I have been cooking bbq for about ten years. Last year I started cooking in some competitions, contests that have about 30 to 40 cookers. I seem to always finish between 15 and 25. I really would appreciate some help. Since I don’t have a lot of money I usually cook close to home at the smaller contest. We mostly cook whole hog or butts. The cooker I have is a gas cooker that has two burners with wood chip tray over each burner that is about 14 inches wide and 55 inches long completely cover the burners. The chips I use are a hickory/alder mix. I use a rub that is basically your big time rub minus thyme, cumin and nutmeg. I add back accent, powdered smoke. I take my hog, trim the excess fat. The put this rubs on about 2 hours before cook time. I then put the hog on the grill cavity side down for about 4 hours, then I turn cavity side up until internal temp reaches between 192-195°F, but mostly until the ham and shoulder bone will come out cleanly. I then pull it put it in a foil pan to get it out of the grease. Once the meat is trimmed I sprinkle with a small amount of rub. Then I have a mixture made up of 3 quarts vinegar, 1 large can of tomato juice and one cup of rub I pour over the meat. I then drain excess pick what is thought to be the best meat put in tray turn in. If you could help me get straight it would be very much appreciated. I hear the winners are injecting their hog. If you could help with the correct method if this is not correct or with a rub or injection or sauce it would be very helpful. Thank you,
Your cooking process sounds pretty good to me, but I’d add a little brown sugar and some hot sauce to that sauce. While a lot of people like straight vinegar sauce like that I’ve never seen it do well in a cook-off. As for injecting the hog, I think that’s a very good idea. I’d start with apple juice, water, a little Dale’s and some rub. Don’t make it too salty and inject as much as you can.