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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 07-14-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Vinegar vs KC Sauce for Competition Pork

Who uses what? Should I go to a sweet style sauce for competition pork or is a NC Vinegar style sauce ok. I have been using a vinegar based sauce but I'm wondering if a sweeter KC Style sauce is more what judges are looking for. Trying to take everyones advice and cook for what the judges like and not what I like. What do you think?
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Unread 07-14-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogBack Mtn Comp BBQ Team View Post
Who uses what? Should I go to a sweet style sauce for competition pork or is a NC Vinegar style sauce ok. I have been using a vinegar based sauce but I'm wondering if a sweeter KC Style sauce is more what judges are looking for. Trying to take everyones advice and cook for what the judges like and not what I like. What do you think?
It very much depends on where you are competing. There are strong regional breakdowns for what is accepted and what isn't. Sadly, vinegar sauces don't do well up here in the north east.

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Unread 07-14-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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There's no magic answer here.. I don't think it's the choice of sauce so much as the entire profile complimenting each other.. Both can do well. Extremes of either type can hurt. Too pungent of vinegar or too goopy, overly sweet may hurt especially if the rub does not interact well. Mix and match is not so good IMO.


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Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
Sadly, vinegar sauces don't do well up here in the north east.

Eric
May have to disagree here Eric. Tennessee Red is a great vinegar sauce. I always did very well with it in the northeast. Pork placed high at almost every contest. 95% of the time it was using TR, but I used apple cider vinegar with black pepper and a dash of sugar at my second or third contest and had similar result.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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Im new but now after a few events we have turned in great ribs and scored poor due to the vinegar we think...im sad to admit im considering using a kicked up KC....i hate cooking what i would not eat. I let you how it does if i do go that route.

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Unread 07-14-2009, 10:04 PM   #5
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Blues Hog is too "vinegarry" around here.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
It very much depends on where you are competing. There are strong regional breakdowns for what is accepted and what isn't. Sadly, vinegar sauces don't do well up here in the north east.

Eric
IMHO...it's not what you put on it ... but how you cook it.. as long as you are not doing wasabi chipotle double garlic horse radish chinese mustard with daves insanity sauce mix your own ... if you keep it main stream ... it's how you cook it that matters...Yes the NE loves sweet... but balanced sweet and sour ...and most in the NE have open minds..

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Unread 07-15-2009, 08:11 PM   #7
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While I personally like a vinegar sauce, there are many who do not. I would stay away from a vinegar sauce for competition. Remember, you are cooking for the judges. Here is an example; a few/couple of years ago, I was a table captain at a contest. There was a pork entry with a vinegar sauce. I tasted it and thought it was great. I would have given it 999. There was one judge at the table who did give it 999. The rest of the judges scored it as low as 5 on taste. After judging, I took the box back to the grazing table. My wife was working the turn in table and asked me if I had anything good she should try. I pointed out the vinegar sauced pork. She tried it and spit it out! Where I liked it and thought is was an excellent entry, she hated it. If she had been judging it might have been lucky to get a 3 on taste. As I said, stay away from the vinegar sauce for comps. A vinegar sauce is just too drastic/strong taste to take a chance at comps.
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Unread 07-15-2009, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QN View Post
While I personally like a vinegar sauce, there are many who do not. I would stay away from a vinegar sauce for competition. Remember, you are cooking for the judges. Here is an example; a few/couple of years ago, I was a table captain at a contest. There was a pork entry with a vinegar sauce. I tasted it and thought it was great. I would have given it 999. There was one judge at the table who did give it 999. The rest of the judges scored it as low as 5 on taste. After judging, I took the box back to the grazing table. My wife was working the turn in table and asked me if I had anything good she should try. I pointed out the vinegar sauced pork. She tried it and spit it out! Where I liked it and thought is was an excellent entry, she hated it. If she had been judging it might have been lucky to get a 3 on taste. As I said, stay away from the vinegar sauce for comps. A vinegar sauce is just too drastic/strong taste to take a chance at comps.
Well said!!! I LOVE a vinegar sauce myself!! But a lot of judges I sit beside at comps could care less for it!!! My advice would be to stick with something in between...
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Unread 07-15-2009, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QN View Post
While I personally like a vinegar sauce, there are many who do not. I would stay away from a vinegar sauce for competition. Remember, you are cooking for the judges. Here is an example; a few/couple of years ago, I was a table captain at a contest. There was a pork entry with a vinegar sauce. I tasted it and thought it was great. I would have given it 999. There was one judge at the table who did give it 999. The rest of the judges scored it as low as 5 on taste. After judging, I took the box back to the grazing table. My wife was working the turn in table and asked me if I had anything good she should try. I pointed out the vinegar sauced pork. She tried it and spit it out! Where I liked it and thought is was an excellent entry, she hated it. If she had been judging it might have been lucky to get a 3 on taste. As I said, stay away from the vinegar sauce for comps. A vinegar sauce is just too drastic/strong taste to take a chance at comps.
This reminds me of an experience I had judging recently. We all got done judging the pork entries and were talking about them afterward. One entry was very sauced and pulled. One member of our table said they loved it while I thought that the sauce was good but the actual pork brought little to nothing to the party. They were amazed that I didn't like the entry stating " you could really taste the apple in it", my thoughts were " this isn't an apple contest", but I just said 'different tastes for different people', how would that go over for you guys?
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Unread 07-16-2009, 11:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rhapsody View Post
This reminds me of an experience I had judging recently. We all got done judging the pork entries and were talking about them afterward. One entry was very sauced and pulled. One member of our table said they loved it while I thought that the sauce was good but the actual pork brought little to nothing to the party. They were amazed that I didn't like the entry stating " you could really taste the apple in it", my thoughts were " this isn't an apple contest", but I just said 'different tastes for different people', how would that go over for you guys?
Well put!
I've had several experiences where way too much effort was put into the sauce and not enough effort given to the category title (the meat).

The sauce should be like the sprinkles on a sundae, not the ice cream.

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