Competition Rib Recipe | Smoking Competition Ribs for Competition BBQ Contests

  • Published on:  2/15/2018
  • Competition Rib Recipe | BBQ Competition Rib Recipe

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    In KCBS BBQ Competition contests we cook St. Louis cut Spare Ribs. I look for a well marbled rib with good weight - 2.75lbs and up. This size rib has plenty of meat on the bones for the judges, so they can get a good bite.

    My process starts with trimming the ribs. I square up each rack by removing the end bones and taking any excess meat off the rib tip area. Each slab needs to be close to the same size in order to cook at the same rate. Remove the sinew membrane from the back side the ribs and trim away any thick deposits of fat from both sides.

    For comp ribs I want a savory layer of seasoning with a touch of heat but you also need a sweet layer to balance it out. I use both my Killer Hogs Hot Rub and Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub. This combo is hard to beat and gives the ribs an amazing color as they cook. Layer on a very light coat of mustard on each slab and sprinkle the rubs on both sides. Let them hang out at room temp while the smoker comes up to temperature.

    Just about any type of pit can be used to cook competition ribs. For this cook I’m firing up my Gateway Drum with Royal Oak Lump charcoal. The target smoking temperature is 250⁰. Once the smoker stabilizes add a chunk each of Cherry and Hickory Grillewood for smoke flavor.

    Place the ribs on the cooking grate and make sure they’re lying straight on the rack. The way you set them in place is the shape they will cook. Smoke for 2 hours and spritz with a 50:50 mixture of apple juice and water as needed (about every 30 minutes).

    The ribs will start to develop a bark on the outside as the rubs caramelize and this is the point where you want to get them wrapped. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil long enough to cover the ribs. On the foil layer a few lines of Parkay squeeze margarine, ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 Tablespoon of honey. Place the ribs meat down in this mixture.

    At this point check the backside of the ribs and remove anything that could give the judges a bad taste – little bits of rendered fat or meat. Now they need a little spice and acidity in the wrap so drizzle ¼ cup of Killer Hogs The Vinegar Sauce down the middle of the slab. Close the aluminum foil around the ribs and place them back on the smoker to tenderize.

    It takes about 1 – 1 ½ hours in the wrap but be sure to check them after 1 hour. When you see the larger bones exposed on the back it’s a tell-tell sign that the ribs are tender. As you lift the slabs you can feel them bend in between the bones almost to the point of breaking.

    You have to be careful here when handling them or the slab could tear. Let the ribs hang out for 30 minutes on the counter to rest in the foil. At this point I fold another sheet of aluminum foil into a boat shape to transfer the ribs back to the smoker for a quick glaze.

    Carefully transfer each rack to the foil boats and brush on a light coat of glaze. The glaze is a mixture of ¾ cup Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce mixed with ¼ cup Killer Hogs The Vinegar Sauce. Warm the sauce slightly and brush it on the meat side of the ribs. Place each rack back on the pit and set the glaze for 15 minutes.

    Now the ribs are ready to cut into judging portions. Place each rack meat side down on the cutting board and use a long bladed, sharp knife to precisely cut in between each bone. *a good knife is key here. Once all of the ribs are cut, apply a little glaze to the cut side of each piece and select the best bones for the turn in box.

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    Competition Rib Recipe