View Full Version : Cooking Class Competition BBQ Class's

05-16-2011, 09:00 PM
I am wanting to get some opinions on cooking classes.
1. Do you think they are worth the money?
2. Who's would you take, and why?
3. Does region make much difference where you take it?
4. Any other info would be great.

05-16-2011, 09:31 PM
I have recently taken a comp class. After 3 seasons around 13 or 14 comps competed in before the class.I feel it was worth it .I will see how the judges see it in the next month or so.

05-16-2011, 10:17 PM
We took Rub Bagby's class. It was well worth the money. We won it back 5x the next weekend with a GC! The region doesn't matter with his class because he teaches technique, not flavors. I think that is why his students are doing well.

05-17-2011, 01:26 AM
Paying for a good class is cheaper than paying for contest entries to learn by trial and error. Other than the obvious travel cost, region isn't really a factor. A better criteria for selecting a class is the type of cooker/style of cooking demonstrated. If you are a low-and-slow stickburner guy, a class on pellet smoker power cooking isn't going to be your best choice.

Fatback Joe
05-17-2011, 09:08 AM
IMO, I think you get more out of a class if you have done a few comps prior to taking one. After a few comps, you start to get good idea of where you weaknesses are and when you go to a class you can look for ways to improve your specific situation.

I took Chris Hart (IQUE) class last fall and really enjoyed it. I haven't taken any other classes, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I feel like I picked up what I was looking for and, probably no coincidence, won GC the next time out.

As others said, I don't think region is much of a factor. There may be little regional quirks, but the top teams seem to do well no matter where they go.

05-17-2011, 09:55 AM
I would recommend taking more than one and then blend the skills, techniques and flavor profiles that you have learned into a method that works for you. Any of the classes I have been to taught me something, that I have incorporated into what I do. I personally am not believer the class needs to be taught on equipment similar to yours. I go to classes to learn the cooking techniques not how to operate the equipment but that may not apply to everyone.

There are plenty of classes offered for under $500 that will give you plenty of information you can use. Most of them seem to be in the off season although you will see them offered in conjunction with contests during the year.

05-17-2011, 10:35 AM
I recommend taking them. I also happen to know of one that usually is up in Chicago by a couple of World Champions . I hear they raised over $25k for cancer research. I've hear that students have had a little success...

05-17-2011, 10:42 AM
Who do you think that is Scottie?? LOL!!

05-17-2011, 11:05 AM
I took a competition class before my first contest. I already had most of my cooking techniques and flavor profiles dialed in, but the class helped me develop a solid plan and timeline for competition cooking. I integrated a few techniques where it made sense but I didn't make many wholesale changes to what I was already doing in practice.

With a solid cooking plan in place I am now able to make small adjustments as needed based on my results and I don't feel like I am "flailing". I've only done 2 real contests so far but I have had good results and have seen an improvement each time. Consistency is key and at this point I am just trying to replicate the same thing over and over with only very minor tweaks here and there on a limited basis.

The class was definitely money well spent and in 2 contests I have earned back almost double what it cost to take. (Ya, I am still well in the hole, but at least there are some results to show for all the hard work.)

05-17-2011, 11:11 AM
Have taken Scotties class in Chicago and Plowboys/Smoke on Wheels class and can HIGHLY recommend either one...over $7000.00 in prize money last year compared to $200.00 the year before taking their classes

Rich Parker
05-17-2011, 12:27 PM
I took Scotties class last year having never competed before, and I think it was well worth it and would recommend it.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
05-17-2011, 12:55 PM
Have taken Scotties class in Chicago and Plowboys/Smoke on Wheels class and can HIGHLY recommend either one...over $7000.00 in prize money last year compared to $200.00 the year before taking their classes

thats impressive!

05-17-2011, 01:52 PM
1. Do you think they are worth the money? I think they are a great value.

2. Who's would you take, and why? Of course I recommend Swamp Boys Q School, but there are other great ones out there too. Check out credentials and take it from there.

3. Does region make much difference where you take it? No.

4. Any other info would be great. There are usually different levels of learning going on in a class. On one hand, the beginners stand to learn the most because they are new to it all. On the other hand, many of the teams who are already doing well may pick up fewer techniques, but the ones they do get tend to put them in the winner's circle. It's not unusual for an advanced team to go out and win their first category, RGC, or GC right after the class. If you enjoy learning and enjoy succeeding, taking a class is a great idea.

05-17-2011, 10:25 PM
I took Rub’s class earlier this year and it was great! Well worth it in my opinion.

JD McGee
05-17-2011, 11:03 PM
Rhana and I took Johnny Trigg's class this year...best money I ever spent on an education! :thumb:

05-17-2011, 11:27 PM
I took Rubís class earlier this year and it was great! Well worth it in my opinion.

Thanks Kyle, and congrats on your RGC this past weekend at the KCBS contest in GA! :thumb:

05-18-2011, 12:12 AM
I had someone proudly tell me that they will never take a class because they want to win on their own. Then they proceeded to ask me a couple of questions about cooking. :rolleyes:

05-18-2011, 07:39 AM
I have taken 2 classes this year and both have been great. The first one was by MooCow Shane and Co. and he covered all 4 categories using the drum, but as Muzzlebrake said, it's not about the cooker, it's the cooking you focus on and apply to your cooker. In this class we learned what they do to be successful, which they certainly are, but they also give suggestions for other ways of doing it. I think they do their ribs in a style very similar to Trigg as well, which is a proven champion.

The next class I took was last weekend by Andy of Smoke on Wheels. He only did chicken and ribs this time and plans on doing what he calls the "big meats" pork and brisket next time. His techniques, while similar to Shane's, are different enough that it gives you more ideas of how you can do things. I also like what Muzzlebrake said here about taking what all they said and combining them to produce an even better product. Also, taking classes like this form champion cooks allows you to get inside their heads to understand what they are thinking when they cook and why they do the things they do. It also gives you a contact for further questions as both of these cooks gave us their web sites and encouraged us to ask for more help if they need it. This is one of the coolest things about the BBQ community. Most folks are eager to share and help each other out.

Finally, you ask wonder if this is all worth the price. I say heck ya!! My classes were very cheap in the grand scheme of things. Shane's class was only $175 and I also came home with a brand new UDS smoker. And Andy's class was only $100 and I got 3 meals, so these classes were almost free. :cool: I highly encourage you to take a class with these folks or others. I have heard nothing about good things about classes from guys like Rod Gray or Scottie. So get out and take a class. And did I mention that they are fun as well?:thumb:

05-18-2011, 11:08 AM
I took Scottie's class this spring in Chicago. I definately was able to identify tips / techniques that supplemented my knowledge and made some modifications for how I was handling things. Did it radically revolutionize how I was cooking? No. Did it influence the GC I was able to pull off a couple weeks ago? Absolutely. Worth every penny in my book.