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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 04-23-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
Outnumbered
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Default Practice Boxes for May Comp

I did a full practice cook this weekend for my 2nd ever comp on May 11-12. We're doing the Platte City, MO comp at Basswood Resort. Got a few kinks to work out with the cooking since I just switched to two UDSs and a OTG for my smoking needs.

Anyway, here are the boxes we built last night. We've already figured out lots we want to change and touch up on these, so please don't be afraid of offending. If they suck, tell me so.

TIA for any input---



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Unread 04-23-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Chicken - put meat on the top of garnish, or leave out garnish altogether. Definitely not "in" garnish. I like that the chicken looks like chicken (vs. sculpted little balls of luv). However, the sauce is blotchy and inconsistent. There's actually garnish and pieces ON the chicken. The piece in the upper right and the one in the lower right are most appetizing among the bunch. Honestly, probably a 6.

Ribs - best of the group. The cuts are a little wavy, but sometimes this cannot be helped. Good color on the ribs. Sauce is inconsistent. 7 or 8.

Pork and Brisket - just not really doing it for me. Lets see some bark. Sauce is gloppy and meat looks/appears as though it was almost thrown in there and sauce slapped on afterwards. Pork perhaps a 6, Brisket probably a 5.

Take a look at bbqcritic.com for LOTS of pics, good and bad, of presentations.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
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Yea, What Hance said. You got some practice to do, but we can get you ready.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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I would say too much sauce on pork and brisket, but if you are going to sauce make it consistent and not gloppy.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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I agree with the above but will add clean the boxes after you finish them. You have sauce all over the sides. Baby wipes are your friend.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. One of the things we certainly learned is to have plenty of parsley on hand. That's a big part of our problem. We had a lot of boxes, lots of meat, but not enough parsley. You really don't want to be recycling that and that would have helped us get the chicken up higher if we actually had enough to set it on.

I really appreciate these comments and you are confirming a lot of the stuff we were wondering about last night. This is great!
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Unread 04-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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Chicken - Not enough green, there shouldn't be open "fields of white" in the middle of the box. Also, chicken should be trimmed so that they're all approximately the same shape and size, and close to the same color. Looks like the top 2 and bottom right are all darker than the other 3.

Ribs - Uneven bones (the way they're aligned) sloppy garnish, and the cuts between aren't clean, as was already mentioned

Pork and brisket - again, sloppy garnish, too much sauce, uneven sauce, and brisket slices need a lot of work.

Lake Dogs link should definitely help!
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Unread 04-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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Keep reading the comp section young Jedi.
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Unread 04-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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nothing much left to say. keep practicing
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Unread 04-23-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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Hance nailed it! Especially about BBQCritic.com
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Unread 04-25-2012, 12:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outnumbered View Post
Thanks for the comments. One of the things we certainly learned is to have plenty of parsley on hand. That's a big part of our problem. We had a lot of boxes, lots of meat, but not enough parsley. You really don't want to be recycling that and that would have helped us get the chicken up higher if we actually had enough to set it on.

I really appreciate these comments and you are confirming a lot of the stuff we were wondering about last night. This is great!

Not sure if it will help, but I use a minimum of two bunches of
parsley per box before touch up, and actually buy 9-12 bunches for a 4 box turn in depending on the quality of the parsley. Take the extra time to search stores in your area for the best parsley as parsley that looks more like broccoli is better than parsley that is thin and whispy. I have three grocery stores with a few miles of my house, and I can never guarantee who will have the best, but know that one of them will have the "Broccoli" parsley that I am looking for. Because you are cooking in Platte, I will check Hen House, Price Chopper and Hyvee to find the best parsley.

Hope this helps, good luck.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 05:39 AM   #12
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My thoughts kind of mirror most of the above. Here's my take from a cook's perspective with a pair of KCBS judging classes under my belt. Take it for what it's worth.

CHX - 6

Prefer to see more uniformity in size. Parsley seems to move the eye away from the chicken, with white box bottom seen and uneven edging. Try a bed of parsley to raise the meat. Sauce smudges around the box edges also make the eye wander away from the turn-in. A glaze with a bit more shine would not (hopefully) hurt on your appearance score

Ribs -7

Looks better. Try to even out your cuts. Hard to do sometimes, but occasionally you will have to draw from 3+ racks for 1 turn-in box in this category. Sauce smudges on outside of box again take the focus away from your product. Parsley again needs additional work to keep the eye mostly on the ribs.

Pork - 6...possibly a 7

More uniform slices will help. Sauce looks sloppy on some pieces, especially on the right side of box. Parsley again needs some work. You might consider a different arrangement of pulled/chunks and slices, but that's just a random thought.

Brisket - 6

This box looks thrown together IMO. Parsley again needs work. Brisket looks heavily sauced, which may be good or may be bad depending on where you cook. Where we cooked previously and where we cook now are night and day with regards to saucing brisket. Ask the local teams/judges about saucing brisket in your locale, trust me....ask. The smoke ring looks pretty solid.

Props to you for asking questions. I know we (as cooks) prefer critical feedback a lot more than we prefer people blowing smoke up our "chimney". Hope you get to the next level and when you do, make sure to share it with the Brethren.

Best of luck.
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