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Dale in GA
05-09-2011, 12:32 PM
I’d like to get thoughts from the Brethren for putting together a team for entry into an upcoming KCBS competition. We’ll likely enter the Backyard competition due to costs and level of experience. What are your thoughts on:


Optimal number of team members. In the past we’ve seen one person teams and teams with a dozen or more (usually “selling product” as well as competing).
Division of labor – who does what, what works best? Are there standard team “roles” that the best teams use?

Last time we competed in Backyard we had three team members plus an uninvited girlfriend who was annoying as heck. Three seemed to be a good number but not everyone contributed equally or had the experience to pitch in anywhere needed. We came in 6th overall, with a nice 3rd in ribs but feel we could do better with a little better team effort.


Appreciate any thoughts that you may have.

Rich Parker
05-09-2011, 12:36 PM
Optimal Number: 1

smalls65
05-09-2011, 12:40 PM
Optimal number: 2.... It works for our team!!! some of the best teams out there are small 2 man/woman teams...

Podge
05-09-2011, 12:43 PM
2, no more, no less.

Smokedelic
05-09-2011, 12:43 PM
2 works real good for us.

Bentley
05-09-2011, 01:01 PM
We are a family team of 3. I guess it depends on who will cook what. If you have a team that is larger and each person has a touch for a meat it would work. I have always found it hard to let others cook the meat, I want to know that I am turning in the meats. My sister now does chicken, and does well, but it would be hard for me to rely on others unless I had great confidence in their cooking ability.

Full Draw BBQ
05-09-2011, 01:03 PM
We have me and another guy that do 95% of the heavy lifting, with me being 80% the decision making. We have 3 other guys on the official team, but they are there for moral support and having fun! So I agree with the others......2 is the magic #.

Ron_L
05-09-2011, 01:04 PM
It's my wife and me. We had a helper once and the extra set of hands was nice at setup and teardown, but for the rest of the time we have a system and it works for us, and the extra person was in the way. Not his fault, but we just know what we have to do and do it :)

riblette
05-09-2011, 01:21 PM
Good question – It depends on who the people are, and how you want to split the responsibilities. We have a 4 person team made up of two couples, and it took us a season to learn to work well together. For us, 4 is the max.; usually it’s just right, other times it feels like 3 too many ;-)

I think the most important thing you can do is set the expectations…make it clear to whoever may join:
· One person is in charge
· What your goals are
· Their goals need to align with yours – for example – if your goal is to do as well as you can in the completion, and their goal is to come out and party like there’s no tomorrow, then it may not be a good fit.

In other words, don’t feel bad about telling folks that no matter how much fun it looks it’s hard, demanding, and can be serious business. Good luck!

Fatback Joe
05-09-2011, 01:49 PM
Optimal Number: 1

One man team here also..........and still get in arguments over what to do. :crazy:

Southern Home Boy
05-09-2011, 02:04 PM
Two IF you have two people who can both cook and both know the cookers. Three if the others are just there to prep or be Sherpas.

Yakfishingfool
05-09-2011, 02:06 PM
2 and a runner/boy friday

JD McGee
05-09-2011, 02:14 PM
My wife and I are our team...I do all the meat preps and cooking...she does the rubs, sauces, boxes, and turn-ins. We both share all the load-in and load-out duties.

Lake Dogs
05-09-2011, 02:16 PM
KCBS = 3, 2 main folks and 1 runner

crd26a
05-09-2011, 02:24 PM
The real answer is who do you want to trust and blame. At the end of the contest when your ribs tank, can you look at your friend Bill or Sue and trust them that they honestly did the best they can or will you be going "if only Bill / Sue had done this then it would have been okay" To me that's the real test. If you only do a couple a year and its really for the fun of it, then bring on as many as you want. But if at the end you want to truly be able to shoulder all the blame and in ways take all the credit, keep it a one man show.

bigjonsBBQ
05-09-2011, 02:25 PM
There are 2 of us who know what we are doing, and a 3rd who is there to run and helpout whenever he can. Still trying to get him to learn the new pit, so that I might be able to catch a few hours of sleep.

early mornin' smokin'
05-09-2011, 02:29 PM
2 people you can really depend on to assist with setting up and keeping things moving, another 2 or 3 who can come and eat and drink and can help clean and breakdown.

Shotgun
05-09-2011, 02:30 PM
We are a team of 4 and everybody has their job to do. Seems to work well most of the time. My bother and myself are the cheif cooks and oversee the other aspects.

BearCat
05-09-2011, 02:31 PM
We have 4 basically one cook preps and monitors food, one is mainly cooker temp control. one is there to party but keeps everything clean and helps set up tear down.
The most important is the box/runner lady. Noone touches boxes except her

HBMTN
05-09-2011, 02:41 PM
1 to 3, watch out or you will end up with 20 people going and wanting to take 5 rv's and all their friends.

slowerlowerbbq
05-09-2011, 04:14 PM
1-2 is good for the core of your team. I'm such a control freak, I could **probably*** do it all my own if I HAD to. But my partner and I share in the duties and really work well together, so it's 2 for us. Plus splitting the duties and having a really good time line help make each comp pretty stress-free...'til turn-ins :becky:. We usually have my wife and daughter doing boxes which helps out and now we have a DB this year. He brings the RV which has us totally spoiled, hangs out, keeps everything clean and we're good to go.

roksmith
05-09-2011, 04:18 PM
We've bounced around from 2 to 4 and 3 seems to be the sweet spot for us. Not everybody can do everything, but it helps to be able to share the workload for the tasks that can be shared.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
05-09-2011, 04:22 PM
2 work fine for cooking but a 3rd is nice to help pack up the trailer when you are dog tired.

bbqmama
05-09-2011, 05:22 PM
I've competed by myself for the last 3 years ... it's HARD work! My problem has been finding team members who were as committed to competition as I am. No one wants to show up practice sessions, help clean gear, make rubs, pack the trailer, set up and tear down. They only want to get there right before the meat goes on the smokers, set up their cots so they can get a good nights sleep, and then freshen up before running up on stage when we get a call. <sigh>

Ideally, I would love to have a 2nd person helping with meat prep, temperature control and putting boxes together. I have friend who seems to be ready to jump in with both feet this year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. My daughter has been my taster and runner for 3 years and will continue to fill that role. If all works out well I think that will be a winning combination for me.

bigdogphin
05-09-2011, 05:34 PM
Myself, my wife and our son. For the most part I do all the meats and the rubs. She does the sauce, the boxes, any side categories if we so choose, camp bling and site cleanliness. My son helps with load in/out, box runner and dishes. Any more than the three of us and it becomes a little less easier to manage.

luckyduk
05-09-2011, 06:32 PM
2 1/2, usually the wife and I, sometimes a friend of ours will come by and be a taster.
It is nice when the contests are close and some friends of ours come by near the end of turn-ins....really makes cleanup and loading a breeze.
I do all buying, prep, packing, cooking, etc... the wife/buddy do the boxes.....the wife the final box clean-up/inspection after I make a mess.

Tiki Wolf
05-09-2011, 07:43 PM
Just me and my wife for our team. I do all the cooking, rubs, sauces, most of the set up, and she does the boxes, and clean up and helps with the tear down and packing. It seems to work well.....today is our 25th!:clap2:

NRA4Life
05-09-2011, 08:49 PM
There is me, my wife, and our dog. I do all the pit tending and cooking, slicing, saucing, boxing, and running. My wife builds the boxes and keeps me from drinking too much beer, which helps keep me on schedule. I can't count on my dog's opinion too much, because she loves everything I cook...but she is good company.

Rub
05-09-2011, 09:03 PM
One. I have to deal with needy people all day at work, I like being able to get away from that at a contest.

Skidder
05-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Two but four when we vend.

getyourrubonbbq
05-09-2011, 09:19 PM
I'm a one man team, unless I'm at a comp where I know some folks that help me out doing some running.

goodbuddiesbbq
05-09-2011, 09:34 PM
One. I have to deal with needy people all day at work, I like being able to get away from that at a contest.

We typically have 2 to 4. We all are kind of jack-of-all-trades...so we don't hold back with opinions with majority ruling. If it's a tie, we error to the man who has the most skin in the game. With 4 you always have somebody up or somebody to verify that Rub really did break his neck falling off of a golf cart or that Unknown is having a hell of good time (always) and somebody to try and pay attention to what is going on.

Chad brings the good times and expertise
Jared brings the political debates & presentation (tries not to act Republican/conspiracy theorist)
I try to back up Chad and Jared and get the chicken and ribs rolling in the morning prep session.
Joel tries not piss all of us off and is becoming our Pork expert.

Other members - it probably is best not to mention what they do at competitions...insert Team Unknown party here.

We've one with 2, 3, & 4 people.

jbrink01
05-09-2011, 09:37 PM
1 with 1 helper at turn in's. And my 12 y/o makes my boxes.

TRS
05-10-2011, 08:35 AM
2- Just the wife and I. Works out great for us and we prefer it. A bit more work but we have it dialed in so it goes smooth.

Alexa RnQ
05-10-2011, 09:30 AM
Two people on ours, at least until one of us stabs the other.
I'm still waiting for our crew of roadies to show up.

I make rubs and sauces, do pre-packing and inventory, meat prep on site, build the boxes, and run them. VQ is in charge of the heavy lifting, cookers, slicing the meat and drinking shots. Everything else we both have our hands on, and any decision or procedural change is discussed exhaustively.

msavard
05-10-2011, 12:54 PM
For Memphis In May BBQfest we have a 14 Man team. But then again our setup (and the event) is drastically bigger than most. This year it's 34x70 with a double decker trailer and we expect to have 500-750 come through our tent in a given night. :)

msavard
05-10-2011, 12:56 PM
I'm a one man team, unless I'm at a comp where I know some folks that help me out doing some running.

Oh wow! You guys have a huge setup over at MIM next to us. So you handle the pit and they party and sell trailers then?

Thank God we're so close to turn-in :becky:

Dale in GA
05-11-2011, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the feedback. We've had 5 official members but really two of us do the majority of work (food prep, rubs, marinate, pit control, etc.) with third jack of all trades, 2 others for conversation, Sherpa and beer runs. Nobody like to prep the garnish for the turn in box but we recognize the importance of is and will be practicing over and over until we've mastered it.

HawgNationBBQ
05-11-2011, 08:37 AM
We currently have four-one for each category. That number is going to one next year - at least I will know who to blame when we don’t win.

Burk504
05-11-2011, 08:57 AM
I can always count on me and my 13 year old being there (it gets him out of school on Friday). Then we will usually have 1 or 2 others. I would never have more than 3 people total who are 'cooking'. The times we have had 5 have been very stressful. 'Too many chiefs and not enough Indians' is the phrase that comes to mind.

It's ok to have more as long as they know they are just entertainment and have to stay out of the kitchen. Their real contribution is keeping the other teams up all night. :-P

musicmanryann
05-11-2011, 09:01 AM
The more the merrier for us.:becky: As we get further away from home, it is typically just me and my wife and/or father-in-law. For closer to home comps it is not uncommon to have 20 friends and family show up to get a taste and have a good time. This is the reason we initially set up the team. They are there for more the 'party' though, and support--the main members are me, my wife and her Dad. My Dad (Big T) used to be before his health problems. And then there is always my Mom who attends regularly to cheer (scream) us on during awards. :laugh:

ParkAvenue_2
05-11-2011, 01:10 PM
We've ran most of our comps with 2, but are at 3 this year, and both are working equally well. Most of the time when we pull in extra folks, they are there for the social aspect of the comp rather than truly contributing to the end product.

John has ran a few of the events for our teams as a one man show, and it is a horrendeous amount of work.

Divemaster
05-11-2011, 05:08 PM
We generally like to have 4 but it’s not uncommon for us to have an extra person or two… One of the basic rules is that there is ALWAYS two awake to watch the Mistress…




As for the division of labor:

I’m the Pitmaster… I’m in charge of any thing that happens from what we pack in the trailer to how we layout the site to how the meat finally comes out. I also do all of the purchasing of supplies and meat for all of the competitions.

It’s my team, I put it together, it’s not a democracy but a benevolent dictatorship. I know that it sounds harsh but it’s actually the best way for us: one leader who takes responsibility for the final decisions rather than a committee. I’ve seen teams dissolve because no one could or was allowed to make a decision. Please don’t get me wrong, I listen to all that my team says, asks, and suggests, but I’m the one that makes the choice to act on it or not.


Kathy does our Lettuce Boxes, is the team ‘Mom’, and works with Angelo on the box presentations, and is our head runner. She also works with me in keeping the ‘Competition Cook Book’ up to date and basically makes sure that we behave our selves. Kathy joined us last year.


Angelo does our Parsley Boxes, assists me in seasoning the meat, and works with Kathy on the box presentations, as well as constantly trying to get me into trouble. Angelo has been with me since we created the team four years ago.


Nondas is in charge of the Mistress as well as generally keeping the site clean, and just having fun. He is one of the few that can keep our Lang within 5* end to end. Nondas has also been with me since the start.


Todd works with Nondas in stoking the Mistress as well as helping out where ever he is needed. Todd started our second year of competing and unfortunatly isn't at all of our competitions..
I think the biggest thing is that most of our jobs can be done by just about any one else on the team so if one of us is busy farking around with another team, another one of us can step up to the plate. There are others that come by for a comp every now and then, and then move on, but that’s our basic break down.

Lake Dogs
05-11-2011, 05:20 PM
Are bribed judges considered team mates?

*ZAP*

J O K E ! ! !

redneck cooker
05-11-2011, 05:37 PM
Two so metimes three!!!!:becky:

SmokinGuitarPlayer
05-11-2011, 09:44 PM
I have no idea how people do it with one or 2 people. We only have done one contest but with 3 of us we were still scrambling. I guess with more experience it gets easier but you need a runner and a cook it would seem for sure so that's 2 people minimum

sitnfat
05-12-2011, 01:05 PM
I think the biggest thing is that most of our jobs can be done by just about any one else on the team so if one of us is busy farking around with another team, another one of us can step up to the plate. There are others that come by for a comp every now and then, and then move on, but that’s our basic break down. __________________ This is the best info on this thread for any rookie team I think. Mogreen and I can do what ever if I am off cutting up he knows what is going on and vice versa our ladies handle the cleaning and boxes. I done a comp a few weeks ago had a friend come alone and it was rough, 1 call he didnt know what to do and wouldnt question or ask what I was doing. Last weekend I had another friend who cooks competitvly help and if I wasnt there he would do it or call me in, got 3 calls that weekend, its important for everyone on the team to know what is going on and what to do.

billm
05-12-2011, 02:14 PM
We generally like to have 4 but it’s not uncommon for us to have an extra person or two… One of the basic rules is that there is ALWAYS two awake to watch the Mistress…






As for the division of labor:

I’m the Pitmaster… I’m in charge of any thing that happens from what we pack in the trailer to how we layout the site to how the meat finally comes out. I also do all of the purchasing of supplies and meat for all of the competitions.

It’s my team, I put it together, it’s not a democracy but a benevolent dictatorship. I know that it sounds harsh but it’s actually the best way for us: one leader who takes responsibility for the final decisions rather than a committee. I’ve seen teams dissolve because no one could or was allowed to make a decision. Please don’t get me wrong, I listen to all that my team says, asks, and suggests, but I’m the one that makes the choice to act on it or not.


Kathy does our Lettuce Boxes, is the team ‘Mom’, and works with Angelo on the box presentations, and is our head runner. She also works with me in keeping the ‘Competition Cook Book’ up to date and basically makes sure that we behave our selves. Kathy joined us last year.


Angelo does our Parsley Boxes, assists me in seasoning the meat, and works with Kathy on the box presentations, as well as constantly trying to get me into trouble. Angelo has been with me since we created the team four years ago.


Nondas is in charge of the Mistress as well as generally keeping the site clean, and just having fun. He is one of the few that can keep our Lang within 5* end to end. Nondas has also been with me since the start.


Todd works with Nondas in stoking the Mistress as well as helping out where ever he is needed. Todd started our second year of competing and unfortunatly isn't at all of our competitions..
I think the biggest thing is that most of our jobs can be done by just about any one else on the team so if one of us is busy farking around with another team, another one of us can step up to the plate. There are others that come by for a comp every now and then, and then move on, but that’s our basic break down.
who makes the raki? Angelo or Nondas? :-D..that was some fine stuff

Smokenstein & monster crew
05-12-2011, 09:14 PM
Team of four, thats including kids....:heh:
I do all the work, wife takes all the credit :thumb:
Works for us

Divemaster
05-13-2011, 12:40 PM
who makes the raki? Angelo or Nondas? :-D..that was some fine stuff
That would be part of our 'Secret Service' (aka, Nondas' Father)... lol

Brew-B-Q
05-13-2011, 12:55 PM
Most of the time, it is me and my brother-in-law. I've done three competitions by myself and it's not that bad, but you just don't get many breaks. I prefer to have one other person, especially when unloading/loading, building boxes, and running boxes. Everything else is pretty reasonable for one person to handle. Having another person lets me socialize more. So, I'd say two is the best number for me.