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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 07-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
McEvoy AZ
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Default Altitude and Humidity in Cooking at Comps

I have noticed that many teams track the altitude and humidity at each of their comps. Now first altitude I understand the higher you are the longer your meat will need to cook. It seems since the boiling point of water is lower also it means it is more likely you will have a drier product as your result.
First question is how do you retain moisture in your meat at a higher altitude? Is there any tricks? It seems that if you are cooking at 8000 feet above sea level then your brisket would be like jerky soon as it reaches over 197 degrees as all the moisture would boil away. But I have seen most of my briskets need to be cooked above that to become tender and break down the collagens.
Now high humidity also will cause your cooks to take longer, but that might not be as bad of thing as the moisture leaving so slow my actually allow a more moist product as the meat could conceivably cook to perfect done before all the moisture cooks out. Low humidity like I have most of the time in Arizona would cause the same issue as high altitude. Again there must be a technique I am not grasping here?
My first idea was that cooking hotter and faster might be the answer, but I am just not sure that the science behind temperature would really make a difference. Can anyone shed some light on what adjustments you might make based on altitude and humidity to turn out nice and moist products?
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Unread 07-08-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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I am an idiot...my bad eyes saw the title as attitude and humility at comps and started reading, thinking yeah, that sounds right.

I do look forward to responses you get.
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Unread 07-08-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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I am an idiot...my bad eyes saw the title as attitude and humility at comps and started reading, thinking yeah, that sounds right.

I do look forward to responses you get.
Old age setting in. That's what I saw too
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Unread 07-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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X3 ;0)
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Unread 07-08-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
GQue
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Mc- what altitude will you be cooking at?

I just cooked at 9900 feet - the contest was being billed as the highest contest BBQ contest ever - out here in Colorado I thought they meant weed since our state passed decriminalizing mari-Juana but I was wrong they meant altitude.

I cook on an Fe so the thermostat helps control my temp - I can't say will
Certainly my cook times take longer - they may but it could also be because my cuts of meat are larger - someone much smarter than me can provide insight into a thermostat controlled cooker like and Fe and how it may effect the cook - I cook in high altitudes regularly for mountain comps - I do notice sometimes drier ribs but not brisket or pork - phosphates keep it from going dry IMO.

So my two cents when cooking on a pellet
Pooper I don't notice much difference ( yes cook times can be longer but I can't say for
Certainty it is the altitude) for offsets I would think there would be a significant change needed compared to pellets...hope that helps
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Unread 07-09-2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McEvoy AZ View Post
I have noticed that many teams track the altitude and humidity at each of their comps. Now first altitude I understand the higher you are the longer your meat will need to cook. It seems since the boiling point of water is lower also it means it is more likely you will have a drier product as your result.
First question is how do you retain moisture in your meat at a higher altitude? Is there any tricks? It seems that if you are cooking at 8000 feet above sea level then your brisket would be like jerky soon as it reaches over 197 degrees as all the moisture would boil away. But I have seen most of my briskets need to be cooked above that to become tender and break down the collagens.
Now high humidity also will cause your cooks to take longer, but that might not be as bad of thing as the moisture leaving so slow my actually allow a more moist product as the meat could conceivably cook to perfect done before all the moisture cooks out. Low humidity like I have most of the time in Arizona would cause the same issue as high altitude. Again there must be a technique I am not grasping here?
My first idea was that cooking hotter and faster might be the answer, but I am just not sure that the science behind temperature would really make a difference. Can anyone shed some light on what adjustments you might make based on altitude and humidity to turn out nice and moist products?
I can't speak for the altitude effect but using phosphates in our injections has helped keep our meats be very moist in any humidity.
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