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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
jeffsee
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Question First Ever rib Comp

OK, Brethren...

I have cooked ribs several times this summer to rave reviews from my neighbors at the campground (of course, they love EVERYTHING I cook, so they could have bias).

This weekend, I am entered into my first-ever rib competition at the campground (after winning the chili cookoff back in May). They are supplying baby back ribs from a local meat market to keep everyone on level footing.

They have not yet released the "rubric" and criteria for the ribs (the campground owner saw a bbq show this winter and wanted to bring a small competition to the campground), so I do not yet know if they want "fall off the bone" ribs or ribs with "pull."

My SS Big Poppa UDS usually chugs along anywhere between 225 and 250. I do not yet have a temp controller (although 1st place would put me much. much closer to realizing that dream ), so I can't "dial it in." With the temperature range I listed, what time frame should I be looking at for these ribs?

I've been a brethren long enough to know that every piece of meat is different. We will get supplied with three racks and have to turn in enough bones for four judges. I plan to stagger the start times to have three different textures and tenderness ranges.

What say ye, brethren?
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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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Since the judging more than likely isn't KCBS, I would cook them almost fall off the bone.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfour View Post
Since the judging more than likely isn't KCBS, I would cook them almost fall off the bone.
I like ribs so much better not in foil, but since this is about winning.... hmmm.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfour View Post
Since the judging more than likely isn't KCBS, I would cook them almost fall off the bone.
I would agree, most probably would ding you for cooking them just bite through.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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Foil or no foil? As a side, I doubt you will need a controller, those babies are pretty solid.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4uweque View Post
Foil or no foil? As a side, I doubt you will need a controller, those babies are pretty solid.
I prefer to go naked in my ribs. I have been cooking unfoiled at about five hours this summer and they are darn near fall off the bone withouth "steaming" them.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000milesofsmoke View Post
I would agree, most probably would ding you for cooking them just bite through.
I've been asking for criteria for about a month. We are supposed to get it "sometime this week."

We get the ribs Friday night, but they can't leave the designated cooking area. So, I have to somehow keep my ribs cooled and safe from varmints until Saturday morning. Sigh....
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Unread 08-14-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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Don't over think it, cook at what temp you are comfortable at and with the flavors that you like. That way you will be more relaxed and you will know what to expect. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck and have fun
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Unread 08-14-2013, 10:00 PM   #9
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I normally cook around 250 and I foil for an hour. It takes me 3 to 3.5 hours depending on the thickness of the rack. I'm sure it will take longer without the foil. Maybe someone that doesn't use foil will help you more.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 10:34 PM   #10
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If people you cook for already love your food, and this is just a small non-sanctioned event that will likely be judged by run of the mill locals, then just cook them like you always cook them. Don't mess with something that you know pleases you and others.

I was in the same boat for my first backyard comp. I got all worked up about trying to do stuff I've never done before, try new techniques, and all of that. In the end I just went out there and cooked everything I always cook and stuff people always seemed to like. Came home with a few trophies and a few hundred bucks heavier in the wallet. And since I was cooking stuff I've done a hundred times before, the stress level was very low.

So just go out there and give it a go and put out your best product that you already know is good. Since you're not talking about a sanctioned event with certified judges looking for a very specific style and product, as long as it tastes good and is pretty tender, you will likely do great.
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Unread 08-14-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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I cook my ribs for 4 hours unfoiled on my egg at 275. At 225-250 it would be longer. I would consider foiling the ribs when the bark looks solid. Tightly seal in foil after a sprinkling of brown sugar and a drizzle of peach nectar. They are done when a toothpick easily penetrates the meat between the bones. Then, let them rest uncovered for 15 minutes or so, then slice. That's what I do!!
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