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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 08-25-2010, 11:44 PM   #1
sharks_guy
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Default Ribs too thick for comp?

OK,
So got some ribs from the local grocery this weekend, and they were incredibly thick at the large end of the spare rack. I would say there was 1.5" of meat on top of the bone.

Once cooked, these things looked more like pork chops than they did ribs. I ended up only using the smaller end of the racks as I was not sure how judges would respond. Did I get ribs like this because whomever butchered these did not take a lot of belly from the pig?

My question.
If I get big fat meaty racks like this again, should I shave down the meat side of the rack before cook, to make more uniform racks, or would you all turn in these mutant ribs/chops in the rib category?

Sorry, I did not get a picture, I should have, but was pressed for time.

Thanks,
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Unread 08-26-2010, 05:59 AM   #2
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Heven't had that happen with spares, but that's the reason we don't use baby-backs for comps.. becasue we get too many with huge straps of meat on them. OK for a backyard Q, but difficult to cook consistantly and they will look a little odd in the box.
I've never tried trimming the meat down when they have a huge strap on top.. may work fine, or you may ruin the rib because you've just effectively cut a muscle in half and exposed the inner muscle. I just don't know. For comps, I'd say that's why we usually start out with 6 slabs... to make sure we have at least 2 or 3 we like the muscle formation on.
You don't get to see the bottom 2 racks if you buy a 3 pack, so you might also buy your ribs in singles.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 08:56 AM   #3
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Yeah not sure if I've seen that on spares only babybacks/loinbacks. I've never tried trimming it off but should be able too with a good knife without cutting too close to the bones.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 10:04 AM   #4
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I just love the idea of mutant ribchops!
If they're in a garnished box, can you close the top?
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Unread 08-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivaHerself View Post
I just love the idea of mutant ribchops!
If they're in a garnished box, can you close the top?
Probably could have, but they certainly would not have looked pretty and uniform like I am used to.

Based on your question, do you think you would have tried submitting them? In my head, I thought about how judges seem to like larger portions, and that would be a plus, but then I thought about possibly being DQ'ed (maybe paranoia), or just scored down because they were "different".
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Unread 08-26-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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Like you, I would have erred on the side of prettiness and uniformity.
Lavish portions are appealing, mutant portions are not.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 10:43 AM   #7
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I've had very thick ribs that had a layer of meat about 1/4" then a layer of fat about the same and then the regular rib meat under that. I cut that entire layer off the top. To make a standard rib. Does that sound like what you had?
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Unread 08-26-2010, 11:07 AM   #8
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Must be nice !!Ribs here are mostly shiners or trimmed to withing 2mm of the bone. I swear the pigs here are on some sort of diet.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZILLA View Post
I've had very thick ribs that had a layer of meat about 1/4" then a layer of fat about the same and then the regular rib meat under that. I cut that entire layer off the top. To make a standard rib. Does that sound like what you had?
Yes, it was similar but that 1/4" to which you refer was probably more like 3/4". I was too afraid to trim it precook in fear of creating shiners. Next time, I will try and trim it, as they were not usable the way they were, anyway and perhaps I can cook up what I trim off for a nice sandwich.

Thanks All,
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Unread 08-26-2010, 02:17 PM   #10
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I have seen where they will leave what looks to be a piece of "loin" on the last rib or two. I have trimmed that off when I felt it necessary without affecting anything - it definitely makes the whole slab cook more consistently. Personally, I would not use it because I always try to six (or however many) consistent bones, pieces, etc.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 02:31 PM   #11
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One potential problem with the ultra-thick ribs is they may prevent the judge from getting that clean bite they are looking for merely because they are so meaty. I'd save those racks for yourself and use a more "normal" rack for comps if it were me.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #12
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Default Babyback Ribs

I cook babybacks in pro competitions. This is what I do. Some may agree and some may not. The babybacks you buy at Sams or in the store are normally in a 3-pack or individually wrapped. I purchase a whole bone in pork loin 9 to 10lbs. Then I separate the pork loin from the loin back ribs. Normally on a 9-10lb whole pork loin you will have a 12 to 13 bone set of babyback ribs. Pick out the ones that have a lot of fat on the top side with little to no lean muscle strap along the top. Don't worry the fat will render out during the cooking process and make a very tender rib. Also, removing the ribs from the pork loin you can trim as much as you want. These ribs will be smaller and straighter than those you purchase. Your turn in box will look much better. I've found that most judges perfer a smaller tender rib.
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Unread 08-27-2010, 06:40 PM   #13
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Dan, I trim that fat cap off of the wide ened of the ribs before cooking. if you cook it, it is usually rubbery as heck anyway... i certainly wouldn't tun it in...
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