Championship BBQ tips
Re: Sauce Recipe
Sat, 27 Jan 1996 13:33:35 -0700
You know I never told you this last year, (you know how big your head gets), but you were a major factor in helping me accomplish winning the National Championship. In 1994 my worst category of the four majors was chicken so last winter I set about to change things. In one of the early issues of the Bullsheet in 1995 you was generous enough to share your chicken do with the group. Part of your process involved marinating the chicken in Wish Bone Italian dressing, I tried it with my newly developed rub and the rest is history. 1st place overall in Chicken KCBS for 1995! I now use the Wish Bone "Robust" and I find it does even a better job.
One thing I've learned from competition experience: Don't be afraid to share! You can put two different cooks side by side with the same cookers, same meat, same marinades, rubs, and sauces and the finished products will be completely different. I see too many really good cooks, whose meat tastes much better than mine, (which is not hard to do) not score as well because they didn't concentrate on the other two aspects of competition cooking (tenderness and appearance).
You got to have the whole package right to win. You got to practice a lot and learn your cooker intimately. Once you've won a ribbon in a category, don't change the flavor ever again, then start concentrating on the other aspects of tenderness and appearance and the ribbons will start changing from yellow and browns to reds and blues. That's my tip of the day for all, and not necessarily you Coach. As I know all too well you've whipped my butt on more than one occasion. You've a really good cook and a super nice guy.
Note: From Ray Basso: The "Coach" Mike was refering to was Jim Sposato a ledendary cook at that time and Jim reply to Mikes post with this one:
Re: Sauce Recipe
Sun, 28 Jan 1996 12:25:33 -0700
Thanks for the kind comments. I love to compete against good cooks and you are one of the best. when you can win in many different locations like you have the past couple of years it proves you are a good cook. I have NO secrets when it comes to BBQ. What good is it to have lots of knowledge if you don't share with it somebody else. Cook-off are just like football games. No matter how you do one week will not say how you do the next week. (good or bad). I'm looking forward in competing against you again this year. I can always learn from you and anybody else. I found some sauce recipes with corn syrup but not both corn syrup and molasses in them. Which ones do you want.
I think this exchange really shows the nature of competition barbecue cooks. They are a fine, fun loving bunch of people but they are very competitive. I remember talking to Carolyn Wells once about how generous Mike Scrutchfield was in sharing his information on The BBQ Forum. At that time he was winning all the time Carolyn said "Mike Scrutchfield is the most fiercely competitive cook she has ever seen." However, even thought I listed to her words carefully I thought Mike was one of the most generous people I had ever meet because of his contributions to The BBQ Forum.
In September of 1996 Mike Scrutchfield wrote the following in a post to the forum.
"In Kansas City we throw "Dry" brisket in the trash! Good Kansas City style brisket is juicy and tender. So tender in fact that we have to slice it 1/2" thick and it needs just a touch of sauce on top to give it that finishing touch. No wonder Texans don't do very well in BBQ contests north."
At the time he had the credential to back up those words.
Blue ribbon winner, brisket at the 1995 "Jack Daniels" World Invitational," "National Points Champion" Brisket division, also in 1995 and six Blue Ribbon wins in 1996 year to date.