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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 08-16-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Pork Butt - Pulled/Sliced/Chunks temps/box building

Again... newbie to competition, looking for a little advice... thinking about building my box for a MBN competition (amateur division.)

It seems like most people are including pulled meat, sliced meat, & chunks of meat in their turn in box. (or maybe i am watching too much TV)

I typically just pull it all when making it at home & typically remove the butts from the smoker at about 190-195 internal temp.

Do I need to pull one off earlier at competition in order to have some to slice/chunk? If so what temps are you guys pulling them off for the slice/chunks, and are you just slicing/chunking the money muscle?

Should i just pull them off at a lower temp, remove the money muscle and put the rest of the butt back on until it hits 190-195?

Hopefully, I am not asking anyone to reveal "secrets" but looking to save myself some trial & error if someone is willing to share.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 10:37 AM   #2
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This is for the shoulder division correct? You probably already know this but...Just remember you gotta cook at least 5 whole shoulders for MBN. 3 FOR EACH OF 3 ONSITE JUDGES, 1 FOR BLIND BOX, AND 1 FOR FINALS (if you make top 3) I always include some tasty burnt ends and pulled pork, but I have seen some sliced pork along the way. I always turn in money muscle if possible...Remember to use your best for Blind, you can BS an onsite judge...you can't BS a blind box
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Unread 08-16-2011, 10:46 AM   #3
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It is the amateur division, so all we do is turn in a blind box with no garnish; There are no site visits, etc. for us amateurs. They have us doing butts instead of the whole shoulder that the pros will be using.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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My bad, never seen an MBN Amateur division contest...kinda cool :-) Then I would cook 3 butts, Take money muscle from at least 2 to get nice long threads of pork, make a cute little birdnest in the center with some bark strategically placed throughout it, making sure you see some nice pink smokering in there. Next get at least six (inch or so wide and make sure they are tasty!) Glazed Burnt end pieces and put them 3 on each side. You can then add some sliced pork if you wish, But I always do the nest and ends...
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Unread 08-16-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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We started competing this year and our first 2 comps were both MBN backyard/amateur divisions. Our ribs did great in both contests finishing 7th and then 2nd. Our butts were middle of the pack both times mostly because they lacked flavor (which we are working on).

We did score well on appearance so I will tell you what we did. I attached the pic from our first MBN. You can see we did 3 kinds. Got a good money muscle then also chunks and then some pulled. For us to get a good money muscle that doesn't fall apart when you cut it we take those butts off at no more than 185. We do 2 butts that way and you also get good chunks out of those too. Then 1 more butt and take it to the normal 195 range for more chunks and pulled. In all honestly just from our experience the butts that we pulled at 185 actually can give you all 3 times of pork.

Now all that being said from what I have seen other teams put in and also from what I have discussed from teams that have done well you don't need all 3 or even 2. You simply need to turn in what looks best and what tastes best too. We don't do pulled anymore since it seems to dry out faster. One competition the money muscles fell apart so we just did chunks. Now we shoot for money muscle and chunks, but are more focused on getting better flavor.

So I don't think you need all 3. Oh and another big point on that is whatever you put into the box the judges will judge. So if your money muscle is great, but then you also have pulled in there and it is dryer and doesn't taste as good they will judge you for it all and dock you for the not as good pulled.

My last tip (from our 3rd competition) is to make sure you don't have any fat left on any of the meat. May seem obvious but we had a comment card come back ans say there was fat on a piece. We didn't see it probably because we didn't inspect all our chunks before we put them in the box. Probably some fat on the bottom side.

Sorry if that was long winded. We are still rookies ourselves and constantly learning. Hope this help.s

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Unread 08-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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We compete in KCBS events and this question/comment is geared in that direction. The difficult part of turning in all three or even two, the money muscle is done much sooner than the rest. The rules state you cannot separate the protein once the protein has been put on the smoker. If you cook two separate butts, can you turn in the money muscle from one and chunks/pulled from another; avoiding DQ?
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Unread 08-16-2011, 05:21 PM   #7
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Oh and also forgot to mention if you do cook some butts to take off at 185ish and then some at 195ish you can start the 185ish butts a little later which will hep to get them done remotely the same time as the 195ish ones.
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Unread 08-16-2011, 06:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnbish View Post
We started competing this year and our first 2 comps were both MBN backyard/amateur divisions. Our ribs did great in both contests finishing 7th and then 2nd. Our butts were middle of the pack both times mostly because they lacked flavor (which we are working on).
That is a great looking turn-in box.

Nicely done.

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Unread 08-16-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeriousQue View Post
We compete in KCBS events and this question/comment is geared in that direction. The difficult part of turning in all three or even two, the money muscle is done much sooner than the rest. The rules state you cannot separate the protein once the protein has been put on the smoker. If you cook two separate butts, can you turn in the money muscle from one and chunks/pulled from another; avoiding DQ?
absolutely.

BTW, i don't think the MM is done any sooner than the good parts of a butt for a turn in.
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Unread 08-17-2011, 12:16 PM   #10
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thanks guys, and especially to fnbish.

Last year in this same comp. I just submitted pulled with maybe a few chunks with heavy bark on top... ran out of time and rushed it a bit.

Finished in the top third, but hoping to really improve on that this year.
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Unread 08-17-2011, 01:40 PM   #11
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good luck! top 3rd aint bad at all.
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