First Competition....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jmk654, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. jmk654

    jmk654 Newbie

    Alright here we go...

    Couple buddies and I entered our first competition coming up next weekend.  This weekend I am going to do a final run through.  I am responsible for ribs and pork.

    What kind of ribs do judges typically like better?  Baby back, or st. louis? 

    How tender to cook them?  Fall off the bone of leave a little bite so they have to pull them off the bone?

    I know they typically like them wet over dry but how wet?  Dripping or more of a glaze?

    Now for the pork...

    Whats everyones favorite cut?

    Bone in or bone out?

    Cover after while or cook uncovered whole time?

    Which way to serve?  Chopped, pulled or both?

    Whats everyone favorite iternal temp on pork?  190 or more like 200-205?

    Favorite wood?  I typically use apple but someone told me to try pecan?

    Its a KCBS sanctioned event.  Is it pretty straight forward or are there any little things to look be aware of?  Any supplies that we will need that we might not think of?  We have canopy, tables, tents, fans, cooking supplies, meat etc.  Just any little things that may make things easier?

    I think chicken is by far out weakest area because neither one of use has really cooked it except couple weeks ago and it was awful in my opinion.

    thanks for the help
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  2. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    First let me congratulate you on entering your first contest. I remember my first and it was an awesome but nerve racking experience. Ill answer as if it were me doing a contest. Luckily I have had great luck with both ribs and pork taking home 2nd place in both categories.

    Ribs - I have done both Spares and BB. I stick with Spares because they are a little more fatty and stay moist. Also, they aren't as curved as BB so when I shingle them in the box it looks nicer. As far as sauce goes you want a shiny glaze on top. don't let the sauce pool on any of the meat. That will give you an immediate deduction in appearance. You want them to have a small tug to the bite. You should be able to see good teeth marks and the meat shouldn't fall off the bone.

    Pork - I do at least two bone in butts at competitions. Personally I let it go the whole time without wrapping. I have a lot of moisture in my cookers so it doesn't dry out plus it gets some nice bark to it. After many practice cooks and talk with other teams I have learned to take a part a finished butt. I use an electric knife to remove both money muscles. I slice one and pull the other for the turn in box. Also underneath the Y of the bone you will find a part that looks like a horn. This is another perfect part to do some slices with. If I don't have to use garnish I will chop up enough to put in the bottom of the box to use as a bed. I line the slices down both sides with pulled in the middle and a few pieces of bark at the front. 

    Hope this helps. Good Luck!
  3. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First question that popped in my mind was "Where is this competition"? What I have found, if the comp is a local event there is a good chance that the judges are local folk and they will be more favorable to a box that's filled with local favorites. If it's a big comp and they bring in judges from different parts of the U.S. you could do what you normally do and have a fair chance.

    GolfPro has given you some great advice. As for my 2¢ go with bone in butts-the bone is a built in doneness indicator (if it pulls out clean, the butts done) and IMHO, the bone adds to the flavor of the meat.

    As for your question on temps the general rule of thumb is: 190° to slice and 200°-205° to pull.

    Good luck!
  4. jmk654

    jmk654 Newbie

    Thanks for the responses.  It is a local competition.  We are excite but anxious.  We shall learn a lot.

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