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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 07-18-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
chambersuac
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Default Brisket turn-in ?

Okay, I have cooked many briskets in my life. Some have had great bark. Some have had great smoke ring. Some have had a mixture of both.

Today, I tried something different. The flavor is GREAT. One of the best tasting briskets I've had anywhere, not to brag. HOWEVER, the smoke ring is small (partly from being cooked on a BGE???) and the bark is very minimul.

Can/does such a brisket turn in ever win, or do you mark down for such on the score for appearance???
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Unread 07-18-2011, 06:31 PM   #2
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I want to say that it would not hurt apperance score- BUT- Lack of nice crusty crunchy bark may hurt apperance. Its something that is pleasing to the eye. You could say the same about lack of smoke ring, but I dont think it would be missed as much as bark. BUT who knows? make another one take some picks and ask for a vote here
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Unread 07-18-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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Smoke ring is not a factor. KCBS judges are told repeatedly to ignore the smoke ring because it can be "faked". Bark is another matter. As a master KCBS judge I enjoy the presence of bark. Others may or may not feel the same 'cause judges like what they like.

Good luck.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 07:04 PM   #4
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at 10.28 judges are specificly told to not consider a smoke ring when judging appearance.

I received a comment card 2 weeks ago that said "smoke ring needs improvement"
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Unread 07-18-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
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smoke ring is not SUPPOSED to be judged, but don't it look nice? hard to avoid it being a factor regardless of the "criteria".

a nice crunchy bark, well, not so sure that would have ANY factor in appearance because the slices are pretty thin and thus making determining just how how nice and crusty the bark IS, would be a challenge at best. it's gonna be darker than the meat no matter what.

with that said, what IS important is does the bark impart a good flavor? is it not too hard and crusty? is what you put in the rub drawing the flavers IN TO the meat?

those IMHO would have far more bearing than the appearance or even texture of a nice crusty bark, in competition.

sean, whoever gave you a comment card regarding smoke ring should be tracked, very very closely.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
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I have the same problem with the BGE... I just can't get enough smoke from the egg, and not able to add more during cooking. I DID find a way to get LOTS of smoke for a long cook on the egg this last weekend though.... a box full of traeger pellets! I picked up a stainless steel box with holes at the top and bottom... worked great! AND I did a really low cook at 200 last time.
The Smoke ring is not supposed to be judged, however IMHO it adds to the appearance (BTW you can use tender quick to achieve that ring artificially, if you want), and I rarely put mine back in to develop that bark (I find it dries out and toughens my brisket)
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Unread 07-18-2011, 11:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
smoke ring is not SUPPOSED to be judged, but don't it look nice? hard to avoid it being a factor regardless of the "criteria".

sean, whoever gave you a comment card regarding smoke ring should be tracked, very very closely.
see now I dont get that it is hard to avoid. It is the only thing that is specificly pointed out as something a judge is not to do when it comes to brisket. Seems as clear to me as a cook not being allowed to use propane.

I agree with the tracking part but I don't think there is a way to do so. There is nothing in the Table Captains instructions regarding this kind of thing.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 05:11 AM   #8
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Regardless of what the judges are supposed to be judging on, I always want some sort of smoke ring.. just doesn't look right without it. Bark, I couldn't care less about. Our process pretty much produces zero bark, but scores well unless I fark it up and under or over cook it a bit.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlebrake View Post
see now I dont get that it is hard to avoid. It is the only thing that is specificly pointed out as something a judge is not to do when it comes to brisket. Seems as clear to me as a cook not being allowed to use propane.

I agree with the tracking part but I don't think there is a way to do so. There is nothing in the Table Captains instructions regarding this kind of thing.
to elaborate, i don't think it is like "wow! that's a great smoke ring, i'm gonna give this a 9" when it otherwise should have been an 8. or "geez, where is the smoke ring? this gets a 5".

i think it just more of a subconcious kind of thing. it just simply looks better with a smoke ring than not. regardless of it is a scoring criteria.

while we're at it, why isn't it part of the criteria? is it because it can be chemically produced?

who would actually take the time to TQ a brisket at a comp to get an artificial smoke ring when your gonna go ahead and smoke the farkin thing anyway?

just wonderin'.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 07:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
while we're at it, why isn't it part of the criteria? is it because it can be chemically produced?
That is the explanation I have always heard.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 07:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chambersuac View Post
Okay, I have cooked many briskets in my life. Some have had great bark. Some have had great smoke ring. Some have had a mixture of both.

Today, I tried something different. The flavor is GREAT. One of the best tasting briskets I've had anywhere, not to brag. HOWEVER, the smoke ring is small (partly from being cooked on a BGE???) and the bark is very minimul.

Can/does such a brisket turn in ever win, or do you mark down for such on the score for appearance???
Being that the score on presentation is a small portion of your overall score when compared to taste and tenderness I would never have any problem turning in a brisket that had dynamite taste and texture with mediocre presentation.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 08:33 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I agree that a smoke ring looks really nice and I like bark, too. I won't be using my Egg to cook at a comp, but I wanted to use it yesterday, 'cause it's easy and makes great Q. :)

I went very simple on seasoning - Light dusting Kosher Salt, Medium amount of course ground black pepper, and then pretty heavy on my seasoning salt. Again, as far as flavor, it was awesome. Oh, I did inject with Kosmo's Beef Injection. LOVE that stuff.

The tenderness was just right, in my limited experience - a pencil-width slice pulled apart easily, but didn't fall apart. That's what I'm looking for, right???

But, for a good bark, what do I need???? Some kind of sugar? I would think something that has to caramelize??? I have used several rubs, like Bovine Bold, etc. and always got a good bark, but I don't know what it is that caused it.

Yes, you're right - I'm new to comps. (I figured you guessed that by now. LOL) In fact in three weeks, I'll be turning in my first brisket.

I appreciate all the feedback from both competitors and judges...you guys are awesome!
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Unread 07-19-2011, 09:21 AM   #13
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Try putting the brisket on cold, not room temp. That seems to help with the nitrite conversion and provide a nice smoke ring.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chambersuac View Post
But, for a good bark, what do I need???? Some kind of sugar? I would think something that has to caramelize??? I have used several rubs, like Bovine Bold, etc. and always got a good bark, but I don't know what it is that caused it.
Dan,

We use Todd's Bovine Bold and we have found adding a little sugar to the rub makes the Bark much nicer. I don't think that Bovine Bold has much sugar on it's own so we add sugar to get that nice caramelization.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 11:13 AM   #15
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define bark and bark texture?
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