PDA

View Full Version : Competition BBQ Book/School


KevinK
09-04-2011, 10:08 AM
Who has the best book and/or school for learning how to compete at BBQ contests? Just seeing comps on tv it looks like there are a lot of additional steps (ie garnishing, what parts of cut to turn in, sauce or unsauced, etc...) that need to be considered.

Brewer
09-04-2011, 11:13 AM
You can learn quite a bit here from the Brethren.:-D That's how I got started... W're to books, I think "Low & Slow" by Wiviott is a good place to start. W/re. classes, start with a KCBS cooking class - you can find a class listing on the KCBS site.

Be careful, once you get your feet wet, you'll be hooked. If you're not looking for a new addiction - proceed with caution. :twisted:

Ron_L
09-04-2011, 11:17 AM
I hven't read any books on competition BBQ, but there are some out there. Maybe others have a recommendation.

As far as classes, Rod Gray and Johnny Trigg did a great class. I'm not sure if they are teaching together any more, but I know that Rod is still running classes. Scottie Johnson (Cancer Sucks Chicago) also does a great class. Another great class is the one that Todd Johns (Plowboy BBQ) and David Bouska (Butcher BBQ) put together. I've picked up tips and techniques from each.

ClayHill
09-04-2011, 11:27 AM
Amazon.com: Startin' the Fire (9781890689148): George W. Hensler: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51siN0CYLwL.@@AMEPARAM@@51siN0CYLwL (http://www.amazon.com/Startin-Fire-George-W-Hensler/dp/1890689149)

A great book from a good guy!!

QansasjayhawQ
09-04-2011, 12:24 PM
I have read Startin' the Fire - and it's a great place to start.

But really, like Brewer said, this is THE place to learn about competition BBQ. Yes, even cooking methods and techniques can be had just for the asking. Just be sure to pay it back by your own participation and willingness to help others when they are coming up.

Then, besides the cooking classes, I'd recommend taking the judging contest and judging at least ten classes. (The judging class alone won't provide enough information as to what your target is.)

And finally, I'd say to jump in and do it. You will learn more by participating than you would believe. If it's a financial challenge for you, partner up with an established team, offering to help out. There's a sticky forum at the top of the Competition BBQ area called something like 'Team Mentoring' where folks get together for just such an arrangement.

Above all, have fun and enjoy your experience!

rocksbarbque
09-04-2011, 12:44 PM
1st judge a contest 2nd volunteer and help someone cook a contest. 3rd Compete in your first contest.

Sledneck
09-04-2011, 12:52 PM
+2 on starting the fire. Great read and the author is a member here. Chris hart and Andy husbands of ique also have a book coming out soon Amazon.com: Wicked Good Barbecue: Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competitions in the World (9781592334995): Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, Andrea Pyenson, Steven Raichlen: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61E9tIvatQL.@@AMEPARAM@@61E9tIvatQL (http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Good-Barbecue-Fearless-Competitions/dp/1592334997/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315158714&sr=8-1)

gmholler
09-04-2011, 01:21 PM
I don't know about a BBQ book - overall, they're good for guidelines, but a lot of the specific information they give about contests isn't always up-to-date - but that's often the nature of a book. I'd go to a contest - mainly on the Friday night before things get too "hot & heavy" and talk to a few cookers. Or see about volunteering to help with the contest itself, or with a team. We had a couple just "hang" with us this past weekend at a contest - had to move our entire site to under a shelter due to a tropical storm, so it was really nice to have a few extra hands!!

Lynn H.

DeanC
09-04-2011, 01:42 PM
I enjoyed both of Adam Perry Lang's books for recipes and ideas.

fnbish
09-04-2011, 01:51 PM
I'm in my rookie year competing and learned pretty much everything from this forum. Tons of info here and great pics of turn in boxes. Also as gmholler suggested go to a comp on Friday and ask the teams what goes down on the 2 days.

Fat Freddy
09-04-2011, 02:07 PM
I am from Iowa also and can give a few more ideas for you. The Iowa BBQ Society is involved in a "spring training" held at Iowa State and has courses in several different meats.
Also Mike from Grillnout in Des Moines has classes fairly often by other competition cookers just go under events and on the right shows upcoming classes.
http://www.grillnoutiowa.com/

motoeric
09-04-2011, 02:30 PM
I enjoyed Smokin' With Myron Mixon. It includes his comp recipes (at the time of writing) and I've heard that he's won a trophy or two in his time.


Eric

scm1226
09-04-2011, 02:55 PM
+2 on starting the fire. Great read and the author is a member here. Chris hart and Andy husbands of ique also have a book coming out soon Amazon.com: Wicked Good Barbecue: Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competitions in the World (9781592334995): Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, Andrea Pyenson, Steven Raichlen: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Good-Barbecue-Fearless-Competitions/dp/1592334997/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315158714&sr=8-1)

Love that he has YAnkees in his title, being a red sox fan and all.

QueNivorous
09-05-2011, 08:19 AM
Taking a class cuts the slope of the "learning curve"! I've taken both a Troy Black class before we started cooking and a Rod Gray/Johnny Trigg class after we had cooked for a year. The first class gave us what we needed to start and the second one gave us some refinements and different views. Both were very helpful. It's pretty easy to recoup your class costs once you start to take a few walks. You can learn most of it through books but it just takes forever in my opinion. There's just no substitute for "seeing" the best do it.

Zombie Barbecue
09-05-2011, 01:21 PM
I enjoyed Smokin' With Myron Mixon. It includes his comp recipes (at the time of writing) and I've heard that he's won a trophy or two in his time.


Eric

Mixon's book aint giving the proper recipes. We just did his comp ribs recipe in this book to the t and it turned out flavorless and undercooked. We followed every step exactly as printed just to test. I don't think he's giving away his true recipes.

For a good book for starters, look for "Competition BBQ Secrets" by Bill Anderson. Step by step for competition bbq cooks including garnish and a check list of gear for comps.

CivilWarBBQ
09-05-2011, 06:12 PM
Mixon's book aint giving the proper recipes. We just did his comp ribs recipe in this book to the t and it turned out flavorless and undercooked. We followed every step exactly as printed just to test. I don't think he's giving away his true recipes.

For a good book for starters, look for "Competition BBQ Secrets" by Bill Anderson. Step by step for competition bbq cooks including garnish and a check list of gear for comps.

One reason folks have a hard time duplicating Brother Myron's competition results is variations in the fuel and smoker. If you aren't cooking on a water smoker with a wheelbarrow full of peach wood it just won't be the same product.

I agree Bill's book is a good starter guide - he distills a lot of conventional comp techniques in there. Nothing you can't find elsewhere, but it's handy to have it all in one place, especially for the novice cook.

There's no substitute for a hands-on class, though IMO you need to have a baseline of experience to get the full value from it. Judge a little, cook a little and then take a class from somebody after talking with them and deciding for yourself if their approach will fit your equipment and cooking style.

mclancey
09-06-2011, 06:42 AM
One reason folks have a hard time duplicating Brother Myron's competition results is variations in the fuel and smoker. If you aren't cooking on a water smoker with a wheelbarrow full of peach wood it just won't be the same product.


It's a little more than just the fuel and smoker.

I think there's definately some missing steps or details there.

If you watch Myron cook on TV, you never see his ribs in a pan, yet the recipe is his book has them in a pan the whole time.

I'm not going to post the recipe up here, but there are some other things that don't make any sense either.

Sawdustguy
09-06-2011, 07:37 AM
Love that he has YAnkees in his title, being a red sox fan and all.

Can we say 2 1/2 games back and falling.:rolleyes::clap2:

ique
09-06-2011, 08:16 AM
I don't think he's giving away his true recipes.


We feel very fortunate at the opportunity our publishers gave us for Wicked Good BBQ... they instructed us not to dumb anything down, there would be no "made easy" recipes. We anticipate getting some negative feedback because many of the recipes are complicated and time consuming. Comes out in March '12 and the first chapter is straight comp style chicken, ribs, pork, brisket - our exact recipes

Rich Parker
09-06-2011, 11:40 AM
We feel very fortunate at the opportunity our publishers gave us for Wicked Good BBQ... they instructed us not to dumb anything down, there would be no "made easy" recipes. We anticipate getting some negative feedback because many of the recipes are complicated and time consuming. Comes out in March '12 and the first chapter is straight comp style chicken, ribs, pork, brisket - our exact recipes

I pre-ordered and am looking forward to reading it.

Slamdunkpro
09-06-2011, 12:07 PM
We feel very fortunate at the opportunity our publishers gave us for Wicked Good BBQ... they instructed us not to dumb anything down, there would be no "made easy" recipes. We anticipate getting some negative feedback because many of the recipes are complicated and time consuming. Comes out in March '12 and the first chapter is straight comp style chicken, ribs, pork, brisket - our exact recipes

Here's your negative feedback - Now everyone's gonna know how :mad: :becky::boxing:

SMOKIN ACES CRAPSHOOT BBQ
09-06-2011, 04:23 PM
It's a little more than just the fuel and smoker.

I think there's definately some missing steps or details there.

If you watch Myron cook on TV, you never see his ribs in a pan, yet the recipe is his book has them in a pan the whole time.

I'm not going to post the recipe up here, but there are some other things that don't make any sense either.


We'll I have taken "The Boss" class and I can tell you the recipes in the beginning of the book are dead on as to what he teaches in class. With the exception of ribs, every cooking step in each catagory is 100% correct. I have cooked with him, next him and he does pan, but not to start!!! I was suprised by that.

Let me add this, I am suprised that he did give as much as he did in the book that retails for $22, I paid $12 for a new one on Amazon. The Boss is all about the money, and I love him for that!! But, when I saw what he published when I paid $750, I was a little taken back.

His class is worth every penny, you can read his words, but to hear him say them, think of the other $725 as entertainment!!!

cpw
09-06-2011, 07:34 PM
We feel very fortunate at the opportunity our publishers gave us for Wicked Good BBQ... they instructed us not to dumb anything down, there would be no "made easy" recipes. We anticipate getting some negative feedback because many of the recipes are complicated and time consuming. Comes out in March '12 and the first chapter is straight comp style chicken, ribs, pork, brisket - our exact recipes

Definitely looking forward to it. 2012 is still a long way off!

Rich Parker
09-13-2011, 06:38 PM
We'll I have taken "The Boss" class and I can tell you the recipes in the beginning of the book are dead on as to what he teaches in class. With the exception of ribs, every cooking step in each catagory is 100% correct. I have cooked with him, next him and he does pan, but not to start!!! I was suprised by that.

Let me add this, I am suprised that he did give as much as he did in the book that retails for $22, I paid $12 for a new one on Amazon. The Boss is all about the money, and I love him for that!! But, when I saw what he published when I paid $750, I was a little taken back.

His class is worth every penny, you can read his words, but to hear him say them, think of the other $725 as entertainment!!!

It's a little more than just the fuel and smoker.

I think there's definately some missing steps or details there.

If you watch Myron cook on TV, you never see his ribs in a pan, yet the recipe is his book has them in a pan the whole time.

I'm not going to post the recipe up here, but there are some other things that don't make any sense either.

I just received my copy of Smokin' with Myron Mixon and the instructions of panning the ribs for the 3 hours is a typo. On pg#72 he says to cook them for 3 hours before the pan.

I am definitely going to try some of his recipes.

Podge
09-13-2011, 07:27 PM
Who has the best book and/or school for learning how to compete at BBQ contests? Just seeing comps on tv it looks like there are a lot of additional steps (ie garnishing, what parts of cut to turn in, sauce or unsauced, etc...) that need to be considered.

I don't think your question was really answered. First off, do you know how to cook BBQ? Ribs? Chicken? Pork? Brisket?.. Hopefully you can at least cook chicken and maybe ribs.. Brisket is an art. Pork ain't tough to learn to cook. After you got a pretty good idea on at least how to cook those things, then you can get into the details. This website is a great place to start, and lots of practice. If you are as green as you seem, if you went to a BBQ class this weekend, you might be lost and overwhelmed ! Take time and practice, read, and research. You're at about the end of this BBQ season, and will kick up around March next year.. That's plenty of time for practice, hanging out at this site, asking questions no matter how dumb you may think they are.

Heck, I first found a forum back in Nov. 2003, because I was lost on why my ribs were tough and black. Fortunately, I had some great help from a couple of guys in the beginning. Myron, Ray Lampe, and others may have some great books out there, but nothing beats practice and asking questions. You can learn the game of football by reading a book but it doesn't make you a football player.

There are a lot of steps to competing in a BBQ contest, but it's not as difficult as it seems. All of us do things differently, and some things the same.. All in all you'll personalize what you do.

KevinK
09-14-2011, 10:10 AM
Podge I can cook everything pretty well except Brisket. The biggest hurdle I see with comps for me is presentation, what the judges want, and timing of getting everything turned in and how to hold brisket to so it doesn't turn to mush. I'm competitive in nature so if show up to my first comp next year and get last in every category it would be a little bit disheartening. I wish I would have dug into this forum when I first signed up over a year ago because you guys are right all the information is here! Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

Pack-A-Smokes
09-14-2011, 11:13 AM
I have to agree with the ones who say hands on is the best way to go. When I first starting competing, I was surprised how some other seasoned teams were will to offer some advice on presentation because I had no idea. My wife and I went to several comps and was up front with some teams by telling them we were starting a team and asked if they would mind if we stood at a distance and watched. We were only turned down by one team out of probably twenty.
Normally I would boot anyone out of my site that was looking over my shoulder during turn in, but there was a first time team at Amelia Island and they were eager to learn and I allowed one member from their team into my site during turn in to see how we do presentations. Was a first and just a little unnerving for me, but I had help and was willing to offer some.

jcpetro97
09-14-2011, 03:16 PM
I agree with what Podge said. I had been doing some things already, mainly ribs, and pork shoulders. hadn't thought about competing, but then I took a class in March, and started thinking about competing. i got some good advise, to do a single entry event for my first event, which I am going to do in May '12. I have spent part of this summer, working on process, etc because I have been told that the hardest part is the time management.

As far as learning about the boxes, etc... Lots of people post pictures here, and you can ask lots of questions. there are a number of questions I have asked, that ended up giving me more info than I ever could have imagined.

jrbBBQ
09-14-2011, 03:40 PM
This is my first year competing and the only thing I'd ever smoked was ribs on a kettle. I boought 2 wsm's a month before my first comp, cooked my first brisket and pork butt a week before my first comp and got 11th out of 40 with the pork in my first contest. I just competed in my 6th contest and got 7th chicken, 8th ribs and 4th in brisket at contest with 25 teams last weekend. I owe everything to the information I've gotten from the members here and them pointing me in the direction of other helpful sites. I think that I will end up taking a class this winter just to help refine some things, but I think I'm definatly headed in the right direction. I LOVE THIS FORUM! There are some awesome people on here.

indianagriller
09-14-2011, 11:42 PM
JrbBBQ you doing Benton again next year? if so we will see you there...

Boshizzle
09-15-2011, 10:54 PM
I hven't read any books on competition BBQ, but there are some out there. Maybe others have a recommendation.

As far as classes, Rod Gray and Johnny Trigg did a great class. I'm not sure if they are teaching together any more, but I know that Rod is still running classes.

I took the Rod Gray/Johnny Trigg class this past March. If you can get in to that one, do it! But, based on my experience, don't expect Rod Gray to answer any followup email questions.

Boshizzle
09-15-2011, 10:57 PM
One reason folks have a hard time duplicating Brother Myron's competition results is variations in the fuel and smoker. If you aren't cooking on a water smoker with a wheelbarrow full of peach wood it just won't be the same product.

I picked up some of MM's rubs and sauces at a comp recently and they have hickory smoke flavor in them (which was a dissapointment to me). So, I'm not so sure that the peach wood makes that much of a difference since a strong "smoke" flavor is coming from the rub and the sauces.

CivilWarBBQ
09-15-2011, 11:18 PM
One of the reasons folks have a hard time pinning Brother Myron down is the same reason he has had such a long, successful career in comp BBQ - he is always innovating and changing things up.

Myron is my friend. I've paid to take his class (back when it was called "The Ultimate Cooking School"), helped out behind the scenes on several other classes and cooked with the JOS team. I can say with confidence that what he teaches at his cooking school is exactly what he is doing in competitions at that time. He will hold nothing back and answer all questions. The class is worth every penny of what you pay, both for the information you will learn AND the privilege of spending the weekend with one of the true legends of BBQ.

If you are fortunate enough to attend a class in Unadilla you will taste the same food JOS is presenting to the judges that month. It might not be exactly what Myron will be turning in six months later, what you see him cook on the Today Show or published in his latest book, but it will be the real deal.

SQUINTZ76
10-16-2011, 11:28 AM
There is a really good book just released by a team from Omaha, NE for people looking to get into competition BBQ and there are some tips that someone with experience will learn. They were on BBQ Pitmasters and are going to the jack this year. 'The Book on Competition BBQ' - www.bbqrevolution.com (http://www.bbqrevolution.com) Pretty cool - check it out!

Cokyjara
10-17-2011, 09:22 AM
You tube!

OutlawSwine
10-17-2011, 10:48 AM
Also, I have found http://www.bbqcritic.com/ to have some good information on boxes. You may want to poke around on that site. They have judges who score on presentation, etc from pictures.

CBQ
10-17-2011, 12:55 PM
I picked up some of MM's rubs and sauces at a comp recently and they have hickory smoke flavor in them (which was a dissapointment to me). So, I'm not so sure that the peach wood makes that much of a difference since a strong "smoke" flavor is coming from the rub and the sauces.

He doesn't use a lot of his own bottled sauce in his recipes. It's mixed with other stuff.

As far as the peach goes, it is cheap and easy to find in Georgia. Myron says apple is just as good for those in the northeast/northwest.

What is different is that he is using BIG water cookers with a roaring fire for a hot and fast cook. (Remember the lighter fluid scene from the first season of Pitmasters?) If you are going to take his class or read his book, expect to spend a lot of time and experimentation trying to adapt those processes to work on your cooker. A lot of water cookers out there aren't going to be happy (stable) running at 350.

I think that goes for any BBQ class. You will learn the recipes and process, but getting those to work well on YOUR cooker is going to take effort on your part. It's why these winning cooks aren't too worried. Myron must have taught thousands of people by now, but JOS is still a top 100 team.

Shiz-Nit
10-17-2011, 07:00 PM
+2 on starting the fire. Great read and the author is a member here. Chris hart and Andy husbands of ique also have a book coming out soon Amazon.com: Wicked Good Barbecue: Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competitions in the World (9781592334995): Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, Andrea Pyenson, Steven Raichlen: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Good-Barbecue-Fearless-Competitions/dp/1592334997/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315158714&sr=8-1)

Thanks for the link Bro I will put it on my to buy list :thumb:

SQUINTZ76
02-11-2012, 01:00 PM
There is a pretty good one here. Nearly 170 pages, full color, step by step how to get into competition bbq and execute it flawlessly.

http://www.bbqrevolution.com/

BC Squared
02-11-2012, 01:46 PM
Great BBQ is a journey to be enjoyed. Learning as you go is so much more awarding than taking a class before even competing and doing someone else's BBQ. Left my first team because they were focused on the destination, instead of enjoying the journey. We have a lot more fun now!!

Munchee
02-12-2012, 07:21 AM
I did take a class before competing, it was Myron's school in 2005. First contest we got a first in both ribs and chicken ,3rd overall. To me it paid for the class.
But here is what impressed me so much. In the years since I have gone to Myron when the BBQ gods quit smiling on me. Every time that I asked for help he quickly helped. Several times with new recipes and ideas. To me this is the value of Myron's cook school not only does he give his winning recipes,he also stands behind his product with support.
All of his recipes are multi step,flavor stacked, I had pages of class notes for each product. And I really don't think a book publisher is going to publish a book with a 10 page rib recipe. The recipes in his book are condensed versions of his competition recipes,made so that everyone can use and cook better bbq. His book gives a backyard cook the recipes to cook great bbq. If you are planning on competing take his class it will be the best money you ever spend.