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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 06-11-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
Jacked UP BBQ
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Smile To sauce or not to sauce, that is the question!

We are having no luck at KCBS comps, we do not use traditional sauces and rubs and this is our downfall we believe. We get one or two great scores in all categories and the rest are bad. For example, we use a roasted pumpkin and sage sauce for our ribs, and a pineapple and cilantro glaze for our chicken. The flavors are great, we get raves, but a lot of people say this is not what the judges are looking for. They want good old bbq with tomato base sauces.

We are professionally trained chefs and I think we are thinking to much into the sauces, should we go back to the basics (tomato base sauces) and just give them what they expect or keep trying different things and shock their taste buds?

Any constructive criticism would be appreciated.
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Unread 06-11-2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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I am not the most experienced comp guy, but I feel like you can't go too far out on a limb. I think you need to go for a flavor profile that is similar to what is prevalent in that area.
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Unread 06-11-2008, 10:04 AM   #3
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I was told by a competitor and professional chef not to go to far from traditional. He told me this when I described a mint and burbon sauce that my family liked. I believe he was right
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Unread 06-11-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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I started competing with my "own" flavor (Asian fusion). I didn't place very well. As a test I made a tomato based sauce and just dunked the chicken in it. That was the only thing I did differently. The spices and cooking were the same, but adding sauce got me a 4th place finish.

I am not an advocate of using sauce period. I just wanted to see if this was true. I wish judges would not frown upon food not being "mainstream BBQ". I don't use sauce outside of competitions, and if so, it's on the side.
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Unread 06-11-2008, 01:31 PM   #5
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I agree that you have to mainstream to consistently do good. Many times the food we turn in would not be "eaters" at home but it is what it takes to do good (sometimes).
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Unread 06-11-2008, 03:52 PM   #6
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I agree with ^^^^. You can't go to far from tradition. This is BBQ, and although what you made sounds great, they want traditional BBQ.
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Unread 06-11-2008, 04:03 PM   #7
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Hey--One of my team names is "Flirtin' with Disaster"!

We tried to "Flirt" last fall with some fantastic flavors of a Tropical nature.
Great stuff Maynard!
All my friends and family love it.

Earned us our first DAL in any category (chicken) and ranked us way down overall.

We now use "Middle of the Road" flavors and are walking again.
We do play with "the edges" with heat or sweet or whatever, looking for any improvement.
But, it is "gentle".

Is it right--I do not think so.

Is it reality--you bet.

TIM
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Unread 06-11-2008, 05:40 PM   #8
MilitantSquatter
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I'm sure those flavors are all excellent.

Unfortunately, at a contest you are catering to a judge and not your friends or family. Thre judges typically are all looking for similar things. Most likely they became judges because they like BBQ and have a pre-determined idea of what good traditional BBQ should be. They are not looking for or expecting exotic, creative flavors.

I think you'd be surprised to find out how many of the more consistent teams are using sauces straight from a bottle.
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Unread 06-11-2008, 07:23 PM   #9
Jacked UP BBQ
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Default sweet baby rays here I come

Just kidding, will make my own sauces, bottled sauces to me takes the challenge out of it. Thanks for all of your input. Maybe next time we will not suck so bad! We did well our first comp ever with traditional flavors and we thought we would do better changing it up. I guess I screwed up again!!!!
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Unread 06-11-2008, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
Just kidding, will make my own sauces, bottled sauces to me takes the challenge out of it. Thanks for all of your input. Maybe next time we will not suck so bad! We did well our first comp ever with traditional flavors and we thought we would do better changing it up. I guess I screwed up again!!!!
Don't consider that "screwing up". You know what you like, but you're not doing the scoring. Enjoy your creativness at home with friends and family, or even catering jobs.

I was of the opinion at first that "you cooked for youself", but now suscribe to the "cook for the judges" school of thought.
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Unread 06-11-2008, 08:39 PM   #11
Jacked UP BBQ
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Default Thanks Everyone

I'll take all of your advice at my next contest. I really appreciate all of your feed back. Thanks again
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Unread 06-11-2008, 09:54 PM   #12
Muzzlebrake
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can I try some of those pumpkin/sage ribs?
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Unread 06-12-2008, 08:12 AM   #13
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absolutely!
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Unread 06-12-2008, 08:15 AM   #14
Ashmont
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Default Yup

Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
I'm sure those flavors are all excellent.

Unfortunately, at a contest you are catering to a judge and not your friends or family. Thre judges typically are all looking for similar things. Most likely they became judges because they like BBQ and have a pre-determined idea of what good traditional BBQ should be. They are not looking for or expecting exotic, creative flavors.

I think you'd be surprised to find out how many of the more consistent teams are using sauces straight from a bottle.

What he said!!
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Unread 06-12-2008, 10:22 AM   #15
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You may not be far off using Sweet Baby Rays. I've tried "churching up" my chicken with a flavored sauce and the judgeds just don't care for it. Needs to be BBQ flavor. Use what the judges know, baby rays for example, and run with it.

Ever heard of Open Pit? I've heard of teams using that and doing well.

I'd love to try your flavors though. Sounds great!.
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