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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 10-04-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
fnbish
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Default Some Pics & Info From my Latest Comp

Figured I would share my boxes and experience at my latest competition as I normally put something up. Did the Squealin on the Square in SC over the weekend. It was our 6th competition in our rookie year. 4th KCBS (3rd in the Pro division). Each time we are progressively getting better. Our first pro we got dead ass last, then 32 out of 41, and now 18 out of 31. Hoping to crack into the top 50% or better before the year is out.

Weather was great all weekend since it was not really hot at all and actually got pretty cool Friday night. It is funny from competition to competition how you think some of the turn ins are great and they don't do as well and other are bad, but then they do well. That definitely happened here. We were right around 20th for each Chicken, Ribs, Pork. I really liked our chicken in terms of appearance and also tenderness and thought it would do decent. The ribs I wasn't happy with and the pork I though was pretty damn good and has been one of our best categories throughout our run. But all were below middle of the pack.

Then comes brisket, which I have never been happy with in terms of how the flat comes out. Never super moist but has ok flavor. This time I tried a different trimming method along with injecting the heck out of it. When it was done we made burnt ends which I normally always do like and they were good, but after leaving the flat to rest for a few hours and then slicing it nothing tenderness wise has changed. But we did have a new sauce mix that we dipped each slice in for flavor and I do think the injection added some flavor too. And maybe that is why after not hearing a single call for any of the first 3 categories and thinking all hope was lost (since brisket is our worst category) we got a call up for 7th. Go figure. So I'll be running with a lot of what I did for brisket flavor wise next time and really trying hard to cook the damn thing better so it is more tender.

Last before the turn in boxes I need to mention I was setup in between the GC (Blue Sky BBQ) and 3rd overall (2 Worthless Nuts). So shout out! Both teams were awesome and super friendly and were willing to talk to me about anything and offer advice that I gladly took. Having teams like that to talk to and help during a competition makes paying the entry fees and competing even more worth it. Definitely helps to grow competition BBQ in my mind. Heck I was even a man short till late Friday night (as my teammate couldn't get there early) and had to do all the Friday prep by myself and the folks at Blue Sky helped with that.

So here are the boxes. Critique is always welcome. Had a few mishaps with the boxes during turn in and will explain.

Not a turn in box, but here I am with one of the 2 WSM I ran on. I couldn't bring the TNT since my normal teammate couldn't come and didn't have the trailer for it.


I was very happy with the trimming of chicken. Need to get a shinier glaze.


This is the first time I have used more than 2 of the 4 racks we cook to get at least 6 ribs. Normally we get all 6 off of 1 or maybe have to go to a 2nd rack. Well I used 3 racks this time since there were only a few ribs from each that seemed tender and the different size shows. I also dropped a rib in the box that messed up the garish a little and hand to piece it back together.


I really liked the appearance here on the pork. It wasn't as tender as our last few comps though. I had been trying to tighten up the garnish our first few times out, but after finally stopping to make sure every leaf size is exactly the same and being super meticulous our appearance actually got better. It's like the judges aren't judging the garnish or something .


And the 7th place brisket . Again i'm pretty happy with appearance here. The funny thing about this one was the guy I brought to help had been to just one of our comps on Saturday before to hang out. This time he was full on as my "teammate assistant".

During this box setup he was holding the box steady, as it was pretty damn windy, while I sliced the meat to get ready to put in the box. For a second he let go to grab something I asked for and the entire box went airborn and flipped over, spilling all the parsley onto the table. With about 8 mins to turn in I really didn't react much since I knew I could make it work. Had it happened in one of my first comps I would have crapped my pants. But the expression on his face was priceless. It was like he just dropped the superbowl winning touchdown pass and screwed it all up for me or accidentally broke all my smokers. I told him it wasn't a big deal. And this is why I may now try even less hard for garnishing because my appearance scores were great and all I did was just throw the parsley back in there all at once, put the meat on top and then tidy up the sides by facing the parsley that was upside down back right side up. Weird...

Thanks for looking
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Unread 10-04-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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My first comment is to work on the parsley bed. Your meat is sitting too low in the box. Work on building a base for the meat that brings it up in the box so the meat is the star. The judges aren't supposed to score on garnish, but if it is in the box it will make an impression, consciously or subconsciously, so use it to your advantage to show off the meat.

Chicken - A little more shine would be nice, but they don't look bad. It's hard to tell from a pic, but the sauce looks a little heavy. Maybe thin it a little with some juice? Also, try to trim the pieces so you get a little more uniformity. They don't have to be identical, but close always looks better.

Ribs - A little more even glaze and a little shine would help. Using ribs from the same rack would help. The cuts will line up better and the overall appearance will be better. But, sometimes you can't do that.

Pork - Overall the box looks good. I would like to see more bark chunks for contrast, and maybe a little lighter on the sauce.

Brisket - The burnt ends look great. The slices look dry, and they kind of get lost in the box. Did you cut them that short? Also, the arrangement looks a bit sloppy. Try to line them up so that each slice is the same distance above the slice in front of it. Also, try to smooth out any sauce or glaze. The blotches on the front slice take away from the overall appearance.

You mentioned that your appearance scores were great. I'm curious what they were. My honest cores for these boxes would be 6 or 7 with the pork box probably getting a 7. An interesting experiment would be to submit these to bbqcritic.com to see what feedback you get from CBJs, cooks and master judges. It's anonymous and it can be an eye opener.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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I diddo Rons remarks about the garnish. I like the minimal use, but on the ribs, it looks like it was just dropped in, it draws attention instead of blending in.

To me the chicken looks dark, but i think it would be ok if it had a shine 6/7
work on straighter cuts on the ribs and a more even placement also a 6
pork looks pretty good, might consider putting more in, alot more probably 7 possibly 8 if the sauce was more even
Brisket same thing 7, 8 with an even coat of sauce (or no sauce)

Im not an expert, but thats my $.02
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Unread 10-04-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
An interesting experiment would be to submit these to bbqcritic.com to see what feedback you get from CBJs, cooks and master judges. It's anonymous and it can be an eye opener.
Thanks for the tips. I actually did submit them on bbqcritic yesterday for my first submissions there ever. I haven't seen them up yet, not sure how long it takes. I am definitely going to work on my glazes. My sauces/glazes so far on the chicken/ribs just don't have great shine, but I did get some good advice on how to improve that so I will be trying at my next competition.

Here are my appearance scores. Went and grabbed the sheet out of the car. These are pretty good for me especially after dropping a few ribs in the garnish and having to pick garnish off the ribs and move them around and also completely dumping the parsley out because of the wind.

Chicken - 8,8,7,9,7,9
Ribs - 8,8,7,8,8,9
Pork - 9,8,8,8,8,8
Brisket - 7,8,9,9,8,9
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Unread 10-04-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayAre View Post
I diddo Rons remarks about the garnish. I like the minimal use, but on the ribs, it looks like it was just dropped in, it draws attention instead of blending in.

To me the chicken looks dark, but i think it would be ok if it had a shine 6/7
work on straighter cuts on the ribs and a more even placement also a 6
pork looks pretty good, might consider putting more in, alot more probably 7 possibly 8 if the sauce was more even
Brisket same thing 7, 8 with an even coat of sauce (or no sauce)

Im not an expert, but thats my $.02
Thank you for the critique. I did in fact accidentally drop 2 ribs in the box . That tied in with the fact that I had to get them off 3 racks I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. Especially after cutting it close to turn in time. Going to start a few minutes earlier.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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I put some pork up on bbqcritic for giggles, took a while for them to post it, but normally you get good feedback
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Unread 10-04-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayAre View Post
I put some pork up on bbqcritic for giggles, took a while for them to post it, but normally you get good feedback
Cool. Thanks for letting me know. I figured it might take a day or 2 since a lot of people probably submit boxes and I'm sure they go through them all before they choose the ones that get on the site.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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more like a week or two
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Unread 10-04-2011, 08:29 PM   #9
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Great write up - thx. Nice layout on the pork box. Fill that brisket box up.
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Unread 10-04-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewer View Post
Great write up - thx. Nice layout on the pork box. Fill that brisket box up.
Thanks. I'm glad folks mentioned putting more meat in the brisket box. I looked around at a lot of other brisket turn ins on the forum and I need to go further back into the flat for longer slices.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 02:07 PM   #11
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What part of the pork do you slice up for the competition?
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Unread 10-05-2011, 02:52 PM   #12
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What part of the pork do you slice up for the competition?
I slice up the money muscle if it doesn't fall apart which I have had happen before.
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