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JD McGee
09-20-2010, 09:34 AM
When all of a sudden your first place ribs can't get a walk? :confused: This past season my ribs have been my money maker and sometimes saving grace. I have 8 first place ribs including a "180"...and now all of a sudden I can't buy a walk. What do you veterans do in these cases (assuming it has happened to you).
Thanks,
JD

Pigs on Fire
09-20-2010, 09:41 AM
You think they are always going to be top-placing ribs? Someone is always working on the next best thing. It's evident that some other teams have hit on something else the judges like.

One thing I don't see stressed enough is that taste/texture is an OPINION of someone. Everybody doesn't have the same opinion.

JD McGee
09-20-2010, 09:52 AM
You think they are always going to be top-placing ribs? Someone is always working on the next best thing. It's evident that some other teams have hit on something else the judges like.

One thing I don't see stressed enough is that taste/texture is an OPINION of someone. Everybody doesn't have the same opinion.

I NEVER shoot for first place...only to be consistent in my prep, cooking, and glazing. I have been very fortunate to get a walk in 11 out of 13 comps. The last two comps have me baffled (placing middle of the pack)...and a bit concerned as I plan to use the same recipe for the Jack. At this point I do not plan to do anything other than chalk it up to bad luck. I will, however, make certain all my rub and glaze ingredients are fresh.

pat
09-20-2010, 10:09 AM
I was just gonna ask you how many comps you haven't placed in. I wouldn't sweat it if only last 2 comps. Might have had picky judges that day....that is my excuse every contest :laugh: (I kid, I kid)

Pigs on Fire
09-20-2010, 10:21 AM
If it were me, I'd dance with what brought me. I wouldn't let it worry you. Cook the best you can and cook what you think is good. Let the rough end drag.

I hope to see you there. I haven't figured out what time I plan on getting up there Saturday. It's a 2+ hour drive up there from our house in AL and I'd like to stay for the meat awards. We stayed last year through the ancillary categories and I was ready to go after that.

Good Smokin' luck.

RobKC
09-20-2010, 10:31 AM
Chicken has been my best category this year and I got to the point where I felt I could mail in a top 5 finish. I hit a stretch with no calls in 3 of 4 contests. My chief taster told me I was overseasoning. Next contest I made the adjustment and took 1st. Got another 1st a week later. Only no-call since was an instance where I underseasoned.

I'm not saying that this is your issue, just relating one of mine. I never would have caught it on my own. In your case, JD, I'd just make sure I was doing everything exactly right. Write out your entire process from start to finish to make sure you don't leave something out.

Good luck at the Jack!

KC_Bobby
09-20-2010, 10:33 AM
Don't stress it or change a thing.

Scottie
09-20-2010, 10:39 AM
Welcome to comp cooking... After cooking for a while, you will realize that things come in bunches. while I don't deny that your ribs are good, maybe you were getting lucky and were hitting all the right tables? Now, those tables are drying up? I've always said that being lucky is better than being good in comp cooking.

I think folks get lost in this lull that they think their food is unbeatable because of a couple of good contests. You don't get those calls and folks panic. Change their recipe and then really start to flounder.

How to fix? either you stick with the recipe that brought you. Or you make changes. Now, when you change your recipe, that will determine how good of a cook you are. I know a lot of teams that change on the fly. I do that, but I also feel like I have a complete understanding of what my meat is going to go and only worry about a slight tweak here or there... Relaize as well, that I used to cook around 25 comps a year. You can get real familiar with your cooking when cooking that much. I lowered my contests this year and surpriseling, I still have that feel for my meats. So experience at this is what will get you through the lows.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
09-20-2010, 11:22 AM
Be certain you haven't changed anything. My ribs fell off the map for awhile and I realized I had changed something. Now, back in the running. That said, last week ribs 30 something. This wee? 1st. Didn't change a thing. Scotties advice is solid.

JD McGee
09-20-2010, 11:52 AM
Thanks guys...I'll be sure to dot all my i's and cross all my t's...:thumb:
JD

jbrink01
09-20-2010, 12:09 PM
Some days your the windshield, some days your the bug..........

sitnfat
09-20-2010, 12:10 PM
Send me your rib recipe and I will try it in Lewisburg in a couple of weeks that's kinda close to Lynchburg maybe thy would give ya a idea of what's goin on with them :becky:

BBQ_Mayor
09-20-2010, 12:18 PM
Did your butcher change anything? where they get or cut the ribs?

JD McGee
09-20-2010, 01:04 PM
Send me your rib recipe and I will try it in Lewisburg in a couple of weeks that's kinda close to Lynchburg maybe thy would give ya a idea of what's goin on with them :becky:

it's all right here...www.jd'srecipe.com...:twisted:

Did your butcher change anything? where they get or cut the ribs?

My butcher is Costco...:laugh: Seriously...all I use are their bb's. They have been very consistent for the most part (had a couple of nasty cryo's).

chambersuac
09-20-2010, 01:53 PM
JD...I am no veteran, so I don't have any opinions to give you that are worth a dime. Since you don't want to share your recipe so that I can try your ribs for a sample, let me just say this: If your ribs are your money maker and have been your "saving grace" then don't give up on what has proven to be a successful recipe/technique. As someone mentioned earlier, everyone has their own opinions as what ribs should be - maybe you just had some folks with "bad" opinions. :)

Anyway, have faith in yourself and your product. I am sure you are doing great ribs. And seriously, if you have any tips for me (not YOUR trade secrets, but rib cooking tips), I'd love to learn from someone with your talent and experience. Anything PMed to me stays with me :)

God's blessings on your future contests!

JD McGee
09-20-2010, 02:05 PM
JD...I am no veteran, so I don't have any opinions to give you that are worth a dime. Since you don't want to share your recipe so that I can try your ribs for a sample, let me just say this: If your ribs are your money maker and have been your "saving grace" then don't give up on what has proven to be a successful recipe/technique. As someone mentioned earlier, everyone has their own opinions as what ribs should be - maybe you just had some folks with "bad" opinions. :)

Anyway, have faith in yourself and your product. I am sure you are doing great ribs. And seriously, if you have any tips for me (not YOUR trade secrets, but rib cooking tips), I'd love to learn from someone with your talent and experience. Anything PMed to me stays with me :)

God's blessings on your future contests!

Thanks Dan...I'm always willing to share my experience and techniques...I do have a few trade secrets that I keep to myself (as I'm sure most of these folks do). PM on it's way...:-P
JD

chambersuac
09-20-2010, 02:17 PM
Thanks, JD - yeah, I figured you wouldn't give me ALL your advice :)
Looking forward to the PM. Thanks again!

BRBBQ
09-20-2010, 02:19 PM
I'd say look at the pitmaster show LAST Year! Not this year's. Myron didn't win every contest that aired on tv, but he thought he would:becky:

NorthwestBBQ
09-21-2010, 12:03 AM
I'd say look at the pitmaster show LAST Year! Not this year's. Myron didn't win every contest that aired on tv, but he thought he would:becky:

Just because he did not win the contests they filmed does not take away from the fact that he is the winningest cook in REAL lifetime competition BBQ! I beg of you all to separate the real from the fake studio crap. It's like you are all corporate shills sometimes...:boxing: Someone has to be the Andy Warhol here...it might as well be me. :becky:

Lake Dogs
09-21-2010, 07:14 AM
JD, from a judges perspective, more often than not the difference in a middle-of-the-pack (or the top of the middle) and a winner, in a single turn-in event, is
the opinion of the 5 or 6 judges (6 in this case) at that particular table, their subjectivity and prejudices, and a little to do with which Q landed on that same table with yours. If all the other entries are mediocre and yours is better than them, then you have stand-out Q and it's likely to get scored that way. It's great when your Q is on one of those tables and yours is last or next-to-last. That way they've seen "ah, so so" a few times and then *voila* we have a keeper comes through. However, if there's 3 "we have a keeper" in front of yours, you're more likely to get scored "yeah, so what". If that makes any sense... It does happen.

Sounds to me like you're putting out consistently good to great Q. Stick with it. Dont change a thing. When it comes down to it there's that element of luck. Think LUCKY.

lunchlady
09-21-2010, 09:36 AM
....from a judges perspective.... However, if there's 3 "we have a keeper" in front of yours, you're more likely to get scored "yeah, so what". If that makes any sense... It does happen. ....
When it comes down to it there's that element of luck. Think LUCKY.

While I understand exactly where youre coming from...I get it, I really do... wouldnt that be completely against what judges are supposed to be doing when they judge?
NOT comparing entries means give it a 9 if it deserves a 9, regardless of how many 9s were in front of them before.

I do not want to turn this into a 'bash the judges' thread, but we got a 5 in appearance this weekend on the very same ribs that have won either first or second place at this event for about 4 years. The rest of the judges gave 8s and 9s.
5 = Below average...? What the...?
That 5 is gonna bounce around in my head for a LONG New England winter... I bet the judge already forgot he gave it.

I guess my theory is, and I have said this before, what used to be a 9/excellent, has become a 6/average, which is why I quoted LD. It can even happen during the span of one category. But it shouldnt.

Back to the point of the thread... we are not going to change anything. Those ribs are righteous, we know it, and we'll keep doing them.

Tack
09-21-2010, 10:05 AM
Did you get a comment card from that judge? Seems as tho the Reps should have looked at the score and requested the comment card from the judge due to the major difference in his score from the others.

deena
09-21-2010, 04:04 PM
JD.. I agree. Don't change anything. Judges are different everywhere and sometimes the world shifts... it usually shifts back at some point.

CivilWarBBQ
09-21-2010, 05:02 PM
I have been very fortunate to get a walk in 11 out of 13 comps.

Wow - you are either very lucky or the level of competition out there is low. I can tell you there is nobody down south who can go an entire season without shooting some blanks; even the best have dry spells because there are way too many good teams out there.

I would be thankful for your good fortune and keep on doing what you do. You have been very successful so why change anything? It's not a trend until you get to 6+ contests IMO.

JD McGee
09-21-2010, 07:22 PM
JD, from a judges perspective, more often than not the difference in a middle-of-the-pack (or the top of the middle) and a winner, in a single turn-in event, is
the opinion of the 5 or 6 judges (6 in this case) at that particular table, their subjectivity and prejudices, and a little to do with which Q landed on that same table with yours. If all the other entries are mediocre and yours is better than them, then you have stand-out Q and it's likely to get scored that way. It's great when your Q is on one of those tables and yours is last or next-to-last. That way they've seen "ah, so so" a few times and then *voila* we have a keeper comes through. However, if there's 3 "we have a keeper" in front of yours, you're more likely to get scored "yeah, so what". If that makes any sense... It does happen.

Sounds to me like you're putting out consistently good to great Q. Stick with it. Dont change a thing. When it comes down to it there's that element of luck. Think LUCKY.

Makes sense to me...:becky:

Wow - you are either very lucky or the level of competition out there is low. I can tell you there is nobody down south who can go an entire season without shooting some blanks; even the best have dry spells because there are way too many good teams out there.

I would be thankful for your good fortune and keep on doing what you do. You have been very successful so why change anything? It's not a trend until you get to 6+ contests IMO.

I am very lucky...the level of competition out here is top notch. Most the teams I cook against have been to the Jack, the Royal, the G.A.B. You name it...they've been. :cool: I can only hope to be half as good as my fellow PNWBA competitors one day...:-P

Sledneck
09-21-2010, 07:50 PM
add some a-1 to the sauce?