Thursday, October 6, 2011

Appearance of BBQ Newsletter Thursday, October 6, 2011

Appearance of BBQ
Thursday, October 6, 2011
In this issue:
Appearance of BBQ
Sting-Kill Giveaway
New BBQ Videos


Sting-Kill's Facebook Page

Enter your best BBQ recipe and enter it to win your choice of either a trip for two to Memphis in May 2012 or an Ole Hickory Pits Smoker


Mark Lambert from Sweet Swine O’ Mine BBQ team just started a new BBQ Radio Show in the Memphis area. 

He will be discussing "All Things BBQ" on Saturdays from Noon until 1pm. 

This man is a World Champion BBQ cook, so plan to tune-in on 990AM (in memphis area) or listen on the web at
New BBQ Videos

I added several new videos this week. You can check them out by hitting the links below...

Charcoal and Wood For Smoking BBQ
The "Stall" When Cooking BBQ
Last week my newsletter talked about "The Stall" when you cook your BBQ.

And there is a great article that explains the science behind all of this.

Understanding And Beating The Barbecue Stall
It's a great article if you really want to understand the WHYS behind the dreaded "stall" ...

Competition BBQ: Appearance Scores
Well we had a pretty good showing at the Jonesboro contest last weekend.  We took 3rd chicken, 6th ribs, & 9th brisket.  Overall we finished 5th out of 62 teams…that’s a solid weekend in my book.

To our surprise, pork took 21st and kept us from finishing higher. It is our strongest category this year, but there was one judge that didn’t agree with us… and that one judge’s score knocked us down. Waylon and I both thought that it was the best entry we had last weekend. It just goes to show you that you never know…

But now, let’s get down to business and talk about a question I receive all the time… 

Why is Appearance important in competition bbq?

Appearance is the least weighted category that you are judged on, but it can make or break a score.  The first thing that judges do is look at the box.  If something is out of place o r doesn’t look appetizing, it will be scored down. 

The appearance score shouldn’t factor into the other two categories, but I guarantee you if that judge doesn’t think that the meat looks good, he or she is not going to think that it taste good either. 

What are a few things you can do to improve Appearance?

I’m thinking about appearance when I first start prepping the meat.  Besides the actual cooking time, the majority of the work lies in the trimming.  The reason is simple…. appearance. 

If I were cooking at home or doing a catering gig, I wouldn’t spend the extra time it takes to trim each cut of meat, but when it comes down to money on the line, I’m making that meat look like a perfect 9 right out of the gate. 

Keep your knives sharp and always have a pair of kitchen shears handy.  Trim at the beginning, mid dle, and end of the cooking process.  You’re probably saying, what does he mean trim at the middle or end? 

What I’m talking about here is don’t be afraid to shape up any imperfections with the meat as it cooks or when it’s done.  If I see something wrong with a piece of chicken after it comes out of the butter bath, I grab the shears and clip it off. 

When the brisket comes out of the foil, make sure it’s going to fit the box. Doing these little things will pay off when it comes to appearance scores.

 Another thing that will kill an appearance score is color of the entry.  This usually happens when the meat is too dark or takes on a burnt appearance. 

All it takes is cutting back on the smoke when you hit the 165 internal mark, wrap or tent the meat with aluminum foil once it reaches this point, and know when to glaze or add your finishing sauces.  &n bsp;It’s ok for the bark on a butt or brisket to be a little on the darker side, but just be careful that you’re not turning in something that has been over caramelized or even burnt.

To Garnish or Not?

Now garnish isn’t supposed to factor into a judge’s score whatsoever, but I’m here to tell you that it does…Plain and Simple.  And a box that is garnished properly will always score higher than one that is just thrown together on top of some lettuce. 

I’m not saying that you have to spend 2 hours building perfect putting greens, but as long as other teams are doing it, you can be sure that I will too. 

The last thing I can tell you before closing the box and walking that entry to the turn-in table is to take one final look at it. Ask yourself what jumps out?  Is the garnish even? Are the pieces uniform?  Make sure there are no blemishes o r imperfect cuts.  It’s a good idea to have a pair of tweezers close by to pull off any small particles that can get stuck on the meat, or to place that last sprig of parsley to even out the box. 

You will be surprised as to what you can see while closely examining the entry.  We even put a fresh set of eyes on it for a quick critique.  Of course all of this has to be done in a flash because the minutes are ticking and the last thing you want to happen is miss the window. 

If you take the time to create the perfect appearance, your scores will be higher, and it might just be the factor that gets you up on that stage.

Got an suggestion or a topic you would like me to talk about in this newsletter?

Email it to me at

The Killer Hog's Rub... THE BBQ RUB. (period)
We've been getting great reviews on this rub and winning with it like crazy.

It not only gives your BBQ meat great flavor, but it gives it great color too.

It's a sweet n' spicy rub that goes perfectly with BBQ. You gotta try it. You gotta tell your friends about it.

It IS The BBQ Rub. (period)|| My BBQ Blog Malcom Reed Killer Hogs BBQ Team

Malcom Reed
Killer Hogs BBQ
PO Box 4267
Southaven, MS 38671

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