View Full Version : Finish Sear on Ribs

Three porks
09-20-2010, 06:19 PM
Do you guys finish sear your ribs after you brush on your sauce before boxing your entry? Is there any benefit to this in comp cooking? I like to do this at home but I'm worried that it would mess with my appearance/taste scores. I'm aware that with the sugar content with will burn/char but I kind of like how it looks when its very lightly charred.....gives it the grilled look.

Any thoughts?

09-20-2010, 06:29 PM
well if you think it looks good.....maybe judges will too, who knows

JD McGee
09-21-2010, 01:26 PM
Nope...I just set the glaze about 15 minutes before I slice...no sear

Balls Casten
09-21-2010, 03:34 PM

09-21-2010, 04:10 PM
Most judges I know don't mind really, really dark . . . but if it is obviously burnt, then that's not good. If you char it and then paint it over with some sauce - that would most likely fly . . . as long as the surface wasn't breaking apart under the sauce.

In any case, if you're looking to win, then always stay away from the extremes.

09-21-2010, 05:07 PM
Grilled ribs aren't what is expected here in Dixie, so no, we don't do that. Doesn't mean it couldn't work in Illinois, though!

Three porks
09-21-2010, 09:50 PM

Doing Murpysboro this weekend, I'll submit some pics when I return. I probably won't sear the ribs but haven't committed to that yet...thanks everybody for your responses!

Balls Casten
09-22-2010, 07:34 AM
I guess that’s what I was wondering about, pics of the sear.

09-22-2010, 07:43 AM
Grilled ribs aren't what is expected here in Dixie, so no, we don't do that. Doesn't mean it couldn't work in Illinois, though!
There not what I expect either and I judge a lot of contest and I'm from Illinois. I also don't think they should be real dark either but thats just me.

Three porks
09-22-2010, 08:27 AM
Ok I managed to find some pics of our seared vs. non- seared entries.

These seared ribs were at Shannon this year and the judges had mixed reviews. 7/9/8/7/9/9 those scores leave me really confused.

#2 ribs 8/8/8/9/9/8

#3 ribs 8/9/8/8/9/8

I know the seared ribs received more 7's but do you guys think it was because the charred areas or because of my gooey looking glaze job.....or something else?

I have a comp this weekend and really want to decide what to turn in. I know charred ribs are not expected but maybe the judges will like a little change:rolleyes:

09-22-2010, 09:28 AM
In looking at your pictures, I don't think I would enter the seared ribs. They almost look as if they were burned. I personally like the #2 and #3 box better but with less sauce. This is only my opinion.

09-22-2010, 09:37 AM
Hey Two Porks - I have the same debate going on in my head. As a CBJ I personally have no problem with grill marks as long as they are uniform and when done properly the light caramelization adds a flavor boost similar to what you get with good bark and burnt ends. However, it does seem other judges mark down on appearance for grill marks either on chicken or ribs. Our ribs are our most consistent category so I have yet to turn-in comp ribs that I've done a quick finish on the grill. I think my taste scores would get a boost but I fear I would take a hit on appearance. That would still be a potential net gain since taste far outweighs appearance in scoring. A lot of "ifs" so I'm thinking I'll give it a go at a smaller comp next year - probably do them both ways and if the flavor pop is drastic enough to warrant a possible hit in appearance then I'll go with it and see what the scores say. Good luck this weekend. Say hi to Thin Blue Smoke for me. We have gotten to know them over a couple comps this year - great group of guys!

Balls Casten
09-22-2010, 11:14 AM
I like the looks of the seared batch. there's a little character to them. In terms of is it appealing and do I want to dive in? Yes. I agree clean the sauce up a bit, but I think they look great.

09-22-2010, 12:09 PM
I'd have to agree...clean the sauce up and hopefully its worth it for the added flavor!

09-22-2010, 05:18 PM
As a CBJ I would give the below:

1 = 7 the ribs don't have an even coating of sauces, there are some heavy and some dry spots of sauce. Although the grill marks may add to the flavor they don't make the meat look very appealing when you look at them as they have dark black areas and the bones look "burnt". Also the garnish isn't trimmed and looks bushy as it seems to be growing into the lid hole.

2= 8 ribs look cooked to perfection and have a nice shine and even coating of sauce. The top rib is tilted upward showing off the smoke ring and all cuts are even in size. The only thing I don't like about this box is again the garnish is a bit busy and un-trimmed.

3= 8 ribs in this box also look great with a nice even coating of sauce, nice color and shine, and the garnish is trimmed a bit better and isn't growing out of the box. However I took off a point because the rib on top seemed to be half the size of the other ribs and a wasn't a center piece.

just my 2 centavos.

Pigs Fly
09-22-2010, 10:02 PM
I perfer box #3 over 2 and 1. The sauce is way to heavy in 2 and the char looks grilled not smoked in box 1. But what do I know.