Compare Your Food or Not

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When I smoke meat ...

  • I usually compare to someone or someplace else

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I only compare to my best smoke... so far

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I never compare - I smoke & hope for the best

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Nov 25, 2006
I went out at lunch today to a "serious BBQ and Steak" house today. I ordered a two meat plate with brisket and pulled pork with a couple of sides.

I believe if I served a brisket the way this one was, I'd be ashamed to call my business a BBQ. This thing was tough, dry, and way overdone. Very little taste. The pulled pork was only fair, but better than the brisket.

When I smoke meats I have a couple of places that I "compare" my outcome to, since really no one else close smokes meat anymore. When I smoke a brisket... I compare it to a local place that puts out some awesome, as TulsaJeff puts it, "cuts like budda" brisket. When I leave there... my taste buds need a cigarette. So I compare my outcome to that place.

I was just wondering if anyone else makes a habit of this or if you just compare to your best so far. Thought it might be interesting to see the results.
I compare some, but my wife is the real critic. As of yet we haven't found anyplace that she likes as well as what I smoke. so I guess that I'll count that as an ataboy. You know , gota keep momma happy.
My son compares my ribs to Applebees, they are who I'm up against on ribs, I've never had them.

I've only compared my brisket to a couple "traveling" bbqers in the area that stop in at local quick shops. Mine has won easily, but theirs is usually "pulled" and I like it sliced.

Pulled pork seams ok just about anywhere.

My daughter compares my chicken to KFC, not too tough to beat that.

People have told me that my brisket is the best they have had, mine is good, but I know there is MUCH better out there.

I always compare mine to my best smoke, to date. I've hit a wall w/brisket and pulled pork. Haven't been able to "better myself", can duplicate though.

ribs will get done alot for the next 3 months or so. I feel like I can take those up quite a few notches. Love the challenge.

Great post Pig, you OTBS TURD.
While I put a lot of stock on the improvement of our own q, I also compare to some of the best I've had around the country. There's an old place in down town Houston called Goode's. Brisket, mesquite, beans and cast iron corn bread.....that's the base line. We've tried many chains that, relatively speaking, suck. Thanks to the wealth of input from this forum, we feel like we make some pretty dad gum good q.
I used to tend to try and duplicate the taste of other places based on my memory of how it tasted. Then I would go and try it again and find out I was way the heck out in left field on my rememberer
or they had changed. Now I cook like I want to and let the Que fall where it may
I too do the compare thing, and I too like to eat out from time to time , but there are no BBQ joints here in Ohio that I can say does any justice to the back home flavor of even the most backwater Q-joint. I give the shadow of a doubt, at least 2 trys(might be a bad day) before givig them my verdict.
There is one big name here in Toledo - the Sticky one. Yet they are selling a sauce not the meat. Yeah, dry,tasteless brisket and the ribs (both times) were boiled(maybe they can't judge the volume of thier business), but in my place I'd be "OUT of MEAT"!!
OPPS! Got on my soap box , Wife says I should know the taste of my shoes better than anything, that's just me.
But anyway, I greatful for the homesmoke movement- a cadre of purist who wants something better than PROGRESS has to offer.
Sorry, I'm through now.
First, great post PC.

I tend to compare my q against the best that I've made. Figure, I will always be tweaking. For instance, I always do loin backs/baby backs. Last weekend, decided to try spare ribs. Was thinking, with loin backs, I always do "2-2-1(or about). So, with the spare ribs, figured "3-2-1"(or about).......wrong!

Guess, it is always a learning curve(and the particular cut of meat),and that's the fun part. Smokey Bones and Famous Dave's not with standing, We are still well beyond that curve!!
Unfortunately I live in the north where most people think BBQ is hotdogs and hamburgers on a gas grill. The only thing close to real Q is Big Bubba's at the Mohegan Sun Casino, but they're not always consistant with they're cooking. One day ribs are mushy and the next they are great but either way it's a matter of them serving about 6 kinds of sause to apply at the table.

My biggest exposure to BBQ was Hawaii, Alabama, North Carolina and Memphis. All a bit different and each wonderful in it's own right.

I don't know anyone who smokes meat so I compare each smoke to my best and take careful notes with each smoke. Almost every smoke tastes better than the one before as I tweek in my spices or try something new.

I find myself measuring time by how long I have until my next smoke.

Thanks for all your comments. I always compare my current outcome to my personal best, but also compare that to the couple of really good places I know of. It's really sad to go to someplace that put "serious" on their sign when my worst is better than what they served... Might just be my opinion though.

Keep Smokin
Well I for one am my most critic guess thats part of being the cook. I've had great days and bad days. Even my worst is still better than the Q joints around here. The only thing I order is chopped beef, the briskets are dry and tough, have very little smoke ring and taste like liquid smoke instead of a good ol wood smoke. Ribs are usually dry and have no taste but the sauce on them, if there not burned. I stopped in a small Q joint close to my house and was talking with the cook. She told me that they cook 3 cases of briskets at a time and only use 3 sticks of wood, believe me you can see theres hardly any smoke ring, tastes like cotton with liquid smoke on it. Everyone has started using commercial propane cookers with very little wood there more into Quananity than Quality . So guess im just used to my own cooking and will just keep it that way.
hello hello,

there is a place called phils---\
i grew up tasting ribs from there..
it was in near north side of st.louis city....

business passed from father to son
who moved business to saint louis county.
son and grandson operate that one...

2 grandsons-with help of their dad
opened q joint in franklin county
on I44... also called phil's

they all stay true to grandpaws ribs
they cook with charcoal and wood..
they are the best

im not there yet.
but i hope to master their taste on ribs...

with SOFLACUER"s finishing sauce on pulled pork--[ i do tweak it a little]--i think its the best-

memphis aint got it---both in st.louis area...--i lived there 5 years

my brisket only bows to "GOODES" and the "CAJUN JOINT" in houston area...

even with my homemade sausage-- a local hole in the wall q joint
in nacadoches texas --kicks its tail---they make their own....

i lived in houston texas area 17 years

i believe in my heart--
that my "soon to be famous"smoked chicken is the BEST!!!

my smoked turkey says----this is as good as it gets----

i am planing to attend the smf forum get together.
im from missouri---if you got better---SHOW ME
For me it is a combo. I am semi-competitive by nature and cooking is one of my passions, so I am always trying to better myself, but I love having friends over and having their wives tell me how much better my Cue is than their hubbies. It is a man thing or something.
Before smoking, I used to compare all BBQ to one just north of Tulsa. But after a couple of times doing it myself, I realized that there is very little comparison, because you have to add in the satisfaction of having done it yourself. After finally getting the perfect rib, once, I now compare to that. If I can do better than that one time, then I am a god. Having said that, I will admit that every time I try a BBQ shop, I think about whether this is really all that good, and wonder if I could do better. But I don't necessarily finish up a smoke and think about how it compares to anyone else's in particular (except every now and then, I wonder how it does against that place just north of Tulsa).
ok i will admit i did not read all the replys. but i have an opinion on this subject and i would like to share it all with you. i know some one here will take this advice and run with it, and if you do.... have my pic hanging somewhere in your establishment.

bbq is not fast food. was never ment to be. but people try to make it so. the cook food early and leave it sit all day in a warming situation and hope it will work with drowing it in sauce.

this is not for me.

you want a great bbq resturant?

with this idea it is a lot less work, headach and cost. i just do not have the means to make it happen.

have your food ready for sell at what ever time, lest say for lunch 11. dinner 5:30. what you prepare is what it is. but make it known this is the time your food comes off the line and that is it. it is guarnteed fresh, and NEVER deveate from this. some will not be happy as they can not get YOUR bbq, but they shoud of gotten there earlier. this will create a "buzz" and people will wait in line for your food, and will pass the word with out asking. think about it, you will sell out EVERY day and be home by 8. your employeed will be min wage, so min cost, and be happy.

as the company grows you will get catering jobs and adjust from there. you can easily work in other cooking times.

you will be more then likely to sell hole briskets, boston butts, fatties (side item), wicked baked beans (give some profits to dutch), what ever you like/ they will buy it, and come back for more
Buzzard,great idea for a business ! would probably do very well as long as you were for comparing my food to any establishment...can't find one around here sons and the mrs. won't order steak or ribs out anymore they say there better at home ! ( head swells ) ....but being in my part of Canada there really isn't any real q joints here ??? hmmmmmmmm maybe I should start one !
heck yea, and i am bbq in canada? i wonder how much you could make even with a small road side what you would see a fair or carnival? there is a guy who sells sandwitches and small plates that way up the road. he takes it home with him everynight and seems to always have a line of cars for dinner and lunch.
I have pretty much given up on eating bbq out. Unless there is a place that gets high marks from folks I really trust I stay away. Got tired of dropping $20 on a slab of ribs and being disappointed. Id rather buy 3 slabs and do them myself for that price.

Other than a few places in KC & the carolinas, I wouldnt want my bbq to be like 99% of the bbq I have eaten @ restaurants.
I don't bother comparing mine to any restaurant, because mine will always be better.

I'm not saying that to toot my own horn, but the reality is that I can spend the time to do it properly regardless whether it's brisket, pork or ribs, and I have that luxury. Restaurants don't. A restaurant can not throw a rack of ribs on the smoker when you order it, they need them ready so that they're at the table 20 min after you order. And it's a juggling act with the food. They don't know who is going to order what. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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