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mking7
12-13-2011, 01:34 PM
Well, it's winter, we need something to argue about to keep us occupied....

I honestly don't compete that much (4 or 5 a year) but I cook a ton. I was reading an old thread about whether gas or electric cookers should be allowed in competition. It got me to thinking, if I was starting a sanctioning body I might make it stick burners only.....and no gurus or other thermostatic devices and no pellets. Not sure where I would draw the line but I have always thought that a decent part of being a good bbq cook is being able to build and tend a good fire for even heat and smoke density (defined as good by the cook).

To me, all these devices and cookers that don't just burn wood are making it easier. I'm all for it at home but if I was going to build a true competition I think I'd make you tend a fire. Not sure where I fall on charcoal (currently use it to start my fire/build a coal bed) but I'd be fine if it wasn't even allowed for that.

Keep it friendly, share your opinions. :)

Ron_L
12-13-2011, 01:45 PM
A stickburner only comp is different than a wood-only comp. KCBS comps are wood only. No gas, no electric. Charcoal is wood, pellets are wood.

mking7
12-13-2011, 01:54 PM
A stickburner only comp is different than a wood-only comp. KCBS comps are wood only. No gas, no electric. Charcoal is wood, pellets are wood.

Fair enough, I meant stick only. :)

Sawdustguy
12-13-2011, 02:02 PM
Being able to tend a fire doesn't mean that you can cook good que. The good cook is the one who has mastered his tools of choice to turn out the best product he can.

kihrer
12-13-2011, 02:17 PM
Being able to tend a fire doesn't mean that you can cook good que. The good cook is the one who has mastered his tools of choice to turn out the best product he can.

How true. However, I suppose the reverse could be said. Being able to cook good que doesn't necessarily mean you can tend a good fire. I think the question the OP is asking is should both be required? If this is the question there will probably be as many opinions as there are.... well you know.:becky:

Butcher BBQ
12-13-2011, 02:28 PM
So does this mean no charcoal also?

Butcher BBQ
12-13-2011, 02:29 PM
Sorry just seen your answer above. Thanks for playing.

mking7
12-13-2011, 02:35 PM
How true. However, I suppose the reverse could be said. Being able to cook good que doesn't necessarily mean you can tend a good fire. I think the question the OP is asking is should both be required? If this is the question there will probably be as many opinions as there are.... well you know.:becky:

Yep, that's the question to debate. Again, I could totally see myself adding guru to my BGE or even getting a pellet cooker at some point. I'm not saying they're not bbq or anything like that.....I just think having to tend a fire adds a layer to it. I mean that's pretty obvious, right? Pellet cookers and gurus are marketed as making it easier. Of course you have to know how to prepare and cook your meats. Just thinking that throwing in tending the fire makes it more difficult.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I cook by myself and if I had a team I'd be a happier person. :)

bbq.tom
12-13-2011, 02:47 PM
It would be interesting and a challenge to MOST as I don't think that hardly anyone uses ALL wood (no charcoal, pellets, etc.).

kihrer
12-13-2011, 02:53 PM
Maybe I'm just bitter because I cook by myself and if I had a team I'd be a happier person. :)

Ah, West, TX. Birthplace of Willie Nelson. You must not be using the same stuff he smokes with or you would be a happier person:becky: Seriously, as a hypothetical, I think it is fun to discuss this issue but I doubt the rules regarding this will ever change nor do I think they should.

Obviously you could have chosen pretty much any pit you wanted based on the fact you own a J-3. For me, the fire management hits something deep inside me on a level that is hard to explain. It's a big part of why I love to que. I can remember the excitement of cooking stuff over fire and coals since my dad first took me on a camp out when was 6 years old. For others, maybe the heat source is only a means to an end.

I like the stick burners and I probably always will. Now if I were doing this as a business then that might be a different story. For me it is all about the fun and the fire tending is part of that fun.

Brew-B-Q
12-13-2011, 03:00 PM
If you eliminate gurus, pellets, and charcoal, you should also eliminate insulated smokers, any smoker with thicker than 1/8" steel, lights, ez-ups, chairs, beverages, and anything else that makes for a convenience. Oh, and all of the cooks that use the items just mentioned.

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:02 PM
Ah, West, TX. Birthplace of Willie Nelson. You must not be using the same stuff he smokes with or you would be a happier person:becky: Seriously, as a hypothetical, I think it is fun to discuss this issue but I doubt the rules regarding this will ever change nor do I think they should.

Obviously you could have chosen pretty much any pit you wanted based on the fact you own a J-3. For me, the fire management hits something deep inside me on a level that is hard to explain. It's a big part of why I love to que. I can remember the excitement of cooking stuff over fire and coals since my dad first took me on a camp out when was 6 years old. For others, maybe the heat source is only a means to an end.

I like the stick burners and I probably always will. Now if I were doing this as a business then that might be a different story. For me it is all about the fun and the fire tending is part of that fun.

Willie was actually born in Abbott about 6 miles up the road but you are darn close.

I think you summed up my thoughts on it. Believe me it won't shock me if I have an FEC some day. I'd love to set the temp and get some sleep. Just thought it would be a good conversation.

But I'm partial to stick burning for sure. I also heat my home with a wood stove. Maybe I'll start a thread on my wood stove forum similar to this one discussing the merits of pellet stoves vs. wood stoves. :)

maxwell7
12-13-2011, 03:03 PM
I've seen Que joints on food channel , and travel channel , that cooked on open firepits with wood only. Virtually everything on the pit.I think it might be interesting to see A COMP per yr. that was stick-only. Jeannie's posts are frequently cooks over an open fire. We all know she turns out some incredible cooks !!!:becky::clap2:

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:06 PM
I've seen Que joints on food channel , and travel channel , that cooked on open firepits with wood only. Virtually everything on the pit.I think it might be interesting to see A COMP per yr. that was stick-only. Jeannie's posts are frequently cooks over an open fire. We all know she turns out some incredible cooks !!!:becky::clap2:


Like the episode of pitmasters where they gave them some cinder blocks and tin and said good luck. That would be fun.

NRA4Life
12-13-2011, 03:07 PM
Yep, that's the question to debate. Again, I could totally see myself adding guru to my BGE or even getting a pellet cooker at some point. I'm not saying they're not bbq or anything like that.....I just think having to tend a fire adds a layer to it. I mean that's pretty obvious, right? Pellet cookers and gurus are marketed as making it easier. Of course you have to know how to prepare and cook your meats. Just thinking that throwing in tending the fire makes it more difficult.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I cook by myself and if I had a team I'd be a happier person. :)

You know, it sounds like fun and I'd love to enter a contest like that. I use a homemade stickburner in KCBS comps right now, but I like that "Back to the basics, where it all began" kind of twist you're talking about.

kihrer
12-13-2011, 03:11 PM
If you eliminate gurus, pellets, and charcoal, you should also eliminate insulated smokers, any smoker with thicker than 1/8" steel, lights, ez-ups, chairs, beverages, and anything else that makes for a convenience. Oh, and all of the cooks that use the items just mentioned.

Oh no - Not the beer:mad2: That just makes it more challenging, not easier:becky:

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:14 PM
If you eliminate gurus, pellets, and charcoal, you should also eliminate insulated smokers, any smoker with thicker than 1/8" steel, lights, ez-ups, chairs, beverages, and anything else that makes for a convenience. Oh, and all of the cooks that use the items just mentioned.

Maybe you're on to something. We should all line up on the plains and fashion weapons from stone and kill a buffalo, then we rub sticks together.....:-D

You'd have to draw the line somewhere and wherever you draw it you could argue that if you're going to do that you might as well do this too. Saying stick only is a fairly easy line to define so I chose that. I'd agree with non-insulated cookers (and I assume that includes insulated fireboxes and I have one of those...and love it).

I kinda like the idea above where once a year there's a comp where you either cook in open pits or at least you don't know how you're cooking till you get there. Problem with that is it would have be something very inexpensive. You can't provide BGE's for each team unless you're on tv. :)

The Pigman
12-13-2011, 03:14 PM
strickly wood..........




It would be interesting and a challenge to MOST as I don't think that hardly anyone uses ALL wood (no charcoal, pellets, etc.).

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
12-13-2011, 03:21 PM
Maybe you're on to something. We should all line up the plains and fashion weapons from stone and kill a buffalo, then we rub sticks together.....:-D

You'd have to draw the line somewhere and wherever you draw it you could argue that if you're going to do that you might as well do this too. Saying stick only is a fairly easy line to define so I chose that. I'd agree with non-insulated cookers (and I assume that includes insulated fireboxes and I have one of those...and love it).

I kinda like the idea above where once a year there's a comp where you either cook in open pits or at least you don't know how you're cooking till you get there. Problem with that is it would have be something very inexpensive. You can't provide BGE's for each team unless you're on tv. :)

The difficulty of burning sticks in a Jambo isn't rocket surgery.

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:25 PM
The difficulty of burning sticks in a Jambo isn't rocket surgery.

Didn't say it was. I've owned a few pits in my time and none were crazy difficult. But none had a thermostat either.

maxwell7
12-13-2011, 03:26 PM
Sorry , but no beer is obscene and barbaric.:mad:

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:29 PM
Sorry , but no beer is obscene and barbaric.:mad:

I think we start there as our common ground for this new contest. :)

Maybe you have to drink x beers per hour throughout the cook?

roksmith
12-13-2011, 03:32 PM
You could probably take care of most of what you are looking for by prohibiting electricity and gas. Burning charcoal isn't that much different than burning wood, but doing it without electricity for temp control makes it interesting enough. Also no electricity for heating sauce or the like. .. Actually sounds a lot like my first couple of years competing.

kihrer
12-13-2011, 03:40 PM
I'd say if you're going to do a throwback comp, you should go back to the earlier American heritage of BBQ - not all the way back to the caveman. I think maybe only back as far as the 1930's to the 1960s (yes I know BBQ has been around much longer than that). The stuff of Jack Mixon and Big Bob Gibson. No thermometers or thermapens. No Injections. Just a man and his pit. I think it would make for a fun comp. It would be tough to find the right venue as some might want to dig their pits and even the brick pits aren't going to be set up on asphalt. Oh, and beer was a big part of that as well!

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:42 PM
You could probably take care of most of what you are looking for by prohibiting electricity and gas. Burning charcoal isn't that much different than burning wood, but doing it without electricity for temp control makes it interesting enough. Also no electricity for heating sauce or the like. .. Actually sounds a lot like my first couple of years competing.

Good point. Like I said, I could go either way on charcoal so I'd be fine with using it (I use it). But if the line was drawn that precluded my use of an insulated firebox, I'd be okay with that too for the sake of this discussion. That being said, I'm not giving mine up anytime soon.

mking7
12-13-2011, 03:44 PM
I'd say if you're going to do a throwback comp, you should go back to the earlier American heritage of BBQ - not all the way back to the caveman. I think maybe only back as far as the 1930's to the 1960s (yes I know BBQ has been around much longer than that). The stuff of Jack Mixon and Big Bob Gibson. No thermometers or thermapens. No Injections. Just a man and his pit. I think it would make for a fun comp. It would be tough to find the right venue as some might want to dig their pits and even the brick pits aren't going to be set up on asphalt.

Ya, as we've talked through it on this thread I think this would be the best idea. Meat, salt, pepper, sticks and 3 matches....do your thing.

Bentley
12-13-2011, 04:07 PM
Being able to tend a fire doesn't mean that you can cook good que. The good cook is the one who has mastered his tools of choice to turn out the best product he can.


And a great reason why any fuel scorce should be allowed.

Now granted, I believe KCBS mission statements reads something to the effect that they wish to promote traditional Low n Slow which they define as wood, lump & charcoal and pellets.

I dont cook with pellets because it is easy, it is and it is a nice benifit. I cook with 100% Hardwood because it gives me the flavor I want.

BasicPatrick
12-13-2011, 04:20 PM
A comp like this would require a few more rules. No injections or chemicals of any kind is a no brainer.

Flavor Gangster
12-13-2011, 05:38 PM
you and I should talk. I like it. pellets are nice and work great but they remind me of rabbit turds not cooking fuel.
A lot of teams use them and do well. It is a handicap hands down. It is much easier to manage your cook with digital assistance. The purity of bbq is wood from the earliest days. We should have a category at least.
I am all for it.

Flavor Gangster
12-13-2011, 05:40 PM
Blend your own spices and make your own sauce while your at it. sauce can be optional, for real.

Rich Parker
12-13-2011, 05:45 PM
I would like to compete in a comp that allows people to cook on whatever they want including propane and electricity. I want to know where my q ranks with everyone and let them use whatever they feel the most comfortable cooking on.

Cloudsmoker
12-13-2011, 05:50 PM
Interesting thread. I could sure see a stick burner only category.

Pappy Q
12-13-2011, 06:16 PM
The difficulty of burning sticks in a Jambo isn't rocket surgery.

Have you tried it?

Rub
12-13-2011, 07:30 PM
I would like to compete in a comp that allows people to cook on whatever they want including propane and electricity. I want to know where my q ranks with everyone and let them use whatever they feel the most comfortable cooking on.
It's called the "Best of the Best" and is a national invitational held on time-change weekend (fall back) in south GA every year. This year's GC and RGC cooked on charcoal and wood pits (Stump's and Lang) :wink:

There is already a sanctioning body down here in central FL doing what the OP was referring to: http://www.bricksandsticksbbq.com/pb/wp_cd0f7feb/wp_cd0f7feb.html
From their home page: "Welcome to Bricks and Sticks BBQ Association.
At Bricks and Sticks, we belive in the pitmasters of days gone by. With our competitions,the true bbq cooking methods and cooks are highlighted. Our primary rule is no electric or gas is allowed in any type of cooker. Fuel will be charcoal and/or wood only. Self substaining fires are the only cook method allowed. No electric plates, fans, thermostats,ect."

Curly Tails
12-14-2011, 06:48 AM
We compete in a couple of strickly backyard contest each year. Nothing but stick burners. No electricity to run guru's or any temp controllers. You might be able to find a local contest like that or even put one together. I have seen a couple of eggs show up though. I absolutely love cooking on stickburners, I felt I was selling out when we switched to a insulated cooker. Im all for it a few times per year, but more than that and I will gladly swollow my pride for a nice nights sleep.

Lake Dogs
12-14-2011, 07:28 AM
you could probably take care of most of what you are looking for by prohibiting electricity and gas. Burning charcoal isn't that much different than burning wood, but doing it without electricity for temp control makes it interesting enough. Also no electricity for heating sauce or the like. .. Actually sounds a lot like my first couple of years competing.

m b n

TooSaucedToPork
12-14-2011, 08:45 AM
m b n

MBN allows propane to start the fire, not to cook with.
MBN allows electric stokers
MBN allows electricity to be used to heat sauces.

MBN has the same rules as KCBS as far as fuel goes...Charcoal or wood...that includes pellets

Fat Woody
12-14-2011, 09:07 AM
Wasn't there a comp somewhere in PA last year along these lines? Seems like I remember a thread here...?

INmitch
12-14-2011, 10:14 AM
Wasn't there a comp somewhere in PA last year along these lines? Seems like I remember a thread here...?
I don't know if it happened or not but I remeber the thread. I just remember thinking how tired my wife will be after cranking the rotisserie all night.:heh:

Tack
12-14-2011, 07:09 PM
Yes it did happen it was the Go Naked BBQ comp.

ClayHill
12-14-2011, 07:26 PM
Yes it did happen it was the Go Naked BBQ comp.

Yep...it was last spring and put on by Eric Forrester of Mason Dixon BBQ Services. Not sure if its a go again or not....it went over well(no electric anything or gas)

Flavor Gangster
12-14-2011, 08:12 PM
Being able to tend a fire doesn't mean that you can cook good que. The good cook is the one who has mastered his tools of choice to turn out the best product he can.
:thumb:Yes, master your equipment, but mastering the set it and forget it mode of a pellet cooker or guru does not prove you as Barbecue purist or craftsman either. Yes, I love technology, I work with it daily in the food business.

Although, I still believe some of us out there feel otherwise sometimes when it comes to this subject about wood cookers.

Being able to cook good barbecue with pure wood is a skillset that nobody can take away from you. You can not argue that. We all know where Q originated from and how it got here. Yes it has evolved.
I just woudl like to list the skillset of an experienced wood cooker. "That doesn't need electricity when showing up to cook"

-You have to know how old your wood is, where it came from, was it from a live tree or downed tree.
-How it burns in your cooker.
-When to smoke and when to roast. How to roast without over smoking.
-Control your cook cycle. Don't cook like housewives with timers and beepers. If for some reason the pressure or temperature outside is different, how you adjust.
-Having data on all of this controling your cook cycle with your meat.

Is it better? Maybe not, that is not what I am saying. Just think there should be room for some more categorization in Q comps down the road.

Like a maybe a from scratch comp. No pre-maid seasonings or sauces. How does that prove anything. If a seasoning wins with multiple teams it has proven itself to be genrally excepted. Great. Yes, I know they want to sell more, thats business, But can you honestly say you pleased the judge and satisfied your ego with a flavor system you purchased. Just keep patting yourself on the back after that win. :thumb:

I will leave you with this: Kinda like Nascar. You have Trucks, Sprint Cup and Nationwide. All different vehicles. All different races. All different skills but similar.
Anyway, thats my two cents.:hand:

Flavor Gangster
12-14-2011, 08:32 PM
woops. Someone delete one, my computer froze up.

RangerJ
12-15-2011, 04:03 PM
Have you tried it?

Yes, and its not...

I would bet there are multiple threads in multiple BBQ sites that suggest the same thing, No Electricty, No Pellets, etc.

These are things that have been added to make life / cooking easier. I would venture to guess 90% of the competitors out there did not come out of the gate using a blower or a pellet smoker.

Most of us, were pretty damn cooks on 55 gallon drums, offsets, open flame, etc. before we ventured into this very expensive hobby.

I'll take the Pepsi challenge, just tell me when and where.

Pappy Q
12-15-2011, 05:05 PM
Yes, and its not...

I would bet there are multiple threads in multiple BBQ sites that suggest the same thing, No Electricty, No Pellets, etc.

These are things that have been added to make life / cooking easier. I would venture to guess 90% of the competitors out there did not come out of the gate using a blower or a pellet smoker.

Most of us, were pretty damn cooks on 55 gallon drums, offsets, open flame, etc. before we ventured into this very expensive hobby.

I'll take the Pepsi challenge, just tell me when and where.


If you are directing comments to me, you're right it's so easy in my Jambo that even I can do it. I just fill it full of wood turn on the switch and go to bed.....not sure what kind of challenge you want but I'll be your huckleberry.

RangerJ
12-15-2011, 05:44 PM
I've tried it,as was your original question that I quoted., its not rocket science or brain surgery. Pretty responsive pit, No? A bit easier to manage than a Brinkman offset I'd say. Your mileage of course may vary.

My comments, other than that one were in general. This debate goes on quite often. Sticks vs Pellets, Electric vs No Electric, etc.

My point, is most of the folks here were cooking with out the current "aids" prior to deciding to plug something in.

That being said, if the rules say its legal, go for it.

As for the challenge, if there was a contest, stick burner, start your own fire, kill your own meat, whatever, I'm in.

AZScott
12-15-2011, 06:09 PM
Eh, give a good team an offset, a quick lesson on how to bring it to temp and maintain that temp, a practice session and I almost guarantee that team will do well. There is a LOT more to competition BBQ than maintaining the pit temperature.

Kit R
12-15-2011, 07:14 PM
Yep...it was last spring and put on by Eric Forrester of Mason Dixon BBQ Services. Not sure if its a go again or not....it went over well(no electric anything or gas)

I talked to Eric about it and it's definitely a go for 2012. It was a lot of fun even if the weather was miserable (37F and rain). The best part of that comp was re-affirming that I could cook on my WSMs without the Guru. Point being that I can, just choose not to. And the 3rd place trophy for ribs was pretty nice (framed tighty whities).

CBQ
12-15-2011, 10:30 PM
How about a "new school" contest that only allows cookers that can either fuel themselves, have built in web servers, or can send twitter messages? :mrgreen:

bbqfun
12-16-2011, 09:10 AM
While we are at it why not just cook (1) brisket, (1) butt, (1) rack of ribs and (6) pieces of chicken.