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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 05-08-2010, 07:57 AM   #1
Smokin' Gnome BBQ
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Question selecting competition ribs

What do you look for when selecting spare ribs for your competition cook. Do you try to purchase a certain brand or a particular weight? Do you look for a heavy amount of fat? I know not to buy "enhanced" ribs, is there anything else to stay away from. What should you be looking for? Any pointers would be great!!

Thanks,Sal
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Unread 05-08-2010, 08:22 AM   #2
ClayHill
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well Sal I'll tell you what I look for.....and I'm in no way the authroity and I cooked loin backs at the last comp .

When I'm looking at spares (whole) I look for long bones, this can be tricky but you can see some differences in fat and meat right where the bone turns in to cartilage.

I also try to avoid packs of three.....you never know what the middle one looks like, but when I do I buy three packs, I make sure the top and bottom ones look good.

I also try to look at bone diameter, Im not sure if this is true or not but I feel it gives me a good indication of the age of the pig, I'll let you determine which is better.

Thickness, obviously more meat and fat.........but can also take longer to cook
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Unread 05-08-2010, 11:27 AM   #3
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Straight bones, no shiners (bone showing through on the rib side), consistent thickness, nice marbeling (meat fat ratio), little to no sinews (stringy stuff).
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Unread 05-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: selecting competition ribs

Strait bones and no shiners. I like enhanced ribs around the three pound mark. Yes I said it, chemically enhanced ribs. And I have many first place trophys and a 180 pin to prove it. It doesn't matter what you cook as long as you know how to cook it.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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kinda surprised that with all the looks I only got help from 2..here is what I found today.

I looked for ribs that didnt have too much juice in the cryo. I think they call it purdge or something like that.

I was able too see ribs in packs of 2 vs. 3 much better (of course).

I looked for ribs that did have a nice marbleing.

The ones I found that were in a butchers case looked over trimed, but would probably do well in the back yard.

I didnt find bright white fat like I see in butts, but none of the 4 places I stoped had any different color.

price didnt seem to matter. I found some really nice looking (as far as I can tell) ribs that I paid $2.99 for and later found ones for $1.99 a pound both were ICP (I think that right) at a warehouse club.

I just wasnt sure if anyone would throw out any more tips on what to look for. I know there are some really good rib cooks out there and was hoping for a pointer or 2...

thanks for the help!!!!!!!!

Sal
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Unread 05-08-2010, 06:31 PM   #6
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Sal,

Good question. I struggle with rib selection. I buy my meat at RD. The ONLY cut of meat that is frozen like a rock are their ribs. It makes it very difficult to sort through and find some good ones. I do try to look for straight bones and a good marbling. I wish I had a good butcher shop around here.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 06:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cigarbque View Post
Sal,

Good question. I struggle with rib selection. I buy my meat at RD. The ONLY cut of meat that is frozen like a rock are their ribs. It makes it very difficult to sort through and find some good ones. I do try to look for straight bones and a good marbling. I wish I had a good butcher shop around here.

the good high dollar butcher shop ( I drove an hour to get too) didnt have any that I liked, they seemed over trimed. I got mine a Karns (local store) but found as nice as ones (cheaper) at a warehouse club called B.J.'s in Mechanicsburg Pa.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 06:37 PM   #8
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Straight bones are good to have but since many spareribs are packaged two to a cryo and bone side to bone side its hard to tell for sure. One thing you definitely want to avoid is buying ribs in a 3-pack. The middle rack will almost always be lousy, way lousy.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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I cooked up a rack for practice and when the meat pulled back the bones were huge...might have been from an old hog...still tastey but not sure I would want to put dino bones in the box..
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Unread 05-09-2010, 07:32 AM   #10
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I have read that you want racks that are "3 1/2 and down", but that may be a Midwestern thing. People look at you funny out here when you ask for that. :-)
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