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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 02-05-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
chefbo
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Question to sauce or not to sauce?

I was wondering about how much sauce is used at competition level. I am thinking only to moisten or to glaze. We are not judged on the sauce are we? Is the meat what is supposed to be whats happenin. I've been to a small event and it seemed the judges are used to sauced to death bbq, not the real thing. Any thoughts?
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Unread 02-05-2010, 08:35 AM   #2
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I am a firm believer in saying it is a sauce contest. People don't like shrimp in shrimp cocktail, they like cocktail sauce, is chicken parm really about the chicken? Nope, you see where I am going with this.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 08:37 AM   #3
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sauce
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Unread 02-05-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
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To sauce, or not to sauce, that is the question.

A few years back in the South East, judging MIM (now MBN), we rarely saw sauce.
More often that not (then), when we did, the sauce didn't compliment the meat,
often was overpowering, and generally brought the score down (not always, but
most times).

This past year I noticed a profound change (again, in MBN) and most everything
had some amount of sauce on it.

The sauce you choose should compliment the meat (no matter what sanctioning
body you're entering). If it overpowers the meat, or masks the meat flavor, you're
likely to get scored down. KCBS mentions puddling of sauce that's not allowed. So,
you surely can over-sauce, even if it lets the meat flavor shine through.

I suggest looking at the pics presented now & again around here. The one I liked
the best was plowboys about a year ago; an absolutely beautiful pork entry, with
the money muscle up top, sliced, and what I'd call a medium amount of sauce on
the outside (not drenched, but not extremely light either). He then had a nice
mixture of pulled pork pieces arranged with some bark, then drissled <spelling> some
sauce over the top. Again, wasn't drenched, wasn't on every piece, but there was
sauce poured sparingly over the top.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 08:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
I am a firm believer in saying it is a sauce contest. People don't like shrimp in shrimp cocktail, they like cocktail sauce, is chicken parm really about the chicken? Nope, you see where I am going with this.
"Fully agree.".. I retract that statement, once I thought more about it.. Even though I do not eat BBQ anymore, i'd rather have a good piece of brisket with no sauce than a piece of plain chicken, or a shrimp with nothing on it. But I still think it's a sauce and presentation contest.

Last edited by Podge; 02-05-2010 at 10:36 AM..
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Unread 02-05-2010, 09:40 AM   #6
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We keep convincing ourselves it is a meat contest...that's why we need numerous adult beverages!
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Unread 02-05-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
I am a firm believer in saying it is a sauce contest. People don't like shrimp in shrimp cocktail, they like cocktail sauce, is chicken parm really about the chicken? Nope, you see where I am going with this.
I agree however not too much sauce, more of a glaze cooked on. I've had pork comments on pulled and chunks about too much sauce when it's just a light coating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake Dogs View Post
The sauce you choose should compliment the meat (no matter what sanctioning body you're entering). If it overpowers the meat, or masks the meat flavor, you're likely to get scored down. KCBS mentions puddling of sauce that's not allowed. So, you surely can over-sauce, even if it lets the meat flavor shine through.
Bingo. Rub and sauce also need to compliment each other. So many people used a strong flavored sauce like Blues Hog but their rub in no way pairs with the sauce so you have a conflict not marriage of flavors.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
I am a firm believer in saying it is a sauce contest.

This implies that how you cook the meat doesnt really matter that much, which is completely wrong imo.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ique View Post
This implies that how you cook the meat doesnt really matter that much, which is completely wrong imo.

OK. it is a sauce contest on perfectly cooked meat.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 10:46 AM   #10
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Like all things BBQ, your area's preferences heavily impact what you will do. Some places readily accept naked meat. Some places don't want to see it.

When used, the above caveats apply -- the sauce has to be a harmonious addition to the flavor profile, not clashing or predominant. No matter where you are, you can't rescue badly cooked meat with sauce, but you can surely kill good meat by putting the wrong sauce on it.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 10:49 AM   #11
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Up there yes.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 11:05 AM   #12
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I agree with I-Que, the meat's gotta be *there* regardless of sauce. However,
I do think that some amount of sauce is expected. Counter, great meat with
mediocre or uncomplimentary sauce is better off sans sauce (IMHO). Recounter,
average meat can surely be enhanced with a fabulous sauce.

Sauce is very subjective, and can be very regional too. However, just because
you're in the NC or SC area, dont assume they like the regional mustard sauce...
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Unread 02-05-2010, 11:40 AM   #13
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sause is king... and all you need to knw is what 2 you need to mix to win... and you must cook it close to ok....lol
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Unread 02-05-2010, 12:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
OK. it is a sauce contest on perfectly cooked meat.
Thanks for the chuckle. I don't know why, but this gave me a pretty good laugh. Probably just me.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 06:00 PM   #15
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Several times I have over cooked or otherwise messed up the meat. Used a copious amount of sauce and actually placed quite well (GC in two contest). I would love to have the same sucess when I do it right?
What have I learned?
1. Being a purist might not be the best idea at contest.
2. Use more sauce.

Will I? I don't know, the purist in me rebels
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