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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 08-22-2006, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Competition Ribs

I know most of us use the 3-2-1 method for ribs at home so we have fall off the bone ribs. What do you guys that compete do? Any method or trick you use to get the ribs KCBS style?

Thanks
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Unread 08-22-2006, 10:34 PM   #2
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I am doing a practice cook this weekend to try to help nail down my competion ribs. At home our ribs would probably be considered way overdone and too spicy for competition. I use BBs, so the 3-2-1 method is overkill, but I need to find a system to meet KCBS guidelines and still taste good to me. At the present time, I use the looks (meat starting to pull from the bone), and feel (flexibility of the rack), to determine when I foil and when to finish. Also, I have been finishing on a hot grill to get the sauce to flash and caramelize. Did not have too much luck last weekend, although the rain really through us off...
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Unread 08-22-2006, 11:05 PM   #3
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Some use the meat pulled back from the bone by a 1/2" as an indication but we grab the bottom of the rack with a set of thongs and try to stand the rack up. If they bend in a V shape without breaking away from the bone they are done.
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Unread 08-23-2006, 07:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slat
I know most of us use the 3-2-1 method for ribs at home so we have fall off the bone ribs. What do you guys that compete do? Any method or trick you use to get the ribs KCBS style?

Thanks
fall off the bone is not something to strive for in competition..you want tender but not that tender..
that 3-2-1 always resulted in overdone ribs whenever I tried it
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Unread 08-23-2006, 08:19 AM   #5
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3-2-1 is most definately overkill for competition.

The 1/2" pull back from the bone is a good indicator. I think after a while you just tend to know. I cook St. Louis spares in competition and they normally take about 5 hours, but they have been ready as quick as three hours. Probably different from most people, I never wrap my ribs in competition. I do also finish my ribs on a hot grill for 15-30 minutes.
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Unread 08-23-2006, 08:40 AM   #6
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The length that ribs pull back from the end of the bones does not always indiciate their level of doneness. Often my ribs pull after only three hours in the pit, but they are not tender enough to turn in. I check my ribs by pulling the last two bones apart. If they seperate very easily they are done. The level of resistance I get when I do this will determine how much longer they need to cook.

As for competition, my ribs cook at 275 for three hours. Then I foil them to finish. Usually they cook foiled for one hour. If you over cook them to the point of falling off the bone, open up the foil and let them cool down. Usually they will firm up. Also, you can remove them from the foil and put them back on the pit to firm up.

When considering your flavor profile for KCBS competition ribs, remember that the judges are only going to take one or two bites of your rib. Give them all of the flavor in those bites. Oh, and consider sweetening your ribs up for competition. The ribs I submit for competition I would never serve my friends and family. "Eaters" are completely different than my competition stuff.

Rod
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Unread 08-23-2006, 10:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
Oh, and consider sweetening your ribs up for competition. The ribs I submit for competition I would never serve my friends and family. "Eaters" are completely different than my competition stuff.

Rod
Mmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmmmmm Candy on a bone
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Unread 08-23-2006, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeBBQ
Mmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmmmmm Candy on a bone
Like your's are any different? I've cooked with you my friend, I know your secrets. Oh, and I put as much chicken in my box as I can. Sometimes I get 8, sometimes only 6. Neither way is working for me. I don't think it's the quantity that counts . . . .

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Unread 08-23-2006, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slat
I know most of us use the 3-2-1 method for ribs at home so we have fall off the bone ribs. What do you guys that compete do? Any method or trick you use to get the ribs KCBS style?

Thanks
Take my limited experience with a large grain of sea salt, but ....

We actually did basically do a 3-2-1 in our last comp, and made 2nd in ribs, in a small (<20) informal field. (It was probably closer to 3-2- and then .5 back in smoke)

Here is why i think you(we) can do it:
a) we are talking trimmed spares, not babybacks
b) we run the pit pretty low (220ish)
c) the ribs will set up a little, as long as they are not falling of the bone as you cut and box them. Make sure your knife will cut, and not tear, the ribs.
d) most importantly, you are probably cooking SEVERAL (at least) racks and turning in six(ish) wopping ribs. Your ribs will probably come from the middle of one of those racks, and will be less "falling off the bone" than end ribs from the same rack. You will also be able to choose from among several racks to find the ones that are done 'just right', and since they will not all cook up the same, this should provide some variety in doneness to select from.

Again, just my opinion, what do I know?
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Unread 08-23-2006, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcpellethead
Like your's are any different? I've cooked with you my friend, I know your secrets. Oh, and I put as much chicken in my box as I can. Sometimes I get 8, sometimes only 6. Neither way is working for me. I don't think it's the quantity that counts . . . .

Rod
I didn't say it was a bad thing. I'm thinking of cooking whole chickens this weekend. Need to practice for the big one anyway and I figure I can't do any worse than I do with the thighs. Know what I mean ?
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Unread 08-23-2006, 12:09 PM   #11
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I try to do 3-1-whatever else is needed... but last comp, I was really tired, and let them go more like 1 1/2... still turned out good... we ended up in the top 40%... not great, but the best we've done so far in ribs.
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Unread 08-23-2006, 12:21 PM   #12
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OK that does it! No more Slabs sauce on ribs at comps! Time to switch to Blues Hog and maybe add some extra honey! THAT ought to get them more like candy on a bone as Steve says!
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Unread 08-23-2006, 12:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
YankeeBBQ wrote:
I'm thinking of cooking whole chickens this weekend. Need to practice for the big one anyway and I figure I can't do any worse than I do with the thighs.
I feel the same. I did whole chickens for the first time in July of this year. Placed 14 out of 41, it should have been much higher but I made some dumb mistakes on apperance. It would have been top 5 without the mistakes. I think the judges like the idea of the whole chicken vs. thighs.
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Unread 08-23-2006, 12:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeBBQ
I didn't say it was a bad thing. I'm thinking of cooking whole chickens this weekend. Need to practice for the big one anyway and I figure I can't do any worse than I do with the thighs. Know what I mean ?
You could do worse... In fact, I'm willing to give you lessons so yours can suck as bad as ours!
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Unread 08-23-2006, 01:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G$
Take my limited experience with a large grain of sea salt, but ....

We actually did basically do a 3-2-1 in our last comp, and made 2nd in ribs, in a small (<20) informal field. (It was probably closer to 3-2- and then .5 back in smoke)

Here is why i think you(we) can do it:
a) we are talking trimmed spares, not babybacks
b) we run the pit pretty low (220ish)
c) the ribs will set up a little, as long as they are not falling of the bone as you cut and box them. Make sure your knife will cut, and not tear, the ribs.
d) most importantly, you are probably cooking SEVERAL (at least) racks and turning in six(ish) wopping ribs. Your ribs will probably come from the middle of one of those racks, and will be less "falling off the bone" than end ribs from the same rack. You will also be able to choose from among several racks to find the ones that are done 'just right', and since they will not all cook up the same, this should provide some variety in doneness to select from.

Again, just my opinion, what do I know?
It sounds like your on the money to me!
Thats how I cooked these.
They took first place.
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File Type: jpg 1st place no garnish.JPG (205.4 KB, 784 views)
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