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View Full Version : How much cooking equipment for a comp?


BigButzBBQ
04-08-2011, 09:17 AM
I'm planning on entering my first KCBS sanctioned contest. In the past, the contests we have done have been local all rib ones. Now, this has not been a problem due to being able to take our one tow behind rig and cook up as many as is needed. However, we are traveling a couple hours away this time and there is concern that we should not be taking our pull behind. Couple reasons, it's older and because of that we are always worried it's finally going to bust mid trip; the frame is an old boat trailer one which is strong but, the axle is a boat one with boat trailer tires on it. The thought did come up of trailering the rig but, that was met with some resistance.
Besides the old beast, I have 2 UDS, 1 mUDS, and a 22.5 OTG that are ready to travel anywhere. Also, if it was needed, I could potentially build another UDS before the contest.

The question is, what do you think is the minimum equipment one could cook with for a comp, if one planned to enter the standard 4 categories along with seafood, dessert, and mystery meat?

As a side not, both my UDS and the mUDS are two tiered.

Full Draw BBQ
04-08-2011, 09:32 AM
I've seen guys compete with two UDS's or two WSM......so it can be done with pulling meat and holding in a dry cooler. I think you'll be fine. But another UDS is never a bad thing!!!!!

Big Ugly's BBQ
04-08-2011, 09:36 AM
It not so much as too much equipment, but rather, what are your comfortable with and what provides you the most consistent with. If your practice and previous experiences are with a single cooker, then do that. The last thing you want to worry about is changing your processes, and whether the cookers you do bring will cook the way you are accustomed to.

Dr_KY
04-08-2011, 09:51 AM
I'm a two unit Webber kettle and ProQ or UDS guy myself. I normally go with the ProQ as it's easier to fit in the car and the legs are removable from the Weber.

Jorge
04-08-2011, 10:10 AM
I think you can do it on what you have available. The question is the same one posed by Chris. Have you cooked on it enough to be comfortable with the timing etc... If your big meats are running behind, will you be able to get the chicken and ribs done without putting yourself in a bind?

Ron_L
04-08-2011, 10:17 AM
First, what competition?

Second, as long as you are comfortable with the UDS, I would suggest two UDS and the Kettle. Use one UDS for the big meats and the second for ribs and maybe chicken, or use the kettle for chicken. That way if the big meats are stubborn they are not using cooker space that you will need for the other meats.

As far as the extra categories, if turn in for those is on Friday night, then do them. The kettle will probably be useful for those. If the turn ins are on Saturday, forget them and concentrate on the main categories. You'll be so busy getting those turned in that you don't want to be distracted by the other stuff.

jrbBBQ
04-08-2011, 10:21 AM
I had my first comp last weekend and used 2 wsm's and a kettle. I didn't have any issues.. as a matter of fact, I'm getting ready to load up my stuff and take off to another one this morning.

early mornin' smokin'
04-08-2011, 10:35 AM
We do it with a pro-q 20, (a little smaller than a 22 1/2 wsm), and 2 weber kettles. Sometimes a crappy side firebox chargriller also, but mostly only for holding stuff.

BigButzBBQ
04-08-2011, 11:34 AM
First, what competition?
There is one at Canterbury Park, just South of Minneapolis June 10-11th. The buy in is $300 and the Prize Pool is $25,000. I think GC is supposed to get $4,500.

Second, as long as you are comfortable with the UDS, I would suggest two UDS and the Kettle. Use one UDS for the big meats and the second for ribs and maybe chicken, or use the kettle for chicken. That way if the big meats are stubborn they are not using cooker space that you will need for the other meats.
I think you can do it on what you have available. The question is the same one posed by Chris. Have you cooked on it enough to be comfortable with the timing etc... If your big meats are running behind, will you be able to get the chicken and ribs done without putting yourself in a bind?
I'm really comfortable with Cooking on the UDSs. And was thinking along the same lines of the big ones going in one UDS and the ribs going in another and the chicken going on the grill or in the UDS with the ribs.

As far as the extra categories, if turn in for those is on Friday night, then do them. The kettle will probably be useful for those. If the turn ins are on Saturday, forget them and concentrate on the main categories. You'll be so busy getting those turned in that you don't want to be distracted by the other stuff.
The extra categories are on Saturday before and after the regular turn ins. The only reason I had thought of doing them is because I will have enough assistants where I could delegate them off to those if I wanted to. Also had thought to maybe use the mUDS to do those categories. The seafood and mystery meat that is. I think the Dessert is getting skipped.

Ron_L
04-08-2011, 11:44 AM
There is one at Canterbury Park, just South of Minneapolis June 10-11th. The buy in is $300 and the Prize Pool is $25,000. I think GC is supposed to get $4,500.


We thought about doing that one, but it's about 7 hours from here so we dropped it from our list.


The extra categories are on Saturday before and after the regular turn ins. The only reason I had thought of doing them is because I will have enough assistants where I could delegate them off to those if I wanted to. Also had thought to maybe use the mUDS to do those categories. The seafood and mystery meat that is. I think the Dessert is getting skipped.

As long as they don't distract you from what you are there to do :)

monty3777
04-08-2011, 12:52 PM
I have tried a number of configurations. I have used a 24" Horizon, Fec 100, Wsm (both sizes). I have finally settled on two big WSMs. I think that's plenty of space so long as (I think Jorge mentioned this) your big meats are done in time and held properly.

bbq lover
04-08-2011, 01:02 PM
tom your ugly drums will be fine also a kettle works just make sure you have some bottles of butz bbq sauce in the truck lol we use 2 drums and 2 pellet cookers an 1 22.5 weber so far working well for us

CBQ
04-08-2011, 01:12 PM
It can done on two UDS's, but you really, really want to try doing a comp cook in real time at home first. Cooking four meats with different cooking times and getting them all to finish around the same time is something you need to try on your gear. You may have a lot of experience in cooking these individually, but they WILL interfere with each other, so you need to anticipate and plan for that.

Rich Parker
04-08-2011, 01:26 PM
I use one drum for the big meats, another drum for ribs, and an older wsm for chicken. You will be fine with what you have.

Good luck! :thumb:

BigButzBBQ
04-08-2011, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. As a couple have mentioned, I do plan on doing a practice or two, if I can, before the comp. I know that timing is everything when it comes to getting your entries out in time, cooked properly, and looking good. Plan on typing up a schedule to follow also.

Southern Home Boy
04-08-2011, 03:26 PM
I run two drums, an 18.5" ProQ and a kettle. If everything's ticking just right, I don't need anything more than the drums. The kettle is nice to pre-burn charcoal or to have a good direct heat source for finishing things, but it's not an essential. The ProQ is just there to be my back up if something goes wrong.

Pigs on Fire
04-08-2011, 05:29 PM
There was a woman that cooked a full KCBS and turned in a Friday night ancillary at Canton, GA last October all on one 22" WSM.

I think she walked twice and ended up in the top-15 overall, out of 42 or so teams.

monty3777
04-08-2011, 05:51 PM
There was a woman that cooked a full KCBS and turned in a Friday night ancillary at Canton, GA last October all on one 22" WSM.

I think she walked twice and ended up in the top-15 overall, out of 42 or so teams.

If she only cooked one full packer brisket I can see that working well.

Pigs on Fire
04-08-2011, 06:00 PM
I suspect so. I bet most only cook one. Once you get to where you can turn out some decent brisket, I feel that's all you need to cook.

She did:

13 Chicken
6 Ribs
3 pork
20 Brisket

RangerJ
04-08-2011, 08:21 PM
Cooked on 2 UDS for 2 years.

Can be done and they cook chicken just fine. Just need to plan to have your big meats in the cooler at a certain time. Not an issue with KCBS turn in times.

Good Luck!

Nitrofly
04-08-2011, 08:54 PM
I would agree with skip the extra categories, as this is your 1st KCBS contest.
If there were any extra categories on friday maybe do them then. Once you
have your timing down with the four KCBS categories then think about the
extra's. Remember the number one rule in BAAAHHHBEQUE have fun :-P

Brewer
04-08-2011, 11:48 PM
There was a woman that cooked a full KCBS and turned in a Friday night ancillary at Canton, GA last October all on one 22" WSM.

I think she walked twice and ended up in the top-15 overall, out of 42 or so teams.

I saw a team two weeks ago cook all their meats on a single 22.5" WSM. They worked their a$$'s off but they did it. Blew me the Fark away....

They were cooking flats, butts, ribs and thighs.

bam
04-09-2011, 06:39 PM
We go to war with 2 drums and a 22 weber grill. :boxing:

paydabill
04-10-2011, 12:46 AM
I mean no offensed on this, but you should have practice enough to know if you have neough equipment. I started this whole competition thing with a brinkman pro and a ECB. Yes I felt like stanford and sons parked next to the big boys, but I had my timing worked out where it all worked.

Practice Practice Practice - BTW I used an old boat trailer for Selma - take it to a metal shop and a mechanic to look it over. THe way your not looking in the review mirror all the time. It is worth it! Trust me!

Bigmista
04-10-2011, 01:20 PM
We go to war with 2 drums and a 22 weber grill. :boxing:

That's plenty. I use an XLUDS and a ranch kettle. You will be fine.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
04-10-2011, 02:07 PM
I've cooked and won with 2 WSM's, but 3 is much more comfortable. It also depends on how much meat you are cooking. When I cooked with the WSMs I used 2 flats, 2 butts, 4 racks of spares and 18 pieces of chicken.

One other thing, remember the more cookers you have, the more fires to maintain and the more variables you have (different smoke, heat, etc).

Q-Dat
04-11-2011, 12:09 PM
I am still new, but we are using four cookers.

Oklahoma Joe offset for Brisket
LyfeTyme offset for Ribs
18" WSM for Pork
Bubba Keg for Chicken.

There are a couple of reasons. First I know each cooker and like the way it handles each meat respectively. Second I would love to do Ribs, Pork, and Brisket all on one cooker, but I don't have one cooker that can fit all of that and recover the heat quickly after opening the lid to tend to something. I don't want to mess with the finish time on my ribs because I had the lid up tending to my brisket. If I had something like a Backwoods, an FEC or a Jambo I would just use it and the Bubba Keg most likely.

Southern Home Boy
04-11-2011, 04:39 PM
Yes I felt like stanford and sons parked next to the big boys,

LOL... we did too. Our first comp we had a kettle and a CG offset. We didn't even have an EZ up. For "shelter" we had a stake-and-pole rainfly.:redface: We still took second in Ribs and 6th in Brisket out of 80 teams.:heh:

Yeah, I agree. If you know your cooker, and you have enough grill-estate to house everything, you don't need a lot of cookers.