Rib cookoff!

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Original poster
Jun 21, 2006
south central Kansas
One of the guys I work with has been saying for years how his ribs are the BEST, he has never brought any in for a sample though. He said he cooks them on the grill with about 2 hrs cook time and the meat falls off the bone (is he full of BS???) he also mentioned something about a special roux he bastes the ribs with...but wont say whats in it.

I recently smoked up seven slabs for the guys, and he really liked mine, but still insists HIS are even better. You can guess what happened next...

Cookoff time!!!

Our company also holds an annual food drive for the local food bank, so we are always trying to come up with new fundraiser ideas. My thought was to hold a rib cookoff open to the entire company (over 5000 employees) maybe have participants prepare at least two or three slabs minimum, and then sell tickets for $5 for the people that want to taste and judge.

So first question is... Anybody have any tips on how to run a rib cookoff in a situation like this? portion control? judging tips? etc.

Second question, I have tried the 3-2-1 method for spares and they have come out prety darn good, but Im in search of a hopefully an even better way to make them even more tender, fall off the bone tender. any secrets you are willing to share would be greatly appreciated :D
If they are not quite to the tender mark you are looking for, leave them in foil a little longer. I have done them to where they literally were falling off the bone. meat no bones out of the foil packs. Family thought they wre great, I wanted to cry. Different strokes for different folks. Since then I have educated them as to what is considered correct for ribs.
please remind me
3hr cooking
2hr in foil
1hr getten slobberd with sauce

is this correct, i've just never tried it.
Sounds like you pretty much have it!

Just remember that the times are just a general guideline.. the first stage (the "3" in 3-2-1) is over when the meat has pulled back from the bone about a quarter inch. This will be right around 3 hours but could be more or less time depending on the temperature of your smoker, how close the meat is to the firebox, etc.

Monitor the temperature real good during the last stage since the ribs could get done in less than an hour and you don't want to overcook them.

I cook my ribs to 172 degrees.. sometimes a little less than that if I am going to stash them in a cooler for a few hours to keep them warm till dinner time.
okjsmoker, it's sounds like you have thrown the gauntlet down. Sounds like you co-worker can "Talk the talk". Be interesting to see if he can "Walk the walk". Keep us posted.
Well what started out as just an idea, has grown into something big. The main idea was brought to management and so far it looks like they are behind it, plus it looks like they even have a hookup for either free or reduced price meat from a local butcher shop!

So it looks like this is going to be a huge event. lets see... 5000 people @ 1lb each....wow thats a lot of meat!

I need a bigger smoker :)
okjsmoker, when cooking 3-2-1 ribs, put on some gloves and pick up the racks while they're wrapped and develop a feel for how flexible the racks are when you unwrap them.

With a little practice you'll learn to feel when they're ready to unwrap by how floppy they are in the foil.

You can also learn to pull them before they're ready to unwrap, cooler them, then unwrap and finish to better meet serving time. Keeps the OL happy and the inlaws from drinking all my beer waiting on the ribs ;-)
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