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Dex
02-20-2011, 08:12 AM
I wanted to get some feedback from you guys to see if there were any good books out there to help me get into the world of competition? Obviously, I have this forum and the internet for starters.

Any books that give good tips? I was considering buying Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book.... any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

FattyMac
02-20-2011, 08:18 AM
Starting the fire. It doesn't give recipes but it gives a good account of what you need for your first comp.

It's by a brethren, watg.

Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk

Dex
02-20-2011, 08:20 AM
Starting the fire. It doesn't give recipes but it gives a good account of what you need for your first comp.

It's by a brethren, watg.

Sent from my Nexus One using Tapatalk

Nice, I will have to check that one out as well. Thanks

JD McGee
02-20-2011, 08:35 AM
I second the "Starting The Fire" as far as an intro to competition BBQ. I would highly recommend taking a class and going to a few local comps to talk with the teams...you'll get a lot of info over a handshake and a cold beer! Good luck!

Capn Kev
02-20-2011, 08:35 AM
"Serious BBQ" by Adam Perry Lang is awesome. It has several of his competition recipes, and will give you some good baseline recipes. Also, if you're looking for a simple explanation from what to expect from competitions, Dr. Bob Sammons has a small book he wrote and you can find out more about it here: YouTube - Bob Sammons book on bbq competitions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7sRoAtuaSs)

The Big Bob Gibson book won't do much for you competition wise.

CBQ
02-20-2011, 01:24 PM
"Serious BBQ" by Adam Perry Lang is awesome.

We like the APL recipes, and use them at home, but we didn't do too well in comps with them. APL is going for complex layers of flavor, but I think you want bolder primary flavors (meaty, sweet, spicy) for the one or two bites a judge will get.

Try the KCBS book, and a class or two in your area to find what works for your region.

Amazon.com: The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook, 25th Anniversary Edition: PhB Ardie A. Davis, PhB, Chef Paul Kirk: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61u%2BcJfDwfL.@@AMEPARAM@@61u%2BcJfDwfL (http://www.amazon.com/Kansas-Barbeque-Society-Cookbook-Anniversary/dp/B004AYDB3K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298229753&sr=8-1)

drbbq
02-20-2011, 05:40 PM
We like the APL recipes, and use them at home, but we didn't do too well in comps with them. APL is going for complex layers of flavor, but I think you want bolder primary flavors (meaty, sweet, spicy) for the one or two bites a judge will get.

Try the KCBS book, and a class or two in your area to find what works for your region.

Amazon.com: The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook, 25th Anniversary Edition: PhB Ardie A. Davis, PhB, Chef Paul Kirk: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Kansas-Barbeque-Society-Cookbook-Anniversary/dp/B004AYDB3K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298229753&sr=8-1)

Maybe I missed something but I didn't see any actual BBQ recipes in the KCBS book, let alone anything that might win a cook-off these days.
Frankly I don't think any BBQ book would teach a new guy the things comp cooks are doing these days. I'd say read George's book and enter a couple comps. You'll make some friends and they'll get you going in the right direction. Then maybe take a class from somebody who is winning these days.

Candy Sue
02-20-2011, 09:43 PM
http://www.bbq-book.com is a good one, in my opinion.

huminie
02-20-2011, 10:37 PM
I decided last June that I wanted to start competing in BBQ. I have been in "training" ever since. Here are a few things I have done or wanted to do before I competed in my first contest:



Attend a local contest.


I talked to the promoters of an event that was local to me and he invited me to come out and see what it was all about. I got a hotel room walking distance from the contest for Friday night and spent all of Friday evening and Saturday morning walking around and talking to the teams. I explained what I was hoping to accomplish and they were all very friendly and offered great advice. On Saturday the promoter asked me to help in the judging tent. I was put in charge of the "leftover table". It was my job to keep the turn in boxes in order and organized after they left the judges table so that they could be used to ensure all the numbers matched up and the judging was fair. My other duty was to remove all of the leftover meats and put them in fresh to-go containers...and I was allowed to sample as much as I wanted. Tasting what the teams had turned in to the judges taught me way more than any book could have.



Help a team at a contest.


After that event, I volunteered to help a team in a contest. The head cook showed me everything he did (with the exception of his rub/sauce recipes), from prepping the meat, cooking, and creating the turn in boxes. I was a full member of the team for that contest and they took me under their wing and showed me everything that happened in a real contest. Again, experience not available in a book.



Join the various BBQ boards.


Since that time I have been an active member of several BBQ forums and have made many friends in the BBQ world from across the country. I now have several people I can go to for advice on any contest related question I have.



Practice, practice and more practice.


I have done many practice cooks at home to work on my cook timing, flavor profiles, cooking methods and variations and presentation.



Attend a small contest.


I signed up for a non-sanctioned rib cookoff. I got practice at setting up my site and cooking one contest meat under the pressure of a contest environment. Cooking on a schedule where you have to turn in your product at a specific time is much different than anything you will do at home. The contest I entered had 43 teams and I finished in 9th place. I was pretty pleased with that result first time out.



Attend a competition cooking class.


I am signed up to attend a class taught by one of the top BBQ teams in the country in a few weeks.



Become a CBJ.


I haven't had the chance to do this yet as there haven't been any local classes that have worked from me. But learning what the judges are trained to look for is very valuable. This will also give you the chance to judge a contest every so often and talk to other judges to see what they are looking for. You can use this information to adjust your own cooking.



Attend an unofficial contest where you can get direct feedback from the judges.


I am signed up for two fun contests where the judges will provide real time feedback on the entries as they judge them. I have been warned to have thick skin, but this is a great way to hear what judges are thinking as they evaluate your entry. Not sure how common these events are out there, but if you have the opportunity, jump on it. I wouldn't have gotten the chance without the networking I did and mentioned in my earlier posts.



Finally, just jump in and start cooking!


The best way to learn will be to actually start competing. Ask for advice from anyone who will give it and have fun!

In addition to all this, I had the opportunity to attend The American Royal last year and witness first hand the amazing spectacle the world's largest BBQ contest is!

It remains to be seen how all this "training" will help me, but I want to feel like I have done everything I can to be as successful as possible.

Hope this helps!

Bigmista
02-20-2011, 11:02 PM
I second the "Starting The Fire" as far as an intro to competition BBQ. I would highly recommend taking a class and going to a few local comps to talk with the teams...you'll get a lot of info over a handshake and a cold beer! Good luck!

I concur. Starting the Fire by George Hensler is a great book for beginning competitors.

bigdogphin
02-20-2011, 11:22 PM
I think you can learn something from every book but the three books that have helped me the most are Competition BBQ Secrets by the Chatham artillery BBQ Team, Championship BBQ by Paul Kirk, and Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook by Dr. BBQ. Take a little from each book, create your own style, take a class and compete!

WhiskeyBentBBQ
02-21-2011, 07:33 AM
I concur. Starting the Fire by George Hensler is a great book for beginning competitors.

Definitely agree that George's book is a great start. I would recommend talking to competitor's at an event after that and go from there.

Ford
02-21-2011, 10:41 AM
Not sure if Avon IN is north or south but if it's north I'll be back in MI in June and will be doing competitions. You're welcome to come out and hang with us for the weekend and see what we do. Of course based on so far this year I'd suggest you consider ignoring the pork and brisket stuff. Could be dangerous.

Dex
02-21-2011, 10:44 AM
Not sure if Avon IN is north or south but if it's north I'll be back in MI in June and will be doing competitions. You're welcome to come out and hang with us for the weekend and see what we do. Of course based on so far this year I'd suggest you consider ignoring the pork and brisket stuff. Could be dangerous.

Awesome! I am up for a road trip! Shoot me a PM with details and I may take you up on that offer.

Oh... Avon is just west of Indianapolis.

Fishiest1
02-21-2011, 11:00 AM
Awesome! I am up for a road trip! Shoot me a PM with details and I may take you up on that offer.

Oh... Avon is just west of Indianapolis.

Take Ford up on his offer for sure! I did the same thing and it was a great experience! You'll learn a ton and bring a pen and paper to write it all down. I wish I did!

YankeeBBQ
02-21-2011, 11:02 AM
Definitely get startin the fire it's funny and informative.

Ford
02-21-2011, 12:42 PM
Take Ford up on his offer for sure! I did the same thing and it was a great experience! You'll learn a ton and bring a pen and paper to write it all down. I wish I did!
OK - I'll send you the spreadsheet. But email me at ford at glbbqfc dot com so I can send it direct.

Dex
02-21-2011, 12:45 PM
OK - I'll send you the spreadsheet. But email me at ford at glbbqfc dot com so I can send it direct.

Email sent!

Big George's BBQ
02-21-2011, 01:34 PM
I second the "Starting The Fire" as far as an intro to competition BBQ. I would highly recommend taking a class and going to a few local comps to talk with the teams...you'll get a lot of info over a handshake and a cold beer! Good luck!


A very good book to read if interested in starting competitions.

Dex
02-21-2011, 01:37 PM
Just ordered "Starting The Fire" from Amazon!

INmitch
02-21-2011, 08:03 PM
I've been wanting say a good check book helps alot.:heh: But in all seriousness your welcome to come hang out at Liberty IN. That's our first close one. I don't keep any secrets (not good enough to). You can see some of the ins & outs if you've never been to a tournament.

big brother smoke
02-21-2011, 08:17 PM
Just finished "Staring the Fire" on the plane to Colorado Friday; it is a great book with some good laughs, and what to do and not to get started!

I woke the GF up twice chuckling as I were reading in bed twice before finishing it up on the way to Colorado.:clap2::laugh:

indianagriller
02-21-2011, 08:38 PM
I too will be at the Liberty competition you are more that welcome to stop by, we will also be at New Pal and Franklin which are both close to Avon.

wormdrink67
02-21-2011, 08:51 PM
I'll agree with many of the books these members are recommending, but I honestly believe that if you read every book ever made about bbq'ing or competition bbq'ing, and practiced every day for a year, you'd still be in a state of shock at turn-in for your first competition. It's frantic, high energy, all-American goodness. You'll love it. Go cook.

sharks_guy
02-21-2011, 11:40 PM
Hi,
A book may be a good way to go go, but I learned by helping an existing successful team that has continued to mentor me. I was also able to make some amazing friends while doing nothing more glamorous than washing dishes and making sure the beer stays cold.
I would suggest that you jump at the opportunity presented by the teams already in this thread. By being there in person, you not only make friends, but you see so much more than the author of a book chooses to share. You see what it is really like. (not a pan on any books, just saying...)

With that said, am probably too far from you, but if you are ever this way, you are more than welcome to join me at a contest.
Good luck,
DanD

Dex
02-22-2011, 05:18 AM
I too will be at the Liberty competition you are more that welcome to stop by, we will also be at New Pal and Franklin which are both close to Avon.

When are these competitions?

INmitch
02-22-2011, 08:14 AM
Liberty 4/30-5/1
Franklin 6/24-25 I think
New Palestine 7/29-30

Sawdustguy
02-22-2011, 12:44 PM
Definetely take Ford up on his offer. We did a comp called BBQ on the River a few years back and invited Vinny (mod here) before his first competition. He came and helped, observed. He practiced, practiced practiced and soon after he was kicking our a$$.