How serious are you about your ribs?
Some people think of ribs like family and friends. Welcoming. Accepting. Encouraging. Encompassing. You can bring your ribs as they are. The cut, rub, and sauce are all welcome. There is an air of relaxation and no points are deducted no matter what.
But there are people that enjoy and celebrate the competition. They relish the opportunity to raise their game and present perfect ribs. Depending on the organization conducting the competition, slight differences are observed.
Ribs may be presented as spare ribs, St. Louis-style, or loin back (as others may refer to them as baby-back ribs). Any of these are acceptable in SLBS events. Ribs may be presented as with a dry rub or with sauce. Ribs may be presented as a single bone, double bone, or heavy meat on either side (sometimes referred to as Judges Cut).
The St. Louis Barbeque Society, Judges Reference Booklet, 2017
And when it comes to judging ribs, there are specific expectations.
Your bite should be from the middle of the rib and deep enough that your teeth gently come in contact with the bone. Avoid biting the bone but bite to the bone. The meat should release cleanly and easily from the bone, and there should be a relatively clean outline of where your bite was removed from the rest of the meat. The rest of the rib meat should still be attached to the bone. The mouth feel and chew should be a pleasant experience.
Florida Bar-B-Que Association, Judges Handbook, October 28, 2019
Competition ribs are more difficult to achieve because there are standards that everyone is shooting towards. are higher. Expectations are higher.
When it comes to hope, some people are relaxed just like they are with their ribs. They are grateful to have any hope, no matter what.
But there comes a time when “competition hope” is the order of the day. When our need for hope is greater, our hope expectations can also rise. Not just any old hope will do, but hope from an expert. Hope from a master.
Who is your hope master?