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How to cook competition style


Meat Mopper
Joined Nov 30, 2009
Hey guys I was wondering how the techniques are different when cooking competition ribs and other BBQ compared to the 3-2-1 method with ribs and wrapping the pork butt in foil at 165. Is there a difference with the cooking methods? I would really like to know.


Meat Mopper
Joined Jul 1, 2010
IMHO as long as you go at 250 or less and wrap at 165 then take to 200/205 and let rest for couple hours... its hard to mess up a butt. A good rub wrapped up overnight is good, as well as spritzing with something (we use apple cider vinegar and brown sugar/pepper) every hour after the first few hours, and pouring some of that in over the butt as you foil it... all thats good advice, but the key there is foiling at 165 and taking to 200... all over a low and slow heat.

Also, i've done different experements with the rubbing agents and how to cook (olive oil vs. mustard, and fat up vs. fat down) I couldnt tell a huge different between those either way, guess it depends on if you are using direct/indirect heat.

As for the ribs, we've never turned any in but always cook em anyway.  We've had success all around the board, some of our best ones coming from strait 5 hour smokes (no foiling) at about 240. (the were trimmed spares).  Awesome draw off the bone, took a little tug to get the meat, but still tender.

Really I just like talking about BBQ, so thanks for listening!

Happy smokes!


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 5, 2009
3-2-1 & 2-2-1 ribs are generally very similar to competition ribs. If you watch any of the competition shows a lot of them foil the ribs with a mix of butter, sugar, honey ect. for an hour or so to develop a glaze, then pull them out of the foil and hit them with another glaze. If you get a chance to watch Johnny Trig do some ribs pay attention - he has been winning at ribs longer than most of us have been smoking.

For butts and brisket though a lot of competition smokers do not foil at 165°, they are trying to develop a good bark to show off to the judges.

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