View Full Version : Mim

08-10-2009, 08:47 PM
Looking for a little Memphis help...

I've been cooking KCBS for five years now and have done well...I'm cooking ribs as a "guest" in Charlotte (a MIM contest) this year. Are the judges looking for anything different? Please share...I've been told that they will be looking for something super sweet and falling off the bone?

Please advise...Thanks in advance


08-11-2009, 04:46 PM
I think you will find MIM advice hard to come by here or anywhere else on the WWW.
Several reasons for that, none of which I can articulate here and stand behind. :oops:

I have "dish washed" for a major player in the MIM world and all I can offer is-----they seem to like it all SWEET and LOTS OF MEAT in the box.:lol:
Is that true or not???--I do not know.

We have some Brothers who are MIM folks---QN??--maybe others.

I hope they will give ya better advice.


The Turk
08-11-2009, 05:11 PM
I have talked to the Reverend Randy Twyford and he was a MIM finalist in his first contest at Mike Mills contest. I think (conversation after liqour) he turned in ribs just like he cooks KCBS. If you cook good scoring ribs in KCBS why change too much. Remember 40 percent of the score is on site so get a used car salesmans guide and study it and talk the game. If you have ever seen the MIM on TV you'll probably have seen Myron Mixon who can cook with the best of them and He describes his Hog better than Most! As his partner Dobie said, who would you buy a car from, Myron.

08-11-2009, 09:11 PM
I think you mean the "Blues, Brews & BBQ" Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) contest in Charlotte coming up this September; MIM typically no longer sanctions contests outside of Memphis in May. Overall, there isn't a lot of difference in the type of ribs to cook; what you use for KCBS should be fine. Somewhat sweet, maybe; fall-off-the-bone, yes! But the thing you might want to remember is that MBN judging is comparative - in other words, the judges are looking for the best BBQ they've had that day, not necessarily how the BBQ stands up to an ideal.

Be sure to put a LOT of meat in your blind box, and arrange it neatly. I know I always like the fuller boxes. Lots of times, the ribs will be cut into portions with 2 bones in each, so a blind judge can pull them apart and see the easiness of separation; I've had one contest rep tell me it's not required that the ribs be cut that way and another tell me that they MUST be.

And yes, part of your score has to do with how a judge scores your team on onsite presentation...so keep your site good & clean & get that used car salesman's guide!


Meat Burner
08-11-2009, 10:59 PM
I am real confused now!!!!

08-12-2009, 07:46 AM
Heres a little bit of help, First MIM/MBN is almost 100% baby back ribs as the choice to turn in, turn in St. Louis style and you most likely will finish in the back of the pack. Second, The blind box should be full with ribs, MIM judges like to "test" the ribs by pulling between the bones, building a box would typically include single and double cut ribs layered front to back, almost like a mini pyramid, remember to fill the box. Third, MIM judges do like the ribs cooked longer than KCBS, i would catagorize them as falling off the bone if compared to KCBS, you have remember that baby backs have less meat and do not bite like st. louis style, you are when tasting a baby back taking more than one bite. Fourth, The flavor profile varies across the south, the ribs tend to be on the sweet side with thin, not thick final glaze, applied on all sides. The biggest part of the deal is how you present at the onsite, the more you hype up the procedure, the cooker, the wood and your talent as a cook, the better. its all about being a salesman, Having cooked with Myron, i can tell you that the onsite is the key. hope this helps.

Lake Dogs
08-12-2009, 01:20 PM
< certified MIM/MBN Judge.

Baby Backs. I've never seen anything else make it past initial table. Never.

Each rib "section" should have at least 2 bones; most put 3 to 5 bones. We have
to pull it apart. It should pull apart cleanly with only a slight resistance. It should
not be mushy, but they should, in essence, alllllmost fall apart. The bone should turn
white. MINIMUM 5 sections of ribs in the box. I think most find that 4 bones, 6
sections fits tight, fills up the box, and gives PLENTY for the judges to fiddle with...

The best scoring ribs, with very little argument from other judges, are not sauced.

I wouldn't pre-suppose sweetness or not. Use your rub; the one you enjoy best.
If it's sweet, great. If it's not; great. My personal favorite isn't nearly as sweet
as most, and leans on the black and red pepper flavors.

Myron is VERY VERY VERY good (I've judged him 3 times onsite). 40&#37; of the
judging is on-site. HOWEVER, the sales
pitch itself has very little to do with it. Just have something to say about your
cooker, the meat, the wood, etc. and make it last for about 10 minutes. MAINLY,
the onsite piece, is about 1) cleanliness and 2) the meat. The team should all be
neat (themselves) and clean. If not, get them OUT of there. Presentation is
helpful, but mainly its cleanliness. A neat/clean place with Q served on chinette will
do better than a great salesman whose area isnt clean served on fine china (Q being
the same).

Realistically, 13 minutes is about all you have with each of the 3 judges onsite.
DO NOT talk forever. Get in there, tell your story while you're showing them the
cooker and wood, and get them seated with Q in their face quickly. They should
be seated no more than 5 minutes into your speil. Give them the remainder of
the time to smell your BBQ, pull it apart, squeeze it for tenderness, watch the bone
turn white, and then enjoy the rib. Talk to them and finish your story while they're
eating. However, silence during this time can be a good thing. Dont feel the need
to be bothersome; especially dont require for them to respond. Let 'em eat. :-)

If you present a sauce with the meat, the judge HAS to take it into account. No
choice. Many a good Q is scored down because the sauce didn't compliment the
meat. FYI: A sauce that wins a sauce contest, 95% of the time, will overpower
good pork (whether ribs or shoulder etc). Unless you're just DARNED CERTAIN
that your sauce is the greatest thing since sliced bread and doesn't overpower the
meat, and only compliments the wonderful BBQ meat flavor, then I'd skip it. I dont
know of any that I've ever had where the sauce increased the score of the meat.
Some keep it the same, but most reduce the score.

DO NOT FORGET to remove the membrane before cooking. Remember, they need to
pull apart cleanly and easily, with only the slightest of resistance.

My wife and I both judge MIM and MBN; we compete in GBA, FBA, and KCBS.

Best of luck.

08-12-2009, 05:48 PM
Great stuff! Thanks for the advise!


08-12-2009, 08:12 PM
that was a bunch of great information, thanks for the input.....I am sure that more than one person will get some stuff from it....

Lake Dogs
08-13-2009, 07:16 AM
MIM/MBN Scoring is also a little different. It is on a 1-10 scale, but frankly if you
turn it in and it doesnt make it to the table, that's a 6. If it's a spitter, or cant even
be put in the mouth (that bad, and YES I've had a few that I wouldnt take home for
my dog), that's a 7. 8 generally is "ok", but not going to win anything. 9; very good,
good competition Q. 10 is the best that you have that day. In tiny cookoffs, you
have to give someone on your table a 10, whether they're all 8's or not. Enforcement
of this 10 varies, but it is supposed to be enforced.

What this means though is that point variance doesnt come into play nearly as much
as other scoring systems. Frankly, it's genius. This way, if say I love your Q and give
it a 9, but another guy doesn't like it nearly as much, he'll give it an 8. In other's
scoring systems, I might have given you the 9, and he might have given you a 5.
When those scores are totaled, he'd have killed you. Not in MIM/MBN. Honestly,
this is the best way (minimize variance) to determine the overall Q that is judged to
be the best.

Also, I've heard a LOT over the years about onsite allowing judges to be impartial,
etc. Frankly, I've never seen a Q that wasnt DAMN GOOD make it to the finals
table; NEVER. What I've seen is that the best teams also tend to turn out the best
Q. It just works that way. Experience counts. However, a new team that has a
clue, understands onsite is about cleanliness and getting that great Q in the face
of the judge, and having enough Q for initial turn-in, 3 on-sites, and another turn-in
for finals table, well... They can do very well too.

Some judges are better than others. It just happens this way. A good judge should
be somewhat stoic and emotionless. Do not get disappointed. A good judge should
be listening (not asking questions) to your speil, and frankly looking very critically at
your site. CLEAN IT. Q can get very messy. Wipe everything down. Put out a new
or fresh table cloth (the vinyl ones are fine and very easy to clean). YOUR clothing
says a lot. Mind you, we all know we've been sweating behind a hot cooker... So,
have fresh shirts set aside. Put them on 15 minutes before onsite starts. Put on new
or fresh aprons (they can hide a few sins). Work area neatly arranged, but mainly
CLEAN. Have them sit at a table after you've done your speil at the cooker. Bring
the Q over on a plate of some type. Have a new bottle of water there for them on
the table (allows and helps them to cleanse their palat). I've seen everything from
fine china to the cheapest of paper plates. Neither score differently, but frankly
a good sturdy chinette paper plate supports the Q well. Some like to display a sample
of their rub on the table. Some do; some dont. I personally like to smell it; some like
to taste it just a little. The rub, for a judge, is completely options. However, as I
stated earlier, if you present a sauce, it MUST be judged with the meat. I've had
a few occasions where it complemented the meat wonderfully and ended up scoring
the same as it would have without the sauce. Otherwise, for at least 50&#37; of them,
the sauce just didnt compliment the meat (for whatever reason), and it took points
away. Resist the urge! We've ALL been there.

You may like a mustard sauce, and I may like a vinegar sauce, and the woman next
to me might like a sweet tomato sauce. I suggest letting the Q sell itself.

Best of luck; take home the championship!!!!

I hope some of this helped.

08-13-2009, 07:44 AM
that was 2 very informative posts, thanks for taking the time and thoughtfullness to give your insight....

Hot Racks and BBQ Stacks
08-13-2009, 08:02 AM
Well Said,, Lake Dog,,,Thanks

08-13-2009, 08:05 AM
Thanks for the info Lake Dogs! Fortunately for me the team that I will be cooking with has placed in the finals for hog and shoulders several times so they must do well with the on site judging. They just don't time to mess with the ribs...that's where I come. I'll certainly review and learn from the information that you have provided and see what happens.


Lake Dogs
08-13-2009, 08:05 AM
You're very welcome. You guys have been helpful to me as well. As I stated, I judge
MIM and MBN, but I enjoy competing a few times each year in KCBS, FBA, GBA competitions. Honestly, I'm still learning brisket. Judging MIM/MBN really helped me
with the pork, and I've scored no worse than 3rd with by shoulder/butt and rib
entries, but my brisket needs work... :-) That, and I'd really like to sit in on the
judging of a pork loin category....