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Across the country there is different styles of BBQ does Utah have its own style?
YES! from running the restaurant for 4 years this is what we found in a nutshell (For eatin' BBQ, comp bbq is a little different): So sweet it's candied and just enough heat to be called southwestern. It's not as hot as most southwestern flavors (like NM, AZ, and CO) and the sweet they prefer can be either Kansas City style (smoky sweet) or California style (more Asian/Island flavors). We had lots of folks that liked southern bbq - more dry and spicy. And some that would venture into the HOT with mustard, horseradish and peppers (thai, cayenne, and even ghost) but the predominant favorite in UT is SWEET!
I'm really put out that a lot of my favorite eating venues have spiced me out of there restaurant. I don't know if it's because the majority of the cooking staff are from Mexico or if the heat has been added to hide the lack of quality. I can not eat much of what I used to enjoy at Applebee's since they have this heat thing going on. Even their coleslaw now has Cyan. What the heck is that about?
It's not just a regional thing or even who may cook your food. As a whole, U.S. taste preferences are for spicier and spicier food - Tex-Mex, Cajun, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian etc are all very popular now. Its been a trend in restaurants for about 15 years or so. The national chains are just following that preference. The Inter-mountain West, Kansas City area, upper Midwest, and New England are pretty much the last hold-outs for predominantly sweet flavors across all food-types.
Well it sound like I'm about right for Utah BBQ sweet with a little heat. now the question is how do the judges like it cause I've put out some great BBQ and placed at the bottom can't figure out why
(04-17-2014 08:08 PM)Out West Smokers Wrote: [ -> ]Well it sound like I'm about right for Utah BBQ sweet with a little heat. now the question is how do the judges like it cause I've put out some great BBQ and placed at the bottom can't figure out why

Nor will you ever figure that one out. I've watched people like Johnny Trigg take 1st in ribs one contest then middle of the pack the next week, all with the same turn in. Sometimes it's easy to see why you scored low. We all have overcooked the brisket, over smoked the ribs or undercooked the butt and are not surprised by the score, but if you feel your food was spot on, then it was and all you can do is keep doing it and hope your food doesn't go to a table of "Food Monkeys".
It's true - you will never figure out the judges. EVER. There are too many variables when it comes to who the judges are (out of a large pool), what they like, what table they may get on and what table your food may go to. Brad and I have been competing for 4 or 5 years and it's always the same - we find a recipe we like we try it we get mid to upper scores, we try it the next month and its a total flop. We tweak, we learn, we win some, and lose others. We tweak we learn, etc. In the end we just cook what we like, we deal with the weather dealt us (makes a HUGE difference, one comp to the next) and we keep competing, win or lose, because we enjoy it.
After living all over the country what decides local flavor is what you buy when you walk up to the counter. If that's the case Utah's flavor is sweet and bland then slightly overcooked and dry. At least that is what I get at a lot of the places in Utah that don't say they are doing Q from another place. Just the 2 cents from a southern chef.
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