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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 10-29-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
bogyo1981
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Default Cooking In Alabama

I'm traveling to the Christmas on the River competition in Demopolis, Al from Chicago. What, if any diffrences will the Judges be looking for, I mean by sauces, rubs, ect. This is my first out of state event and any tips would be helpful. Thanks
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Unread 10-31-2010, 09:57 AM   #2
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I don't know about all that judging and such, but lemme say that you won't be in the safest areas...if you catch my drift. Watch what's going on around you in the Demopolis and Selma and more or less all of West Alabama...

I take it you'll be coming down I-65 and then running down AL hwy 5 and such. I'd get all my 'stopping' done either slightly north of Bham or south in the Hoover area.
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Unread 10-31-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigs on Fire View Post
I don't know about all that judging and such, but lemme say that you won't be in the safest areas...if you catch my drift. Watch what's going on around you in the Demopolis and Selma and more or less all of West Alabama...

I take it you'll be coming down I-65 and then running down AL hwy 5 and such. I'd get all my 'stopping' done either slightly north of Bham or south in the Hoover area.
What is that supposed to mean?
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Unread 10-31-2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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How about we scrub the thread and start over? I too am curious about food preferences in that part of the country since we'll be there too.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 07:00 AM   #5
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Of course every judge has their personal preference; Dreamland BBQ out of Tuscaloosa
is in that general area. Their sauces are fairly towards the center, being slightly sweet
and slightly spicy; tomato based. Vinegar sauces will probably play ok here, but I
wouldn't err too vinegary. Not mustard sauces. They'll have Memphis influenced
tastes... Oh, I forgot (this added in slightly later), they do have a very regional
white sauce (mayonnaise based) around here. I'm not certain I'd use it in a competition
though....

I'm not sure what Pigs on Fire was trying to say, but this white boy, having been
to Selma and Demopolis before (born in Tuscaloosa) and lived not far from
Marietta most of my life, I'd feel safer down in the rural south (ala. Selma) than
in metro Atlanta ANY time.

Plus, BBQ transcends cultural and racial differences; IMHO. *If that's what he
was referencing*
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Unread 11-01-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigs on Fire View Post
I don't know about all that judging and such, but lemme say that you won't be in the safest areas...if you catch my drift. Watch what's going on around you in the Demopolis and Selma and more or less all of West Alabama...

I take it you'll be coming down I-65 and then running down AL hwy 5 and such. I'd get all my 'stopping' done either slightly north of Bham or south in the Hoover area.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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I said what I was trying to say.

I grew up in Montgomery. South Alabama I know like the back of my hand. I also know that there's some pretty rough parts of the Birmingham area where someone from out of state/town with a vehicle loaded to the gills and probably a trailer in tow, stopping for gas/quick snack and tired, doesn't want to stop at the wrong place where they might not be paying attention and get taken advantage of.

Some parts of the Selma/Demopolis areas are pretty rough, too, IMO. Take it for what you want. I am just trying to give a little heads up.

FTR, I don't live "in Marietta", I live in East Cobb. My mailing address says Marietta, it's more 'southern Roswell'. I agree...You won't catch me moving about much anywhere in the US nowadays without proper preparation.


Back on topic...

I'd say the more popular regional taste for BBQ in Lower Alabama is a mild, slightly seasoned (a little black pepper & barely a touch of cayenne) red-tomato based sauce. Thicker and sweeter on chicken.

Hickory smoked Pork (ribs and butts), mildy smoked chicken and the best brisket you can do is going to do good. In general, I would say that the average butt smoked in south AL doesn't even have a rub. Thrown on the smoker out of the package is the regional favorite.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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I just may have to attend this one, you know to keep everyone safe. And people do tend to like bare butts around here. There is one thing you can do that will win them over with out rub.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 12:55 AM   #9
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My advice is to cook what you are comfortable with. I've found when cooking a long way from home that any attempt to "match the local taste" usually comes off as poorly as a fake Southern accent.

Or in other words - embrace your Yankeetude and give them your best stuff! Different sometimes wins the day (or sometimes the DAL).
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Unread 11-04-2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
My advice is to cook what you are comfortable with. I've found when cooking a long way from home that any attempt to "match the local taste" usually comes off as poorly as a fake Southern accent.

Or in other words - embrace your Yankeetude and give them your best stuff! Different sometimes wins the day (or sometimes the DAL).
I agree completely, unless your BBQ happens to embrace a rogue tangent,
like extremely hot/spicy and loaded with habenero, or some other bizarre
non-traditional bbq spice. I found that many times judges travel, so IF
they had regional tastes their tastes are now exported outside of their
region... If it works up yonder and is moist and tender, go wit it.

You may want to purchase your meat down here though. I hear tell the
pigs down here are different than up yonder...

;-)

'course, Texans will tell you it ain't beef if'n it ain't from Texas... That's
another story altogether.....
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Unread 11-04-2010, 12:30 PM   #11
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Having traveled all over the country this year, I didn't change a thing at any of the states. We cooked from Arizona, Utah out to DC and Lake Placid, NY. also cooked down in Mississippi. Just to give a little credence. We were fortunate enough to win 1st place pork in Lake Placid, Arizona, Illinois, et al. also were able to secure a 3rd place finish in Mississippi, with our pork. The exact same pork as the other first place finishes that we have had. So for those that think you omnly serve pulled prok in the south is not correct. Unless I got all lucky and hit all the yankees that were judging the contest...

so if I were you, cook what you know and the flavors that you know.

Good luck.

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