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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 04-02-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
eagle697
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Default need advice on pork flavor

I have a question about the flavor of my pork. The rub i use is fairly typical, but the injection has a heavy blackberry and muscadine flavor. I like this, but it hasn't scored very well. I haven't been very happy with the pork i have turned in at competitions as far as tenderness, but the flavor is right where i wanted it. I know it is hard for you guys to guess on this and at the next competition i cook at i want to find some of you to let you taste it and get your feedback, but is a distinctive flavor like an issue? I know it can be a bad thing when you stand out from the crowd and i didn't know how common it is to turn in a strong, distinctive flavor like this. I wish we got some feedback at competitions other than just a score. I wish i knew what i was doing right and what was wrong. Thanks in advance for any feedback
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Unread 04-02-2008, 09:40 PM   #2
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Isn't blackberry and muscadine flavor Night Train? Or Cold Duck? .....J/K

I would think you may be a tad outside the box on that one. I have wanted to turn n Pork with Mustard sauce but I know it wont score as well. Although it is the best tasting to me.

Tell ya what you can send me a 10lb sample and I will let you know what I think. : )
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Unread 04-02-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
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I'm not very familiar with southern flavor profiles but that combo isn't standard in KC. Blackberry is fairly common but I don't recall coming across a grape/blackberry combination. It's been my experience that big risks are rarely rewarded in competition. I think judges have a preconceived notion of what BBQ is to them and judge accordingly.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 09:51 PM   #4
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I think your problem may be that the judges are expecting it to taste like PORK.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
I think your problem may be that the judges are expecting it to taste like PORK.
Bingo! A simple, yet to the point response.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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i like the strong fruity taste, you can still taste the pork, but judges would like mainly pork flavor?
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle697 View Post
i like the strong fruity taste, you can still taste the pork, but judges would like mainly pork flavor?

I've never competed, but I think I've read enough here to know you're cooking for the judges not you.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 11:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trp1fox View Post
I've never competed, but I think I've read enough here to know you're cooking for the judges not you.
Sad, but true.
Your goal is to win.
In order to win, you have to impress most of the judges most of the time.
A lot of guys like spicy BBQ.
At least 50% of judges (and often a higher percentage than that) are women who, for the most part, prefer less spiciness in their BBQ.
This is why it's so amazing to me that some teams have figured it out and score well, time after time, year after year.
I've read here that it takes two to three years with at least eight or ten competitions a year to finally get your competition product zeroed in on a winning combination.
So - cook for your own pleasure! Enjoy the flavors you like!
But if you're cooking to win a competition, you'll need to figure out what most people like, most of the time.


(Shouldn't this be moved to the competition area?)
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Unread 04-02-2008, 11:18 PM   #9
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Hmmm...Now I remember why I've never entered a BBQ comp.......Anyone that doesn't like the taste of my Q, and doesn't think it's the best they ever had, is just simply an idiot and their taste buds must have been killed off by inferior product.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 10:52 AM   #10
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The flavor combo does sound interesting and I would love to try it. But I believe that it is probably too far out of the box to do well consistantly in competition.

As a judge what I am looking for with pork is a nice smokey taste where the flavor of the meat comes through and is not covered but enhanced by anything else that is added to the meat such as smoke, sauce and rub.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 01:01 PM   #11
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It has been my experience that using a strong or unique flavor in a contest is not good in the long run. You MAY get 6 judges tolike it but more times than not you will get wildly contrasting scores from maybe 3 judges who really like the unique flavor and 3 who hate it.

If you like it cook that way at home...at a comp you are cooking for 6 different strangers everytime...keep it standard middle of the road BBQ flavor.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 01:07 PM   #12
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Does the injection give the meat a darker color as well? It may even be a combo of taste and appearance if it looks darker than standard pork should.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 01:58 PM   #13
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Chris,
We tried to inject a couple of times and didn't think it tasted and better.

I agree that you need to cook what you think the judges will like. ( although it always seems that i get a judge or two that would not know good Q if poked em in the eye!)

I do want to give yours a try in Barnesville.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 06:54 PM   #14
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The color was not that much darker and was uniform, there were no streaks or anything. I do think I will use a more "normal" flavor for comps and stick to cooking my style of Q at home where I will be enjoyed.

Mike, unfortunately I wont be cooking in Barnesville. I may try to bring you a bag out of the freezer to try.
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Unread 04-04-2008, 06:37 PM   #15
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Chris, my suggestion would be to dilute the flavor down with white grape juice. Chris Lilly uses white grape juice as the base of his award-winning injection (google Chris Lilly injection recipe). I think if you were to tone down the flavor enough to give it a hint of the blackberry-muscadine, it may work a lot better for you.

Practice with a few butts with different ratios of your injection with the white grape juice added. I guess you could also dilute with apple juice, but I think the white grape would flow & melt the flavors better.

Good luck with it!
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