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Some random KCBS Comp Questions

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  • jabostick
    Club Member
    • Aug 2016
    • 38
    • Alberta, Canada

    Some random KCBS Comp Questions

    I'm competing in a KCBS at the end of the month and have a few questions. I've done one a couple of years ago but this will be the first one I'm doing on my own (I think I'll have a helper to at least run in my turn-in boxes but for the most part I'll be on my own). So, one general question and a few random ones:

    Just generally, I'm curious about tips / pointers for those of you who have competed on your own. I'm going to try and make up a fairly detailed schedule so that I can keep myself on track but any other pointers would be helpful.

    Cookers: I have access to a pellet grill, a 18" smokey mountain, and a homemade UDS. I'm thinking of bringing all three so that I can have a dedicated smoker for each meat (the butt/brisket will be done by the time I do chicken so that'll open one up). Is that a good approach or should I try and cut out a smoker so that I have one less smoker to manage?

    Chicken: lollipops or thighs?

    Brisket: is it detrimental to not have burnt ends included in the box (presuming that they're of quality taste/appearance)? I know it 'officially' doesnt matter, but curious from a practical standpoint - do they tend to score higher?
  • au4stree
    Club Member
    • Aug 2018
    • 522
    • Birmingham, AL
    • Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC), PK360(graphite), Jumbo Joe and PBC. Weber kettle @ the hunting camp.

    #2
    I can’t speak to the brisket part (we sucked at brisket) but when we competed, we had a cooker for each piece of meat. It made things simpler and less stressful. However, we had a team and being that you’re alone, it will take precise planning in the prep work so you’re not overwhelmed at once.

    What worked for for us is we did trial runs on our recipe/cooks before (1-2 weeks before comp)to work out the stages and steps so there was no surprises. Of course, me being a nerd, I wrote the steps down in my BBQ Book, so we had no surprises day of the cook. If you really wanna get sharp, put in a spreadsheet or google keep.

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • au4stree
      au4stree commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh yeah, we always did well on chicken, stick to thighs. But remember, it’s been a few years since I competed and not up on trends....
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2818

    #3
    Woodson and a few others gave some good tips in this thread. https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...bs-competition You have probably already seen it but wanted to point it out if you hadn’t.

    Comment

    • jabostick
      Club Member
      • Aug 2016
      • 38
      • Alberta, Canada

      #4
      Originally posted by Donw View Post
      Woodson and a few others gave some good tips in this thread. https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...bs-competition You have probably already seen it but wanted to point it out if you hadn’t.
      Thanks! I had saw that post earlier but I only skimmed the original post and went straight to the answers. But re-reading it, it looks like we're talking about the same competition lol. Smoke Trails BBQ we can bumble through the comp together.

      Comment


      • Smoke Trails BBQ
        Smoke Trails BBQ commented
        Editing a comment
        Too funny! Yes, there's going to be a lot of bumbling, but with fire and beer.
    • TripleB
      Club Member
      • May 2017
      • 572
      • La Crescenta
      • Jambo Backyard Smoker
        Weber Smokey Mountain (22" & 18.5")
        Portable Kitchen 360
        Portable Kitchen Grill
        Pit Barrel Cooker
        Weber "Brownie" Circa 1978 22"
        Weber Gas Grill, Silver A
        BBQ Guru ATC
        Favorite Beer: Peroni
        Favorite Sports Teams: Rams, Dodgers, Kings, UCLA Bruins

      #5
      I can give you some pointers from a Judge's perspective:

      1) Make sure you turn in warm food. As warm as it can be. Get an insulated cover to put your box into or make one. There are multiple steps involved before your meat is tasted by a judge. It might be a good 10 minutes after you turn in your uninsulated box. If the meat is cold, your score for taste and tenderness will suffer. I judged last week and had a rib that was cold. Happens at least once every competition I'm at.

      2) Don't waste a lot of time on your box. Judges are suppose to be looking for legalities (foreign objects, pooling of sauce, sculpturing, garnish, etc.) when judging appearance. Try not to leave fingerprints on your meat and cut your ribs straight (no shiners). For ribs I would do a Hollywood cut. Judges like to see a "big" rib in the box.

      3) Lollipops or Thighs: Judges get thighs 99% of the time, but had a leg at my last two comps. They scored very high on the table. Judges are always excited when they get something other than thighs and talk about it after the score cards have been turned in. Still waiting to get chicken wings. Once had a leg quarter from a Cornish game hen. Very interesting, but the skin was tough (see I remember getting something different).

      4) Brisket (and Pork too): TURN IN YOUR BEST. If your brisket slices are dry, but your burnt ends are fantastic, then just turn in the burnt ends. If your slices are moist and delicious, but your burnt ends have not rendered enough, then just turn in the slices. Same with Pork. If your MM is dynamite, then just turn in the MM. Seeing that more and more. Had pork at a comp where the MM was perfect, but the tubes were chewy. It affected the score. Judges are only suppose to judge what is in the box, not what they want to see in the box.

      Hope it helps. Good luck.

      Comment


      • au4stree
        au4stree commented
        Editing a comment
        This is good advice👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼

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