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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 01-30-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
Three porks
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Default Our first practice run with pics

Hi Everybody,

We are a new team out of Central Illinois and was hoping for some critiques. Our team name is Three Porks and a Smoker. None of us has ever competed in BBQ comps but we've been backyard grilling for years. After saying that it really doesn't matter .......I've recently realized.) We are planning to do three or four per year and our first will be in Hazelwood, MO this April (Kick-Off Cook-Off). This will be our first ever competition and were looking forward to the challenge.

We decided to do some practicing today despite the 20 degree temps and 15 mph wind. We cooked pork shoulder, chicken thighs and spare ribs.

Could you all please look throught our processes and let us know if were on the right track? That would be most helpful.

Pork Shoulder:
The night before :trimmed fat off around the money muscle and injected the whole butt. This am: applied light coat of mustard, rubbed heavily with rub, placed on smoker at 275 F. Foiled in marinade at 165 and cooked till about 197 (probe went through like butter). Let the steam vent for 20 minutes then put in a cooler for 1 hr to rest. The whole process was about 8 hours. After the resting period, I cut off the money muscle and cut this into 6 pieces. I ran out of MM for the pics so I had to make due for today. The meat around the bone I pulled and chunked out pieces with burned ends. I tossed these pieces in some sauce and lightly applied more rub. I present this all on a bed of parsley. I only had one money muscle to pull from and the pre-cooked weight of the butt was only 6 lbs. In retrospect I will cook a larger butt next time in hopes to get a longer money muscle. In the picture, I got 4 great pieces and the other 2 sucked. The meat was very tender and tasty. For competitions I guess I'll cook 3 shoulders for greater availability of pieces.

Chicken Thighs:
De-boned, skinned, rubbed under the skin and over the skin, re-applied the skin, braised in parkay for 1 hr then smoked till 175 F. Smoker was at 230 F. Once at 175 F, grilled 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. Once grilled, applied sauce while spraying mop to smooth out sauce. These got a little dark so next time I guess we have to pay more attention.

Spare Ribs:
I wanted to try the 3-2-1 method but it was wayyyyyy over cooked. Please tell me what I did wrong. Smoked at 250-260 f, smoked unfoiled for 3 hours, then wrapped in foil bone up in parkay, b. sugar, honey, sauce and mop. Cooked in the foil for 2 hours. After two hours I took the ribs out of the foil and allowed the ribs to vent for 20 minutes. To finish I placed back on the smoker at 225f unfoiled and applied more sauce. After a total of 6 hours these bad boys were falling off the bone. Maybe next time 2-1-1 would suffice. I didn't take any pics due to embarrassment. Should I decrease time or decrease temps? What the best for comps?

For those that read all the way through......thank you and I look forward to your advice.

For those that have judged would you please critique the appearance of these boxes?

And Thanks to Paul at Thepickledpig for some great information!! You should write a book!

Oh yeah and brisket were going to tackle next weekend.

Thanks again! Looking forward to some responses.

Last edited by Three porks; 07-29-2013 at 06:39 PM..
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Unread 01-30-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
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I would probably sauce the pork a bit more. Presentation looks great. The greens look real good! What temp did you cook the ribs, or did I miss that?
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Unread 01-30-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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The bottom line for judges is when they ask themselves, 'does the appearance of this entry make me want to eat it?'. If the appearance looks extremely appealing, then it's going to score really high. If the appearance looks OK, then it's going to score 7s. If it looks dry and unkempt . . . it scores lower.

As to your specific techniques, I'll let others chime in here, but it sounds to me as if you're bound for having a lot of fun!
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Unread 01-30-2010, 07:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
I would probably sauce the pork a bit more. Presentation looks great. The greens look real good! What temp did you cook the ribs, or did I miss that?
Good idea about the pork, I will definitely add more sauce next time. I was hesitant to add more sauce because it tasted so good un-sauced, but I guess for comps its should be sauced. Any suggestions how to add a nice glossy look with out powering the pork flavor?

Sorry I didn't say the rib temp. For the first 5 hours it was about 250-260 and for the last hour it was about 225f.
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Unread 01-30-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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As to your specific techniques, I'll let others chime in here, but it sounds to me as if you're bound for having a lot of fun!
I hope so....that's what its all about really. I have to keep reminding myself that...lol
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Unread 01-30-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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Overall it looks good for your first time. I would sauce the pork more. The chicken needs to be cut more uniform. I'm not sure how many thighs you did but we usually do at least 12 for competitions because they will change size/form when you cook them. I wish I had pics of our first boxes, you are light years ahead of us!
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Unread 01-30-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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Forgot to comment about the ribs. I have the same problem with the 3-2-1 when cooking in those temp ranges. We go more like 2:15-1:30-45minutes. We sauce with about 30 minutes to go. Your greens look great
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Unread 01-30-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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How much total liquid did you use in the foil? If they were drowing in liquid, could be the problem.
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Unread 01-30-2010, 09:03 PM   #9
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Overall it looks good for your first time. I would sauce the pork more. The chicken needs to be cut more uniform. I'm not sure how many thighs you did but we usually do at least 12 for competitions because they will change size/form when you cook them. I wish I had pics of our first boxes, you are light years ahead of us! Forgot to comment about the ribs. I have the same problem with the 3-2-1 when cooking in those temp ranges. We go more like 2:15-1:30-45minutes. We sauce with about 30 minutes to go. Your greens look great
Yeah today we only did 6 thighs. I'll definitely make a point to do many more. It is amazing how the thighs transformed while cooking.

I'll try your 2:15-1:30-45min method.

Thanks for posting!
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Unread 01-30-2010, 09:08 PM   #10
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How much total liquid did you use in the foil? If they were drowing in liquid, could be the problem.
You may be right.

For the foil part, I rolled out some foil, added 3 tbsp parkay, 3 tbsp honey, 1/2 cup q sauce, heavily sprayed with our mop and lightly re-applied the rub. Once this was all in the foil, I placed the ribs meat down and bone up and pushed it into the concoction mentioned above. I guess the meat was probably swimming in juices. Next time should I put ribs in bone down and the other stuff on top?
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Unread 01-30-2010, 09:21 PM   #11
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no.do a taste test with friends.
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Unread 01-30-2010, 09:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Porks View Post
Good idea about the pork, I will definitely add more sauce next time. I was hesitant to add more sauce because it tasted so good un-sauced, but I guess for comps its should be sauced. Any suggestions how to add a nice glossy look with out powering the pork flavor?

Sorry I didn't say the rib temp. For the first 5 hours it was about 250-260 and for the last hour it was about 225f.
I don't cook ribs at those temps, but I would bet that you just cooked them too long. I/we cook at 300 for around 3-4 hours. Pick a temp that works for your cooker and then adjust. I'd try 2-1-1 and see what happens. You may be a little on the not quite done side - but that's easy to fix! :)

Have fun - practice is the best part!
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Unread 01-31-2010, 12:14 AM   #13
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I tried the 3-2-1 method before and after picking up a rib I was left holding a bone since all the meat slid off. It was definitely overdone. I think I started doing a 2 1/2-1/2-1/2 method. I'm still playing with it and the temps to see what works best. Also, when I foiled them, I would add some apple juice along with the honey and brown sugar. I think that wasn't helping as far as making them too soft. Next time, I'll fore go the apple juice and see if that works better.
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Unread 01-31-2010, 08:57 AM   #14
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Have fun - practice is the best part!
That is so true!

Thanks for your advice Monty!
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Unread 01-31-2010, 09:07 AM   #15
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I tried the 3-2-1 method before and after picking up a rib I was left holding a bone since all the meat slid off. It was definitely overdone. I think I started doing a 2 1/2-1/2-1/2 method. I'm still playing with it and the temps to see what works best. Also, when I foiled them, I would add some apple juice along with the honey and brown sugar. I think that wasn't helping as far as making them too soft. Next time, I'll fore go the apple juice and see if that works better.
Yeah it's crazy because after the 3 hours on the smoker, I already had 1/2 inch bone exposed and this thing flopped over into a "v"...I knew that these babies were pretty much done but I said screw it I need to try this 3-2-1 method so I wrapped them up and 3 hours later I had Nasty Candy coated pot roast.....

I'm not sure but you may be right about the 1/2 hour. Anymore than that and the steam/and boiling hot sugar may overcook them.
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