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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 03-14-2006, 10:16 AM   #1
cmcadams
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BigMista was asking about his sauce for his first competition, and I got to thinking about sauces. (I wrote a quick blog about it here).

I have a sauce I really like, but it isn't necessarily a good competition sauce; it's bourbon based, and people really seem to like it, but it came in about the bottom third in the only comp I entered the sauce in.

So my question is: What makes a good competition sauce? Is it something like dressed up Cattleman's, or is it thinner? Sweet is almost a given, but what kind of kick? What flavors other than plain vinegar and ketchup?

Just trying to get other people's thoughts on the subject of sauces. Thanks for any input.
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Unread 03-14-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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We make our own sauce for competition. You are right it is on the sweet side with a tiny touch of tang to make it a little interesting.
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Unread 03-14-2006, 11:13 AM   #3
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My sauce is sweet with a tang that kind of gets in back of your jaws. Then it has a warm finish.

Good night! I sound like a wine connis...connu...coniss...a wine taster guy!
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Unread 03-14-2006, 11:30 AM   #4
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The primary thing to remember is: the sauce must compliment the meat and not overpower the tastebuds!!

We use little to no sauce on our brisket (soak the slices in au-jus and brush with au-jus to finish off the presentation). Ribs and pork get the same treatment - very little sauce or thinned sauce brushed on the edges of the ribs...the pork goes with just the au-jus. Chicken gets a nice glaze for color and shine.

If you focus on the sauce you miss the meat flavor component of judging.
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Unread 03-14-2006, 11:35 AM   #5
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I agree Chad. We don't sauce our brisket or pork. We feel that there is more than enough flavor in the bark. We do however use our sauce with honey added as a glaze for our ribs and chicken.
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Unread 03-14-2006, 11:42 AM   #6
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I agree on pork and brisket... we spray the pork with a sugar syrup lightly before sending it in, and we brush the drippings from the brisket back onto the brisket pieces. For chicken and ribs, we use the sauce more as a glaze... but I think, just as the rub adds flavor, the sauce can add another layer of flavor, too... not gooped on, just brushed lightly.

One thing I'm playing with is taking any heat out of the chicken rub I use, and adding a bit to the sauce to let the sauce carry a hint of heat at the end, along with giving a gooc color to the chicken.
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