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MeatHead2 07-15-2005 09:23 PM

Competition Bound-Tahoka Texas
Well my brothers in smoke, I have entered my first competition. It is sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society and features three meat categories. I signed up as Uncle Carnies Sograte BBQ team (long story). While I have been cooking brisket for years and can make some decent chicken, I need some major help with the pork spare ribs. Do you guys have any competition advice and/or suggestions for chicken and ribs? I will gladly absorb any advice and ideas you can throw at me.

Bill-Chicago 07-15-2005 09:49 PM

RE: Competition Bound
Good luck MH

Make sure you post results!!!

I cannot offer advice, since I don't know Texas "tastes".

Figure your judges are from the region.

What does the region like? Sweet sauce? Vinegar sauce?
Play to the probable judges tastes

Good luck brother

roknrandy 07-15-2005 10:10 PM

RE: Competition Bound
Good luck Meathead

MeatHead2 07-16-2005 02:06 PM

RE: Competition Bound
Thanks guys, I will post results as soon as I can. Hopefully it will not be a complete disapointment. Out of the three meat categories and beans hopefully I will get to hear my name at least once ;-). I have never had any ribs that were worth eating, but since it does not cost any more to enter additional categories I am going to give them a try. Any suggestions? Rubs?

Bill-Chicago 07-16-2005 02:41 PM

RE: Competition Bound
I go sweet on ribs (personal taste) and glaze them with something sweet but not overpowering.

I hint of cinnamon, chilli powder, and sugar rub is something I whip up.

What do you like? Go with what you like best, and see if the judges agree

Ron_L 07-17-2005 10:59 AM

RE: Competition Bound
Hey Meat! (or is it Mr. Head? :) )... The best ribs I've ever cooked were done using a sweet-hot rub and glaze. Here's the rub...

Sweet And Spicy Rub

2 tablespoons butter; or margarine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in all ingredients EXCEPT sugar. Remove from heat and then add sugar. Cool and rub onto meat. Makes 1/4 cup, enough for 4 pounds of meat. Posted to the BBQ List by Carey Starzinger on Jul 19, 1996.

For the glaze, I used a Triple-Berry Chipotle sauce that I bought through my daughter's school through Market Day ( I also took the sauce, thinned it with some water and strained out the bits and pieces and used this for a spray while cooking.

Good luck and have fun!

MeatHead2 07-17-2005 08:13 PM

RE: Competition Bound
hmmm... sweet and spicy, that sounds like the answer I was looking for. I will mix some up this week and see how it turns out. I was getting worried about going to the big show with no ideas for the ribs.

That chipotle sauce sound great too. I love chipotle and after all, this is Texas. Kinda like the old Texas chilli cook-off joke. I will browse around and see what kind of chipolte sauces I can find that would be a nice complimentary mop without overpowering the meat.

Thanks again for all of your help! I feel like a school kid on the first day of school, little nervous but very excited.

Ron_L 07-17-2005 08:50 PM

RE: Competition Bound
The Market Day sauce might be hard to get, but i found a bottle of Bronco Bob's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce at Meijer today, and I'm goin to try it on some spares tomorrow. I'll let you know how that works out.

chad 07-18-2005 07:35 AM

RE: Competition Bound
Concentrate on getting the meat right! No amount of sauce or rub will fix lousy meat. :mrgreen:

Don't go changing your seasonings too much - most cooks find that trying to get the "local" flavor costs them. Hit a middle of the road on heat - go heavier on the sweet!

Even in Texas, BBQ judges don't want the taste buds burned out on the first entry - they WILL NOT reward you for hot & spicy!! Trust me, I'm one of them and we talk about this a LOT!

I've never had ribs too spicy (and I know the difference between spicy and hot!) but I've heard a lot of judges complain about too much heat. A nice kick is appreciated - consistent burn and the need for a glass of milk before the next entry is NOT good! :twisted:

Just my $.02 worth. And yes, I lived in San Antonio for 9 years and have an appriciation for Texas BBQ and all things spicy. :D

MeatHead2 07-18-2005 11:56 AM

RE: Competition Bound
I will be careful not to over season, and especially not over heat the ribs.


Concentrate on getting the meat right! No amount of sauce or rub will fix lousy meat.
The only ribs I have done were beef ribs. I tried them several time and always end up feeding them to the dog. Hey, she loves it when i que... she eats good!

What do you recommend 3-4 hours at about 225-250?

chad 07-18-2005 12:25 PM

RE: Competition Bound
Depends on whether you're doing spares (St. Louis cut) or loinbacks (babyback). My spareribs are usually cooked about 2 hours (or until the meat pulls back from the end of the bone about 1/4 inch and then foiled with a spray of apple juice (you can add a brushing of sauce at this time or another dose of rub) - The ribs then cook for another 1.5 - 2 hours - you really have to watch them or they'll over cook and fall off the bones.

Baby backs are even less time - maybe 2 hour to the foil but then only 1 hour of so before pulling them and putting them in a cooler. The cooler time is great for tenderness but also will "over cook" the ribs.

I hate to sound so vague but you've got to experiment a bit to find what works best for you. We usually have a 12 noon turn in for ribs (FBA) and so we usually have the ribs in the cooker at 7:00 a.m. So, we shoot for 5 hours total time - we've never "walked" on ribs and have rarely had a toughness problem!! Usually we overcook. But, as I said, that's what practice and experimentation is for.

Temp wise: We've tended to cook "hotter" at 250 or so but I'm thinking of cranking it back a bit closer to 225 in the future - see if we can get the nice long cook time and resulting tenderness without the "fall off the bone" problem!

rbinms33 07-18-2005 06:40 PM

RE: Competition Bound

I have never had any ribs that were worth eating
Is it just me or does it seem like the things people don't think will place end up placing and the things they think will place end up not placing. Or maybe I have too much time on my hands and I'm overanalyzing. :lol:

Good luck, Meathead!

BrooklynQ 07-18-2005 07:07 PM

RE: Competition Bound
Good Luck Meathead. Just go out there and haved fun

Ron_L 07-18-2005 10:00 PM

RE: Competition Bound
The Bronco Bob's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle worked out great! It is nice and sweet, with a nice kick. The only thing that might go against it is the raspberry seeds... Do you guys think judges will deduct for that?

MoKanMeathead 07-19-2005 12:56 PM

RE: Competition Bound
So you are why I couldn't log on as Meathead.

Good luck in your first comp and with your ribs. Let us know how you do.

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