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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.

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Old 01-17-2005, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default BBQ Sauce?

I am fairly new to BBQ Competitions and was wondering what, if any sauce you experienced competitors put on your finished Q to turn in to the judges? If it is store bought or a recipe that I might be able to find somewhere? I hope this in OK to ask. I didn't know if this is one of those secrets that people don't like to give out.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:56 PM   #2
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Saucing is entirley up to your preference and what you think the judges will like. According to what part of the country your in differents style sauces will do better than others.

I have seen people win both with and without sauce.

I have seen people use off the shelf sauce straight out of the bottle and others mix a couple and doctor them up. Something you have to play with and see what works best for you.

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Old 01-17-2005, 07:23 PM   #3
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Bellys right.. Sauce is probably the most variable of all things. From store bought bottled to scratch made. Alot i have seen were doctored up versions of commercial sauces. Its just something you have to experiment with.
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:27 AM   #4
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Start out with something you like and experiment. Have a bunch of friends over for some Q with a variety sauces then go with one your guests like the most. Just an idea.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:45 AM   #5
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Sweet Baby Ray's with a little honey and garlic powder always sets me straight! That is of course if I was not inclined to use a homemade sauce.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:53 AM   #6
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We have been told from many sources that, in competetion, the sauce (if used) should compliment the meat and not overpower it. Judges are told that the presence or absence of sauce "is not to be considered" in the scoring. Yeah, sure...Judges are human.

All of the Judges I have worked with seemed to be neutral except one. She wanted her stuff swimming in sauce and scored accordingly. You can never second guess the Judges. I think if you go easy on the sauce, you will hit a high percentage of approvals.

The one common guidance is to avoid the flavor extremes, expecially on Spice. If you sauce, keep it a "mild" version of the flavor you are adding.

Too me, sauce should be used to add just a touch of spicy, sweet, or "whatever" sub-flavor you are looking for.

Just keep it light and do not let it be the focus of your product and you will have the best chance to do OK.

We use only tiny amounts of sauce (if any) and it is just brushed on lightly to provide a moist glaze to the meat. Our sauce is modified commercial sauce. No secrets, but we just have not found the recipie we want yet.

The "regional taste" thing comes into play when the competetors and Judges are all from the region, for sure. FBA is dominated by 3 (very talented) teams who have established the "taste" the Judges are looking for. I think with a MAJOR KCBS event, there are teams and Judges from all over and the regional taste factor is minimized due to the variety of flavors and Judges involved. Just my theory

Just the opinion of a new-guy competetor!

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Old 01-18-2005, 05:23 PM   #7
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Default Sauce

Thanks for the information on saucing. My wife is from Bartlesville and her family still lives there. They own a little print shop named Printco. I will be competing this year in a KCBS event in Bixby and there is one in Tulsa in June.

Let me know if you come up with a good modification on a commercial sauce to maybe get me a place to start. The reason for the sauce questions is that in a competition last summer, I thought I had done the best meat I had ever turned in so i barely sauced at all and finished 20th out of 50 teams. I had 2 teams tell me that there meat turned out terrible so they doused it with sauce and they finished top 5. I didn't know if this was fluke or if it happens quite a bit.


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Old 01-18-2005, 05:40 PM   #8
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To quote an individual from the AR: After finally placing following many attempts: "I told you this was a sauce contest!"

There is no accounting for the judges' taste. Sauce can help, hurt, or be ablsolutely neutral -- I taste what's there but I'm looking "under" the sauce - and I've had nasty meat with even nastier sauce a couple of times.

So far I am convinced there is NO SILVER BULLET in competition. You cook your best product and turn it in!! Second guessing will just lead you down a long, dark, lonely trail!! :D

If you find a sauce you like or create or modify then use it. Don't lose sleep looking for a magic sauce.
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:45 PM   #9
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As was said before , I developed a sauce that would complement an not over power. I do believe that at contest, you are going to get the volunteer local judge that " It's just not BBQ w/o Sauce" I always sauce our entries---But---instead of plastering the meat with sauce, I will lightly and I mean lightly sauce the meat. So light that you can see the smoke ring through the sauce. It seems to work for me.
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