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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 09-18-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
dmrigby
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I competed in the Jug tavern last week and I usually cook 2 butts for the competition. I was cooking on a stumps clone at 225 degrees. One of the butts did just right and no problems with timing. The other one would not get up to the temp I wanted. It cooked for 12 hrs and the highest temp I could get it up to was 180 degrees. Decided to take it off and pull. The entire meat was a dark grey. Has anyone seen this before and what was going on?? Lesson learned, cook 2 of everything.
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Unread 09-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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Never seen that, but, pork is a natural product. You just never know, I guess.
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Unread 09-18-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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pork shelf life is limited more by the development of a brown or grey color, which develops long before the meat has spoiled, than by any other factor. For pork, this discoloration is accelerated by increased surface temperatures which can result from using meat display lighting that emits large quantities of UV and harmful visible spectrum radiation. These increased temperatures can also cause pork fat to become rancid. Another reason this could of happened was all the blood has leached out of the pork. This will cause a gray color to appear, doesnt mean the meat is bad but i found when this happens the pork is less tender and less flavorful
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Unread 09-18-2012, 09:20 PM   #4
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Were both butts in the same package when you purchased them?

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Unread 09-19-2012, 04:49 AM   #5
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No, they were separate. Both of them look the same when I picked them out.
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Unread 09-19-2012, 04:57 AM   #6
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Remember that bacteria is microscopic so it is invisible to the naked eye.
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Unread 09-19-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmrigby View Post
No, they were separate. Both of them look the same when I picked them out.
Thanks. Just wondering for my own thoughts.

If they were in the same package, that might make me wonder a little bit. But since separate packages, well......

I guess it is a gamble buying both in the same package and both in separate. It would be a bummer to buy 2 in the same package and have both of them crap out.

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Unread 09-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #8
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There is no blood in commercial pork, it is bled at the time of slaughter. That pink fluid is a product of decay, the liquid draining from the cells, it is pink due to it leaching the color as it drains.

Does not mean the pork was not rancid or spoiled. I tend to look for snow white fat, if the fat is pink or yellow, I avoid it.
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Unread 09-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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I just smell it, then rinse it and smell it again. If in doubt throw it out
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Unread 09-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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I am new to competition cooking and I appreciate the information. Got a lot to learn.
Thanks
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Unread 09-20-2012, 07:11 AM   #11
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Yes, I have had this happen. Was cooking a whole case of butts from Sam's and had two do exactly what you described. The two stayed on the smoker for almost two hours longer than the others and were very tough and grey. I tossed both. Before I tossed then I tasted a small piece and while it didn't taste bad, it was almost like chewing rubber with little to no taste. That was 5-6 years ago and has never happened since.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 07:39 AM   #12
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In competitions we tend to cook a little higher than 220 to allow time when things dont go quite as planned. Plus, butts needs to rest a little (usually) before pulling to be perfect. Resting an extra hour or two wont hurt much.

Also, always always ALWAYS cook another, as a back-up. Meat goes bad, meat gets dropped (at whatever the worst possible moment can be), etc. It happens. For a smaller competition (smaller meat volume, like KCBS) I'll usually cook 3 butts, because I'll usually use the meat from 2 of them anyway, and the 3rd one is that extra/spare one, just in case stuff happens... Same on ribs, I usually cook 4 racks planning to use 2 of them. Briskets, 2 briskets using 1. Chicken, 16-20 pieces [they're cheap] to use 6-9 of them. This is just for the competition. If we're having friends over to the competition, I'll cook more...
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Unread 09-20-2012, 08:06 AM   #13
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We have had this happen with pork butts. One teammate of mine cooked an 8# butt for 14 hours! Plus he wrapped in foil and added liquid at 12 hours to try to get the thing done. The end result is always tough, dry, flavorless meat. Almost tastes like dry turkey. I think that when this happens there is not a lot of intermuscle fat. No fat makes the meat cook longer and dry out. Just my theory. The last butt we had this happen came from a two pack. The first roast turned out great, the second roast prepared the same way turned out bad. It happens. It's meat and always variable.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 07:45 PM   #14
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Only time I see my pork turn grey is if I leave in Mortin Tender Quick to long
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Unread 09-20-2012, 09:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmrigby View Post
I competed in the Jug tavern last week and I usually cook 2 butts for the competition. I was cooking on a stumps clone at 225 degrees. One of the butts did just right and no problems with timing. The other one would not get up to the temp I wanted. It cooked for 12 hrs and the highest temp I could get it up to was 180 degrees. Decided to take it off and pull. The entire meat was a dark grey. Has anyone seen this before and what was going on?? Lesson learned, cook 2 of everything.
I see rubber butts every once in a while. We had one a couple weeks ago at the Tracy's Landing comp.
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