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#3285504 - 07/08/13 09:56 AM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Crow Terminator]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 6400
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Crow Terminator
Not really picky...just know what I like and don't like. It's a lot easier when you get ahold of really REALLY good BBQ...it becomes the new standard that you compare all others to. For most people, Buddy's BBQ is "good" because they've never had it from anywhere else. Then once you've had some really good stuff, you wont even give Buddy's a second glance.

Rib n Loin in Chattanooga off of 153 (down from the Sportsman's Warehouse) is pretty decent as well. I wasn't fond of their ribs, but their sandwiches and hogback taters are really good. I judge my ribs by a simple way: if I have to chew on it like a dog on a bone, they ain't good ribs. But if I can just barely pick the bones up and they slide right out of the meat...then we're getting somewhere.


I watched a big time national BBQ contest on TV once. I believe it was near Kansas City. They talked to the judges about how they judged championship BBQ ribs. They said that if the rib meat fell easily off the bone then they were overcooked and were a losing entry. They talked about how the perfect doneness requires just a little bit of effort to chew the meat off the bone.

I don't how many people I've heard say they make great ribs where the meat "just falls off the bone".

It seems that what many people like and what wins BBQ championships aren't necessarily the same thing.

I can see being a little finicky over brisket and ribs because the finished product can vary greatly, but to me pulled pork is pulled pork. With pulled pork I think the sauce, if any is even used, plays a bigger role in differentiating one finished product from another. I cannot remember the last time I had a plate of pulled pork that I didn't like, and that includes chain BBQ joints and family run businesses. Maybe I just like pork too much. ;\)
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#3285606 - 07/08/13 11:44 AM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Vermin93]
Crow Terminator
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 10/23/99
Posts: 9029
Loc: McMinn County

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That brings up a good point...how many BBQ joints have you been to that don't claim to have won an award for something?! I can't think of a single one that hasn't made some kind of claim like that. But I've eat at some where a deer turd sandwich might have been welcomed to get the taste out of your mouth from their award winning crap lol.

I agree though...pulled pork should be the easy one to master. The way I judge it is if their pulled pork ain't any count, then the other menu items most likely will not be either. Bradley's in Sweetwater was such a place to me nastyfied. Years ago it use to be called Wilson's Pit BBQ and had different owners and workers...and I remember it being pretty good. The chain restruant Sonny's BBQ left me stopping at McDonald's afterwards. I got a combo platter there with ribs/pulled pork..took a bite of each and I was ready to go. We stopped at a place in Cullman, Alabama last yr at the ASA Classic archery shoot. It was another one of those "award winning" joints...complete with newspaper clippings of the awards. I looked it up on Urban Spoon's website rating and it was half/half on likes and dislikes. Wife got the BBQ chicken and said it was decent. I got the combo of ribs/pulled pork, and brisket. The only thing I liked was their onion rings and homemade tater salad. Honestly I've had some of the pulled pork you can buy in a bowl at the grocery store to be better than some of the award winning places I've eaten. The Cades Cove brand store bought and Jack Daniels brand especially.

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#3285611 - 07/08/13 11:47 AM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Crow Terminator]
mjac
4 Point


Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 269
Loc: Tellico Plains

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Ok, got Pooles. Nice pics. Thanks.

164 Craig St East Ellijay, GA 30540‎

http://www.poolesbarbq.com/
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#3285619 - 07/08/13 11:55 AM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: mjac]
mjac
4 Point


Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 269
Loc: Tellico Plains

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I prefer to suck it off the bone, not to chew nor have it fall off.



Edited by mjac (07/08/13 01:34 PM)
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#3285646 - 07/08/13 12:28 PM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Vermin93]
DntBrnDPig
8 Point


Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2334
Loc: Cleveland, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Vermin93


I can see being a little finicky over brisket and ribs because the finished product can vary greatly, but to me pulled pork is pulled pork. With pulled pork I think the sauce, if any is even used, plays a bigger role in differentiating one finished product from another.


I agree to an extent, but I want bark on my pulled pork. And I dont want to HAVE to use sauce. Good BBQ shouldn't need it, IMO.
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#3285676 - 07/08/13 12:54 PM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: DntBrnDPig]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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BBQ Competitions have very specific judging criteria that makes it virtually impossible to win if you are not playing to the actual criteria. For example, at the Memphis BBQ Comp, the judging systems favors sweet and lean. As a result, most of the restaurants that enter use a different recipe or even outsource their BBQ to a pro team altogether since their restaurant meat doesn't meet the criteria for a potential winner (as a result, you have restaurants claiming "championship BBQ" that are serving an entirely different recipe than what won). Competition BBQ holds little water with me. I've had a ton of it and most of it is bad. If you want good BBQ, a BBQ competition is, for the most part, not the place to look.

As for the "falling off the bone" debate, I agree that ribs should not "fall off the bone." If it does, then the texture is too mushy and that is a pet peeve of mine when it comes to ribs. It should perfect balance of firmness and tenderness. You should be able to take a bite at a time with the meat staying intact to the bone, though it should not be tough.
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3285737 - 07/08/13 02:26 PM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Poser]
Crow Terminator
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 10/23/99
Posts: 9029
Loc: McMinn County

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We're in agreement on the ribs. What I was trying to say is I don't like mine like a piece of rawhide nor do I like the mushy texture like Poser mentioned. I think the fall off the bone style is closer to being right than the rawhide texture but there is a perfect balance between the two...and few be that achieve it that I've found. For a chain style place, Famous Dave's does a good job on ribs...most of the time. I've been there when they came out tough but more than the bad times, its came out good. Oh and ditto on the pulled pork/sauce comment....good flavored pulled pork is awesome without any sauce. Rib n Loin is that way for sure. I mostly use the sauces as a dip for fries/onion rings...although if I do find the sauce with the right amount of sweet/spice to it I will put it on the pork and everything else. Y'all have got me wanting BBQ now. lol
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#3285841 - 07/08/13 04:33 PM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Poser]
Vermin93
12 Point


Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 6400
Loc: Dallas, TX & Signal Mtn, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
Competition BBQ holds little water with me. I've had a ton of it and most of it is bad. If you want good BBQ, a BBQ competition is, for the most part, not the place to look.


I'm not arguing with you because I've never been to a professional BBQ competition, but this just seems hard to believe. Wouldn't one expect some of the best BBQ to be at a BBQ competition? Even if it's not the best, I think it's logical to think that most of it would at least be good. I would like to think that I would really like it. Seriously - how can you mess up slow cooked meat to the point where it's bad? Plus, they are often using very high quality meat like wagyu beef brisket. It's got to be almost impossible to make it where I wouldn't like it.
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#3285856 - 07/08/13 04:54 PM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Vermin93]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Vermin93
 Originally Posted By: Poser
Competition BBQ holds little water with me. I've had a ton of it and most of it is bad. If you want good BBQ, a BBQ competition is, for the most part, not the place to look.


I'm not arguing with you because I've never been to a professional BBQ competition, but this just seems hard to believe. Wouldn't one expect some of the best BBQ to be at a BBQ competition? Even if it's not the best, I think it's logical to think that most of it would at least be good. I would like to think that I would really like it. Seriously - how can you mess up slow cooked meat to the point where it's bad? Plus, they are often using very high quality meat like wagyu beef brisket. It's got to be almost impossible to make it where I wouldn't like it.


You would think, but not so. The teams that are serious about winning are playing right into the judging system and not necessarily what they think is good.
You want to win Memphis In'l BBQ Competition, you have to use the leanest pork available with the least amount of marbling and basically candied sauce. Now, the judging system defines that narrowly as "Memphis BBQ", but you won't find a BBQ place in town that tastes anything like what the judges are looking for. How can you explain that? Its not about making "good" BBQ, its about making "winning" BBQ. Brisket competition can be a little different, but I'm seldom impressed with "competition grade BBQ." The best BBQ does not have to compete.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3285867 - 07/08/13 05:09 PM Re: BBQ joints in southeast TN [Re: Vermin93]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 9856
Loc: Memphis

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 Originally Posted By: Vermin93
 Originally Posted By: Poser
Competition BBQ holds little water with me. I've had a ton of it and most of it is bad. If you want good BBQ, a BBQ competition is, for the most part, not the place to look.


I'm not arguing with you because I've never been to a professional BBQ competition, but this just seems hard to believe. Wouldn't one expect some of the best BBQ to be at a BBQ competition? Even if it's not the best, I think it's logical to think that most of it would at least be good. I would like to think that I would really like it. Seriously - how can you mess up slow cooked meat to the point where it's bad? Plus, they are often using very high quality meat like wagyu beef brisket. It's got to be almost impossible to make it where I wouldn't like it.


No, the Memphis BBQ circuit favors meats that use too much sugar and/or fruit juice, and it's usually injected. The best food at MiM BBQ Fest are generally cooking in the tents Thursday and Friday. The winning competition stuff just isn't that good. Furthermore, taste is only part of the overall score. Presentation is also key.
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