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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 09-20-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
JD McGee
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Default What do you do?

When all of a sudden your first place ribs can't get a walk? This past season my ribs have been my money maker and sometimes saving grace. I have 8 first place ribs including a "180"...and now all of a sudden I can't buy a walk. What do you veterans do in these cases (assuming it has happened to you).
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Unread 09-20-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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You think they are always going to be top-placing ribs? Someone is always working on the next best thing. It's evident that some other teams have hit on something else the judges like.

One thing I don't see stressed enough is that taste/texture is an OPINION of someone. Everybody doesn't have the same opinion.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigs on Fire View Post
You think they are always going to be top-placing ribs? Someone is always working on the next best thing. It's evident that some other teams have hit on something else the judges like.

One thing I don't see stressed enough is that taste/texture is an OPINION of someone. Everybody doesn't have the same opinion.
I NEVER shoot for first place...only to be consistent in my prep, cooking, and glazing. I have been very fortunate to get a walk in 11 out of 13 comps. The last two comps have me baffled (placing middle of the pack)...and a bit concerned as I plan to use the same recipe for the Jack. At this point I do not plan to do anything other than chalk it up to bad luck. I will, however, make certain all my rub and glaze ingredients are fresh.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 10:09 AM   #4
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I was just gonna ask you how many comps you haven't placed in. I wouldn't sweat it if only last 2 comps. Might have had picky judges that day....that is my excuse every contest (I kid, I kid)
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Unread 09-20-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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If it were me, I'd dance with what brought me. I wouldn't let it worry you. Cook the best you can and cook what you think is good. Let the rough end drag.

I hope to see you there. I haven't figured out what time I plan on getting up there Saturday. It's a 2+ hour drive up there from our house in AL and I'd like to stay for the meat awards. We stayed last year through the ancillary categories and I was ready to go after that.

Good Smokin' luck.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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Chicken has been my best category this year and I got to the point where I felt I could mail in a top 5 finish. I hit a stretch with no calls in 3 of 4 contests. My chief taster told me I was overseasoning. Next contest I made the adjustment and took 1st. Got another 1st a week later. Only no-call since was an instance where I underseasoned.

I'm not saying that this is your issue, just relating one of mine. I never would have caught it on my own. In your case, JD, I'd just make sure I was doing everything exactly right. Write out your entire process from start to finish to make sure you don't leave something out.

Good luck at the Jack!
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Unread 09-20-2010, 10:33 AM   #7
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Don't stress it or change a thing.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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Welcome to comp cooking... After cooking for a while, you will realize that things come in bunches. while I don't deny that your ribs are good, maybe you were getting lucky and were hitting all the right tables? Now, those tables are drying up? I've always said that being lucky is better than being good in comp cooking.

I think folks get lost in this lull that they think their food is unbeatable because of a couple of good contests. You don't get those calls and folks panic. Change their recipe and then really start to flounder.

How to fix? either you stick with the recipe that brought you. Or you make changes. Now, when you change your recipe, that will determine how good of a cook you are. I know a lot of teams that change on the fly. I do that, but I also feel like I have a complete understanding of what my meat is going to go and only worry about a slight tweak here or there... Relaize as well, that I used to cook around 25 comps a year. You can get real familiar with your cooking when cooking that much. I lowered my contests this year and surpriseling, I still have that feel for my meats. So experience at this is what will get you through the lows.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 11:22 AM   #9
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Be certain you haven't changed anything. My ribs fell off the map for awhile and I realized I had changed something. Now, back in the running. That said, last week ribs 30 something. This wee? 1st. Didn't change a thing. Scotties advice is solid.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 11:52 AM   #10
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Thanks guys...I'll be sure to dot all my i's and cross all my t's...
JD
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Unread 09-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #11
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Unread 09-20-2010, 12:10 PM   #12
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Send me your rib recipe and I will try it in Lewisburg in a couple of weeks that's kinda close to Lynchburg maybe thy would give ya a idea of what's goin on with them
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Unread 09-20-2010, 12:18 PM   #13
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Did your butcher change anything? where they get or cut the ribs?
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Unread 09-20-2010, 01:04 PM   #14
JD McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitnfat View Post
Send me your rib recipe and I will try it in Lewisburg in a couple of weeks that's kinda close to Lynchburg maybe thy would give ya a idea of what's goin on with them
it's all right here...www.jd'srecipe.com...

Quote:
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Did your butcher change anything? where they get or cut the ribs?
My butcher is Costco... Seriously...all I use are their bb's. They have been very consistent for the most part (had a couple of nasty cryo's).
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Unread 09-20-2010, 01:53 PM   #15
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JD...I am no veteran, so I don't have any opinions to give you that are worth a dime. Since you don't want to share your recipe so that I can try your ribs for a sample, let me just say this: If your ribs are your money maker and have been your "saving grace" then don't give up on what has proven to be a successful recipe/technique. As someone mentioned earlier, everyone has their own opinions as what ribs should be - maybe you just had some folks with "bad" opinions. :)

Anyway, have faith in yourself and your product. I am sure you are doing great ribs. And seriously, if you have any tips for me (not YOUR trade secrets, but rib cooking tips), I'd love to learn from someone with your talent and experience. Anything PMed to me stays with me :)

God's blessings on your future contests!
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