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View Full Version : Competition bug got me!


va_connoisseur
06-30-2011, 10:19 AM
I went to the BBQ Battle in DC and now I am officially hook and determined to compete. It looked like a load of fun. Here's my questions:

I have cooked on a WSM for years and have had great results for friends and family. But for competition I am considering getting a Bubba grills 250R or Lang 60. Is that overkill?

I saw some competitors using WSM/BGE/etc but they had several in their areas. It seems since everything is being cook at 250, one smoker would make it more convenient.

My thoughts are that tending 2-3 22 WSM and a 18.5 WSM could be a headache. They are great and I love mine but right now I one, which is definitely not enough space for competition.

chad
06-30-2011, 10:27 AM
Welcome to the dark side. :mrgreen:

Overkill? Nope.

Tim (The_Kapn) and I started with multiple cookers and said "fark that" after about three events.

A larger cooker (like the Lang) gives you flexibility, too. Personally, I'd go with an 84 - but that's just me.
But, you can certainly compete and do well with multiple WSMs and it'll be cheaper to start out.

Southern Home Boy
06-30-2011, 10:31 AM
2 WSMs and a kettle is plenty grillestate for a comp and not nearly as much trouble as feeding a stick-burner every couple of hours. That's my opinion anyway.

Alexa RnQ
06-30-2011, 10:33 AM
Multiple WSMS too much trouble?? Wait, we've been doing it wrong! http://www.divaherself.com/funny/shiner.gif

People cook everything at 250 if everything's going into one cooker at 250. Even so, you'll find warmer and cooler spots in a cooker, and can take advantage of that. On the flip side, each meat needs tending when it needs tending, and with one cooker you're exposing all your meats to the temp swing, however brief, when you open up to do something.

I can't imagine that two more WSMs and a Stoker could cost more than a Lang, so what it really breaks down to is, what do YOU want to cook on? What can you transport comfortably?

CBQ
06-30-2011, 10:34 AM
It's hard to fit all the meats into one WSM, especially the 18.5 inch, so people that use them use more than one. Not everyone cooks everything at the same temp either.

You are right that it's more work to cook that way, but teams can and do win with.that approach. An offset like a Lang or Klose pit will let you fit everything in, but still need some fire tending. Another option is a vertical smoker like a Backwoods , Stumps, Spicewine, etc. They will have longer burn times, and hence less messing about with the fire. Pellet smokers like the FEC100 give you "push a button" fire tending.

It depends on how mch work you want to do, how much money you want to spend, and what style smoker compliments your cooking. It is the cook, not the cooker, but you will likely have to adjust your process to suit the smoker you choose.

Ron_L
06-30-2011, 10:35 AM
The Lang or Bubba wouldn't be overkill at all. You see a lot of similar cookers at competitions. But, you can also compete successfully with WSMs, so don't feel that you have to spend the money right away. Also, the WSMs will allow you to get some sleep while the Lang/Bubba will require some tending all night. You should probably also look at some of the insulated cabinet smokers like a Spicewine, Backwoods, etc. They will give you the ability to have one cooker but also get some sleep if that's important.

Fatback Joe
06-30-2011, 10:35 AM
Buy one of all of them and decide from there. Can't have too many smokers. :becky:

Welcome to the addiction.

The_Kapn
06-30-2011, 10:38 AM
If for some reason you want a Lang for competetion, several teams cook on the 48 and have plenty of room.
I am fond of both the 48 and the 60 and would be looking at them if I ever decided to leave pellets (ain't gonna happen :-D).

WSMs are lighter and easier to tote around.
As you know, they put out great que.

Do you really want a new cooker just for competetion, which you have not experienced yet?
Or do you want to expand/upgrade your cookers for home use also.

Your decision, just some thoughts.

TIM

watg?
06-30-2011, 11:20 AM
Buy one of all of them and decide from there. Can't have too many smokers. :becky:



He's right!:laugh:

jcpetro97
06-30-2011, 11:21 AM
I am going to compete next season in a couple of local events. I have decided on the WSM 22.5" even though I cook at home on a chargriller pro. My reasons are mainly, because I don't have a way to get my chargriller to the competitions, and a WSM will be easier for me to cart around, since it comes apart. That, and when I walked around the local festival, I noticed that a lot of the teams had at least one WSM, whether it was the 18" or the 22".

Good luck, and definitely let us know what your experience is like. I plan on doing the same once I get started.

Rich Parker
06-30-2011, 11:22 AM
Do you planning on doing this yourself as a one man team? If so I would go with the WSM which is more of a set it and forget cooker vs the bubba grill or lang that you have to keep feeding all night.

I like my beauty sleep.

Ryan Chester
06-30-2011, 12:31 PM
Welcome to the wonderful (expensive) world of competition BBQ! We cook on 4 WSM's and it works well for us. I like that I can manipulate each cooker for each type of meat whether it be temp, moisture, wood type, amount of smoke, etc.

If I can offer you any piece of advice beyond cooker selection, I would HIGHLY recommend taking a class. I didn't and wish I did because it reduces the learning curve SIGNIFICANTLY!!! I know many guys who took a class and came out of the box with top 5 finishes overall where it took me a year+ to do that. You can easily make back the cost of a class back in a single comp so it will definitely be money well spend that pays huge dividends.

I know we don't compete for the $ but I would much rather make money or break even opposed to spend money.

Good luck to ya!

va_connoisseur
06-30-2011, 01:20 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I'm leaning towards the Bubba 250R and using a WSM (or two) for backfill. I do like the idea fleet of the 22" WSMs.

Is there a spreadsheet or web site that gives information on what things a new competitor needs (i.e. - tables, cutlery, sinks, etc.)

Fatback Joe
06-30-2011, 01:25 PM
Is there a spreadsheet or web site that gives information on what things a new competitor needs (i.e. - tables, cutlery, sinks, etc.)


http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=108979

There is a checklist posted in this thread.

fnbish
06-30-2011, 01:44 PM
Multiple WSMS too much trouble?? Wait, we've been doing it wrong! http://www.divaherself.com/funny/shiner.gif

People cook everything at 250 if everything's going into one cooker at 250. Even so, you'll find warmer and cooler spots in a cooker, and can take advantage of that. On the flip side, each meat needs tending when it needs tending, and with one cooker you're exposing all your meats to the temp swing, however brief, when you open up to do something.

I can't imagine that two more WSMs and a Stoker could cost more than a Lang, so what it really breaks down to is, what do YOU want to cook on? What can you transport comfortably?

These are pretty much my exact thoughts as well. Do you have room to store and the vehicle to tow around a big sidebox and do you want to tend a fire? We use 2 WSMs and it is perfect. They are very low maintenance and we started competing with a cheapo sidebox that wasn't too bad, but you still had to watch it. 2 WSM would be cheaper than the lang or bubba and if you wanted to upgrade you could always sell them for good $$ since they hold their value.

Stoke&Smoke
06-30-2011, 02:12 PM
We used to compete with 3 18.5" WSM's. Now I'm down to 1 22.5" and 1-18/12" WSM, plus an 18" kettle that fits inside the barrel of the 22 for transport.

We do Butts and ribs on the 18.5, Brisket and chicken on the 22.5, and the kettle works for starting chimneys, cooking our dinner and breakfasts, and firming up the glazes on the meats.

As others have pointed out it's nice to catch a few z's at a comp, and with my bullets, I can do that. A stickburner, while it would be cool to own, doesn't give me that option.

va_connoisseur
06-30-2011, 02:37 PM
As others have pointed out it's nice to catch a few z's at a comp, and with my bullets, I can do that. A stickburner, while it would be cool to own, doesn't give me that option.

That seems to be the general thought. The rational side says get two 22" WSM and enter a few comps, see if you like it and go from there. The testosterone side of me says, you got a bring new F150 and you need to have something to haul with it. :becky:

D@yum, I hate being rational.

Alexa RnQ
06-30-2011, 02:51 PM
The testosterone side of me says, you got a bring new F150 and you need to have something to haul with it. :becky:

Well hell, then you need a cook trailer and a shiny FEC or two. Or a Meat Monster! :becky: