New Proposals and New Trends
If you have an active KCBS card and if you are a BBQ team competing on the circuit you must have it, you have certainly noticed that never as in recent months there have been proposals for amending the KCBS regulation to the committee. As used, in these cases, KCBS requests an opinion from members, a non-binding indication of their liking.
What certainly aroused more sensation is the proposal of admission of gas powered devices in competitions. Think about what epoch-making it would be: virtually the competitive context for how we know it would be totally overwhelmed. The history of the barbecue, the charm of charcoal and burning wood, the smoke of the smokers at the early lights of dawn, all about the suggestion of a competition, questioned for a turning point towards modernity and comfort. Needless to say, the proposal has generated many discussions and controversy.
It concern a few days ago the proposal to modify the constraints governing the cooking of the Pork category. Until now the regulation was fairly restrictive, but in fact it was interpreted by the teams: allowed cuts must be placed into smokers as whole and separation in individual components (Money Muscle, Chunks, Tubes, etc.) is allowed only once cooked. What do we mean by “cooked”? The rule made it possible to intervene on cutting once it had been cooked without a precise moment and the practice is to intervene when the team is comfortable. Today, KCBS asks the members in which direction to move: set a minimum temperature after which allow intervention, regulating the current behavior, or bring the rule to the original sense, that is to demonstrate ptimaster’s skill by cooking the whole cut and proceeding to separation only at the time of turn in.
Let’s try together to give an interpretation and a contextualization to the two proposals.
Let’s take a step back and analyze the BBQ market in general, omitting the competitive aspect in the specific. It is a fact that in a growing branch, charcoal devices sales are declining in favor of gas ones, considered more practical by customers wanting a simple backyard barbecue, without excessive claims.
Opening up to gas means therefore meeting greater propensity to invest and sponsorship by major producers. It means more rich and equipped competitions, higher prizes, better services to members. It means a future. The reality is that behind the indisputable ethics that characterizes it, the circus we love is shifted from money and not seeing changes means being myopic.
From the sporting point of view, it has not been so far since the opening of pellet devices, characterized by the same doubts concerning the temperature automation that sound so far from pure barbecue. Yet we can safely say that the impact was absolutely painless. BBQ competitions in their essence have not changed in anything, especially in the balance associated with the substantial values on field. The same thing would happen with gas, I’m sure about this.
Cooking in Pork category
The regulation provides for admission of different cuts but in fact, the only one existing in Europe is the whole shoulder. This involves the team asking their butchers to expressly make the Boston Butt cut for them, the most comfortable cut to work in the competition so to get all the necessary parts. It follows that the Boston Butt in Europe is not the economic cut that has been chosen in America to allow anyone access to the competitions, but the same thing could be said for other continents where competitive barbecue is an emerging phenomenon. Such a doubt could concern, for example, the brisket that if imported, it becomes a very expensive cut. The change towards constraint to the full respect of the original sense of the rule would almost automatically imply the need to have more Boston Butt into smoker at the same time, to get from each one a part in its optimum cooking conditions. KCBS therefore doubts: should I leave everything as being aware of a weak regulation, do I admit deviations, in fact, sanctioning the limits in which it can be adopted or I tight the strings, knowing that it may will put in trouble the “emerging markets”?
From the first rumors from the States it seems that there has been a plebiscite in opposition to the opening to the Gas and that the committee’s orientation is to keep the cooking pork rule unchanged at least for the moment, but that does not change what is a a substantial feeling we can draw from observing what’s going on: KCBS is a historical institution but its attitude is far from being conservative. In contrast, there is extreme attention to how the world around the barbecue phenomenon is moving.
Personally, I do not see this propensity as a threat to what I love but as an attempt to secure it a long life. It is precisely at these months the baptism of the first Kosher sanctioned KCBS competition, in which pork is not used, and Beef Ribs are considered in place of Pork Ribs. The world is changing and the perspectives are increasingly widening and embracing wider contexts. It is therefore inevitable that an evolution entails us to adapt to change.
And are you conservative or innovative? What rules would you like to change? What changes do you expect for the future?