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Brewmaster
03-17-2008, 09:55 PM
I'm thinking if I concentrate my efforts on the low hanging fruit it might improve my scores. Thanks for participating.

Cheers,

Nate

Edit: Maybe I wasn't clear on where I'm coming from. I know timing is important but, it will always change depending on a number of things like meat, climate, how much beer you drink, ect. What I'm looking for is help with my "constants", things that won't change like, wood, rub, sauce. These things don't change contest to contest. Which one of these "constants" do you think is most important to the scores "you" receive?

MilitantSquatter
03-17-2008, 10:06 PM
I think you forgot an important one that might be a first choice for a few

Time !!!!

Brewmaster
03-17-2008, 10:10 PM
When you say "time" do you mean low and slow or do you mean timing your turn in?

Nate

MilitantSquatter
03-17-2008, 10:12 PM
More about timing your meats for when they go on and come off the grates, cooler/rest time etc.

Brewmaster
03-17-2008, 10:20 PM
I agree timing is important to your score but, I'm looking for more physical items that are constant.

Cheers,

Nate

BBQ Grail
03-18-2008, 12:18 AM
Timing in Lucky underwear!

TOPS BBQ
03-18-2008, 12:32 AM
It's all in the wood, baby!

Rookie'48
03-18-2008, 12:32 AM
I voted to get the best quality meat that you can afford, but then I don't compete. I figure that buying cheap meat & putting your best rub & sauce on it is kinda like putting lipstick on a pig.

cmcadams
03-18-2008, 06:29 AM
Well, the idea of barbecue is to take cheap meat and make it something great. I think the most important thing is a mix of things that come down to experience/know-how/feel... The cook more than the ingredients.

River City Smokehouse
03-18-2008, 07:27 AM
IMO, I think the quality of the meat sometimes plays a large part in overall scores. Maybe it's the quantity of the fat in the meat that makes it better. Fat=Flavor & Moisture

YankeeBBQ
03-18-2008, 08:21 AM
I have to agree with Vinny about the timing or cooking process, it's way more important than anything you have listed. I've done well with different rubs, sauces, woods, marinades, cookers, meats and I don't own any lucky underwear(though I've been thinking of buying some of those magic mormon underwear (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsXzHLiHTOU)).

This is the hardest thing to teach people really. There is no secret ingredient or magic cooker. It's all about the timing....

acorette
03-18-2008, 09:14 AM
All of it. More about the process that you follow than the equipment tho IMO.

Other influences - weather (temp, air speed and direction) Timing (marinade/rub, when to put on, take off, wrap or not and how long) temperature and it's intended changes and inadvertent fluctuations... What you are drinking affects your product too....

Cooking has many levers that you can adjust - each has plusses and minuses. When the planets align and everything goes well, you get great Q.

Too many factors to narrow it down to one or two key ones. Practice, practice, practice. Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. Try pulling all the levers and learn what works and what doesn't. That's what it's all about in my book.

Podge
03-18-2008, 09:17 AM
Meat Quality is most important.

Bigmista
03-18-2008, 09:25 AM
I'd like to think that meat quality and smoke flavor or an exciting rub were the really important things but when it comes down to it, it's a sauce contest.

Try turning in a really well cooked piece of quallity meat with no sauce and see how you score. It ain't pretty but that's the fact, Jack.

smokincracker
03-18-2008, 09:28 AM
Leave out apperance, what item is the most influential in the outcome of your score?

That's easy (TENDERNESS)
A #1 The food can taste awsome but if its not tender you failed.
Yep Tenderness!!!!
Tenderness is the hardest thing to make just right.

Podge
03-18-2008, 10:24 AM
I'd like to think that meat quality and smoke flavor or an exciting rub were the really important things but when it comes down to it, it's a sauce contest.

Try turning in a really well cooked piece of quallity meat with no sauce and see how you score. It ain't pretty but that's the fact, Jack.

well, you have a good point there. but put some great sauce on a slab of bronto sow ribs and see how it scores too.

the best sauces, rubs, cooking times, temps, smoke, etc.. all go out the window when you have a crappy piece of meat to begin with. I think it can matter from 1st place to 10th place.

TOPS BBQ
03-18-2008, 10:47 AM
Try turning in a really well cooked piece of quallity meat with no sauce and see how you score. It ain't pretty but that's the fact, Jack.

This is a bunch of bullchit!:mad: But true.:cry:

My chicken scores were always at the end of the pack and one contest all I did was dunk the finished product into a bowl of sauce, let it set and turned it in. Amazingly, I took a walk.:shock: Just embarassing.:icon_smil

BTW - I didn't use a commercial sauce, I made it.

Bigmista
03-18-2008, 12:32 PM
This is a bunch of bullchit!:mad: But true.:cry:

My chicken scores were always at the end of the pack and one contest all I did was dunk the finished product into a bowl of sauce, let it set and turned it in. Amazingly, I took a walk.:shock: Just embarassing.:icon_smil

BTW - I didn't use a commercial sauce, I made it.

It's a sad fact but lots of folks (judges included) don't think it's BBQ if it doesn't have sauce.

ique
03-18-2008, 12:46 PM
Try turning in a really well cooked piece of quallity meat with no sauce and see how you score.

By the same token though saucing up a poorly cooked piece of meat doesn't work either.

There is no secret ingredient or magic cooker. It's all about the timing....

Yup, temp/timing and being able to consistently reproduce your results.

watg?
03-18-2008, 01:00 PM
I find it interesting that 6 cooks chose "lucky underware". Being a newbie myself, I think I had better add that one to my list, as I had not given it much thought in the past. I guess it all goes back to attention to detail.:lol:

butts a fire
03-18-2008, 01:28 PM
I had to vote for Sauce.

Because depending on which cut of meat you are cooking I think the meat can be more important. But for chicken at least in my experience a thigh is a thigh. And butts pretty much the same thing but for brisket the quality matters a lot and same goes for ribs.

Injection works for most but I wouldn't waste my time injecting ribs.

I think rubs are very important especially on chicken but if it is not pared with the correct sauce then it won't taste good.

For sauce you can cook something completely unseasoned or with just S&P and put a good sauce with it and you are good.

I think what it really comes down to flavor wise is the combination of everything, you have to have a good flavor profile. If you can get that down you will be in the money more often than not.

Podge
03-18-2008, 06:50 PM
I had to vote for Sauce.

Because depending on which cut of meat you are cooking I think the meat can be more important. But for chicken at least in my experience a thigh is a thigh. And butts pretty much the same thing but for brisket the quality matters a lot and same goes for ribs.
.

Once I took an interest in thigh producers, i seem to like some brands better than others. It's worth looking at. Butts are the same way. some brands of butts are of a more consistent quality.

CTSmokehouse
03-18-2008, 10:16 PM
By the same token though saucing up a poorly cooked piece of meat doesn't work either.



Yup, temp/timing and being able to consistently reproduce your results.

Amen...it is not about what you put on it or in it .. but how it is cooked.. if you cook it perfectly, the judges will know ... and you will be rewarded!

just my humble opinion..

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff

The_Kapn
03-18-2008, 10:49 PM
Amen...it is not about what you put on it or in it .. but how it is cooked.. if you cook it perfectly, the judges will know ... and you will be rewarded!

just my humble opinion..

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff

Leave out apperance, what item is the most influential in the outcome of your score?

That's easy (TENDERNESS)
A #1 The food can taste awsome but if its not tender you failed.
Yep Tenderness!!!!
Tenderness is the hardest thing to make just right.

Amen to Cliff and Jimmy!

We have found no "Silver Bullet" :lol:

We have always scored/placed much better in KCBS than FBA.
Same basic entries.
The difference is that KCBS weighs Taste twice as high as Tenderness.
FBA weighs them the same.
We have always had good taste, but we have chased tenderness all over the scale until recently.

IMHO--if we do not hit tenderness "right on", it really kills off the total score.

Just a thought.

TIM