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View Full Version : How many pre trim prior to the comp


Goddahavit
05-18-2010, 09:47 AM
Hello again, all, I finally finished my first comp, and boy what an experience.

As I was sweating several body parts off, I noticed several things, not the lest of which is I was not the only person prepping, but I was not nearly as relaxed as others, especially the ones walking around with beverages...jealous Mod....

It was a lot of work to set up the spot, ezup, tents etc, and then prep.
Of course a nice trailer would solve this issue, but unfortunately that isn't going to happen.

So how many trim prior to arriving on site? It seems that would save me quite a bit of time.

RobKC
05-18-2010, 09:53 AM
Congrats on your first contest! You'll find the setup and teardown will become routine after a few more comps.

I try to get everything trimmed at home, especially chicken.

Alexa RnQ
05-18-2010, 10:00 AM
We're also a team that has to set up and tear down with each contest (popups and WSMs), and we've done it both ways. We started out pretrimming. Then as our schedule got heavier, sometimes there just wasn't time -- until it practically became routine to do trimming at the venue.

We've tried hard to make time to have pretrimming done again. Especially with chicken, I'd SO much rather have it handled in a sanitary, controlled environment instead of field conditions.

KC_Bobby
05-18-2010, 10:02 AM
On this forum, I'd say a high majority trim what they can before arriving at the comp. My team is my brother and I, we're probably in the minority here as we only trim chicken prior to leaving for a comp. We find that chicken is the most time consuming and frankly a pain in the arse, so I do it at home so I can give it time without being in a hurry.

I prep our chicken and pork and my brother does brisket and ribs - therefore, I only have to trim on site is pork and that's easy. If I were in charge of all 4 meats, I'd prep chicken and brisket at home for sure and spares if time allowed to do at home.

Divemaster
05-18-2010, 10:09 AM
I've got all of my meats trimmed and packaged for the next 3 comps.....

Jeff_in_KC
05-18-2010, 10:15 AM
Trim everything at home always... unless circumstances prevent it.

Balls Casten
05-18-2010, 10:22 AM
chicken, absolutly. The rest kind of varies with our travel schedule. If we are arriving early. I'd prefer to have something to do. (otherwise I drink too much) Or if we are short on help. I'll try to get done a head of time.

moocow
05-18-2010, 10:34 AM
It depends on how much time we have!! We(Vern) always trim chicken on Saturday morning. We have had it go bad a few times and would hate to waste our time trimming just to have to do it again.

KC_Bobby
05-18-2010, 10:49 AM
Go bad? Do you keep it in your trailer fridge or in an ice packed cooler? Even though we have a fridge, I keep the chicken packed in ice until it's time to season it.

moocow
05-18-2010, 12:29 PM
Go bad? Do you keep it in your trailer fridge or in an ice packed cooler? Even though we have a fridge, I keep the chicken packed in ice until it's time to season it.
This was before we had the fridge in the trailer. It was in ice but who knows anything could have happened. If you trim the morning of the cook and your chicken gets warm while you are doing it in won't mater as you will be cooking it shortly. Just my opinion.

Divemaster
05-18-2010, 12:31 PM
If I have time (like before the season starts) I'll trim my chicken and then put it in my deep freezer (-20*), then it goes directly to my cooler (still frozen) with the rest of the meat (defrosted) and ice, then to the top of the cambro we use to for our raw meat along with an hotel pan of ice to defrost and keep the rest of the meat cold.

I've yet to have any of my meats go bad. In fact, I've had a couple of slabs of ribs that I've taken back while trimming that I would have been screwed if I had taken to a comp untrimmed....

slowerlowerbbq
05-18-2010, 12:46 PM
Chicken definitely. I will be spending a late night tomorrow night (after work and after my daughter's school concert) trimming up thighs into the wee hours for our comp this weekend. Normally, when time permits, I will trim the other meats at home as well. It's just so much better to do this in a controlled environment like your kitchen than outside where you're not sure what you're going to have to deal with. But I got the briskets and my partner does the butts and ribs, so if we trim on-site those aren't too bad.

We have the same setup you do, EZups, tables and such. After a few comps, you'll get into the groove of what you need to do and setup/breakdown will get easier. Just dont forget to have FUN!

butts a fire
05-18-2010, 01:04 PM
I am in the minority here but we do not trim anything before going to a comp. The only thing that I would think about doing ahead of time is the chicken but I find that I have plenty of time to trim it and everything else at the contest.

We also only use ez-ups ect in comps you will find that set up is easier everytime you do it.

Big George's BBQ
05-18-2010, 01:38 PM
When I do a Comp I prefer to pre trim

BBQchef33
05-18-2010, 02:53 PM
i havent bretriimed in 6 years,,

then this year i did.. chicken and brisket.


What a huge time relief... I will be trimming at home from here on out./

MattG
05-18-2010, 02:56 PM
The few that we have done we pre-trimmed also.

Mustang Sally
05-18-2010, 03:26 PM
My cooking partner and I split up brisket/chcken and ribs/butts. I always do my butts/ribs at home. They slip nicely into a zip lock bag, back in the fridge overnight and ready to go the next morning. My partner tries to get the chicken done at home and if he runs out of time does the brisket at the contest.

Smitty250
05-18-2010, 05:39 PM
We pre-trim everything. I do chicken and ribs and my partner does pork and brisket. Gives us more beer drinkin' time!!

tonto1117
05-18-2010, 06:41 PM
Also try to get everything done at home....especially Chicken!!!

Smokesman
05-18-2010, 06:58 PM
i havent bretriimed in 6 years,,

then this year i did.. chicken and brisket.


What a huge time relief... I will be trimming at home from here on out./

Clarification needed:

KCBS 2010 Rules - Paragraph 7, Line 3 & 4 - "Cooking shall not begin until the competition meat has been inspected by the Official Meat Inspector. All competition meat shall start out raw."

To me the word "cooking" is a fairly ambiguous word for a rather important rule. Cooking can either be (1) the process of preparing a meal for consumption or (2) simply the application of heat to a single or particular food item. So if applied broadly then removal from packaging and prep of any sort could constitute a DQ. If cooking is taken as the application of heat then prep/trimming is fine as long as no seasoning has been applied.

Judging from the comments in this thread it is apparent that cooking as far as KCBS rules are concerned is the application of heat. However, does anyone know if this question has ever been addressed or clarified? Has anyone heard of DQ's because some inspector/rep had a hair up their arse and applied the broad term?

JD McGee
05-18-2010, 07:08 PM
Always...well...I don't...that's swamprb's job...:twisted:...but yes...we trim our briskets and chicken. We also open the cryovacs on the butts and ribs to check for spoilage just so there are no surprises when we get to the comp. :cool: Good luck! :becky:

Vince RnQ
05-19-2010, 12:24 AM
We've tried hard to make time to have pretrimming done again. Especially with chicken, I'd SO much rather have it handled in a sanitary, controlled environment instead of field conditions.

:becky::becky: I'd SO much rather you be the one who actually trims the chicken! :becky::becky:

There are a lot of jobs to be done in order to get ready for a contest but the one I truly hate is trimming the damn chicken!

Divemaster
05-19-2010, 08:48 AM
Clarification needed:

KCBS 2010 Rules - Paragraph 7, Line 3 & 4 - "Cooking shall not begin until the competition meat has been inspected by the Official Meat Inspector. All competition meat shall start out raw."

To me the word "cooking" is a fairly ambiguous word for a rather important rule. Cooking can either be (1) the process of preparing a meal for consumption or (2) simply the application of heat to a single or particular food item. So if applied broadly then removal from packaging and prep of any sort could constitute a DQ. If cooking is taken as the application of heat then prep/trimming is fine as long as no seasoning has been applied.

Judging from the comments in this thread it is apparent that cooking as far as KCBS rules are concerned is the application of heat. However, does anyone know if this question has ever been addressed or clarified? Has anyone heard of DQ's because some inspector/rep had a hair up their arse and applied the broad term?

Actually, based on your logic, if you used a homemade rub or sauce, you couldn't use it in a comp either unless they were made on site. I know that I'm taking it to an extreme but I've seen way to many of Skips 'Parted Pork Threads'.

The rules say nothing about pre-trimming, only what types of meat and for pork, that it must be over 5 pounds, and that it can not be pre-seasoned

Scottie
05-19-2010, 08:54 AM
:becky::becky: I'd SO much rather you be the one who actually trims the chicken! :becky::becky:

There are a lot of jobs to be done in order to get ready for a contest but the one I truly hate is trimming the damn chicken!


I started something new this season. I pre-trimmed for 12 contests the last month or so.. Cryovaced, frozen and am ready to rock. I am in a sick way starting to like trimming chicken. I know I don't have to mess with them the week of a contest anymore...

Smokesman
05-19-2010, 09:06 PM
Actually, based on your logic, if you used a homemade rub or sauce, you couldn't use it in a comp either unless they were made on site. I know that I'm taking it to an extreme but I've seen way to many of Skips 'Parted Pork Threads'.

The rules say nothing about pre-trimming, only what types of meat and for pork, that it must be over 5 pounds, and that it can not be pre-seasoned


Yes in the broad term you would be correct. Why I asked for a clarification.

"...way to many of Skips 'Parted Pork Threads'." - sorry not following?

Why doesn't the rule say anything about pre-trimming - written more specific? Different reps/inspectors could interpret the rule differently.

I know I'm not the only one confused by the rule.

Alexa RnQ
05-19-2010, 09:21 PM
Reps don't interpret that ruling differently because it's been standing practice, although I couldn't tell you exactly when and how it was originally determined and disseminated.

Sometimes inexperienced inspectors are confused on this point; we had one such experience, where the rep kindly furthered the inspector's education. Since then, we've carried a KCBS rules printout with us, but haven't run across that particular problem again.

Whenever you have any question about rule interpretation, the rep at the contest you will be at is your best source, as they will be able to tell you exactly how it will be applied at that contest, straight from the horse's mouth.

Smokesman
05-19-2010, 10:53 PM
Reps don't interpret that ruling differently because it's been standing practice, although I couldn't tell you exactly when and how it was originally determined and disseminated.

Sometimes inexperienced inspectors are confused on this point; we had one such experience, where the rep kindly furthered the inspector's education. Since then, we've carried a KCBS rules printout with us, but haven't run across that particular problem again.

Whenever you have any question about rule interpretation, the rep at the contest you will be at is your best source, as they will be able to tell you exactly how it will be applied at that contest, straight from the horse's mouth.

That makes sense. Thanks so much!

swamprb
05-20-2010, 09:42 PM
In a perverse way I too have come to enjoy pre-trimming chicken.
But to have 12 comps worth bagged and ready to rock is another story. I guess I gotta put my game face on get elbow deep in thighs!

trueque
05-21-2010, 07:04 AM
The teams I have visited and befriended do not pre-trim and I was not planning on doing it either. Seems like there is enough time Friday afternoon and evening to get everything done necessary onsite.

Don't the meat inspectors want to see tight cryovac or packaging as a sign of no tampering with the meat before hand?

KillerHogs
05-21-2010, 11:23 AM
I always trim chicken and ribs at home prior to the contest. Brisket and Butts aren't that bad to do on site.

CivilWarBBQ
05-21-2010, 12:50 PM
If I find myself trimming chicken onsite, something has gone terribly wrong.

Unfortunately, it has happened more than once.

Do all you can before you arrive - preparation makes contests much more enjoyable!

Smokesman
05-21-2010, 01:01 PM
Reps don't interpret that ruling differently because it's been standing practice, although I couldn't tell you exactly when and how it was originally determined and disseminated.

Sometimes inexperienced inspectors are confused on this point; we had one such experience, where the rep kindly furthered the inspector's education. Since then, we've carried a KCBS rules printout with us, but haven't run across that particular problem again.

Whenever you have any question about rule interpretation, the rep at the contest you will be at is your best source, as they will be able to tell you exactly how it will be applied at that contest, straight from the horse's mouth.

The teams I have visited and befriended do not pre-trim and I was not planning on doing it either. Seems like there is enough time Friday afternoon and evening to get everything done necessary onsite.

Don't the meat inspectors want to see tight cryovac or packaging as a sign of no tampering with the meat before hand?

Rule #7 is confusing and ambiguous!

Diva - rereading your reply the only problem is if you have pre-trimmed in the past w/o problem then you wouldn't ask the rep for guidance beforehand. Being questioned about trimming during inspection could potentially be to late if the rep and inspector (sometimes the same person) were in agreement.

TQ - when we were getting started last year (and knew nothing) we spoke to a rep about the meat inspection and were told that all meat must be in it's original unopened packaging. I would love to pretrim before heading to a contest but have been apprehensive to do so.

Going to email Mike Lake directly who taught the judging class I took in January. Will get back with word from the top dog!

trueque
05-21-2010, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the follow up Matt. I look forward to Mike Lake's reply. I took the CBJ class in Millstadt with Mike Lake in February and this topic was not covered since the judging is well after the fact.

Rich Parker
05-21-2010, 05:20 PM
I pre-trimmed my chicken and brisket based on the recommendations of this forum and was glad I listened. If I wasn't so lazy I would pre-trim my pork and ribs to. :wink:

SeaDogBBQ
05-21-2010, 07:32 PM
I was told something similar to TQ.....I was told if i pretrimmed, I would have to have the original cryovac packaging with me incase the inspector wanted to verify the cut of meat. I decided I would prepare all meat on site due to this.....after reading this post I'm feeling a little foolish and should have been trimming my meat beforehand. :doh:

Rich Parker
05-22-2010, 08:24 AM
KCBS has a meat inspection guide in their downloads section that states:

"3. The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspect ion. "

KCBS-Meat-Inspections-Guide.doc (http://www.richardmparker.com/storage/kcbs/KCBS-Meat-Inspections-Guide.doc)

juicybuttsbbq
05-22-2010, 08:53 PM
WOW There's alot of trimming going on,,hehehehe
My Partners and I Hated prepping chicken so now we buy our meat pre trimmed to our standards (well close) from our Meat Suppliers,, It makes it soooo Nice and we have more time to enjoy the finer things of Life :wink:

Smokesman
05-24-2010, 10:02 AM
KCBS has a meat inspection guide in their downloads section that states:

"3. The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspect ion. "

KCBS-Meat-Inspections-Guide.doc (http://www.richardmparker.com/storage/kcbs/KCBS-Meat-Inspections-Guide.doc)

We officially have two forms of clarification. Thanks Rich for discovering/posting the inspections document. Below is Mike Lakes reply which confirms (for most of us I guess) our initial thoughts on pre-trimming.
---
Cooks are allowed to pre-trim the meats and chicken, note every cook has the opportunity to do this if they wish. You are well versed on the no-seasoning/marinade/etc. In our world cooking is when the cook’s product is placed on or in the cooker. I really don’t foresee any changes with this rule. Personally, I would rather trim at home in a cool/sanitary environ vrs on a cutting board in 90+° heat, just my opinion.
Thanks Mike Lake PhB
---
So...
1. cooking is defined by KCBS as the point where your product is placed on the cooker.
2. pre-trimming of all meats is allowed and in fact encouraged (my words) for sanitary reasons.
3. no pre-seasoning of any type by cook (rub, marinating or brining) before meat is inspected.
4. "manufacturer enhanced or injected products" as shown on the package are allowed. a lot of companies inject their products with a solution for palatability and freshness, these are fine. manufactured products that are marinaded "EXCLUDING but not limited to: teriyaki, lemon pepper or butter injected" fall under the pre-seasoning rule and are NOT allowed.

Did I miss anything? Final thoughts?

ribslayer
05-24-2010, 12:33 PM
Hey guys,
I am brand new to competition. First KCBS contest coming up in June.
When you say pre-trim chicken- does that mean you can scrape the skin, de-bone but not season? Do you bring the store labels with you? It would be great to do chicken with hot sudsy water and a refrigerator available.
Thanks.
Ribslayer

Brew-B-Q
05-24-2010, 01:24 PM
Hey guys,
I am brand new to competition. First KCBS contest coming up in June.
When you say pre-trim chicken- does that mean you can scrape the skin, de-bone but not season? Do you bring the store labels with you? It would be great to do chicken with hot sudsy water and a refrigerator available.
Thanks.
Ribslayer

Yes, you can do whatever you want to your chicken as long as you don't season it, brine it, cook it, etc. before you get it inspected. I just trimmed my chicken for this weekend and am glad that my least favorite part of competition bbq is over for the week.

As for store labels, I've never been asked for them. I buy some of my meat by the case, so there are no labels on the individual cuts anyways. And if you freeze meat, what good is a label from 30-60 days ago going to do for an overzealous inspector?

I always get chicken done ahead of time, and like to have briskets done too. Pork sometimes ahead of time depending on my week, and ribs are always done at the contest.

Divemaster
05-24-2010, 01:32 PM
Hey guys,
I am brand new to competition. First KCBS contest coming up in June.
When you say pre-trim chicken- does that mean you can scrape the skin, de-bone but not season? Do you bring the store labels with you? It would be great to do chicken with hot sudsy water and a refrigerator available.
Thanks.
Ribslayer
Yes, you can do anything you want to the chicken (or any other meat) as long as you are not adding any seasoning to it. You may trim, debone, scrape or any thing else. I do remind you that if you trim your pork butt, they must weigh at least 5#. Once I trim my pork butt, I weigh it and mark the out side of the cryo with that information.

As to the labels, I don't bring them. It would tell the inspector nothing since I started trimming my chicken back in March. I have never been asked for them. I do though bring a copy of the inspection rules noted above, the KCBS rules, and a copy of the current Representative Advisory just to be on the safe side. I've only had to pull them out once, but that was enough to make sure they are with us at every comp.

Smokesman
05-24-2010, 02:04 PM
Hey guys,
I am brand new to competition. First KCBS contest coming up in June.
When you say pre-trim chicken- does that mean you can scrape the skin, de-bone but not season? Do you bring the store labels with you? It would be great to do chicken with hot sudsy water and a refrigerator available.
Thanks.
Ribslayer

I wouldn't recommend putting the chicken INTO the "hot sudsy water"! That might qualify as preseasoning. :-D

ribslayer
05-24-2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it very much.
Ribslayer

Greg60525
05-24-2010, 10:00 PM
I pre-trim everything at home, because I'm way too slow to do it on site. I trimmed everything on site at my first ever comp...............felt like I needed a shower when I was done! Barely had any time for socializing.

cbagby64
05-25-2010, 08:55 PM
We pretrim everything. There's nothing worse than getting a rib membrane that won't come off the rack and then you use up all of your freaking paper towels for the contest trying to get the farking membrane off....learned this the hard way.

B C BBQ
05-25-2010, 10:01 PM
From the KCBS Meat Inspections Guide

1. No pre­seasoned meat is allowed other than manufacturer-enhanced or injected products as stated on the label excluding but not limited to: teriyaki, lemon pepper or butter injected. All meats must be raw when inspected.

2. The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspect ion.


These two guidelines are contradictory to each other. Some "manufacturers" inject their meats with non flavor injections for tenderness(phosphates). Farmland Foods extra tender ribs states this:
"Deep BastedTM by addition of up to 7% of a solution of water, sodium phosphates"

Guideline 2 would say this is allowed. Guideline 3 says in bold "BUT NO MEAT MAY BE SEASONED, INJECTED OR COOKED prior to the inspection."

So which one is it? If you show up with some of these ribs that have holes in them can you use them?
Does using a manufacturer pre-injected product give a competitor an unfair advantage? Does the injection perform better over a longer period of time?

Those two guidelines are clearly contradictory. Anyone???

To respond to cbagby64: Use cloth towels, they work better.

bbq ron
05-26-2010, 06:23 AM
i just finished my first comp also, and yes i pre trimmed before i got there :-P:-P

Smokesman
05-26-2010, 09:28 AM
From the KCBS Meat Inspections Guide

1. No pre*seasoned meat is allowed other than manufacturer-enhanced or injected products as stated on the label excluding but not limited to: teriyaki, lemon pepper or butter injected. All meats must be raw when inspected.

2. The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspect ion.


These two guidelines are contradictory to each other. Some "manufacturers" inject their meats with non flavor injections for tenderness(phosphates). Farmland Foods extra tender ribs states this:
"Deep BastedTM by addition of up to 7% of a solution of water, sodium phosphates"

Guideline 2 would say this is allowed. Guideline 3 says in bold "BUT NO MEAT MAY BE SEASONED, INJECTED OR COOKED prior to the inspection."

So which one is it? If you show up with some of these ribs that have holes in them can you use them?
Does using a manufacturer pre-injected product give a competitor an unfair advantage? Does the injection perform better over a longer period of time?

Those two guidelines are clearly contradictory. Anyone???

To respond to cbagby64: Use cloth towels, they work better.

Right there with you! Rule 7 and the guidelines could be cleaned up so there is less confusion or seeming contradiction. From everything I've gathered the manufacturer enhancement you show above is acceptable but that is about it. Any raw meat with visible seasoning is a no no. If you do use an enhanced product then I would either leave the product untrimmed in its original package or bring the package along if injection marks are visible from the manufacturer.

The problem I have here is, unless we are simply making a bigger issue out of this than needed, why not eliminate the question all together? All competition meat should be raw. Manufacturer enhanced or injected products are not acceptable. I for one don't feel like paying extra for "enhanced" water and want to control the outcome of my product from start to finish. For this reason does anyone even used manufacturer enhanced products???

B C BBQ
05-26-2010, 09:59 AM
I wouldn't use the manufacturer enhanced products in a competition for exactly the reason you wouldn't. I want to control the outcome of my product from start to finish.

warfrat
05-26-2010, 01:48 PM
I like to trim my chicken at home and lately I've been doing ribs too. I've always kept my butts and brisket in the cryovac to help ease in transportation but after opening my brisket at my last comp to find a nasty butcher gash right across the heart of the flat I may start trimming them at home too. lol I've always been skeptical of cryovaccing and freezing my comp meats with the thought process of fresher is better but after having gotten my arse spanked by more than a few that I now know do it, maybe I oughtta reconsider. :icon_blush:

trueque
05-26-2010, 03:35 PM
KCBS has a meat inspection guide in their downloads section that states:

"3. The meats do not have to be in the original packaging and may be trimmed prior to meat inspection, but no meat may be seasoned, injected or cooked prior to the inspect ion. "

KCBS-Meat-Inspections-Guide.doc (http://www.richardmparker.com/storage/kcbs/KCBS-Meat-Inspections-Guide.doc)

Thanks Rich and Matt for the follow up. I have it clear in my head what I can and cannot do now. I do believe I will be prep'ing at home.