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BBQ_Mayor
09-04-2011, 06:13 PM
Those that cook good bbq teach classes and those that can't cook judge. Since I won't be teaching bbq to anybody I guess I better start judging.

We just finished cooking our last contest in Iowa. After cooking for 8 years and never getting a GC I think it's time to call it quits. We just can't cook!

We will do one more year of comps but it won't be in Iowa. There are too many great teams and the judges....well.. lets just leave that along.
I wish we had the talent to keep up with the best but we don't and we need to face that fact. Most of the reason of leaving the state is cause we know so many people. That way we eliminate the distractions.

In the meantime I guess I'll judge Iowa comps and maybe learn something.

So how long does it take to get a GC? I know we have to be working on a record here.

Enough with the rant.. I'll get off my soapbox..and thanks for listening.

Ray

btcg
09-04-2011, 06:33 PM
Ray,

I think you need to consider Myron's advice as to judges: they're eaters.

I did a class (Trigg's, no less) and the genius he held up before the class didn't know that hickory imparted a stronger flavor than fruit wood.

The girl sitting at my table was all agape at this guy at the next table because had had a "GC." I talked to the 2 of them: turns out he uses a pellet pooper.

Him: "Well, if you don't have one, I won't say anything. Don't need you using one."

Me: "I own a Backwoods. Why would I want a pellet pooper?"

Him: "Well if you don't know then..."

Me: "We just had a thread by a pellet owner who had occasion to have to use one of those State Park grills. He hadn't cooked with charcoal in years, and commented on how much better the burgers he cooked with charcoal tasted. So some might disagree with you."

He got real smart @ssy with me, so I put him away:

Me: "Doesn't your pellet cooker add the pellets automatically? Gee, maybe you could work your way up to a Bradley?"

That shut him up.

The moral: not all comp cooks are as good as a NorthwestBBQ.

watertowerbbq
09-04-2011, 09:14 PM
Hang in there Ray. You guys are really great cooks and your time will come. Cooking in Iowa is tough and there are no easy contests. Keep plugging away and you'll get it. If I recall, you've got on RGC this year and that means you are close.............real close to your goal.

I'm pulling for you every weekend because I know how bad you guys want it. Give 'em hell next year!

TomB
09-05-2011, 05:47 AM
I'm with Matt. Don't give up. You and Matt were two of the teams who reached out to me during my first comp year. I wish I had your success!

Hub
09-05-2011, 06:16 AM
This thread started with judge bashing and pellet cooking bashing, when I think the real intent was to portray how hard it is to win a competition (sure is!). I have a real regret that, to some, being a judge or cooking with pellets is not legitimate (portrayed in these posts as being a lower form of life). I am a judge (and a cook) and I cook with pellets. I don't bash cooks and I don't bash folks who cook with other fuel types. I'll continue to operate under the (mistaken?) notion that what this forum is about is learning, sharing, and promoting great barbeque. I'll continue to strive to be the best judge I can be and I'll encourage others to do the same. I'll continue to embrace technology, too, knowing that even more cooking methods will be developed to cook meat with wood.

The efforts of good cooks and good judges should combine to produce "excellence in barbeque". Discouraging words go against promotion of our pursuit. Do hang in and keep working hard at winning, Ray. I'm on your side no matter what.

Hub

Rich Parker
09-05-2011, 07:43 AM
Come to Michigan Ray, we have the best judges. :eusa_clap

ModelMaker
09-05-2011, 07:47 AM
Now your starting to sound like Mo. He was so pissed after Marshalltown last year he said he was never cooking there again.
Winning a GC is a lofty goal, there is only one per week to be had. The teams that do it often have just stumbled on to a good flavor profile and never vary from it. Even that is not foolproof, look at Ryans results from his first year to the second.
I think some of your trials and tribulations is the "too many cooks syndrome" I know it's fun and less stress to only cook one catagory but I think you need one guy to have hands on all the meats to reach consistancy in all of them. Just my thoughts.
Personally I think spending a year in the judges tent would do more good than you can imagine. Between tasting the good and bad you get feed back by listening to five other opinions on the same meat. That is a true learning process.
Actually I think you guys do pretty well for a bunch of beer drinking white whale hunting misfits.
Ed

BBQ_Mayor
09-05-2011, 07:55 AM
Now your starting to sound like Mo. He was so pissed after Marshalltown last year he said he was never cooking there again.
Winning a GC is a lofty goal, there is only one per week to be had. The teams that do it often have just stumbled on to a good flavor profile and never vary from it. Even that is not foolproof, look at Ryans results from his first year to the second.
I think some of your trials and tribulations is the "too many cooks syndrome" I know it's fun and less stress to only cook one catagory but I think you need one guy to have hands on all the meats to reach consistancy in all of them. Just my thoughts.
Personally I think spending a year in the judges tent would do more good than you can imagine. Between tasting the good and bad you get feed back by listening to five other opinions on the same meat. That is a true learning process.
Actually I think you guys do pretty well for a bunch of beer drinking white whale hunting misfits.
Ed


Thanks Ed.....I think?
Yea. We plan to learn a lot judging next year. I'll start this year judging the Royal open. It's be a couple of years since I've judged and it did help when I took back what I learned to the team.
Too many cooks? I wouldn't have it any other way. We each have a part and we know and trust each other to get that done. I understand that it may not work for some.

CBQ
09-05-2011, 08:17 AM
We cook with pellets and charcoal. Which one is better? We can produce good and bad product with either one.

BBQ Mayor, did you try taking a few classes? Best advice I ever got was to take a class a year. Flavor profiles can shift over time, and hearing winning teams talk about what they do is valuable, even if we don't end up using any recipes from the class. Nothing wrong with judging, of cource. I'm a CBJ too, but I have too much fun cooking.

We haven't won a GC in 6 years either, but the last 2 we have had a lot of top ten finishes, and have been within a few points, so we are gonna keep at it.

If you don't like Iowa, come cook in the northeast and enjoy the lowest scores in the country. :becky:

Bunny
09-05-2011, 09:53 AM
Those that cook good bbq teach classes and those that can't cook judge. Since I won't be teaching bbq to anybody I guess I better start judging.

We just finished cooking our last contest in Iowa. After cooking for 8 years and never getting a GC I think it's time to call it quits. We just can't cook!

We will do one more year of comps but it won't be in Iowa. There are too many great teams and the judges....well.. lets just leave that along.
I wish we had the talent to keep up with the best but we don't and we need to face that fact. Most of the reason of leaving the state is cause we know so many people. That way we eliminate the distractions.

In the meantime I guess I'll judge Iowa comps and maybe learn something.

So how long does it take to get a GC? I know we have to be working on a record here.

Enough with the rant.. I'll get off my soapbox..and thanks for listening.

Ray

Rich and I have been cooking since 1987 (count that up) and have only gotten 2 RGC twice in that time--first place losers). But we're still winning bunches of friends and bbq family. We won't quit! :boxing: There are just too many benefits! :-D

KCass BBQ established 1987

BBQ_Mayor
09-05-2011, 10:20 AM
I didn't think I was bashing pellets. We have a pellet cooker we use and have also cooked with WSM's, Backwoods and Goodones.. All worked great.

JD McGee
09-05-2011, 10:28 AM
To answer your question...it takes as long as it takes...it's just that simple and just that complicated. If you're in a region saturated with top Pitmasters...it may take a little longer to get your flavor profiles and technique dialed in.

As far as one pit being better than another...I call bull-chit...it's not the pit...it's the Pitmaser..the pit is just a tool.

If you are still in the hunt next year for a GC I suggest concentrating on your cooking skills...ie...texture. Put together a good time line or game plan and stick to it.

Take a look at your flavor profile, smoke, rub, and sauce. Try some of the popular combinations out there such as Plowboy's, Butcher, Kosmo's, Simply Marvelous, Blues Hog, etc. before branching out on your own. Visit a few BBQ joints in the local area (especially the busy or popular ones) to see what the locals like...sweet, hot, spicy, saucy, dry...you get the picture.

Finally...presentation...slicing, arranging, boxes...etc. Fill the box with meat...arrange the slices, chunks, or pieces to look uniform and bingo...you're in the game!

Good luck...but most important...have fun! :thumb:

Podge
09-05-2011, 10:45 AM
If you've been cooking for 8 years, and since you've not won a GC and now thinking of quiting because of it, you have to be honest with yourself and find out why you had cooked contests to begin with.. I know a few people who've won their first GC after a couple of contests (with help from classes) and there's a lot like you who've cooked for years and never have. Not an easy answer to how long it takes.

Podge
09-05-2011, 10:48 AM
To answer your question...it takes as long as it takes...it's just that simple and just that complicated. If you're in a region saturated with top Pitmasters...it may take a little longer to get your flavor profiles and technique dialed in.

As far as one pit being better than another...I call bull-chit...it's not the pit...it's the Pitmaser..the pit is just a tool.

If you are still in the hunt next year for a GC I suggest concentrating on your cooking skills...ie...texture. Put together a good time line or game plan and stick to it.

Take a look at your flavor profile, smoke, rub, and sauce. Try some of the popular combinations out there such as Plowboy's, Butcher, Kosmo's, Simply Marvelous, Blues Hog, etc. before branching out on your own. Visit a few BBQ joints in the local area (especially the busy or popular ones) to see what the locals like...sweet, hot, spicy, saucy, dry...you get the picture.

Finally...presentation...slicing, arranging, boxes...etc. Fill the box with meat...arrange the slices, chunks, or pieces to look uniform and bingo...you're in the game!

Good luck...but most important...have fun! :thumb:

I couldn't have said all that crap better myself ! :).. But I would add, even there are different regions, good is good everywhere. This is a bad example, but Mc Donald's doesn't change their menu across the nation.

Ron_L
09-05-2011, 11:13 AM
I understand your frustration, Ray. I was at that point a few weeks ago. I reached out to a friend who performs the role of 'The Voice Of Reason' very well and he talked me off of the ledge. :thumb: It's easy to get frustrated, especially when you see others winning regularly. What do those folks do different than we (I'm lumping you into that 'we' :-D) are doing that puts them at the top of the heap multiple times in a season while we can't manage to get there even once? I can only chalk it up to bad luck and hitting the 'bad' table for so long. If it's just luck in hitting the 'right' tables then I would expect to get lucky once in a while!

So, back to the advice of my Voice Of Reason... Basically, he told me to take a step back and look at the little things. What, if anything, changed from week to week. It may be something as simple as applying more or less rub from week to week, or it may be a gradual change in the process that you didn't notice because it happened over a long period of time. Based on his advice I took a look at what we were doing and made some adjustments and our results were better at the next competition. We didn't win, but we were back in the top 10 and got some solid calls. I'm continuing to look at the process and I'm hoping that our next time out will be the one!

Bunny also makes a great point! While a GC would be great, we have a blast at each competition and enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones. If the competitions ever stop being fun, then it may be time to look seriously at competitive macrame or fat boy go-karting! :becky:

JD McGee
09-05-2011, 11:16 AM
I couldn't have said all that crap better myself ! :).. But I would add, even there are different regions, good is good everywhere. This is a bad example, but Mc Donald's doesn't change their menu across the nation.

CRAP???!!!...I was shooting for profound...or maybe even prophetic...at LEAST a pep-talk version...lol! :twisted:

I understand your frustration, Ray. I was at that point a few weeks ago. I reached out to a friend who performs the role of 'The Voice Of Reason' very well and he talked me off of the ledge. :thumb: It's easy to get frustrated, especially when you see others winning regularly. What do those folks do different than we (I'm lumping you into that 'we' :-D) are doing that puts them at the top of the heap multiple times in a season while we can't manage to get there even once? I can only chalk it up to bad luck and hitting the 'bad' table for so long. If it's just luck in hitting the 'right' tables then I would expect to get lucky once in a while!

So, back to the advice of my Voice Of Reason... Basically, he told me to take a step back and look at the little things. What, if anything, changed from week to week. It may be something as simple as applying more or less rub from week to week, or it may be a gradual change in the process that you didn't notice because it happened over a long period of time. Based on his advice I took a look at what we were doing and made some adjustments and our results were better at the next competition. We didn't win, but we were back in the top 10 and got some solid calls. I'm continuing to look at the process and I'm hoping that our next time out will be the one!

Bunny also makes a great point! While a GC would be great, we have a blast at each competition and enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones. If the competitions ever stop being fun, then it may be time to look seriously at competitive macrame or fat boy go-karting! :becky:

Bingo! :thumb:

Podge
09-05-2011, 11:59 AM
JD Mc Gee, I meant "Crap" in a good way ! :)

Shotgun
09-05-2011, 12:06 PM
Now your starting to sound like Mo. He was so pissed after Marshalltown last year he said he was never cooking there again.
Winning a GC is a lofty goal, there is only one per week to be had. The teams that do it often have just stumbled on to a good flavor profile and never vary from it. Even that is not foolproof, look at Ryans results from his first year to the second.
I think some of your trials and tribulations is the "too many cooks syndrome" I know it's fun and less stress to only cook one catagory but I think you need one guy to have hands on all the meats to reach consistancy in all of them. Just my thoughts.
Personally I think spending a year in the judges tent would do more good than you can imagine. Between tasting the good and bad you get feed back by listening to five other opinions on the same meat. That is a true learning process.
Actually I think you guys do pretty well for a bunch of beer drinking white whale hunting misfits.
Ed

Ed, we really respect your opinion and consider you one of the elite judges, but I have to disagree with too many cooks. Ray and I have the same mind set that how we are set up works well. We have only been together as Smokehouse 72 for 3 years and have enjoyed some great success as well as defeats. If you take the top cooks in each catergory and put them together I would guess that you would have a great shot at a GC. Now we just need to become those top cooks...somehow.. I know Ray is more frustrated than I am, but will still have a great time with all the BBQ folks!

Bigdog
09-05-2011, 12:42 PM
Ron-O,
Please sign me up for "fat boy go-karting." I'm all in. :thumb:

JD McGee
09-05-2011, 12:49 PM
JD Mc Gee, I meant "Crap" in a good way ! :)

I know...no worries! :-P

Ron_L
09-05-2011, 12:56 PM
JD Mc Gee, I meant "Crap" in a good way ! :)

Is that possible? :rolleyes: :becky:

ModelMaker
09-05-2011, 04:25 PM
Ed, we really respect your opinion and consider you one of the elite judges, but I have to disagree with too many cooks. Ray and I have the same mind set that how we are set up works well. We have only been together as Smokehouse 72 for 3 years and have enjoyed some great success as well as defeats. If you take the top cooks in each catergory and put them together I would guess that you would have a great shot at a GC. Now we just need to become those top cooks...somehow.. I know Ray is more frustrated than I am, but will still have a great time with all the BBQ folks!

Thanks for the complement, don't know if it's true or not, but I try.
I didn't mean to cast aspertions on your cook process, I don't spend any time in your camp so have no knowledge on how you all mesh. It just seems there has to be a boss in every company.
Ray an Jay are about as one as you can get in two people so maybe I just don't know Jack about the Smokehouse crew.
It's gettin towards the end of the season so you have all winter (blah) to think on it. Maybe some homebrew and smoked cheese will give you a epiphony!!
Maybe I'll see you at the Royal.
Ed

Balls Casten
09-06-2011, 12:42 PM
Dang Ray, I finally get to cook next to you and now you're giving it up? (reminds me of a gal I went out with that start dating women when we broke up. But that’s a different story) You’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing or this hobby certainly does not make sense.

We've been at it for 15 years and aside from a non-sanctioned event, we have never gotten a 1st in a category let alone a GC. Early on I realized there is too much luck involved in winning BBQ that we set our goals much lower. It has kept it fun for us.

Win or lose we’re here for the booze!

Scottie
09-06-2011, 01:28 PM
Come to Michigan Ray, we have the best judges. :eusa_clap




Maybe i keep finding all the bad one's then... ;)

BBQ_Mayor
09-06-2011, 08:17 PM
It wasn't all you Doug, I swear.:rolleyes:...
I think your right, I need to look at the fun of it and let the wins come as they may. I have made a bunch of great new friends so it's not all bad.

The desire to get that elusive GC is running deep. I'll just need to keep it running there till the time comes...:pray: Hopefully soon...



Dang Ray, I finally get to cook next to you and now you're giving it up? (reminds me of a gal I went out with that start dating women when we broke up. But that’s a different story) You’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing or this hobby certainly does not make sense.

We've been at it for 15 years and aside from a non-sanctioned event, we have never gotten a 1st in a category let alone a GC. Early on I realized there is too much luck involved in winning BBQ that we set our goals much lower. It has kept it fun for us.

Win or lose we’re here for the booze!