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Hozman
01-10-2012, 01:17 PM
Thinking about putting a team together for this up coming season. See how our food really stands up.

1. How many are on an average team?

2. Looking for any general advise or consideration I/we need to think about before getting started.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Lake Dogs
01-10-2012, 01:37 PM
1. Depends on the sanctioning body. KCBS, the average is probably down around 2.5. A few others where whole hog might be involved you're looking at 4-8.

2. Refer to above. What would you enjoy cooking? Do you prefer just having some fun, or do you prefer the thrill of the competition? Some folks prefer unsanctioned comps; others want the level of competition and the standards provided by a sanctioning body.

I suggest going to a competition or two and watching closely. If you have the opportunity, volunteer to judge.

Otherwise, practice, practice, and then practice. Read the rules carefully. Then have a plan (things to pack, times to do things, etc). When practicing, practice with/to a fixed turn-in time.

First and foremost, have fun.

Hozman
01-10-2012, 03:46 PM
2 people per team?? How much fun is that? We were think 5-6. That would help with cost of meat and most important beer. Looking to just have fun. We do some small sanctioned stuff but mostly looking to be with friends and do something we all enjoy.

GreenDrake
01-10-2012, 04:10 PM
Too many chiefs in the kitchen leads to disagreement. Unless you each want to be the owner of the specific category, you are still going to get opinions from other cooks on your team. On our team, there is just two of us, having fun, loving to cook and that's it. form a couple teams. The last team I was on with four of us, there was not enough pitch in from others, expertise or carrying the load from a team standpoint, I just grew frustrated with not being on the same page and wanting to practice to get our methods down and win, not just wing it.

After leaving my last team and starting to cook with a friend, we took home five ribbons last year and are still practicing as much as possible to hopefully get us some hardware this year.

jrbBBQ
01-10-2012, 04:40 PM
I cook by myself and usually bring at least one other person to help with load in/load out, making boxes and running. I like to be the one making the decisions on the cooking, that way if anything goes wrong, I have no one to blame but myself and to me, it makes the satisfaction of getting a call that much better. I had a few calls last year in my first year of cooking competition bbq and it was great. If the contest is within an hour of my home, I sometimes have friends show up to hang out and drink beer with, but while they are there, I always try to keep them busy :heh: If you are thinking about involving other people in the cooking; I'd have them cook thier own categories without stepping on their toes and expect the same from them. Just remember that if you nail your categories and they screw up one of thiers, you cant be mad that it may have cost you GC or RGC.

Podge
01-10-2012, 05:17 PM
if you go just to have a good time.. 5-10 people.. if you want to go and be serious.. 1-2..

TooSaucedToPork
01-10-2012, 06:07 PM
Thinking about putting a team together for this up coming season. See how our food really stands up.

1. How many are on an average team?

2. Looking for any general advise or consideration I/we need to think about before getting started.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Depends on you.

We have about 6-8 people on our team for KCBS contests. Some people take a catagory, some are there to run boxes, some are there to have fun.

We have about 10-14 people on our team for smaller MBN contests. Some people take a catagory and have an assistant, some are there to run boxes, some are there to have fun and party.

At Memphis in May we had 85 or so people on the team:shocked:...thats right 85. While only 12 of us cooked the competition food, the rest took turns cooking for the team and guests, prep, box running, bartending, security, and clean up. Its a huge undertaking and takes alot of money to throw that big of a party. So its all up to you, do what works, and don't let the drama tear you apart.



As far as advice, go to the library and check out some competition bbq books. If you can take a class, do so. Search youtube for instructional videos. Review some of the threads on here. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

Neil

jrbBBQ
01-11-2012, 12:53 AM
Depends on you.

We have about 10-14 people on our team for smaller MBN contests. Some people take a catagory and have an assistant, some are there to run boxes, some are there to have fun and party.

Neil

What I like and dislike about MBN. You can only have 20 teams at a comp, but potentially be competing against 59 other people. Theoretically you can be on one team, but if you have seperate cooks on your team for each category, you can all make the finals and be competing against each other.

Crash
01-11-2012, 03:02 AM
To stay competitive, I think a team needs 4 or less teammates. Lord knows enough friends will show up to "help", which actually means sitting around and clogging up your cooking/prep/boxing areas.

The comment by Greendrake, "Too many chiefs in the kitchen leads to disagreement" is a wise statement.

If you really don't care about results and truly want to have fun...skys the limit.

wyocurt
01-11-2012, 05:32 AM
We were a team of three but one person did'nt want to practice lot so I had to get rid of him. You can still have fun when you practice and learn a lot each and every time you do something. So I thing 2 is a good number. It is true you always have plenty around just to do odds and ends. :-D

NRA4Life
01-11-2012, 06:08 AM
Just me and my wife on our team, and since we just had a baby in October, I'll be a 1 man team this year just as I was for the last 2 comps I did in 2011. If you want to make it a party, get all the team mates that you want, but as you get more serious your team size will likely decrease.

jcpetro97
01-11-2012, 10:41 AM
I am doing my first comp in May, and while its a single entry event, I only have one other person. From walking around the local KCBS/NEBS comp we have here, I noticed that the teams were mostly between 2-4 people. I don't recall seeing any more than that.

TooSaucedToPork
01-11-2012, 11:18 AM
What I like and dislike about MBN. You can only have 20 teams at a comp, but potentially be competing against 59 other people. Theoretically you can be on one team, but if you have seperate cooks on your team for each category, you can all make the finals and be competing against each other.

Yup - Ribs, Shoulder, Whole Hog - I've seen teams sweep the contest and walk away with some coin. I've also seen teams win Whole Hog and Shoulder and be beaten on the GC by a team that only entered Ribs. Any Given Saturday...

plus there are bonus contests like Sauce, Wings, Sidedish, Exotic, Poultry, Beef, Beans, Slaw, Margarita, Bloody Mary, Dessert...etc

MBN and KCBS both have their pros and cons...

CMALANGA
01-11-2012, 11:51 AM
We have 2 people. Three would be ideal, but two seems to work. I wouldn't judge your food "standing-up" based on competitions. The backyard and competition, at least for our team has been very different. Even the small amount of catering we have done has had very little or nothing to do with what we do in competition. A question though: If your not looking to win, why compete? Many times as I'm sitting huddled in a trailer to stay out of 60 mph winds and horizontal rain I'll think " next time save the money and host a party at home." Good luck out there.

AZScott
01-11-2012, 11:58 AM
Thinking about putting a team together for this up coming season. See how our food really stands up.

1. How many are on an average team?

2. Looking for any general advise or consideration I/we need to think about before getting started.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

When you say, "See how our food really stands up." who is our? That should be the team. If it's "your" I would find a close friend that can take you barking orders at them and not being polite at all times.

Our team is my wife and I and I wouldn't really have it any other way. She has a great palette and she also knows exactly when to pull the ribs. It's also helped us have a common goal and passion which I believe has made us a much better couple than we were before. :thumb:

One other thing I enjoy about having a small team is that we wander a lot more than large teams that tend to hang out by themselves. Getting to know many of the people in BBQ has been a blessing I didn't even think of when we first started.

Stoke&Smoke
01-11-2012, 12:03 PM
One other thing I enjoy about having a small team is that we wander a lot more than large teams that tend to hang out by themselves. Getting to know many of the people in BBQ has been a blessing I didn't even think of when we first started.

+1 on that!

gooose53
01-11-2012, 12:10 PM
There's always two side of a coin. Having fun is always somethings we strive for. But having fun doesn't mean having 10 people drinking and hollaring until 3am in the morning. If your next to me I'll get a little ticked and might come over and say something. Still have fun but not so that your bothering the teams next to you. Money and how you split and who buys what. Big question and one where I pay for everything and I keep the any winnings. KCBS comps are expensive....you buy the meat and then you have the entry fees. You can spend $500 easy without batting much of an eyelash.

slowerlowerbbq
01-11-2012, 12:57 PM
^^^^What Gooose said...

We are a team of 2 or 5 depending on how you look at it. My buddy, Mike, and myself are the cooks, we buy everything and develop all the recipes and procedures. Our friend, Ron, usually brings the RV and does dishes as well as the occasional box run. My wife and daughter build and run the boxes. This has worked out really well for us and everyone has a great time. As for our core team of 2, we could and have competed as just the 2 of us and if required, each of us could probably cook alone. We have done a lot of practicing and have a real solid time line and recipes. But, I would not add any more cooks...EVER. That said, it's always great to have the extra hands on Saturday during turn ins. And they know to stand back when we're prepping boxes. Good luck if you decide to do it, you'll have a blast!!

71-South
01-11-2012, 04:18 PM
We were a team of three but one person did'nt want to practice lot so I had to get rid of him.

Did you pull it off? Did you make it look like an accident? I knew that competitions were high stress, but dang! Poor farker...

Smoke'n Ice
01-11-2012, 04:42 PM
Wife and I only. Occassionaly kid to run boxes. Any more would be way too much. I do the cooking, wife does the boxes and assists in selecting turnin pieces and placement. Flavor profile is done at home long before comp. Costs are figured as $1,000 per contest as we leave the driveway. This includes meats, beverages, gas for car, equipment depreciation, entry fees, etc. If anyone says less, then they forgot how much the smoker cost, how much the awning cost, how much the trailer cost, etc. Figure everything with a realistic price in mind and you might come close. Also, one other cost that we factor in is labor cost for the restaruant when we are gone.

Sauced!
01-11-2012, 05:47 PM
If you use the forum search you will see tons of threads with all kinds of good info on the ins and outs of starting a bbq team. enjoy!

Hub
01-12-2012, 07:41 AM
I'd say the most common team size (KCBS) is 4 and that specializing for each entry is fairly common (designated cook for chicken, ribs, pork and brisket) but not necessary. What is necessary is that one person be the head cook and be designated decision-maker for issues that will affect all entries. This isn't that formal and you can still have a lot of fun, being as serious as you want to be.

Hub

bam
01-12-2012, 11:10 AM
Buy this book written by George Hensler of who are those guys bbq team a bbq brethren.Our team is Jr and I sometimes wife helps with box prep an as a runner.

http://www.startinthefire.com/

BBQ Nuts
01-12-2012, 11:34 PM
we did our first comps last year and had 3 on our team. it worked out well for us. everybody had stuff to do but you also had some free time to socialize with the other teams.

Brew-B-Q
01-13-2012, 06:12 AM
I think 2 is the ideal number. Now, I mean total. I hear people say they cook solo and then add that someone builds and runs boxes. Thats not cooking solo, in my opinion. Ive cooked solo and prefer the help. Having one other person is all I want. Help with load in/out, build boxes, run boxes, conversation on long drives. I pay for everything and keep all the winnings. I will buy taco bell for dan if we do well, but that's about it.

dreed
01-13-2012, 08:48 PM
We use three, it just helps with set-up, breakdown. transporting the equipment, and of course the cost of comps split three ways is easier on a new team starting out that may not realize too much winnings. By the way the cost for the team to compete locally is about 700-800 a weekend.

SirPorkaLot
01-13-2012, 09:01 PM
It is my son and I. My wife comes by Saturday mornings and does the boxes.

Wouldn't want more people than that.

The biggest tip I can offer any new team.

Do a full practice at home, from load-in to load-out.
Use exact same turn-in times, cook all categories.

Write everything down!

When you get the timing figured out to your liking, jot it all down on recipe card.

When it is 7am and you are delirious from babysitting the cooker, or too excited to sleep (first few comps can do that), and you are not sure which way to turn.

Find that card, follow it to a Tee

Brewer
01-13-2012, 10:27 PM
We currently have 2 on our team and looking at taking on a green 3rd this season. It works for our team right now. It would be nice to have an extra hand here and there but keeping it small allows us to spend more time getting sh*t faced with friends.

Muzzlebrake
01-14-2012, 08:29 AM
buy and read this book, Startin' The Fire (http://startinthefire.com/), written by Brother George (I forget what his screenname is). It is a great way to get ahead of the curve for anyone starting out.

Pack-A-Smokes
01-15-2012, 09:22 AM
We started out with just my wife and I, then I invited a couple of friends to hang out and they loved it. Our team now consists of two couples and one single. There are three of us that cook. We all have input as to flavors and how to box the meat. This will be our fourth year and second as our team stands now. Has worked out great for us, but I have seen teams our size have issues.

Smokin' Hicks
01-15-2012, 09:44 AM
i have done both KCBS events and STL BBQ Society events and the teams seem to be in the 2-4 range for KCBS but in STL BBQ events it really seems like the average is more in the 8-12 range