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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 04-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #1
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Default Rib scores help

I am still a bit new to this competition thing and I'm struggling with my rib scores. We have done three comps, below are the scores we recieved in each. What are they telling me? Would you make changes to taste based on these (ie, switch rubs, sauce, stuff that goes in the foil, etc). The tenderness scores are so all over the board, I'm not sure what that means??
BTW, we are cooking spares doing a version of 3-2-1 with.

Comp #1
App/Taste/Tenderness
976
788
888
765
988
799

Comp#2
766
899
788
864
876
866

Comp#3
889
887
768
777
766
878

Thanks for the help!
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:05 AM   #2
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Tell us about your rub, sauce, and any other flavorings you use.

Those scores are pretty consistant
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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Without knowing exactly what you are doing, specific suggestions for change are not realistic. However, your scores are low across the board. I'd start by looking at your tenderness scores. My guess is you are undercooking the ribs because overcooked ribs usually do well. Until that problem is fixed, it won't really matter how they taste or look.

When the ribs went in the box, did you think they were tender? Did the meat pull cleanly away from the bone? Are you getting all of your ribs from 1 rack where the outside pieces are more cooked than the inside ones?

Pictures of your ribs would help everyone help you.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:18 AM   #4
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I've been using Yardbird rub with a sweet sauce that has a touch of heat at the end. I foil with apple juice, brown or turbinado sugar, and honey.

When you select ribs for turn in should I be picking the thicker more meaty ribs or the thinner more consistent ribs? Does anyone trim the ribs to be consistently "thin" prior to cooking??
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pickled Pig View Post
Without knowing exactly what you are doing, specific suggestions for change are not realistic. However, your scores are low across the board. I'd start by looking at your tenderness scores. My guess is you are undercooking the ribs because overcooked ribs usually do well. Until that problem is fixed, it won't really matter how they taste or look.

When the ribs went in the box, did you think they were tender? Did the meat pull cleanly away from the bone? Are you getting all of your ribs from 1 rack where the outside pieces are more cooked than the inside ones?

Pictures of your ribs would help everyone help you.
Thanks Paul...yes I think they are tender, however, not how I would cook them at home. When you bite into them they pull cleanly away from the bone but leave the "bite" mark and only where you bit comes off the bone. Here is a pic I have on this computer but I think this was a non-sanctioned event not one the the 3 listed here. I think I generally use the bones fromt the middle of the racks, should I be changing that up?? Thanks again
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:54 AM   #6
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I take from the larger 1/3 of the rack and usually take from two racks. I would say get away from any heat. You want candy on a bone.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Stay away from the heat.

Might also want to get them just a bit more tender. Some folks can't appreciate the "bite mark"
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Unread 04-21-2009, 10:30 AM   #8
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I believe it is important to look at trends over all the judges, as well as trends over multiple competitions rather than looking at individual scores from individual competitions. This alleviates to a certain degree the "human error" involved in the subjective process of judging meat and allows you to get a clearer picture of how you are doing overall. Based on that, I found that the average of your appearance, taste, tenderness scores for the three competitions were 7.67, 7.22, and 7.11, respectively. Just looking at the average you can see that tenderness is where you need to work on the most, although your taste scores are pretty low as well especially considering the weighting. On the other hand this assumes that you have used the same technique and flavors each of the three comp. If you are changing your approach each time you go, there is really no way to track where you are going wrong or right. Based on conversations I have had with some of the "big dogs" they change their approach/recipe when they have found it to not be working over an entire season, or several seasons, not just one or two comps. And then they just barely tweak it.

If you are taking those ribs from the middle of the rack, then why does there seem to be so much tapering? Are you using St. Louis cut SR's? If so, I would expect a more uniform size in the middle of the rack.

In addition, I like the putting greens, but try to tighten the greens in the box a little more, letting the meat sit on top.

Where are you sourcing your meat? Not all ribs are created equal! :-)
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Unread 04-21-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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I agree it seems like no .heat does well
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Unread 04-21-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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Wheww..I thought I had knife skills till I saw those cuts.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 02:37 PM   #11
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Pictures can do weird things but it looks like the color on the ribs are fairly uneven...some dark spots and some light spots but it could be the picture. I would have to agree that over cooked is better than under cooked and I also agree witht he no heat thing.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 05:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
I also agree witht he no heat thing.
Anything else ya wanna share, like, how they like them in Danville?
What was that top secret again, dropped twice, picked up bone side up?
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Unread 04-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #13
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Thanks guys for the thoughts. Yes they were all done the same way in all 3 comps, STL spares from sam club, yes the color is up and down on these was much better this weekend, but didn't change the app scores.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #14
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We select the ribs that are the most tender from the racks we like the taste (sample the ends). That generally means the center bones. We usually get 4 bones from a rack and use 2 racks. When I see 3 good and 3 bad scores, I assume that we picked a bad rack and 3 judges got tougher ribs.

Cook them a little longer. Get them to be almost fall off the bone but not quite. We seem to do best in ribs when we struggle keeping them together when slicing. Get the tenderness scores up before you even worry about the flavor. Your recipe is very similar to what many teams are doing now so I wouldn't worry too much about that. And, there is a weird symbiosis between taste and tenderness scores on ribs. Tough ribs seem to be scored low on taste regardless of how they were seasoned.

Cut the ribs right before they go into the box. They should be turned in within 10 minutes of your knife hitting that first rack. When ribs cool they can toughen up.

Also, it looks like your using BH and flipping them face down when slicing. If you do this, flip them back over and paint them with thinned out sauce to get the even shine back on them.
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Unread 04-21-2009, 09:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pickled Pig View Post
Also, it looks like your using BH and flipping them face down when slicing.
Your like a CSI guy for BBQ You are exactly right, I will try that to "fix" them...thanks for all the help, this place is great
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