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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-07-2006, 10:21 AM   #1
ddog27
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Smile Sweet VS Spicy

I have a bunch of the BBQ contests that are shown on Food Network stored on my Tivo. And last night I was watching some of them. I usually watch them because I love BBQ and I watch to get some tips and tricks that are being used by people who compete. One thing I noticed last night that a lot of the people who place in the top ten with ribs and chicken are shown pouring honey and brown sugar on their ribs and chicken before they foil them. I usually make my ribs and chicken with more spice than sweet. In the two contests I have taken part in my ribs took 8th and 12th place. My chicken has taken 4th place. I was wondering if I would score higher if I were to make my ribs and chicken more sweet than spicy. What are your opinions on this? Does sweet beat spicy in a competition? Let me know what you think!
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Unread 07-07-2006, 10:37 AM   #2
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I glaze with a spicy sauce mixed with 50% honey.It's sweet at first then has some bite.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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Sweet rules up in the NorthEast. Don't know about down by you.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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No competition experience, but I personally like a combination of sweet and spicy. Two of the biggest components in my sauce is about 25% maple syrup and about 20% Frank's Hot Wing Sauce. It is sweet and it has a little kick to it. I also throw in one or two "glugs" (yeah, that's a technical term) of vanilla extract which comes across subtley and seems to blend it all together.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 12:46 PM   #5
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You don't have to tone down the spiciness, but it seems that most will agree that the sweeter you make it, the higher it scores.
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Unread 07-07-2006, 01:28 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that you are trying to please the majority of the judges. Too much heat will turn some folks off. We go heavier on the sweet.

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Unread 07-07-2006, 01:44 PM   #7
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For home, savory and spicy. For contests, mild and sweet.

Now if we could only find some judges with balls that could handle some spicy...
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Unread 07-07-2006, 02:22 PM   #8
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Like bigmista, I lean toward the more savory and spicy end of the spectrum. Of course there is spicy and then there is Louisiana spicy. When I cook for groups they nearly always request a spicy, Louisiana sugarcane molasses based finishing sauce that I make. Personally, I think that a well balance savory spice blend should enhance the somewhat bland flavor of meat which can easily get lost in an overly sweet sauce.
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Unread 07-10-2006, 03:24 PM   #9
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Cool

I saw something else about this subject that bothered me. On Saturdays the BBQ America show is on my local PBS station. On the show this week they talked to a BBQ judge about how to judge a BBQ contest. The first question asked was, “Do you cook BBQ?” The guy they were interviewing said, “No, I don’t cook. I just come to eat.” I was like WHAT??? That killed the rest of the interview for me!! Can you really know what you are talking about or looking for on competition BBQ if you do not cook BBQ?? Even for yourself at home?? I guess I never realized that this was the people who I am cooking for in a competition. Eye opening for someone who is still pretty new to the competition scene!
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Unread 07-10-2006, 03:52 PM   #10
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It seems kinda silly to me, that you should cook to what you think the judges like.
I would think their experience should allow them to judge on an overall basis?
So you could cook them the way you do, as compared to what you think they like.
I mean would you cover them in motor oil just because you know judge number such and such likes them that way?
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Unread 07-10-2006, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe
It seems kinda silly to me, that you should cook to what you think the judges like.
I would think their experience should allow them to judge on an overall basis?
So you could cook them the way you do, as compared to what you think they like.
I mean would you cover them in motor oil just because you know judge number such and such likes them that way?

In a word------ Yes

So many competitive teams have thought the same way as you and continually don't place high. To quote Dr BBQ " I don't cook the same at home as I do at contest. The stuff I turn in at contest is too rich to eat at home." or something to that effect.
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Unread 07-10-2006, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicewine
In a word------ Yes

So many competitive teams have thought the same way as you and continually don't place high. To quote Dr BBQ " I don't cook the same at home as I do at contest. The stuff I turn in at contest is too rich to eat at home." or something to that effect.
Wow!!!
That would be just too much pressure for me!
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Unread 07-10-2006, 04:24 PM   #13
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I was watching the shows and Chris Lilly said you have to intensify your flavor for that one or 2 bites the judges get. Also I cook very diffrent yet the same way I do at homeSame rubs and sauces, but adding honey etc for a sweeter kick that judges seem ti like.
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Unread 07-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe
It seems kinda silly to me, that you should cook to what you think the judges like.
I would think their experience should allow them to judge on an overall basis?
So you could cook them the way you do, as compared to what you think they like.
I mean would you cover them in motor oil just because you know judge number such and such likes them that way?
What Spice said.
Competition BBQ is not reality, any more than the "cake baking contests" on Food TV are.

The entries are on the bleeding edge of flavor, texture, and showmanship (presentation) for any type of cooking contest.
You must have intense (but not overpowering) flavor, cooked to some sort of perfection texture wise, and it has to start out "pretty".
You only get one "look" and one or two "bites" to get their attention. That's all.

I could never afford to invest the $$ and time in cooking Recreational BBQ for friends and neighbors that I do to compete.
I just spent a full hour prepping some test poultry (about a pound or so) for a test. Ain't no way I am doing that for the neighborhood BBQ on Sat.
But, the neighbors are not offering me a shot at big $$ and the rush of winning, either.

The skill of the cooks competing is unbelievable and I feel I must cook to the "anticipated" tastes and desires of the nameless Judges if we are to succeed.

If I insist on cooking "my own stuff, my way", I will do it for friends and save all the $$ and hassles of competing

Just my thoughts--I haven't ranted lately

TIM
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Unread 07-10-2006, 09:21 PM   #15
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Well said Kapn, well said.
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