The Rib Cook-Off
Eating and Drinking just seem to go together at MySideOfTheBar and I consider us to be fairly good chefs.
Recently I had the opportunity to participant in the First Annual Baypoint Rib Cook-Off at the condo where Central Patti and I spend a lot of time in the spring, summer and fall months. You will remember Baypoint as it was the site of some of the most famous (or should I say infamous) events such as the Condo Crawl, the Baypoint Derby and Lake Week.
Now I had never cooked ribs before, however I received some valuable pointers from S.O. (Yes the same S.O. who captains the Happy Ours) on cooking ribs.
1. Looking is not cooking
2. Use Apple Chips for smoking and get the ones you do not have to soak
3. Cook on very low heat for a long time (about 225)
4. Use a good quality rub
5. Only put sauce on the last 15 minutes or so and let it caramelize before letting the ribs rest.
So with this in mind and the loan of some wood chips I entered the Cook-Off.
I received assistance with the preparation, membrane removal and rubbing. I chose Cookies Flavor Enhancer and All Purpose Seasoning for the rub as I had used this before in making chicken wings. I was forced to improvise on my chip box using a pie tin covered with foil. This seemed to work very well, however I believe I had to add more chips than you would if you had a regular cast chip box.
I started the grill and the smoking process and put the ribs on about 11:40 in the A.M. I felt like a mad scientist and I have to admit I probably looked more than I should, but the excitement of cooking ribs for the first time was more than I could stand.
Now what the contestants of the Cook-Off did not count on was Mother Nature was working overtime on the day of the Cook-off, as the temperature was over 100 degrees. This made keeping our cooking heat very hard to adjust as with the grill on the lowest settings contestants could only manage about 277-280 degrees for cooking. I tried to compensate by turning off the grill and letting the heat drop and then start the grill again, however this still proved to be very difficult given the ambient temps.
At about 5:15 I sauced the ribs as we had the tasting scheduled for about 5:45. I chose Cattlemen’s Master Reserve for my Sauce, which is not as sweet as the sauce I normally use (Sweet Baby Rays)
As I said I am no expert on cooking ribs, however I thought they were great and the other contestants I sampled were also very, very good.
First Place - S.O. (My Rib Mentor)
Second Place – The Professor
Those were the only entries
1st Place Black Witch BBQ
2nd Place Baby Back Bitch BBQ
S.O, C.O., Central Patti and I feasted on ribs until our eyes burst and had a great time. A big thanks to S.O. for showing me the ropes on cooking ribs and I will be gunning for the title next year.