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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 08-02-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Baby Backs vs St. Louis

I know that in competition BBQ that St. Louis ribs are the most common prepared, but I have been considering switching to baby backs. We have not had the best luck with ribs at comps, it's the only category we have not gotten a call in. I know that St. Louis ribs have a higher fat content and don't dry out as easily. What are the other benefits of using St. Louis instead of baby backs. Does anyone use baby backs and do well?

I judged a competition a few weeks ago and after the food was all dumped I said, "wow those baby back ribs were awesome. They were my favorite." The table guys next to me looked at me funny and said, "there were baby backs?" Augh!!!! These are the people that judge your food guys!

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Unread 08-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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I've tried both and have been consistently inconsistent
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Unread 08-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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BB vs Spares has been discussed many times here.
The consensus seems to be----"cook whichever you cook the best".
I totally agree with that.

We were top 10 in FBA TOTY in 2009 with a 5th or 6th ranking in ribs cooking BB's.
The teams above us were cooking both--no advantage one way or the other I can see.

As to the judging observation, you are spot on.
I had two times while judging where another judge obviously had no idea what a BB or Spare was.
Both were in the context of comments after slips were turned in.
"What was your favorite rib?"
"The Baby Back!"
" What Baby Back?"
"That one" (pointing to a really short spare).

Also had a Master Judge state (after judging ribs) that "If I wanted a pork chop, I would order one."
I asked him (subtlety) if he scored BBs down---he backtracked quickly and denied that. BS meter at full deflection on that one.

So, cook what you cook the best and take your chances one way or the other.

I do believe a quality rib of either type will prevail, no matter the knowledge of the judges that day.

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Unread 08-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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What ever you choose bb or spares practice with it until you can't stand the sight of it... Bottom line is do what u do and do it well.
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Unread 08-02-2012, 06:39 PM   #5

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We've cooked both and won with both. Yeah, there are some judges out there with preconceived notions, but hopefully they are few and far between. If you present a perfectly cooked rib with a balance of flavors you'll do well.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 12:00 AM   #6
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As everyone else has said - whatever you cook the best. But if you're going to do BBs, please try to find some that are meaty because around here there seem to be a lot of back ribs that just don't have any meat on them. A meaty rib beats a skimpy one.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 07:32 AM   #7
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Babybacks never win. Ask muzzlebrake
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Unread 08-03-2012, 08:50 AM   #8
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Can't win with BB's

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