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Newbie needs HELP Please!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Greetings everyone! I found this forum on a google search and I'm so happy I did!

I have been bbq'ing all my life but have recently wanted to learn the smoking technique. Last year I took 3rd place in a small rib cook-off. This year I want CHAMPION! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif I know there are some experts listening in here who can help me.

I purchased a Kenmore propane smoker. I have Hickory and Mesquite woods. I smoked two slabs: 1 with hickory and beer as the liquid. They came out great; 1 with mesquite and a mix of apple/grape juice as the liquid. They weren't as good.

So is anyone willing to give me the winning advice? I will be given 3 slabs of Pork baby back ribs to prepare for the competition.

Thanks a million for any help and advice--Jo
post #2 of 19
I would start by taking Jeff's 5 day course, it's free!

I'm sure the advice will be pouring in here shortly, but just my 2 cents.

Mesquite can get bitter if used too much or for too long. Apple, cherry, hickory, all good woods for pork.

A rub is always a good start, Jeff sells his rub and sauce recipes here and there is also a recipe thread with rubs, sauces, marinades etc. Take a look at the 2-2-1 method for baby backs, it works great! There's a link on the left. (2 hours on, 2 hours foiled, 1 hour naked again.)

Well, I'll move over so the others can add their advice...good luck on the championship!!!

Don't forget to take pictures and post them back here!!
post #3 of 19
Welcome to SMF! I think CinnamonKC has given good advice! Good luck!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #4 of 19
Welcome to SMF! KC had great advice. In addition to that, this place has tons of great stuff by all levels of smoking meat knowledge. You're sure to find what you're looking for to make that winning grub! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #5 of 19
Welcome to the forum.

I am guessing that if you are allowed to use a gas smoker that is an unsanctioned contest......no certified judges, etc. Let us know more of the details on the contest and maybe we can help.

If it is an unsanctioned thing it really is a crapshoot since they don't generally have many guidelines to go by.
post #6 of 19
welcome to smf
and ditto what kc said
jeffs rub is awesome
try some of that with a apple juice and rum spritz you will definitely win..
post #7 of 19
did that yesterday....one spritz for the butt and two for me....you definately do win biggrin.gif
post #8 of 19
Welcome to the forum Jo. I'm sure someone will help out shortly. In the meantime be sure to stop by roll call


introduce yourself, and tell us a little something.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I was sooooooooo afraid that no one would answer my post. Thank you SO MUCH to all the responses!

A bit about me...Female ;-) living about 90 miles south of San Francisco. Born and raised in Texas...been in CA 30+ years. LOVE it here! Never ate anything bbq'd while growing up in Texas...go figure. Mother of 4; 3rd graduated from HS last week; 3 DOWN, 1 TO GO!

The competition next weekend is definitely unsanctioned...more of an ego thing I guess. My boyfriend is the GM of an RV resort and this is the 2nd annual Rib Cook-off. Last year I baked baby backs in the oven followed by a brief grill with sauce. Third is not good enough...guess I'm a bit competitive LOL. Last count there were 8 coming into the comps this year. BTW...last year's grand prize was for ribs drowned in a chunky sauce and put in a 200 degree oven for all day. Where's the talent in that???

I would like to BLOW AWAY the judges (3 guys who love to eat...who knows what their criteria is, but I hear it is TASTE, TEXTURE AND FLAVOR...aren't 2 of those the same thing???)

The ribs I smoked with the Hickory and beer liquid were awesome! I asked my neighbors to taste-test for me and they liked these better as well. So I guess I'm asking for tips to reaching the ultimate in smoked ribs. Anyone up for this challenge? (smile) ~~Jo
post #10 of 19
Jo, if oven ribs placed last year, and you give the BB's the 2-2-1 method with a good rub (Jeff's - GREAT investment for bringing your smokes to the next level) the deck has to be stacked if you don't bring home the trophy this year! Welcome to the forum! You'll make more than some awesome ribs if ya stick around here for a while!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 


Please explain the 2-2-1 in detail. I forgot to mention that I'm blonde...plus I'm new to this smoking thing. Thank you! ~~Jo
post #12 of 19
look left, under the How to's by Jeff. There is the 3-2-1 method. read it, and it is pretty self explanitory. If ya got any questions , come on back and ask around
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!

Thanks Capt Dan. I printed off the 3-2-1 method and will be studying it and practicing before Saturday. I also bought Jeff's recipes since I need a starting place and it sound like his is as good a place to start as any.

I'll keep everyone posted on the results of the little competition I'll be in. I think 1st place earns $100; that would be great since I'm now PLANNING ON WINNING 1ST! I'm not gonna let oven baked ribs get me again!

Make it a great day everyone!
post #14 of 19
Jo if its baby backs do the 2-2-1 they will come out better and good luck
post #15 of 19
PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif Keep reading here whilst yer practicin' and I'm sure you will set the bar way high for next year after winnin' this year icon_smile.gif
post #16 of 19
Welcome to the forum. Its a great place. As far as the ribs go, baby backs 2-2-1 method works great as everyone else has said.
I have never entered any type of cooking or Qing contest. I use a dry rub consisting of paprika, black pepper, dry mustard, brown sugar, and salt. I rub the ribs the night before, and let sit in fridge till time to put in smoker. I will generously spritz ribs every hour using apple juice and Captain Morgans Spiced Rum. I have yet to have any complaints on the ribs.
Hope this helps. May all your smoke be thin and blue.
post #17 of 19
welcome to the right place, I did these today, put mustard over them, then brush it to cover good, buy jeffs rub recipe and put a nice layer on both sides and do the 2-2-1 as mentioned before and you should win, I used cherry , oak, and hickory with an apple juice spritz. good luckPDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #18 of 19
Go to the top of the page, on the left side you will see 3-2-1 method click on it and read, it will get to 2-2-1 very easy to understand.
post #19 of 19
A helpful tip with ribs is to make sure you serve a nice and meaty rib.

When you serve up a rib bone for judging, make sure there is meat on both sides of the bone (means some of your other bones won't have much meat on them...make sure to not serve those to the judges). Some folks even serve up a judges cut (two meaty bones).
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