spend for the comps.

FWIW.

TIM

Solidkick
01-09-2006, 06:44 PM
What the Doc is referring to is the WOW factor. You have to get them with ONE BITE. when we make good Q, as we devour serving after serving we are dribbling going 'good stuff'... BUT.. thats not good enuf...

It has to WOW them.. the kind of thing that on the first bite, u get Oh MY GOD!!! and their eyes roll into their heads and their socks go up an down on their legs. It does not have to be intense in the sense of overpowering, but intense in the sense of the best damn thing they ever ate. It does not have to knock there socks off, if i saw a judge just close their eyes and take a second bite with a moan or a smile, Id be just as happy.. It can be powerful and rich spicing, or subtleties and nuisances of spices and combinations, that make them go back to their childhoods, or wonder what the flavor is, that is only there for the second, but makes them savor it trying to figure what it is.... its finding something that in the the 1 minute they eat your entry, they will think that yours is best they EVER had...... then make them go back and eat the REST of yours when the scoring is done.

Complex flavors in spices, interesting sauces(peaches?), or simple spices and great smoke... its the combinations that are what you have to figure out.

And to kinda add to what Phil has stated about the WOW factor.....IF someone judging a KCBS contest was to eat all the meat put before them, they would be eating somewhere between 3-4 pounds of meat.....I'm sure there might be someone that could do it....but the rule of thumb is you take one bite to judge and you are given a box to take the rest home in.

Sawdustguy
01-09-2006, 07:04 PM
Charlie,

If you want to come down and hang with us during the Grill Kings event this coming year you are more than welcome. We always have plenty of libation and a good card game at night.

Phil,

We are also fairly new at this, and I can tell you that at our level, we are no more concearned with the wow factor, than the man in the moon. We are only concearned with making something good and edible. Something that is moist, tastes fairly good and looks half way decent. We are still green at this and at our level we are more concearned with learning than winning anything. If we are around for a few years and get alot of contests under our belt, maybe then we will worry about the wow factor. For right now this is a hobby. It's something we do for ****s and giggles. Most of the guys worrying about the wow factor are pros like Adam Perry Lang and Doc BBQ. If you are beginner like us, it is not even worth worrying about. Just go out, cook and have some fun. At last years Grill Kings we had a blast. The experience was great and so were the people we met and shared it with.

rookiedad
01-09-2006, 07:11 PM
And to kinda add to what Phil has stated about the WOW factor.....IF someone judging a KCBS contest was to eat all the meat put before them, they would be eating somewhere between 3-4 pounds of meat.....I'm sure there might be someone that could do it....but the rule of thumb is you take one bite to judge and you are given a box to take the rest home in.

if im not mistaking, i think those guys were refering to the seasonings and or richness of any indavidual group of ribs being "hard" to eat, not the amount that any judge had to eat.
phil

Kevin
01-09-2006, 07:19 PM
Charlie,

If you want to come down and hang with us during the Grill Kings event this coming year you are more than welcome. We always have plenty of libation and a good card game at night.

Phil,

We are also fairly new at this, and I can tell you that at our level, we are no more concearned with the wow factor, than the man in the moon. We are only concearned with making something good and edible. Something that is moist, tastes fairly good and looks half way decent. We are still green at this and at our level we are more concearned with learning than winning anything. If we are around for a few years and get alot of contests under our belt, maybe then we will worry about the wow factor. For right now this is a hobby. It's something we do for ****s and giggles. Most of the guys worrying about the wow factor are pros like Adam Perry Lang and Doc BBQ. If you are beginner like us, it is not even worth worrying about. Just go out, cook and have some fun. At last years Grill Kings we had a blast. The experience was great and so were the people we met and shared it with.

I try to stay out of this forum as I haven't competed "yet". But I seriously hope I can have your attitude my friend. That is exactly what I want to do.
July is the first for me. Non sanctioned with KCBS rules. I just wanna cook and have fun.

Sawdustguy
01-09-2006, 07:21 PM
They try to concentrate the flavors so that a judge is guaranteed a taste of what you intend in the first bite.

Solidkick
01-09-2006, 07:23 PM
if im not mistaking, i think those guys were refering to the seasonings and or richness of any indavidual group of ribs being "hard" to eat, not the amount that any judge had to eat.
phil

Yep....understand that....was just adding about the volume that goes before a judge....no way I could eat a slab of our competiton ribs, way too rich....

Sawdustguy
01-09-2006, 07:27 PM
Kevin,

My brother and I truely feel that way. Hey, what the hell do we know. We're just a couple of Fat Polocks, but we are experts at having fun.:biggrin:

BBQchef33
01-09-2006, 07:53 PM
lets put it in a different perspective.. How about playing darts...

sometimes your just tossing at the board, othertimes, your in a tournament and aiming for that bullseye... or shooting pool.. straight pool running the table with whatever shot is available.... or 9 ball, sequential and ultimately sinking the 9 ball. Both are fun.. one is a rush.

With BBQ....I cook at home 2 ways..

1 - the lazy way.. take the ribs or chicken or whatever, rinse, get some commercial rub right from a jar on the shelf, lay it on, throw it in the cookers with some kingsford and a few logs and cook it..use the door thermometer and an instant read.. what comes out is good BBQ. Our worst is better than somes best. You feed the family and wash the dishes when your done.

Then comes those days. the ones we plan 3 days in advance.. Those "Im cooking this weekend" days....

You mix your own rub with top shelf ingriedents, you trim the meat, you inject, marinade rub, rest it, go choose the wood from the pile, best logs, no bark, no moisture. Preheat the pit, get the probes out, fill the sprayer. The rub is a tweaked version of last week..... you added a touch more thyme, a little cinnamon.. a dab of dry rasberry.. your looking for something different.. while your cooking it, you noticing the difference in the smell of the rub coming from the chimney.. your watching the colors, the color of the smoke, the color of the meat.... and you jot down what u did in your log.
When they are perfect, you take them out, slice them evenly and when u serve them, you wait, feedback? critism?, moans of ecastacy?


Your family takes one bite and says.....'DAD, THIS IS BEST YOU EVER MADE".

You hit the bulls eye and sank the 9 ball... THATS THE WOW FACTOR.. they are your judges for that day.... u got them on the first bite...

and thats what your doing in a competition... just the judges arent friends and family... its still fun... and when it stops being fun, and becomes work, your either buned out, or time its to go back to grilling burgers for a while.

Kevin
01-09-2006, 08:08 PM
I like that. I do get it.

ThomEmery
01-09-2006, 08:10 PM
I Judged for the 1st time at the Rose Bowl. Just couldnt belive
1 How just a few turn ins REALLY were clearly above the rest
2 How average the rest of the pack was. I hope that isnt harsh
Great Q but not great Comp. Q
3 How you could get overwhelmed by so much BBQ.

rookiedad
01-09-2006, 08:30 PM
lets put it in a different perspective.. How about playing darts...

sometimes your just tossing at the board, othertimes, your in a tournament and aiming for that bullseye... or shooting pool.. straight pool running the table with whatever shot is available.... or 9 ball, sequential and ultimately sinking the 9 ball. Both are fun.. one is a rush.

With BBQ....I cook at home 2 ways..

1 - the lazy way.. take the ribs or chicken or whatever, rinse, get some commercial rub right from a jar on the shelf, lay it on, throw it in the cookers with some kingsford and a few logs and cook it..use the door thermometer and an instant read.. what comes out is good BBQ. Our worst is better than somes best. You feed the family and wash the dishes when your done.

Then comes those days. the ones we plan 3 days in advance.. Those "Im cooking this weekend" days....

You mix your own rub with top shelf ingriedents, you trim the meat, you inject, marinade rub, rest it, go choose the wood from the pile, best logs, no bark, no moisture. Preheat the pit, get the probes out, fill the sprayer. The rub is a tweaked version of last week..... you added a touch more thyme, a little cinnamon.. a dab of dry rasberry.. your looking for something different.. while your cooking it, you noticing the difference in the smell of the rub coming from the chimney.. your watching the colors, the color of the smoke, the color of the meat.... and you jot down what u did in your log.
When they are perfect, you take them out, slice them evenly and when u serve them, you wait, feedback? critism?, moans of ecastacy?


Your family takes one bite and says.....'DAD, THIS IS BEST YOU EVER MADE".

You hit the bulls eye and sank the 9 ball... THATS THE WOW FACTOR.. they are your judges for that day.... u got them on the first bite...

and thats what your doing in a competition... just the judges arent friends and family... its still fun... and when it stops being fun, and becomes work, your either buned out, or time its to go back to grilling burgers for a while.

Phil, thanks for your post. i fully understand this, and taking your words into consideration, and taking into consideration that an entry is supposed to be the BEST food you can possibly cook, i still don't understand why three competitors now state they would not be able to eat a full portion of their competition food. perhaps i am being hard headed, anyway the real reason i posted here was to get some pointers on actually making some of this richly seasoned competition food.
yesterday i made a sauce. i tried to increase the amount of spices that i added to the base, yet at the same time keep them balanced with reference to each other. i reduced the base until it was thick with the spice particles, then i strained it, resulting in an intensly flavorful sauce. any comments on this method?
phil

drbbq
01-10-2006, 07:01 AM
I've used a reduced sauce from time to time. But there's more to the package.

My comp ribs get a perfect trim, the get a heavy load of rub, with some extra sugar and cayenne to offset the saltiness of all that rub. They smoke for a while, then get wrapped with an distinctly flavored, intense secret mop, cook some more, then they get back to the grill and glazed with another BBQ sauce, probably kicked up, and finally adjusted for enough salt and maybe a little extra rub.

I would never do this at home, and rarely eat more than one or two. There's a bag of them in the fridge to give to the neighbors. The balance is the key though. If they get salty or sweet or hot, it doesn't work.

CharlieBeasley
01-10-2006, 07:17 AM
This is as good a time as any and I think on thread.

Dr BBQ has spoken and it is wise to listen! By the way he has a book out and it has a recipe for a GREAT rub and the Best Sauce I have ever made. Thanks Dr BBQ It was good to meet you and now I can not wait to see you again to thank you in person. I do not know how it would fair in competition but I snapped my families and friends eyes wide open with the sauce!

Good source for foundation information and good read as well! Thanks again~!

Jeff_in_KC
01-10-2006, 08:13 AM
I've used a reduced sauce from time to time. But there's more to the package.

My comp ribs get a perfect trim, the get a heavy load of rub, with some extra sugar and cayenne to offset the saltiness of all that rub. They smoke for a while, then get wrapped with an distinctly flavored, intense secret mop, cook some more, then they get back to the grill and glazed with another BBQ sauce, probably kicked up, and finally adjusted for enough salt and maybe a little extra rub.

I would never do this at home, and rarely eat more than one or two. There's a bag of them in the fridge to give to the neighbors. The balance is the key though. If they get salty or sweet or hot, it doesn't work.

Some great info there, Ray! Thanks! This is "copy and paste" material into my competition info notes. Every little nugget helps! :smile: While I don't cook as long, I tend to season my competition meat really similar to what I do at home. Until this thread, I hadn't really considered a big difference.

rookiedad
01-10-2006, 08:29 AM
i'm listening! thanks Dr. BBQ. your suggestions have given me direction in my preperation for competition. i'm kinda new to the idea of competition(only walked through grill kings) and did not have a reference point as to the difference between great q and great competition q. i am also enjoying your book. thanks again, and thanks to everyone who posted! you all have helped me out alot.
phil