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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 05-29-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
jcpetro97
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Default First Comp is done!

Well, this weekend we did our first comp at the Roc City Ribfest. We only did the Rib Cookoff, which wasn't judged by certified judges, and we had a blast. We were 53/109 and I couldn't be happier.

SO, after the awards were done, we got our score sheet, and they gave the breakdown by judge.

1 - 9,9,7
2 - 6,7,7
3 - 7,7,6
4 - 6,7,7
5 - 7,6,7
6 - 7,8,7

Now, I am taking these scores with a grain of salt, because it was an unsanctioned event, judged for charity by non-certified judges, and I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with our scores. However, I am looking to see if there is anything I can do to maybe change some of these scores, so that we are looking at 7's and 8's instead...

SO, i am posting a pic of our box, and would love some feedback. Also, if you have any tips on rib tenderness, then I would be open to suggestions. Taste.. well.. I don't think I will change anything just yet. We are going to do a KCBS event next year, and want to see what happens with our profile there before we change anything there.

For those who are curious, all we did with our ribs, was trim, pull the membrane off, then season with Plowboys... So nothing really complex... we didn't marinate, or anything like that... Any Feedback, especially on the box, would be GREATLY appreciated...

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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Solid box, an 8 all day, maybe even a 9 since pics usually don't do it justice.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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I thought 9 also for appearance. Ribs look great.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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Why shoot for 7s and 8s? You won't win unless you strive for 9s. Look on the BBQ critic website and it may give you some ideas on how to change your appearance scores. Personally, I would say turn the ribs around 180 degrees so that the bones are towards the judges. I don't understand it, but I used to present my ribs that way and once I exposed the bones to the judges my scores started to rise.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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hehe.. I get it.. yeah, we are definitely shooting for 9's all around, but I am also realistic, that I probably will only go up a point or so...
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Unread 05-29-2012, 11:04 AM   #6
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Those ribs, solid 8 all day, perhaps 9, because like said earlier pics dont do justice...

But, for an unsanctioned comp, I wouldn't do KCBS style myself. I'd get them 2 bone cuts, and over-cook them a tad... Then again, I dont do unsanctioned comps, because all bets are off. ALL.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walrus79 View Post
Solid box, an 8 all day, maybe even a 9 since pics usually don't do it justice.
Completely agree with this.

They appearance scores you got were oddly low, but most likely due to unsanctioned. The only thing I would recommend which helped me push appearance scores up is to built the parsley bed up higher. I started putting shredded lettuce in the bottom then parsley on top of that. Those ribs look damn good.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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I would keep everything the same but work on your tenderness scores. It seems you know that's the area that needs the most work.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourbon Barrel BBQ View Post
I would keep everything the same but work on your tenderness scores. It seems you know that's the area that needs the most work.
ok.. so, I am just wondering.. may sound like a total noob question, but what should I be experimenting with, as far as trying to increase the tenderness. Are we looking at cooking a little longer, or is there something like marinating, or something of that nature, that maybe I should take some time to look into.

I only ask, because I thought my ribs were fine, however, obviously, others thought they were around average, so there is something I am not considering here... I appreciate any info you care to share, but totally won't press on this one... ;-)
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Unread 05-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcpetro97 View Post
ok.. so, I am just wondering.. may sound like a total noob question, but what should I be experimenting with, as far as trying to increase the tenderness. Are we looking at cooking a little longer, or is there something like marinating, or something of that nature, that maybe I should take some time to look into.

I only ask, because I thought my ribs were fine, however, obviously, others thought they were around average, so there is something I am not considering here... I appreciate any info you care to share, but totally won't press on this one... ;-)
First, you were in an unsanctioned competition. Did they define tenderness? Sanctioned competitions DO, and the different sanctioning bodies define it differently. So, the first part to the answer is to know mark you're supposed to hit. If there was no mark defined, then as I said earlier, all bets are off.

Then, you may want to go the judge route for a little while, as a picture (meaning, experience it from behind the judging table) is worth a thousand words. If you can't experience it, in sanctioned competitions the winning entries in ribs are very moist and tender, either bite through easily or pull cleanly from the bone with only a little resistance. With the meat in hand, it should be a little "springy" and moist, not mushy, or fall apart, nor hard or tough. Know that ribs firm-up a little as they cool...

Almost all competitors in sanctioned competitions foil the rib at some point. Some marinade them, others dont.

In looking at your ribs, you probably hit or came close in tenderness to a KCBS rib (bite through). If that's the case, many off-the-street folks will think that's tough, because it isn't just falling off the bone... Again, unsanctioned, all bets are off. Never read much if anything in these scores. If you won money, great. If you didnt, great.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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thanks for the advise... I appreciate it!!
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
In looking at your ribs, you probably hit or came close in tenderness to a KCBS rib (bite through). If that's the case, many off-the-street folks will think that's tough, because it isn't just falling off the bone... Again, unsanctioned, all bets are off. Never read much if anything in these scores. If you won money, great. If you didnt, great.
I used this line of thinking exactly. I slightly overcooked my ribs thinking that the "judges" would prefer that. We finished 36th with scores of:

876 877 688 799 677 678

I know that the money raised was for charity, and while its fun to do well in any competition, I feel bad for the teams that only entered this contest. To enter a contest where the judging is done by mostly untrained judges, is unfair to these competitors. These teams have paid good money to enter what amounts to be a crap shoot.

To answer your original question, I doubt there is anything that could be done to improve scores in a situation like that. I think that you will get a better idea of how you stand once you enter a sanctioned event or two. Maybe contact the guys running the Brockport contest and find out what it would cost to enter only one category.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
Those ribs, solid 8 all day, perhaps 9, because like said earlier pics dont do justice...

But, for an unsanctioned comp, I wouldn't do KCBS style myself. I'd get them 2 bone cuts, and over-cook them a tad... Then again, I dont do unsanctioned comps, because all bets are off. ALL.
I second that. Good looking Box. No way a 6 should have shown up.
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Unread 05-30-2012, 08:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Valley BBQ View Post
I used this line of thinking exactly. I slightly overcooked my ribs thinking that the "judges" would prefer that. We finished 36th with scores of:

876 877 688 799 677 678

I know that the money raised was for charity, and while its fun to do well in any competition, I feel bad for the teams that only entered this contest. To enter a contest where the judging is done by mostly untrained judges, is unfair to these competitors. These teams have paid good money to enter what amounts to be a crap shoot.

To answer your original question, I doubt there is anything that could be done to improve scores in a situation like that. I think that you will get a better idea of how you stand once you enter a sanctioned event or two. Maybe contact the guys running the Brockport contest and find out what it would cost to enter only one category.

Thanks Red Valley... I totally appreciate the comments. I knew what I was getting into, with this, and that I should take any results with a grain of salt. I was doing this cook off for the experience, since I hadn't done any comp before, so it was an amazing experience, and I definitely got the chance to "dip my toes in the water" so to speak. I was fairly sure that my appearance scores should have been higher, but I am not going to fault the judges. Like you said, it was for charity... I just wanted the opinion of some of the fine folks here, so I could see what I would have gotten, and see how I could improve on some of these scores.

I might just check out the Brockport comp.
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Unread 05-30-2012, 12:58 PM   #15
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jcpetro, don't let those judges sway your preparation, as has been said, they were average joes that paid to eat the ribs, not certified judges.

I also watched a competitor come turn in their rib box and miss the time cut off. They sat there and whined and were allowed to still submit their box and took a top 10 spot. If it were KCBS I would have said something, but being this was really just for fund raising I quietly walked away, but that made us 12th, not 11th, DAMN IT ALL!!!
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