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PBC Vs Mak 2 Star - Last Meal Ribs Cookoff - PICS FIXED

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    PBC Vs Mak 2 Star - Last Meal Ribs Cookoff - PICS FIXED

    This is a writeup I did a few months ago in the old comments system. It was lost when we migrated to Disqus. I compared the "economical" Pit Barrel Cooker to the Cadillac of smokers, the Mak 2 Star General. Many readers were wanting to know just how good the PBC was and I thought this a good way to demonstrate. Luckily I had a copy! This was originally posted to the Pit Barrel Cooker page on April 15, 2014. Let me know your thoughts!

    OK so first off, I am absolutely stuffed. My most critical judge said these are the best ribs she's ever eaten. I know, you're wondering which ribs won, and I'm getting there, but I have to start with the criteria... Ribs were judged on taste, appearance, and tenderness. Aside from being cooked in different cookers, they were treated exactly the same. I mentioned below they were prepped with Memphis Dust. For the final glaze we used Max's Sweet Cognac flavor Black Swan BBQ sauce. This is the first time I've ever had this sauce and I have to admit I was nervous about breaking the news to Max if I didn't like it. Fortunately there is no bad news here today. Sweet Cognac BBQ sauce completely ROCKS with Memphis Dust. ROCKS. Did I mention it ROCKS? I will be ordering more. Anyway, on to the judging. Scoring range was 1 to 9, higher is better.

    Appearance: Sight nod goes to the PBC(9 PBC to 8 Mak). Both had a nice smoke ring and awesome deep red bark. The PBC ribs appeared meatier though and that helped them have a cleaner and more appealing overall appearance. PBC ribs win by one point.

    Tenderness: Nod goes to the Mak (8 PBC to 9 Mak). Both racks had a clean bite through. Meat came off the bone easily but did not fall apart. The fat in the Mak ribs though was more rendered while the PBC ribs had a little gristle texture in some places. The gristle texture didn't happen very often though and the Mak ribs won in this area by one point.

    Taste: Slight nod to the Mak (8 PBC to 9 Mak). Both ribs tasted great. The PBC ribs had more of an in your face smokey taste while the Mak ribs had a more complex smokey taste that permeated the entire bite. The meat was equally juicy in both cases. The bark had a sweet, dark smokey (a better description fails me), very slightly citrusy taste with a hint of brown sugar and I definitely taste the hint of garlic MH mentions in his review of the Sweet Cognac BBQ sauce.

    Overall: Nod to the Mak by one point. 26 to 25.

    I blame myself a bit on this one as the PBC ran hotter today than it usually does. I checked my cooking log and the previous times I've made ribs my PBC has always settled in the 270F range. Today it was in the 320s. If I'd been able to get it down to the 270 range I think the ribs would have cooked more slowly, the fat would have rendered a bit better and the gristle texture that popped up every now and then would not have been there. It was that close.

    I should also point out that the PBC ribs cooked two hours more quickly than the Mak ribs, so if time is a constraint the PBC would be the way to go. The overall score was close enough that I'd easily give up the two hours when time is a factor. In summary it was a great day for both cookers. The Mak really showcased how awesome ribs can be when you stick to the "Last Meal Ribs" recipe and the PBC showed how you can get a really awesome result, at a very affordable price, with a very low level of effort. The "Cheap Offset Smoker" needs to die a quick death in favor of the PBC.

    All photos below are untouched excepted for resizing to fit inside vBulletin's image size restrictions. Photos taken with an iPhone 5.

    Ribs just went on both smokers After Saucing. Mak Ribs on bottom, PBC ribs on top Click image for larger version

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    Mak rack passing the bend test Click image for larger version

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    Mak ribs on left. PBC ribs on right. Click image for larger version

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    Closeup of Mak ribs Click image for larger version

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    Closeup of PBC ribs Click image for larger version

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    Bite through. Mak ribs are represented by the top bite Click image for larger version

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    Cheers! Click image for larger version

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      Noyyce! I especially like all of those pics.


        I like ribs.


          Originally posted by Pit Master Apprentice View Post
          I like ribs.

          Ribs, they are teh good.



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