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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 06-24-2012, 07:09 PM   #1
Pitts
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Default Please define "competition quality BBQ"

I have taken ONE KCBS judges class. I know your rib meat can't fall off the bone and brisket should have some pull to it. I know the meat should not be dry. I have eaten different turn in meats at comps. I spend a BUNCH of money and time cooking to achieve it. But how does it really differ from what you cook at home ? Ready ...... GO !.......
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Unread 06-24-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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It doesnt. I cook the same in competitions as I do at home.
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Unread 06-24-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Other than presentation, the flavor profile for comps is typically designed for one or two bites, not for an entire meal.
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Unread 06-24-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitts View Post
I have taken ONE KCBS judges class. I know your rib meat can't fall off the bone and brisket should have some pull to it. I know the meat should not be dry. I have eaten different turn in meats at comps. I spend a BUNCH of money and time cooking to achieve it. But how does it really differ from what you cook at home ? Ready ...... GO !.......
When you say you "have eaten different turn in meats at comps" do you mean as a judge or just had some samples from teams?

But to your question my ribs are pretty much the same. Butts/Brisket I don't inject at home normally. Chicken is probably the most different as I don't really trim at home and especially don't scrape skin.
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Unread 06-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnbish View Post
When you say you "have eaten different turn in meats at comps" do you mean as a judge or just had some samples from teams?

But to your question my ribs are pretty much the same. Butts/Brisket I don't inject at home normally. Chicken is probably the most different as I don't really trim at home and especially don't scrape skin.
Samples from teams around us at comps.
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Unread 06-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitts View Post
Samples from teams around us at comps.
Ah I wasn't sure if you meant you competed as well. How does your food differ?
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Unread 06-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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Not to sound like a rude cook but I think it sucks.

I don't care for any of it. I have two sets of recipes, what I cook for me and another set for the judges.

Tenderness is also completely different.

JMHO

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Unread 06-24-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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When I'm cooking for me & the fam, or for catering, my Q it is COMPLETELY different from comp cooking. I would NOT want a plate full of comp BBQ. We make our comp Q so that one bite dazzles the senses.

A huge difference is the injection. For example, on a pork butt for home consumption, my injection is just apple juice, dissolved 3Eyz rub and a shot of Worcestershire. Comp injections are much more complex.
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Unread 06-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #9
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What I cook for my family and comps are the same when I cook a bunch for parties and such I leave a few steps out but it's still better than what you get at many BBQ joints around here. It still makes me shake my head when people say they dont prefer what they turn in at contests. I love what I turn in and so does my family and friends.
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Unread 06-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitnfat View Post
What I cook for my family and comps are the same when I cook a bunch for parties and such I leave a few steps out but it's still better than what you get at many BBQ joints around here. It still makes me shake my head when people say they dont prefer what they turn in at contests. I love what I turn in and so does my family and friends.
Sorry, for me, the only thing similar is the meat.

When we are testing for a comp we are even waiting for 15-20 minutes before taking a bite. Flavors change once they've cooled down. What may taste good hot can taste like chit once cool or even cold.

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Unread 06-24-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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To me, the main difference is that for home cooking the flavor profiles are milder and I'm going for less bark. On ribs - well, they tend to fall off of the bone because that's what the family wants .
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Unread 06-24-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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I think comp food tends to be more intense whether it's sweet or whatever. My brisket and pork are the same at home and for catering as they are at comps with the exception that we do not inject at all for home and catering. Chicken is completely different and we don't cook thighs at home. I like a savory and spicy sauce, not the sweet stuff for comps. Ribs are identical except we don't baste our ribs with... "stuff"... at home.

When I think of "competition quality", I think not so much of what flavors they have but rather the level of care that goes into the preparation of "small batch" meat and also the quality of the meat selected to begin with.
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Unread 06-25-2012, 12:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitts View Post
But how does it really differ from what you cook at home ? Ready ...... GO !.......

For some it does not, if I cooked BBQ for myself at home, it would be prepared just the way i do it for a competition...
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Unread 06-25-2012, 05:55 AM   #14
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I would be DAL in a KCBS contest with my home cooked bbq.

On second thought,...Tenderness may bump me up a notch or 2.

Example, I grew up in Eastern NC and one of my favorite ways to cook bbq chicken that is done there is to:
  • indirect/direct grill it (GASP!!!!!!!!!!) over oak wood coals until done,
  • put it into a clean igloo cooler,
  • pour a bunch of heated up eastern NC vinegar sauce over it,
  • let it steam for and hour or so
  • pull it out and dip it into a heated mixture of margarine/vinegar sauce
  • Eat the mess out of it while it falls off the bone
How do you think that would score with a KCBS judge?
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Unread 06-25-2012, 06:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
It doesnt. I cook the same in competitions as I do at home.
Oh, I guess I should say KCBSish. Chicken ain't BBQ, so it's out. We RARELY grill chicken at home and never BBQ it; it's usually done another way. Chicken in the south is FRIED (even have it on a sign). If you get cajun-esque, it's kinda fried, by way of Fricassee... Fried, my favorite is breasts and wangs, but with Fricassee we'll do the whole chicken.

Brisket; I dont BBQ brisket at home, but if I did I'd do it the same way. When I do beef at home I BBQ chuckies and have pulled beef.

Otherwise, ribs, same. Pork shoulders, butts, picnics (rarely do this at home other than when on a whole shoulder), and the whole
hog; same.

I'm from the south, living in the south. We like our flavor! BBQ 'round here has a bit of a *punch*. No apologies; it does. NC area has one type of punch; SC another; Tenn has another, LA/MS yet another, and AL,FL, and GA are a bit of hybrid of all of the above. Some then describe this as "competition BBQ", that one or two bites making a statement. That's how we eat plate full after plate full.

Our regularly scheduled July 4th party will happen this year on the 7th. At midnight I'll wake up, stoke the fire and get those butts on fast. The ribs go on around 7am. Just like when I compete in MBN, the ribs will get a light saucing before I hand 'em over, and the pork will be presented sans sauce with multiple sauces on the side for the party-goers enjoyment; sauces labeled to suit their tastes... We have our custom competition sauce, then another sauce that we present in competition that is a Lexington style sauce, two or three variations of a KC sauce, and a rib sauce that we compete with that's fairly sweet, and other rib sauce that's VERY sweet. This year the party seems to be a bit on the smallish side; we're expecting 70 - 80 people. Boats are already gassed up....
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Last edited by Lake Dogs; 06-25-2012 at 08:25 AM..
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