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Unread 09-24-2009, 12:53 PM   #1
AginAustin
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Default A few questions from a rookie

I've been browsing the forums the last few days until my account was activated so I've learned quite a bit from you guys. I'm currently on a cookoff team and we've done decent in our last 2 cookoffs...well here it goes...
1. Regarding the bend test/toothpick test to see if your ribs are done, are these tests used for competition ribs? If so, I'm sure that will help our team out since our ribs usually don't turn out really tender
2. How is the blues hog sauce? It seems to come pretty highly recommended here...I've been thinking about buying some to try on our competition ribs.
3. Is it pretty much a concensus that competition ribs should be trimmed to St. Louis cut? We have been pulling the spares out, seasoning them, and throwing them on the pit membrane and all.

Thanks in advance,
AginAustin
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Unread 09-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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I think the general concensus here is that you should always pull off the membrane, no matter what style of trim you use. How'd an Ag get exiled to the land of fruits and nuts?
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Unread 09-24-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AginAustin View Post
I've been browsing the forums the last few days until my account was activated so I've learned quite a bit from you guys. I'm currently on a cookoff team and we've done decent in our last 2 cookoffs...well here it goes...
1. Regarding the bend test/toothpick test to see if your ribs are done, are these tests used for competition ribs? If so, I'm sure that will help our team out since our ribs usually don't turn out really tender

I use the tear test and also probe it with my thermapen...
Tear test...
Take hold of two adjacent bones toward the middle of the slab and give them a pull. If the meat offers a bit of resistance but then tears easily, you know the ribs are done just right.

2. How is the blues hog sauce? It seems to come pretty highly recommended here...I've been thinking about buying some to try on our competition ribs.
3. Is it pretty much a concensus that competition ribs should be trimmed to St. Louis cut? We have been pulling the spares out, seasoning them, and throwing them on the pit membrane and all.

Yep...if you're doin' spares...St Louis is the norm...and YES most all pull the membrane.

Thanks in advance,
AginAustin
You're welcome...
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Unread 09-24-2009, 04:25 PM   #4
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Absolute not on the membrane removal. Are you gonna debone them as well? No? Then why remove the membrane? I don't want mine trimmed either, I like the cut just as it is.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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No membrane here! It does nothing for the meat in regards to taste, texture, or appearance, and I don't like chewing on inedible items.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
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No membrane here! It does nothing for the meat in regards to taste, texture, or appearance, and I don't like chewing on inedible items.

What he said.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AginAustin View Post
3. Is it pretty much a concensus that competition ribs should be trimmed to St. Louis cut? We have been pulling the spares out, seasoning them, and throwing them on the pit membrane and all.

Thanks in advance,
AginAustin
Daddy taught me way back when to always pull the membrane of of ribs and the parchment of of lamb, since these inhibit marinating and rubs.

I should pointout that Dad is an Italian from Chicagoland. He hasn't streared me wrong on anything else so I trust him on this one. Besides as mentioned earlier, I hate getting that dried wax papery like stuff when I take a bite.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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I remove the Gut Cavity Lining always.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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thanks for the comments...I really appreciate it. Does anyone have any more to comment about the bend & toothpick tests? I don't really want to end up with fall of the bone ribs at the next cook off

Texas Turtle...you know Austin wasn't my first choice coming from College Station but that's where employment led me...it isn't too bad of a town.

Any comments about Blues Hog Sauce? Any other recommendations for sauces to baste ribs with before turn in?
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Unread 09-24-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AginAustin View Post
thanks for the comments...I really appreciate it. Does anyone have any more to comment about the bend & toothpick tests? I don't really want to end up with fall of the bone ribs at the next cook off

Texas Turtle...you know Austin wasn't my first choice coming from College Station but that's where employment led me...it isn't too bad of a town.

Any comments about Blues Hog Sauce? Any other recommendations for sauces to baste ribs with before turn in?
Can you give a little more info on your existing technique and what youre cooking on?

I'm not much on toothpicks for ribs (other things, yes), Bending/poking - YES!

If you're using anything like the 3-1-1 method, it's an easy adjustment.

Oh yeah - definitely pull them membranes. Sauce is a big variable, and it's usually said that you need to adjust to your target - it varies regionally and judge to judge. Blues hog is good, but fairly distinctive. You may want to use something like that as a base, and modify it.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 09:09 PM   #11
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I really like Blues Hog, but, find it too thick. I tend to cut it with bourbon or apple juice, I prefer bourbon.

I am a membrane off kinda guy, really prefer the texture without it. I use a metal skewer to test ribs, and look for a little resistance, then take em off. I do not foil.
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Unread 09-24-2009, 09:43 PM   #12
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well for our typical cookoffs we have a large pit. I isn't an offset smoker but it is large enough that we can set a coals at one end and cook at the other...I would guess about 250 gallon propane tank. After our first cookoff, we figured out that we weren't getting enough smoke on our meat especially the brisket so we are going to start trying wood chunks to add some smoke.

For the ribs, we have been cooking about 4 hours straight. The first time we mopped about every hour and they turned out ok. This last time we didn't mop but after about 1:30 hours we started to baste with sauce. Is this too soon? Should we wait until the last hour to baste with sauce?

We know another team that cooks in our area that we are good friends with...they typically do a brown sugar or honey rib that typically hits top 5 in the cook offs...we're just trying to try something new that may be able to upset them!
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Unread 09-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #13
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Anyone have anything to say about basting the ribs?
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Unread 09-25-2009, 10:20 PM   #14
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Yes, that is what foil is for. When you're looking, your not cooking. And look at membrane as a wall. Do you want smoke and flavor all the way through or part of the way or blocked altogether? Your choice. Steve.
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Unread 09-25-2009, 10:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AginAustin View Post
Anyone have anything to say about basting the ribs?
Depending on the sugat content of what you are using to baste the ribs that may be a little early -
I just rub them then smoke them, rarely do I ever sauce them but when I do it is in the last half hour.

4 hours doesn't seem long enough for spares - is that what you are cooking? Foil or no?

Now - take what I say for what it's worth - I don't compete but I have fed my fair share of folks....

Good luck.

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