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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 09-26-2009, 05:48 PM   #1
Burk504
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Default Competition Ribs - Adding liquid to foil?

Cooked ribs again today as a practice cook for my first tourney next week. I followed the 'texas crutch' method from amazingribs.com which calls for a 3 - 1/2 - 1. Foil for the 1/2 hour and add 1 cup of apple juice to the foil.

I have done this twice now and the family loves them but I don't think that judges will like how they fall off of the bone.

Does adding this juice magnify the effects of the foiling?
Is it safer to foil without adding the juice?
If you foil at comps, do you add any fluids or go 'dry'?

Thanks!!!
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Unread 09-26-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
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You are right... falling off the bone = overcooked ribs... points off.

May want to reconsider strategy for a slightly firm texture... not mushy.

Many teams add moisture\liquids\sweeteners when wrapping in foil.

Haven't had dry ribs... when foiled... bastes/steams in the foil.

Then there are those teams that don't use foil in their technique.
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Unread 09-26-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Foiling isn't the problem. Overcooking is the problem. Check the ribs sooner in your process and pull them before they're mushy. Your timing sounds about right for a 250F cooker, although that last 1 hour sounds a touch long. Adjust either times or temp, but not both.

For comps, check every rack toward the end of cooking @ 15 minute intervals. Don't assume that one rack will cook at the same rate as the next.
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Unread 09-26-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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You are right... falling off the bone = overcooked ribs... points off.
Except in North Texas.
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Unread 09-26-2009, 07:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thillin View Post
Except in North Texas.
LOL Yes
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Unread 09-26-2009, 08:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Except in North Texas.
No kidding, I learned that in Bedford on Labor Day weekend......
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Unread 09-27-2009, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Salt View Post
Foiling isn't the problem. Overcooking is the problem. Check the ribs sooner in your process and pull them before they're mushy. Your timing sounds about right for a 250F cooker, although that last 1 hour sounds a touch long. Adjust either times or temp, but not both.
I should clarify a little more. I was cooking between 215 and 225. The meat was falling off the bone, but was still a little tough and I only had a 1/4" of bone showing. That is why I am a little confused.

I cooked another rack without the foil and it was a little undercooked.

Ribs are clearly not my specialty!
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Unread 09-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burk504 View Post
Cooked ribs Loin backs or Spares??? I'm guessing Loin backs based on only 4.5 hours of cooking. again today as a practice cook for my first tourney next week. I followed the 'texas crutch' method from amazingribs.com which calls for a 3 - 1/2 - 1. Foil for the 1/2 hour and add 1 cup of apple juice to the foil.

I have done this twice now and the family loves them but I don't think that judges will like how they fall off of the bone. There's "falling off the bone" where you can pull a bone out cleanly from the middle of the rack and then there's nearly falling off the bone. A lot of KCBS contests look for nearly falling off the bone especially in the midwest.

Does adding this juice magnify the effects of the foiling? Depends on how hot they are. I cook at about 250 - 275 for spares and use a 3-2-1 method and it works great. I used to do loin backs with a 2-1-1 method. I found apple juice made them steam for an hour but if you only foil for 30 minutes and use cold apple juice then it shouldn't be boiling in a half hour.
Is it safer to foil without adding the juice? no.


If you foil at comps, do you add any fluids or go 'dry'? I do add sugar, honey and the blue bottle to my ribs and it ends up with about a cup or 2 of hot liquid when I unfoil.

Thanks!!!
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Unread 09-27-2009, 02:39 PM   #9
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We did St. Louis Spares this weekend in Hermann. 3-1.5-1 at 235 with a healthy spray of apple juice on both sides before the foil. When they came out of the foil they scared me because they were all way more done than usual...Bones already sliding out and I still had an hour of drying out/glazing ahead. They looked great when finished and I was able to cut them with a super sharp knife but I was still convinced we'd get mutilated on texture, but the judges really liked them. We got 8th in ribs. Our first top 10 for ribs. I'm going to try to figure out how to overcook them again next contest to see if it works again.
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Unread 09-28-2009, 06:04 AM   #10
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Default More time needed

At those temps, I think you need more time in the foil. I would also back off on the amount of apple jouce. I only use a few ounces and it seems to do the trick.
Let the tenderness of the meat be your final guide to when they are done (use toothpick method, the toothpick should go through the meat "like butta" when they are done).

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Unread 09-28-2009, 07:43 AM   #11
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"falling off the bone"
How did that become a high standard in some folks eyes?
Was it apart of a TV add campaign?
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Unread 09-29-2009, 02:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomEmery View Post
"falling off the bone"
How did that become a high standard in some folks eyes?
Was it apart of a TV add campaign?
Maybe Chilis...and that damn song!!
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Unread 09-29-2009, 02:54 AM   #13
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In all seriousness, we use a modified 3-2-1 method as well. We do use liquid in the foiling portion of the 3-2-1 method. Works for us sometimes, sometimes it doesnt. The judges make the final call on what works for them. Key word = THEM.

What works for family and friends, wont always work for judges. It's their tastes that are what matters...not the "falling off the bone" that friends/family like.

Just my thoughts!
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Unread 09-29-2009, 02:08 PM   #14
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Cut back on the amount of liquid, as thats a lot. Shoot for 1/4 to 1/2 cup at most.
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Unread 09-29-2009, 03:58 PM   #15
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I simply spray the ribs with liquid when we foil.
Plenty of juice in the foil when they are done to make a mess
Moist and tender.

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