Rate my practice boxes, please.
Hi all! We have been competing in about 1 KCBS competition a year for the last 4 years and next year we plan to enter quite a few more so we have been doing some practice cooks and boxes.
Anyways, in the past we were pretty relaxed with box presentation, using green leaf lettuce as a base and setting the meat in there how we thought looked good. This year at the When Pigs Fly contest in McPherson, KS my wife put together our boxes using the putting green method and it turned out quite nice and our meats scored considerably
These are the pork, brisket, and rib boxes we did last weekend. I over cooked the brisket so the slices we put in the box were selected by if they would stay together. The color, shine, and burnt ends look good. The ribs weren't much better as I got in a hurry and wrapped and cranked the heat to finish them because we had to be somewhere. The first rib picture is how we boxed them for the last contest. We got 1's for appearance because 2 ribs were attached by a small piece of bark:doh: and there weren't enough for all the judges. They do need alot more glaze, I only sauced in the foil for the last hour.
I thought the pork box came out well!!:becky:
Please feel free to let me know what you all think and be honest. We want to improve!
One guys opinion:
I really like the pulled pork box best. The pork looks moist (just enough sheen) and
seems presented well. To me, it's very appetizing. 8 or 9 (because we dont take
greenery into account, do we!!!?!!)
Next best to me is brisket. I like the mild sheen (looks moist, but not artifically so),
love the nice smoke ring. Love the display of the burnt ends. It's appetizing, but:
on the right side it's been cooked (smoke ring, rub, etc), and on the left it's been
pulled apart. More appetizing would be either sliced both sides (crisper line) or both
sides cooked. Also, the pieces aren't sequential (or dont appear so), and have
different tops. Not bad, but not great. 7 or 8.
The ribs: To me, honestly, they're not appetizing and inviting, not in either
configuration. I like the over/under generally of the 2nd box, but that one bone
stands out very peculiar. The color and lack of sheen seems to imply DRY. They
might taste great and be as tender as anyone's ever seen, but to me the color
just isn't inviting and appetizing. 6.
The greenery, not judged, looks pretty good. The meat sits up nicely and there's not
so much green that it's overlapping the meat. Nice color contrast and frame.
Thanks alot! I cooked by myself (noone else wanted to stay up and help since it was just practice...:crazy:) and put the ribs on later than planned. I pulled them at usual turn-in time and sliced a rack, but they were chewy and needed at least another hour of cooking so I threw them back on at 300 but got busy and forgot to get them out in time and they got way over cooked. I didn't even bother to glaze them. Not my best showing ever:-P. I still boxed them to make sure we were comfortable with getting 8 ribs in the box after our last mistake at a comp with the 2 ribs not completely seperated.
The brisket was smaller than the one I cooked at the last comp and I trimmed more than I have in the past before the cook to make sure it fit the box. I cooked the same amount of time as last time and it wouldn't slice without falling apart on the thin side of the flat.
The Pork was a repeat of the last comp which we tried a new recipe. It turned out perfect except slightly over cooked and the MM would not slice so I just did pulled and chunks. Wasn't sure if it needed more sauce, but the meat tasted so good I hated to sauce too much.
Keep the comments coming!
That is a very nice pork box. Put together very well. 9 for me.
The burnt ends look great but the brisket looks raggedy and takes away from the overall appearance of the box. If the ends are falling apart, slice them off on both sides and at least be uniform. 7 at best.
In your first rib box, add 2 more ribs to fill that box up. And get some sheen on those bones. I would reverse the setup of the 2nd box and put the ones in front on top of the ones in back. Same comment about the sheen. 7.
Mista is also correct, regarding the bottom rib box, flip the rows of which is on top.
That rogue bone wont be nearly so rogue. The row nearest the opening should be
the one on top.
Pork - 8 to 9
Brisket - 7
Ribs - 6
However, it looks like you are on the right track. It's hard to make great turn in boxes and I'm no expert at it, for sure. There are so many variables that you have to balance. The best way to improve them is to do what you are doing: practice making them. It's like riding a bike. Someone can tell you how to do it but you won't learn how until you get on it and start riding.
nice job. liked the pork 8. brisket 7 more unifomed slices and ends. fill the box while keeping a good margin of green. ribs 6 looked average.another point for more sheen. and another for better knive work. one was a triangle. and face the bones towards the lid.
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