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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 05-23-2011, 06:21 PM   #16
Fishiest1
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Originally Posted by wormdrink67 View Post
I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess you could be right. I'm using mesquite, so maybe I'll change the wood and see how that goes. Thanks.

A few chunks of cherry or apple wood in lieu of the mesquite may remedy this for you. Ford actually talked to me before about the potential heavy smoke we can get with our BWS since then I try to take it lighter. Good luck!
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Unread 05-23-2011, 07:19 PM   #17
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^^^ Yeah, mesquite is awefully heavy. We use hickory, which is also fairly heavy, but not nearly as heavy as mesquite. I use a 1.5,2.5,.25 at 250 on baby backs. They're a little overcooked by traditional KCBS standards, but more to a MIM/MBN standard. Being in TN, your judge base may prefer something closer to a Memphis rib.

I do like the recommendation about a baseline and change one thing at a time. It takes time, but otherwise you'll never understand what they liked better, etc.

Also, I'm not so much for the judging class as actually judging a few competitions to see first hand what comes across the table and what scores well, and why. I know you're certified. Have you judged a few competitions?

Also, another thought, how warm is your entry? Sometimes things that taste great hot dont taste nearly so well luke warm, and honestly some dont taste worth a darn cold. I've seen entries where folks are hell bent to keep the garnish fresh and cold that they put small sliced ribs (which lose heat fast) atop only to find they're getting cold, fast.
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Unread 05-23-2011, 07:45 PM   #18
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I'm yet to judge a competition, but would love to for the reasons you mentioned. My boxes are parsley turf, set out about an hour before turn in so the garnish isn't cold enough to drag down my meat temp. As for how hot they are: on saturday they were off the smoker, boxed, and on the turn in table within 8 minutes. A few people have mentioned I might need to let them rest before cutting, but I'm not sold on that yet. Thanks for the advice, I'll take heed and adjust accordingly.

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Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
^^^ Yeah, mesquite is awefully heavy. We use hickory, which is also fairly heavy, but not nearly as heavy as mesquite. I use a 1.5,2.5,.25 at 250 on baby backs. They're a little overcooked by traditional KCBS standards, but more to a MIM/MBN standard. Being in TN, your judge base may prefer something closer to a Memphis rib.

I do like the recommendation about a baseline and change one thing at a time. It takes time, but otherwise you'll never understand what they liked better, etc.

Also, I'm not so much for the judging class as actually judging a few competitions to see first hand what comes across the table and what scores well, and why. I know you're certified. Have you judged a few competitions?

Also, another thought, how warm is your entry? Sometimes things that taste great hot dont taste nearly so well luke warm, and honestly some dont taste worth a darn cold. I've seen entries where folks are hell bent to keep the garnish fresh and cold that they put small sliced ribs (which lose heat fast) atop only to find they're getting cold, fast.
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Unread 05-23-2011, 07:46 PM   #19
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what are you wrapping with?
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Unread 05-23-2011, 07:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by wormdrink67 View Post
I'm cooking back ribs that are trimmed down to around 2.0lbs....I can assure you they aren't under done, possibly over done, but not under and I assumed that they tasted exactly as you said "candy on stick"....the judges just don't seem to be tasting the same thing I am. Guess its time to change to st. louis, that what everyone seems to be cooking.
This could be your problem. Are you getting low scores on taste or tenderness?
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Unread 05-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #21
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I'll never forget the first contest that I judged. Ribs, MIM on-site. I came away saying to friends that the worst ribs I had that day were better than any I'd ever had before. It was a good day, and a good draw. I've beat around the bush, so let me get to it: For me anyway, a picture was literally worth more than the 1,000 words. To see it, touch it, squeeze it, smell it, taste it first hand; well, that taught quite a bit. I'll disagree with Ford somewhat, in that the pork (even ribs) that I see win never make it off the judging table; the darned judges snarf it all right there. Meaning, they're good enough to eat, and eat more. Most MIM/MBN competitions provide ribs in 2 rib bone sections vs. the KCBS standard of just 1 bone. Of the best entries, these darned judges are eating quite a bit! IMHO, the winning entries aren't that sweet, but really find a balance of sweet with a little spicy kick, but not terribly sweet, nor terribly spicy. Smoked, but dont taste like a smoke stack. Again, smoke flavor to enhance the meat flavor. I can talk about it all day, but if you judge a few contests you'll know first hand.

Good luck with them!!!!
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Unread 05-23-2011, 08:27 PM   #22
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Cook- I'm cbj #60558, it's also on my signature. The judging class taught me about as much about how I should be cooking bbq as my first grade teacher....
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Unread 05-23-2011, 08:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Sledneck View Post
one rib win and suddenly your an expert, pffffft

LOL Nothing to do with ribs, basic bbq knowledge is all I'm offering.
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Unread 05-23-2011, 08:53 PM   #24
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what are you wrapping with?
A-1 and honey
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Unread 05-23-2011, 09:04 PM   #25
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what are you wrapping with?
Apple Juice/brown sugar....
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Unread 05-23-2011, 09:06 PM   #26
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This could be your problem. Are you getting low scores on taste or tenderness?
Yes, those two are killing me. Between the taste and tenderness categories I racked up five 7's and one 6 from the judges with the kiss of death (a note) saying my ribs were too salty. My first comp I cooked at 4.5 hours, 2nd comp I cooked for 5 hours, 3rd comp I cooked for 5 hours 10 minutes....can't seem to find the tenderness they want.
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Unread 05-23-2011, 11:01 PM   #27
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Yes, those two are killing me. Between the taste and tenderness categories I racked up five 7's and one 6 from the judges with the kiss of death (a note) saying my ribs were too salty. My first comp I cooked at 4.5 hours, 2nd comp I cooked for 5 hours, 3rd comp I cooked for 5 hours 10 minutes....can't seem to find the tenderness they want.
I'm no expert by far, but 5 hours for 2 lb baby back seems WAY TOO LONG. I cooked some very tender ribs on Sunday and used 2 - 0.75 - 0.75 with the sauce on for the last 20 minutes. Passed the bend test nicely. Cook temp was 275ºF.
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Unread 05-24-2011, 12:56 AM   #28
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Lots of great info...especially the 86 the mequite part.
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Unread 05-24-2011, 02:20 AM   #29
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Cook- I'm cbj #60558, it's also on my signature. The judging class taught me about as much about how I should be cooking bbq as my first grade teacher....
LOL +1, I could not agree with you and Mister Bob more. I learned very little about what the judges are looking for, but I learned a great deal about what other cooks were cooking
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Unread 05-24-2011, 09:53 AM   #30
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Who knows what judges want? When you get 9s and 6s on appearance for the same box, what do you do?

I do agree the mesquite is probably a mistake, especially on the smaller meats like ribs and chicken. Fruit woods work nicely with ribs. Too much mesquite will give you a bitter taste. Use it for grilling, not smoking.
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