Competition Ribs Roundtable...

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

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Darkside
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby Darkside » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:25 pm

That's one thing I don't understand. All the small town or should I say, not as well known cookoffs around my area want fall off the bone ribs due to the plastic fork and knife rule. I cook my ribs at home exactly like I do at comps, I look for the half moon bite because that to me is more desirable. Any old joe can wrap a rib rack in foil and cook it til it falls off the bone. Doesn't that take away from the competition value in y'all's eyes? If it takes me turning in 10 ribs instead of 7 to allow all the judges a fair bite then why not? It takes slightly more skill to get that half moon perfect tenderness bite, and the meat doesn't mush in your mouth. I don't know, that's just my personal opinion on the matter, let me know how y'all feel about it. :evil:
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby NPayne1 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:46 pm

Well I agree to a point darkside, but it is what it is. Rules in tx comps state that the judge must use a plastic fork/knife for all categories. My ribs are tasty, fall off the bone ribs, but they are def not mush in your mouth.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby Darkside » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:18 pm

That wasn't meant as a shot at your ribs at all, please don't think that. You're right, not all fall off the bone ribs are mush, maybe I should have worded it differently. The purpose of the post was to criticize the competition "rule" of the knife and fork. My apologies bud
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby NPayne1 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:23 pm

No worries man, I didn't take it that way.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby js-tx » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:08 am

I'm liking the HEB all natural ribs.. they are a little smaller but the bones seem to be straighter.. coincidence? :?: I try to get racks the same size and weight with nice marbling. Season the night before, smoke em for 2 hours and 1hr 15min in foil at around 275*. That's all I need in my bubba keg cookers. I've wrapped meatside up and down.. depends on if I'm adding liquids to the foil. I've added watered down sauce in the foil before.. gets some extra flavor and color on the ribs.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby bruno994 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:27 am

What all are you doing precook on your ribs? Trim off any heavy fat, pull the membrane, then a heavy coating of rub about 1 hour before putting them on the smoker. I have played with injecting and rubbing hours ahead of time, but just seem to like the way they come out with this method.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:25 am

I generally prep mine the night before, as stated pull the membrane, trim any heavy fat and the flank on the back side to help flatten it out. Rub both sides and let it start to sweat before throwing on the pit...

To Darksides point about the fall off the bone ribs, I undertand that. Just as with brisket there is an "art" to pin point perfection where your product is not under cooked and it's not over-done. Seems to me the "fall off the bone" rule of thumb eliminates that and opens up the competition to alot more cooks with inferior skills to win who would otherwise be marked down for that.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby Darkside » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:30 pm

Exactly my point. I do understand why they do it, at least in their eyes. It is easier for the judges to handle, BUT it's not the best quality in my eyes. Just something I have to deal with in order to compete. To add to the prepping subject, I pull the membrane the day before. I refuse to trim any fat off a rib slab, strictly because fat is flavor, and pork fat is Gods gift to a BBQ cook in my eyes. I have injected before, can't say I didn't like it but it is tedious work. I'd never season ribs more than a couple of hours prior to going on the pit, seems to me like the salt in the rub can give a ham flavor if done too far prior to cooking. At the most I'll soak them overnight in apple juice, my theory is the acid in the juice starts the breakdown of the meat a little sooner. Just a theory though, nothing proven. :texas:
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby allend23 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:17 pm

I do all my prep the night before. Trimming the flank, pulling the membrane etc. I apply all my rub the night before to let the seasonings melt into the ribs. Then wrap em up with aluminum foil and put em in the cooler till the morning. I do not trim fat off the top. I purposely look for ribs with extra fat on the top. As far as tenderness goes, I refuse to intentionally cook them to fall off the bone tenderness. Nothing against anyone who does, but to me a fall off the bone rib has a mushy texture just like what happens on a pork butt. It may judge better, but I feel like my ribs have been received well thus far at judging. I have eaten ribs from some very successful cooks that were turned in way overdone, so to each their own.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby js-tx » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:45 pm

The night before I remove the membrane and also trim off any heavy fat, especially at that one end that tends to have a lot. Normally I won't turn in any ribs from that area though. Put a light coat of peanut or olive oil and pre-rub them and let them sit overnight in foil.

I do agree that mushy ribs are overdone, but the general public/judges seem to like that fall off the bone texture. I'm cooking for them not myself or any friends that show up.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:04 pm

I will clarify that when I say I "trim the fat" on the top it's either A) a really heavy/ hard pocket... or B) I'm not sure what it's called but the the meat cap on the thick end of the ribs that has a vat vein under it, it ends up peeling or sliding off usually after a cook anyways. So I remove it to season the actual rib part.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby Brandon87 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:00 pm

For the guys that apply rub the night before, I've always heard that rubbing ribs too early will give them a "hammy" taste. Anyone experience this?

I have been cooking the Hormel brand St Louis ribs lately because I am lazy. Marinade overnight with a little rub and seasoned salt mixed with pineapple juice and peach nectar. Cook at 275ish, wrap in foil with the same concoction everyone else uses plus a little dash of apricot syrup. Glaze with thin sauce that is sweet, tangy, and hits you with a little heat in the back of your throat.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby bruno994 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:39 am

What temp are you smoking your ribs at, how long and what type of wood are you using? I cook mine at 250, just as I do all my comp meats. I do a modified version of the 3-2-1 for all my ribs cooks, I prefer fall off the bone, not necessarily mushy, but darn tender and it got me paid this last year so I'll continue with my method. As far as wood, I cook mostly with Pecan or Hickory with a mix of oak for the heat.
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby js-tx » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:21 am

275* , 3.5 total cook time, including the time to set the glaze. I use lump fuel with mostly oak chunks and sometimes one hickory chunk. However the one time I was fortunate to land 1st place.. I forgot to add wood chunks.. go figure.. lol
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Re: Competition Ribs Roundtable...

Postby jtilk » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:05 pm

275F... 3.5-4 hrs as well... thats the "2-1-1" method :wink: or close to it. Each one of those times may vary with the color of the ribs and how they are beginning to pull back from the bone. Sometimes I wrap sooner, some later, and sometimes they come out of the foil sooner.

smoked with a cherry/ pecan mix
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