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Old 08-01-2007, 11:11 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Va
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Which sauce to use in comp.

Hey everybody,
After the last competition my teamate and I are questioning how much spice we should put in our rubs and sauces for competitions. In your experiences with comps do the judges like the sweeter sauces or spicy. Both our rubs and sauces have black pepper and cayenne in them. We were thinking of cutting these in half. The reason we are questioning is because in Danville our chicken and ribs did pretty well. We added just a little sauce and light rub to both to be safe. However, we got knocked down because of taste. In Stevensville we added more rub and sauce to the chicken and ribs and placed lower. We think it was because it was to spicy. I know this is a big gray area and there is now way to predict what a certain judge will like. Just wanted to see what you all think.


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Old 08-01-2007, 12:24 PM   #2
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I'd keep the rub the way you normally make it, unless it's overly spicy you will want to tone it down. You want the rub to add flavor to the meat and bring out the natural pork flavors, not burn your mouth. In my opinion your rub is what makes your BBQ unique, sauces just add another profile of flavor. Other than that I'd leave the rub alone.

However the sauce is another animal in my opinion. If possible I would base the sauce on the region your cooking in. For instance don't turn in a vinegar sauce in a comp in Kansas City or a sweet tomatoey sauce in Eastern North Carolina.

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Old 08-01-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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I agree with Brian, I think you have to submit food that "the majority" of people in that area are used to, and for the majority of the country that is a sweet BBQ sauce. Your sauce doesn't have to be devoid of spice, but it shouldn't be overpowering.

An example regarding matching rubs and sauces to regions would be comps and judges in the Carolinas probably see more vinegar based sauces than sweet, tomato sauces, I would assume.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:38 PM   #4
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Could you imagine putting a healthy dose of something like Dave's insanity sauce or Blair's Death sauce in the sauce for an entry? I imagine it would be a lifetime ban from competitions. You'd certainly know which table had your food.
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:59 PM   #5
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Honestly if you are having issues with your flavor profile then just go to hawgeyes or any of the other bbq stores online and order up some smoking guns hot rub and some blues hog sauce...maybe a little head country. But just buy something that you know teams use and win with.

that way instead of wondering what to do with your rub you can worry about cooking perfect bbq...
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