1st Rib Competition

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tsywake, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    A few buddies and I signed up for the Twin City Rib Fest amateur competition next June http://www.twincityribfest.com/ I've always smoked for large groups, but never in an all out competition. Anyone have any suggestions, or lessons learned from past competitions? It is a pretty good deal: limited to 25 entries, costs $10 and they supply the ribs, winner gets $100 and a trophy.

    We've got a pretty good rub recipe down pat, but plan to experiment between now and June to perfect both the rub and a home made sauce.
  2. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I've never done competition but good luck. You've got plenty of time to get tips here...[​IMG]
  3. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One suggestion is to find out if it is going to follow KCBS rules...is there going to be a garnish? Who is going to judge the ribs?

    When I'm cooking for bbq rookies, fall off the bone is required, but certified BBQ judges want a bit of tug...if you take a bite, you should remove the meat where you bit and that's it.

    If it is presented in a box and garnish is optional, make sure you work to get something you are comfortable with. Parsley beds and green leaf lettuce are the standards for garnish.

    What about sauce? Are the ribs served plain or can you use sauce? If you can, I would sauce them.

    Good luck, and let us know how you do.
  4. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What the Engineer said, goes for me too.

    Sounds like one of those contest where fall off the bone, dowsed with what ever the local favorite sauce it will win it.

    Good luck.
  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you've got the rub covered, I'd work on the texture and presentation.
  6. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    True dat!
    Be sure to find out what type of ribs they are providing and practice using that type. Hopefully they are those big, nasty hog bones.

    If it's your first event, be sure to drink plenty of water. Time has a way of flying by. Before you realize it, it's 12 noon and you haven't had anything but bad coffee.
  7. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Having been to this as a spectator a few times I have to disagree with the above. Traditional southern BBQ is what you are looking for.
  8. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Go with this.....Solar being there and seeing it first hand sure beats us all just taking a best guess.
  9. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ditto...The regionally accepted sauce and flavor profile will be what is required to win. If you have been there before as well, then you should have an idea of what will be required.

    Good luck and let us know how you do...It sounds fun!
  10. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    It's a very limited garnish, but the rules are generally pretty vague as this is the first year for the amateur competition. The sauce will be judged separately, and I think they are "celebrity" judges from the local tv and radio stations.

    I'll be taking my big wood fired rig, but will be up against gas smokers, charcoal, and regular grillers. I talked to one of the organizers and the plan was to keep it general this year to see how it turns out. We wont be able to sell any of our ribs, but I am going to cook some extras to hand out. I mainly just want to see how mine stack up against the others, to see if they are really as good as I think they are.
  11. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll be rooting for your team. Have fun!!!
  12. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good Luck...[​IMG]
  13. gene111

    gene111 Smoking Fanatic

    Did 1kcbs last year & talked with several of the participants & general consensus was to go with a sweet sause. you have to consider in judging your just trying to get what the majority of the people would like. Had one web site that did a questionaire to kcbs judges 425 were certified & 43% of them prefered a sweet & spicy sauce. hope this helps & good luck.
  14. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    This is the first time I've been back over here in a while.  Overall it was an awesome experience and I had a great time.  We had 11 teams entered, and overall we finished 4th.  We would have been on the podium, but one judge completely railed on us.  Our average score out of 10 was around a 7, but that one judge threw in a ton of 2's.  We went with a sweet and spicy rib, and evidently that judge didnt like spicy.

    We learned a valuable lesson for next year.  Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet.  The winning team doused about half a gallon of honey on the ribs (4 racks), which was much more than any of the rest of us. 

    We did win best sauce though, which was pretty exciting.  We experimented for months trying to find the best sauce, and couldnt find anything we liked.  The morning of the competition, my fiance called to say she had developed the perfect sauce on a whim that morning.  When she brought it out, it was amazing.  Sweet, with a spicy and tangy followthrough.  Everyone who tried it loved it, and offered to buy it by the gallon.  Below is a picture of the trophy we were presented.

  15. reichl

    reichl Meat Mopper

    care to share the recipe??? [​IMG]

    Also congrats on a great first rib compitition!
  16. tsywake

    tsywake Fire Starter

    The rub is mixture of a Emeril cajun rub, Paula Deen, and traditional southern african american rub.  I've never been around when she makes the rub, so I am not sure what is in it.

    For the sauce, we start out with either Sonny's BBQ Sauce, or a Sonny's Clone (http://www.copykat.com/2009/02/13/sonnys-smokehouse-barbeque/)  We used the clone for the competition.  Since she does everything by taste, I dont know the measurements, but I do know that these were the ingredients she added to the sauce afterwards:

    Garlic Cloves

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil




    Cider Vinegar

    Cayenne pepper

    Onion Powder



    Chili powder

    Fresh chives

    Fresh basil


    Fresh sage

    Minced Chipotle chilis

    Dark brown sugar

    Sorry I dont know the exact measurements, but we just grabbed and poured.  Then tasted, and added some more or added another ingredient.  Hopefully the list will get you in the right direction though. 
  17. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on the good showing in the 1st comp  [​IMG]
  18. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Congrats on the Best Sauce trophy!  [​IMG]
  19. Great job!!! Love the trophy!!! Kudos to you and your team!!!

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