Competition Ribs Roundtable...

All other competition related questions or comments about recipes, techniques, and related topics.

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Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby bruno994 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:36 am

Well, the brisket and chicken threads have slowed down, so let's kick off the ribs roundtable...
Where are you buying your spare ribs? Are you buying full slabs then trimming to St Louis or just buying St. Louis spares? I buy mine at either my local HEB's or Market Basket when they put them on sale, typically once a month one or both chains will put St. Louis spares on sale for $1.99 a pound, so I'll pick up 9 to 12 slabs and freeze them. I don't buy full spares because I don't have to.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:35 am

I too do not buy full racks... Usually St. Louis cut from the local Food King. Havent have much success finding "meaty" slabs at HEB around here so I look around.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby 3 star redneck » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:17 pm

I buy mostly Farmland ribs when I can find them ... Try to find St. Louis racks between3.5 and 3.75 lbs with good marbling ... I finish them with a pretty red sweet heat glaze ... Works very well
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby bruno994 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:48 pm

What are you looking for when thumbing through the racks of ribs in the meat market? I look for the most uniform in straightness (monumental task), but more important is finding racks with the same thickness on both sides of the bones. I refuse to buy any with a real thin side (opposite of the flap meat). Usually I'll find 2 racks out of every 10 worth buying.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby allend23 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:00 pm

I look for the thickest fattiest ribs I can find. Lately I have been using the HEB "natural" ribs and have been very satisfied with them. They come in the full spares so I cut them down to St Louis and repurpose the flank.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:50 pm

As far as what I look for ... if they are cryovac'ed and not packaged with the foam plate on the back, I look for the straight bones as well. The ribs I turn in come the center cuts so edges dont mean too much to me, I look for marbeling and fat as well. Pending on what I find I may cook 3-4 racks at a comp to turn in 7 ribs, but never less than 2.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby txluke » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:17 pm

I buy full slabs from HEB or SAMs club. I trim them down myself. I look for meaty ribs with straight bones.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby FR8 Train » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:40 am

I normally wrap my ribs meat up.....is that typical? I feel like I see lot of people wrapping meat down on TV.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby bruno994 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:24 am

I wrap meat side down, but have played with meat side up, just not enough to know if I like it or not.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:46 am

FR8 Train wrote:I normally wrap my ribs meat up.....is that typical? I feel like I see lot of people wrapping meat down on TV.


Depends on if you add anything to the foil. If you're not adding anything I dont see where it would matter. However if you create a foil pack with liquids and brown sugar and what not added, I would go meat side down so it can cook in your mix. Personally I do meat side down for the reason mentioned above.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby Darkside » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:36 pm

jtilk wrote:
FR8 Train wrote:I normally wrap my ribs meat up.....is that typical? I feel like I see lot of people wrapping meat down on TV.


Depends on if you add anything to the foil. If you're not adding anything I dont see where it would matter. However if you create a foil pack with liquids and brown sugar and what not added, I would go meat side down so it can cook in your mix. Personally I do meat side down for the reason mentioned above.


:imwith:
Wrapping the ribs meat side down has caused my rub to run off the top of my ribs, basically boiling it off and giving the ribs a red Asian rib look. I keep mine meat side up, and I've had no issues or noticed any kind of change to the tenderness/flavor of the rib. Just my opinion...
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby FR8 Train » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:55 pm

jtilk wrote:
FR8 Train wrote:I normally wrap my ribs meat up.....is that typical? I feel like I see lot of people wrapping meat down on TV.


Depends on if you add anything to the foil. If you're not adding anything I dont see where it would matter. However if you create a foil pack with liquids and brown sugar and what not added, I would go meat side down so it can cook in your mix. Personally I do meat side down for the reason mentioned above.


I do put things in the foil but I wrap it tight enough that I assumed it would boil and fill the whole area inside the foil regardless. I guess this will just require a little experimentation on my part...
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:36 pm

Darkside wrote:
jtilk wrote:
FR8 Train wrote:I normally wrap my ribs meat up.....is that typical? I feel like I see lot of people wrapping meat down on TV.


Depends on if you add anything to the foil. If you're not adding anything I dont see where it would matter. However if you create a foil pack with liquids and brown sugar and what not added, I would go meat side down so it can cook in your mix. Personally I do meat side down for the reason mentioned above.


:imwith:
Wrapping the ribs meat side down has caused my rub to run off the top of my ribs, basically boiling it off and giving the ribs a red Asian rib look. I keep mine meat side up, and I've had no issues or noticed any kind of change to the tenderness/flavor of the rib. Just my opinion...


I believe what you would be referring to Mr. Jordan is braising and not boiling. Nice attempt to ruffle my feathers "padawan". :-D
-Josh

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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby Darkside » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:47 pm

I might have ruffled a few, didn't take you long to come back with a reply. Don't you go gettin sensitive on me, especially since I placed slightly higher than you at the Wharton cookoff in this category. Haha, keep those feathers down!
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby NPayne1 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:08 am

I buy whatever I have to to find good looking racks. I look for straight, uniform bones, thick, and marbled. I dry rub, smoke L&S, foil with liquid butter, and rest. I'm hit and miss at comps with my ribs. My rub is full of pepper and provides a well balanced heat. Cook em to fall off the none tender...after-all the judges have to use a plastic fork and knife.

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