Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Trimming St. Louis Ribs for Competition

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Trimming St. Louis Ribs for Competition

    Apologies if this has been asked before, I didn’t see this exact topic come up after a quick search.

    I just had my first competition, and while I haven’t yet received my score sheets, I’m guessing that I got dinged a bit for appearance, as the turn-ins for my ribs weren’t completely identical.

    Part of the problem seems to have been from my trimming. I’ve read up on how to trim a St. Louis cut of ribs and practiced a bunch in the past, but ran into some issues. I found the largest bone on my racks, found the cartilage above those bones, and traced the cartilage along the length of the racks before removing it. However, I wasn’t left with a rectangular rack like I’ve seen on various instructional videos. Instead, because the cartilage moved diagonally across the racks, my final shape was more like a pennant or triangle. Basically, there was a huge discrepancy in the length of my bones, like with what you’d see on a slab of baby backs.

    Did I get something wrong? Or, should I have picked out better racks? Should I have left some cartilage on top of the smaller bones to even out my racks? I figured it was a big no no to include any cartilage with my box.

    Also, the bones on two of my racks seemed to run diagonally along the racks instead of straight up and down, making them awkward to slice uniformly. Is there a way to remedy that as well? Or, is that something I should’ve spotted when picking out the ribs?

    Thanks in advance for helping a newbie out!

    #2
    I have no experience in competition cookin, none. I have watched a few vids & they pick a part of the rack, usually the middle, so it is somewhat squared off. More importantly, welcome, eat good & have fun! That I do have experience with. Let us know how you placed.

    Comment


    • MikeyP
      MikeyP commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the warm welcome! Maybe that’s my issue—that I was worried about too much of the rack when only the middle should get used.

    #3
    Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit!

    Lookin forward to learnin along with, an from ya!

    Don't know spit bout no kinda Comp Cookin, nor give a Horse's Patootie, so cain't really help ya out much, in that department... Sry.

    Comment


    • MikeyP
      MikeyP commented
      Editing a comment
      No problem, but thanks for the warm welcome! Competition cooking is a strange beast, that’s for sure!

    #4
    I can't help either, but welcome to The Pit.

    Comment


    • MikeyP
      MikeyP commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

    #5
    Isn’t that special! First three responses are from some losers who have never competed. Is there any other help we can give you!

    Comment


      #6
      I'm a KCBS judge and you absolutely should not be dinged points because your ribs are not perfectly cut and identical. They are looking at the appearance of the meat and legalities. The meat should look appealing and desirable to eat. I will say that you should not put any rib "shiners" in the box. When I mentioned 'legalities', what I mean is the judges are really looking for illegal garnishes, pooling of sauce, foreign objects, sculpturing, etc.

      When I judge for appearance it is very simple: Does it look appealing and are there any legality issues. I don't care if the ribs are perfectly cut, the garnish in the box looks like a putting green or if the ribs have a smoke ring. I would say that I give a '9' 95% of the time. I cooked with a team once where the cook spent so much time on the box that when the meat got to the judges, the meat was cold. Also, scoring is not evenly distributed. Scoring is more weighted towards taste and tenderness than appearance.

      Regarding cartilage - don't turn that in. In the event the judge bites where the cartilage is, then you get marked down on tenderness. Personally, I would turn in 'hollywood cut' ribs. It takes three ribs to turn in one. You cut along the bone edge of the two outside ribs, which leaves the one rib with a large amount of meat on each side. As mentioned above, don't turn in 'shiners'.

      Of course if this is not KCBS competition, then what I wrote above is fairly useless.

      Comment


      • smokin fool
        smokin fool commented
        Editing a comment
        Far from useless, I found your post very informative.
        I don't think there's a person on here who doesn't want tasty as well as well presented dishes..
        I would have got dinged for major legalities on my weekend rib cook for the pooling of sauce and these were in the top two of the best ribs I've ever cooked.

      • MikeyP
        MikeyP commented
        Editing a comment
        It was a KCBS contest, but a fairly lax one at that. Thanks for the detailed answer, this is certainly helpful!

      #7
      I used to go mostly untrimmed when doing ribs, now I do trim for for three rib squares.
      Easier to cook and eat.
      The end flaps as I call them are good for mid cook snacking as they are done.
      Or for people like my SIL who like there meat completely and utterly incinerated to the point it is carbonized enough to make natural diamonds.
      ....will have to watch for shiners too....

      Comment


      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
        🤣 That pretty funny about your SIL.

      • MikeyP
        MikeyP commented
        Editing a comment
        I ended up going to the three rib squares too, but purely by luck. I just found them easiest to cut that way. It took a few racks to get enough pieces for my box, because I was trying to keep everything uniform, though.

        Sounds like your in-laws have the same taste as mine!

      • smokin fool
        smokin fool commented
        Editing a comment
        Guyz, I cry like a baby cooking meat for her.
        If I did that to anything else on the planet I'd be arrested.

      #8
      Hello from NW Oregon.
      You searched for competition - Meathead's AmazingRibs.com
      Competition Rib Recipe St. Louis Pork Sparerib How to Barbeque by Harry Soo SlapYoDaddyBBQ.com - YouTube
      Happy BBQ to you.

      Comment


        #9
        Welcome to the Pit!
        It hasn't been mentioned yet but we love pictures!

        Comment


        • MikeyP
          MikeyP commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! I was in such a rush to turn in everything on time that I didn’t even think to snap a quick photo. I won’t make that mistake again!

        #10
        Welcome aboard! It looks TripleB gave you some great answers! Love to hear more about how you did.

        Comment


        • MikeyP
          MikeyP commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks! It was a pretty relaxed competition, so they haven’t sent me the judges’ notes yet, but from what I understand I was in the middle-back of the pack. It being my first competition I’m not too discouraged, especially because I was competing amongst a bunch of pro teams. Heck, my goal was to finish above last! I’m very happy with how everything turned out, but think I need more experience in finding exactly what flavors the judges are looking for!

        #11
        Salutations from Hays, Kansas!

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          KS!!!
          Hee-Hee!!!

        #12
        Picking out "good" slabs of ribs for competition is the hard part! I look for straight rib bones, prefer small bones (younger hogs) and thick slab all the way across. Very seldom do I find all 3 of this criteria met. I seem to find it more with Allegiance St. Louis ribs (single slab package). I don't like mail order ribs -- too expensive and too much variation. I usually cook 2 slabs for a contest. If I find one good slab, I'll look for another that is the same height and bone size. Here's pix of my last 2 rib turn-in boxes.
        Click image for larger version

Name:	Jay ribs.jpg
Views:	112
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	1090923
        This box came in DAL! I did get a comment card saying it was a beautiful presentation.
        Click image for larger version

Name:	wynne ribs.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	87.1 KB
ID:	1090924
        This is classic presentation design. 9's in appearance from every judge. Finished 22 out of 38 teams

        Comment


        • MikeyP
          MikeyP commented
          Editing a comment
          Those all look great! I was considering mail order too, but also felt nervous about not being able to see them beforehand.

      Announcement

      Collapse
      No announcement yet.
      Working...
      X
      false
      0
      Guest
      500
      ["pitmaster-my-membership","login","join-pitmaster","lostpw","reset-password","special-offers","help","nojs","meat-ups","gifts","authaau-alpha","ebooklogin-start","alpha","start"]
      false
      false
      {"count":0,"link":"/forum/announcements/","debug":""}
      Yes
      Rubs Promo

      Spotlight

      These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

      These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

      Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

      A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


      Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


      Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

      Click here to read our detailed review and to order


      The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


      The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

      Click here to read ourcomplete review

       

      Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

      Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
      Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

      Click here to order.


      The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

      kamado grill
      Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

      Click here for our article on this exciting cooker


      Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

      The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
      Click here for our review of this superb smoker



      Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

      Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


      The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


      The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

      Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them