Competition BBQ Brisket Tips for Success
I caught a great BBQ Brisket photo from Harry Soo on Facebook the other day of one of his Competition BBQ Brisket cook results. Along with the photo, Harry asks his Facebook fans whether they enjoy the brisket flat slices or the point pieces (burnt ends) better.
Living here in central Florida, Competition BBQ Brisket is not something most folks here know much about. In fact, for those born and raised here who have had the misfortune to only visit chain style BBQ restaurants, there’s a solid chance they’ve never heard of BBQ Brisket. If they have had it, it’s likely the brisket they were served was closer to boiled sliced beef or chopped into uncharacteristic beef fragments.
As a KCBS and FBA BBA Judge, I have long heard from fellow judges and my competition BBQ Pitmaster friends that Competition BBQ Brisket is one of the hardest comp cuts to master.
So to provide some insight into how other professional competition BBQ cooks tackle Competition BBQ Brisket, I’ve provided a collection of some of their tips, along with links to articles they’ve posted that should prove insightful.
Competition BBQ Brisket Tips from Those Who Know…
Fittingly, the first recipe I’m steering you towards is from Harry Soo, of Slap Yo Daddy BBQ. It’s only right since his photo (above) is the one that inspired this post.
Harry Soo and Slap Your Daddy (SYD) knows brisket In fact, in 2010 SYD won the national KCBS Rancher Reserve Brisket Cup. As you read through Harry’s post, demystifies competition BBQ brisket and gives you the information you need to become a BBQ Brisket Hero!
Umami is all about that hard to target amazing flavor you get when you eat certain foods. It is prevalent in Asian style cooking. SYD puts cool ingredients to use in this brisket recipe like Shitake Mushrooms, Maggi, and Bonito Flakes. Filled with excellent sourcing, prepping, and cooking tips – you definitely want to head over to this post now.
I’ve linked out to Meathead Goldwyn’s Amazing Ribs.com site several times on this blog because it’s just awesome. No where have I seen anyone go into the level of detail and instruction on how to select, prep, and cook BBQ meats.
In this post, Meathead outlines a Texas Style Competition BBQ Brisket cook from Head to Tail – so to speak. He evern explains the concept of “wet aging” your brisket to achieve maximum tenderness.
Definitely a must read if you’ve never attempted to cook brisket. If you have successfully prepped BBQ brisket, check this post out to see whether there are any areas where you might improve. A BBQ version of Alton Brown and his Good Eats endeavors, Meathead nails here here. Be sure to check it out…
Paul Ostrom over at the Pickled Pig website and competition BBQ forum put up a series of forum posts on how exactly to go about preparing competition BBQ brisket.
I love Paul’s site because he gears most of his content and recipes to fit competition BBQ. As a professional BBQ Pitmaster himself, Paul understands many of the obstacles and frustrations faced by competitive BBQ pros, and he explains things through words and photos in such a way that you are left with easy to implement, functional knowledge that will in many if not all cases help you improve your competitive BBQ entries.
Here’s a preview of what Paul Ostrom shares with you about cooking competition BBQ brisket:
We competed in contests for over 4 years before we finally cracked the Top 10 in the Brisket category. Admittedly, we were less than serious about learning how to cook contest brisket during that period. We just kept doing the same things over and over, usually getting a middle of the pack finish. Our friends and families would rave about our brisket but the judges never seemed overly impressed.
A little over a year ago we focused on improving our contest brisket and it’s paid off. We’ve had 8 brisket calls in the last 14 months including a 1st in a 61 team contest. One of the biggest resources we’ve used in learning how to improve has been the Internet. We seem to take a little info from here and there and compile it into new techniques and processes to try out. I never quite found a good, detailed, unified resource on how to consistently win in KCBS brisket. My hope is to create a thread that we can all reference as needed, especially those just starting out. Contest cooking has also made me a better BBQ cook and I think even backyard cooks will benefit from this information.
My plan is to add to this thread over the next few months, tackling different aspects with each addition. Because of the way threads work, let’s try and keep the discussion limited to parts that have been posted.
Here’s how I plan to break this thread down:
- Part 1 – Selection
- Part 2 – Trimming
- Part 3 – Seasoning (injections, rubs, foil marinades, finishing sauces)
- Part 4 – Cooking
- Part 5 – Once Cooked (Resting, Separation, Burnt Ends, and Slicing the Flat)
- Part 6 – Final Presentation
There are a lot of different ways to produce a winning brisket. Rarely do we come across winning chefs that do everything the same way. Even we don’t always do things the same way when competing.
I have no doubt that those of you who want to improve your competition BBQ brisket scores will get more BBQ brisket walks after reading and implementing the “know how” Paul imparts to you here. Head to this post now…
Competition BBQ Brisket Final Thoughts
For those trying to master cooking Competition BBQ brisket, there are a few key areas in the post above that I feel have been expertly addressed. Read through these carefully, and you’re sure to see an improvement in the presentation, taste, and scoring where you competition BBQ brisket is concerned.
Have any tips or tricks for cooking competition BBQ brisket? Share them in the comments area below!
So, This Thanksgiving Turkey Walks Into a BBQ Smoker…. and …
Photo credit: BBQ Master Bacon Wrapped Smoked Turkey
Wait – that’s not really a joke. And BBQ Smoker prepared turkey is no laughing matter either! Though, it does tend to be a bit safer than frying a big bird up in peanut oil! Don’t take my word for it… William Shatner says has a cautionary turkey fryer tale of his own!
So, the moral of this story is simple…
BBQ Your Thanksgiving Turkey!
So, in honor of the BBQ Smoker and its ability to crank out KILLER Thanksgiving Turkey goodness, I pulled together a few of the better BBQ Smoker Turkey recipes from the web. You’ll recognize some of these folks as frequent flyers (pardon the pun) on the BBQ Smoker Site from posts previous.
BBQ Smoker Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes from the Web
The Ultimate Turkey: Smoked On The Barbecue Or The Grill – Meathead Goldwyn has hands down the best BBQ Smoker Thanksgiving Turkey post on the web. You just can’t do any better than what he’s done here. As we’ve come to expect from Meathead, he approaches the fine art of preparing a turkey on a BBQ Smoker or a grill from both a culinary and a scientific standpoint. I’d say this post is a bit like what we might find in an Alton Brown episode. Only, Meathead is all BBQ. So head over and read the post now!
Brined & Barbecue Smoked Turkey – Juancho over at Hot Smoke BBQ has a great family tradition of preparing a Turkey on his BBQ Smoker every Christmas eve. Whether you want to incorporate the same tradition into your own holiday merrymaking, the recipe he provides here is very thorough from brine to BBQ Smoker. Good photos and detailed explanation of each step in the BBQ Smoker turkey preparation process. Check it out here.
Smoked Turkey Recipe – How to Cook Smoked Turkey on a BBQ Grill – From the grills of those guys over at Pork Barrel BBQ comes this “how to” guide for smoking a turkey on a grill rather than in a BBQ Smoker. Though shorter than the other recipes here and lacking photos, the instructions from these fine gentlemen are well written and easy to follow. If you want to cook a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving and have only a trusty Weber Kettle or similar grill on hand – these instructions will do you nicely.
Grilled Turkey with Bacon Weave – Pretty Tricky Smoker Project - And finally, we have what I think is one of the coolest and maybe trickiest Smoked BBQ Turkey recipes out there – this Bacon Lattice Wrapped BBQ Smoker Turkey deal. As the post states, this one took some close watchdog monitoring so the bacon didn’t burn as the turkey finished its cook… but the end result looks amazing! Any of you guys try this one – and I want photos!!! Get the lowdown here.
So, You Planning on Smoking Your Bird This Year?
If you’e planning to do a BBQ Smoker Turkey Smoked BBQ Turkey this year, or prep one on the grill as the Pork Barrel BBQ guys did above, leave a comment below and let me know! Also, please send over photos or post them on the BBQ Smoker Site Facebook page!
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