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View Full Version : Help me point my pork in the right direction


Kirk
06-16-2008, 09:18 PM
But first, this is not Woodpile so that being said,

I could really use a some input on a flavor profile for my pork entries. This is the one category that I really have no idea what the judges are looking for.

I have been using a fairly common injection (AJ, wooster...,), Head Country rub which is somewhat salty (but flavorful) and finishing with a sauce that's similar to Head Country but with just a bit more vinegar and just a little extra heat too. So far it's been good for mid pack results.

I'm not asking anyone to give me their recipes but I was just wondering what some of you are doing with your entries. I know that traditional vinegar, salt and hot pepper treatments won't do well in comps but I can't see something sickeningly sweet like many rib entries doing well for pork either.

What do you think might be better? Introducing fruity or possibly more savory flavors? Salty? Tangy? What do you think?

TIA, Kirk.

Sledneck
06-16-2008, 09:33 PM
How about some Blues Hog Tennessee Red sauce

Plowboy
06-16-2008, 09:35 PM
But first, this is not Woodpile so that being said,

I could really use a some input on a flavor profile for my pork entries. This is the one category that I really have no idea what the judges are looking for.

I have been using a fairly common injection (AJ, wooster...,), Head Country rub which is somewhat salty (but flavorful) and finishing with a sauce that's similar to Head Country but with just a bit more vinegar and just a little extra heat too. So far it's been good for mid pack results.

I'm not asking anyone to give me their recipes but I was just wondering what some of you are doing with your entries. I know that traditional vinegar, salt and hot pepper treatments won't do well in comps but I can't see something sickeningly sweet like many rib entries doing well for pork either.

What do you think might be better? Introducing fruity or possibly more savory flavors? Salty? Tangy? What do you think?

TIA, Kirk.

Is it strictly your flavor scores that are hurting? What about tenderness and appearance?

Kirk
06-16-2008, 09:38 PM
How about some Blues Hog Tennessee Red sauce

I have some but I haven't tried it yet. Honestly, I forgot I had it. I have a coupla butts in the fridge that I did yesterday, I'll give it a try on them. Thanks.

Oh BTW, I never did wish you a happy b'day last weekend so happy belated!

Kirk
06-16-2008, 09:42 PM
Is it strictly your flavor scores that are hurting? What about tenderness and appearance?
They're improving but could still be better. I was over shredding the meat to the point where it looked like one homologous mass with some pieces of bark here and there and I don't think it was tender enough. This last time I used choice pieces from the money end and left them as pretty good sized pieces. We went from the bottom 1/4 of the field to dead in the middle so I guess it was an improvement.

MilitantSquatter
06-16-2008, 10:12 PM
Kirk - I think you're on the right track about not serving a bile pile of shredded pork that looks like wet cat food. That stuff tastes great on a bun with cole slaw but doesn't give the judges a good chance to get an idea of texture.. I've always said it's kind of like you've pre-chewed it for them.

Here's some things to consider

1) Try an injection like Butchers BBQ Pork or Fab-P. Personally I can't stand this stuff for my own consumption and don't eat more than one bite when doing the boxes but the judges seem to love it and I've used it successfully. Consider adding a small amount of rub to your injections too. If you want to stay away from these two injections for whatever reason, then I think your injection is on the right path.. Inject as much fluid as you can and then inject it some more.

2) Add some liquid to the foil (if you foil). Might be a mix of juice and vinegar, thinned out sauce etc. to add some moisture and additional flavor

3) Try a different rub.. Personally I'm not a fan of Head Country Rub and don't see that as being great for pork. I really enjoy head Country sauce though... Lots of good rubs out there. Keep it basic... A little sweet, a little salt and a little heat.

4) Don't oversauce.. Thin it out a bit more.

5) Stick with the best parts of the butt/shoulder.. Stay away from the center and the whiter colored meat. Get the best mix of softer bark pieces and money muscle etc.

6) Check taste and add some additional flavor at the end depending what is needed - could be a shot of vinegar, a dash or salt, a shake of rub, or a spritz of bottled butter etc.)

7) Review what wood and charcoal you are using... May be too strong.

ique
06-16-2008, 10:24 PM
I'd say you are on the right track with not shredding it. It can then turn into mush and the only flavors that stand out are only the sauce and rub. Prepare large chunks or slices and I think the judges can then also taste pork and you'll score better.

Kirk
06-16-2008, 10:52 PM
I'd say you are on the right track with not shredding it...
Thanks Chris. I figured shredding it was a mistake for the reasons you mentioned. One of these days I will have to try slicing. Never done it. I thought it best just to learn one thing at a time. With only 3 KCBS comps under our belts, the learning curve's been pretty steep.

Vinny, thanks for such a thorough post. Good stuff which I'd like to address one point at a time.
1) Try an injection like Butchers BBQ Pork or Fab-P...
We've talked so much about Fab B but nobody's ever really mentioned P. I'd like to stay away from it but I'm not sure why. Seems like something a purist would avoid but we all know what a purist's attitude will get you in a comp. I agree that injecting the chit out of your pork is the way to go though.

2) Add some liquid to the foil (if you foil)...
Excellent tip. We do it for our briskets, why not for the pork?

3) Try a different rub...

We actually have one of our own that I like a lot, like what you mentioned and a little savory too. I went away from it though because we did so poorly in pork at previous comps. I'm starting think the rub wasn't the biggest part of our problem...

4) Don't oversauce.. Thin it out a bit more.
Agreed. I hate thick sauce blanketing the meat. How are you supposed to taste anything through that? I look at sauce as a seasoning, not a smothering.

5) Stick with the best parts of the butt/shoulder...
I employed this tactic at Yardley. Cooked 4 butts instead of our usual two so I had more good stuff to pick from. Definately worthwile.

6) Check taste and add some additional flavor at the end depending what is needed...
This is so obvious but in the panic to get your entry together, I could see how you'd forget to actually taste what you're turning in. I did that for every entry of our first two comps. I can't believe we did as well as we did. Good basic advice there.


7) Review what wood and charcoal you are using... May be too strong.
Again, good basic advice. We're using straight hickory and I've always tried to err on the lighter side with smoke. I use 2 , maybe 3 fist sized chunks in my WSM with some up high to burn first, some in the middle and not so much toward the bottom. I figure by the time we're into the bottom of the coals, the meat's going to be foiled anyway.

Thanks for the responses guys. Looking forward to any and all input the rest of you might have.

Big George's BBQ
06-17-2008, 07:34 AM
I was at Yardly and we did our best ever in Pork. My team still likes to shred it. I did get them to put in some large pieces that had bark and smoke ring on them

Kirk
06-17-2008, 09:03 AM
I was at Yardly and we did our best ever in Pork...
Congrats. We were 26th or 27th in pork. Unfortunately, that was our best to date. I'm really hoping for more improvement between now and New Holland.

YankeeBBQ
06-17-2008, 09:30 AM
Drive the 20 minutes from Langhorne to Warminster and take my class on the 28th :lol:

Kirk
06-17-2008, 11:09 AM
I'd love to take your class Steve, but my money's just going in too many directions right now. Can I just get in for just
the pork part? :-D

Scottie
06-17-2008, 11:09 AM
Ah, the code...

I am now going out to get something to drink. As I am thirsty. Damn avatar...

Kirk
06-17-2008, 12:15 PM
Ah, the code...
Not sure what you mean Scottie.

When I get home tonight I'll post our scores from Yardley to see if that tells you guys anything about what we're doing.

YankeeBBQ
06-17-2008, 12:35 PM
Not sure what you mean Scottie.

When I get home tonight I'll post our scores from Yardley to see if that tells you guys anything about what we're doing.

Scottie was busting me with the code thing it's from another forum.

Scottie
06-17-2008, 01:34 PM
Here I thought it was World famous... 8-)

Big Ugly's BBQ
06-18-2008, 07:27 AM
Have you ever tried to brine your butt before putting on the rub? We have had some success with making a brine with molasses. It doesn't have to be in there for too long, couple of hours tops.