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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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Unread 01-24-2005, 07:54 AM   #1
The_Kapn
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Default Dry Heat vs Wet Heat for Competetion level bark.

Anyone have an opinion on the bark quality produced by dry heat compared to moist heat?

We think that dry heat helps with Chickie skin, seems to get crispy and not so tough and mushy.

DF and I notice that some of the top level teams use water in the bottom of their biggo Lang and Klose cookers, others cook "dry".

I know the fluid is there primarily for heat stability and the meat itself does not appear to absorb the moisture or flavor.

But, I would think the moisture would have an effect (good or bad?) on the rub and affect the quality of the bark.

Ideas or experience here?????
Anyone experiment???

Thanks,
TIM
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Unread 01-24-2005, 09:31 AM   #2
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KC and I were talking about this last week. In the new vertical offset pit(that i no longer have. :( was made so the fire can be slid out of the firebox and into the vertical chamber under the water pan. The intention was to remove the waterpan at the end of a cook and go for a more direct heat effect. Hopefully this would fix the chicken skin and also help produce a dryer bark. In the BYC however, I dont always use water. So even going strictly offset with dry heat, I still had a softer bark and rubbery chicken skin. The only way to improve that was to, at the end of a cook, move closer to the heat source and get temps into the grilling range >400.
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Unread 01-24-2005, 05:24 PM   #3
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My Smokers utilize both moist and dry heat. In competition I use moist heat and then at the end empty the water pan and firm up the bark for the last hour or so with dry heat. We have won many times and always finish in the top numbers.
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Unread 01-24-2005, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicewine
My Smokers utilize both moist and dry heat. In competition I use moist heat and then at the end empty the water pan and firm up the bark for the last hour or so with dry heat. We have won many times and always finish in the top numbers.
Interesting--Thanks

TIM
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Unread 01-24-2005, 06:38 PM   #5
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Amazing, Phil! I was contemplating the same thing this weekend. Spraying, wrapping and dry coolering my Brisket last bash, seemed to make the bark real moist. I kinda pride myself on my Brisket rub, and using the dry cooler seemed to take the "bite" away from it - although it made it like budda! Has anyone tried unwrapping it after a couple of hours in the cooler, then putting it back on the rack for an hour or so? Or even throwing it on the grill and kinda searing the bark for a short time?

My guests didn't notice (they were too busy stuffin' their faces), but I did.
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Unread 01-24-2005, 06:58 PM   #6
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Unwrapping in the cooler won't accomplish anything - the moisture is still there. The cooler time is 1. to hold the heat until you're ready to eat and/or 2. to finish off the last of the tenderizing - so unwrapping is futile.
If you get good product without cooler time then don't change!! :D

Putting a brisket on the grill after I've worked 8-12 hours - I don't think so! The extra handling would tend to rub the bark off. You usually don't have an extra grill at a cook off and time is the one thing that is in really short supply!

At competition the more you handle the product the bigger chance you'll fark it up, drop it, overcook it, or burn it.

That's the reason we're kicking this around in the COMPETITION forum - drier cooking to near the very end is probably the answer - foil only if you have to before prep. What we do at cook offs is not necessarily what we do at home -- for example: my fall off the bone ribs at home!!
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Unread 01-24-2005, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFLittle
Unwrapping in the cooler won't accomplish anything - the moisture is still there. The cooler time is 1. to hold the heat until you're ready to eat and/or 2. to finish off the last of the tenderizing - so unwrapping is futile.
If you get good product without cooler time then don't change!! :D

Putting a brisket on the grill after I've worked 8-12 hours - I don't think so! The extra handling would tend to rub the bark off. You usually don't have an extra grill at a cook off and time is the one thing that is in really short supply!

At competition the more you handle the product the bigger chance you'll fark it up, drop it, overcook it, or burn it.

That's the reason we're kicking this around in the COMPETITION forum - drier cooking to near the very end is probably the answer - foil only if you have to before prep. What we do at cook offs is not necessarily what we do at home -- for example: my fall off the bone ribs at home!!
Oops, My bad! Wasn't paying attention to the Forum Heading! Sorry! Saw the post, and it struck my interst.
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Unread 01-24-2005, 07:54 PM   #8
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I'm not trying to control the forum -- it's just that we're discussing competition turn-in and the timing and methodology may change. Tim is sounding out competitors to see what their consensus is for getting bark under the constraints of a cook off.

But, if you get good brisket bark using a technique different from the forum then stick with it!! Brethren don't have the only answer (heck we even argue over mustard!) - but all the different techniques will yield good product - just a bit different.
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Unread 01-24-2005, 08:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFLittle
I'm not trying to control the forum -- it's just that we're discussing competition turn-in and the timing and methodology may change. Tim is sounding out competitors to see what their consensus is for getting bark under the constraints of a cook off.

But, if you get good brisket bark using a technique different from the forum then stick with it!! Brethren don't have the only answer (heck we even argue over mustard!) - but all the different techniques will yield good product - just a bit different.
DF is right--as "almost" always

My "home cooking" does not resemble what we do for competetion.
No problem for me--two different worlds and goals.

TIM
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Unread 01-24-2005, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFLittle
(heck we even argue over mustard!).
So I've seen! :D
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Unread 01-24-2005, 08:41 PM   #11
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I don't compete, but have followed J Minions tips on getting good bark

I now make sure to incude a good amount of sugar, or brown sugar, in my rubs.

And my spray bottle always has something sweet

I get awesome bark
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Unread 01-24-2005, 08:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98
I don't compete, but have followed J Minions tips on getting good bark

I now make sure to incude a good amount of sugar, or brown sugar, in my rubs.

And my spray bottle always has something sweet

I get awesome bark
Bill- great!

Notice any difference between Dry Heat and Wet Heat???

TIM
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Unread 01-24-2005, 08:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapndsl
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFLittle
I'm not trying to control the forum -- it's just that we're discussing competition turn-in and the timing and methodology may change. Tim is sounding out competitors to see what their consensus is for getting bark under the constraints of a cook off.

But, if you get good brisket bark using a technique different from the forum then stick with it!! Brethren don't have the only answer (heck we even argue over mustard!) - but all the different techniques will yield good product - just a bit different.
DF is right--as "almost" always

My "home cooking" does not resemble what we do for competetion.
No problem for me--two different worlds and goals.

TIM
I understand what you are saying, but have a problem with it as well. If it is the best Q, then it should win. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a competition cook.
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Unread 01-24-2005, 09:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
I understand what you are saying, but have a problem with it as well. If it is the best Q, then it should win. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a competition cook.

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Certainly not meaning to stir up anything

My "home que" is meant for the friends, family, and neighbors.
I use no rubs, just inject (as appropriate) and spray.
Ribs are "fall off the bone".
Most Brisket is chopped or pulled for samiches.
No "aging" or other tedious chores.
Buy good stuff, prep it, cook it, and enjoy!
I do not even fuss over skin on the chickie (fact is, I just pull it off first--easy).

Just great food for the "consumers".

In competetion, my "consumer" is the judges.
To get great scores from them, we have to make them happy,
We must conform to their expectations, norms, and tastes if we want to succeed.
"Best" is in their mind--not mine (although I wish it were).
I have no problem with that at all.

Just looking for "the edge" to help.

TIM
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Unread 01-24-2005, 09:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
My Smokers utilize both moist and dry heat. In competition I use moist heat and then at the end empty the water pan and firm up the bark for the last hour or so with dry heat. We have won many times and always finish in the top numbers
.
Jay,

You still have me thinking (I know, a dangerous thing)!

Have you experimented with "all dry" or "all moist"?

Any thoughts on the Pros and Cons of each?

Thanks,

TIM
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