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View Full Version : Thinking of competing... a couple of questions for the vets


Jaskew82
02-02-2012, 03:04 PM
So I have been back and forth about competing and lately the thing that scares me most is the initial investment needed along with the costs for each comp.

I have a stumps baby, 22.5 WSM and 22.5 OTG so I should be able to cook everything on them. That said, I don't have a tent, bins, etc. In general, what do you think my initial investment would be to get everything I would need?

Additionally, what do you spend per comp on meats (I have RD membership), fees, etc?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

moocow
02-02-2012, 03:12 PM
We spend $125 in meat an contests. We buy rubs and sauce in bulk for the whole season but I would think it is around $40 for those if you didn't. We use around $7 worth of foil and foil pans and another $6 in paper towels.We also spend around $30 in ice. I know thats not everything but it adds up fast!

mobow
02-02-2012, 03:23 PM
About the same as moocow maybe a little less on ice. Other things you would need is a ez-up $150.00. Couple of chairs, coolers if you don't already have them $100.00. Folding table $50.00. Fire extinguisher $75.00. That could get you close to a first time and could build from there if you enjoyed it. keith

TooSaucedToPork
02-02-2012, 03:41 PM
So I have been back and forth about competing and lately the thing that scares me most is the initial investment needed along with the costs for each comp.

I have a stumps baby, 22.5 WSM and 22.5 OTG so I should be able to cook everything on them. That said, I don't have a tent, bins, etc. In general, what do you think my initial investment would be to get everything I would need?

Additionally, what do you spend per comp on meats (I have RD membership), fees, etc?

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Tent - Dicks has EZups on sale right now...Found one for $67.00 normally $119
Couple good camp chairs
Sleeping bag, perhaps a cot
Couple folding tables for prep, storage, box building..etc
Fire Extinguisher
Foil
Foil Pans
Rubs
Sauces
Raw meat cooler
Cooked meat cooler
Beer and liquour cooler (could be same as above)
Hot meat cooler or CAMBRO
Set of good knives
Electric knife or large sharp 14' or larger knife (for brisket)
Latex or Nitrile gloves
Radio (optional but silence drives us nuts)
Shovel (for ash and coal)
Chimney (don't use no lighter fluid)
Trailer or large truck (or both)
Meat - Chicken 18-22 Pieces
Ribs - 2-4 racks
Brisket - 2 packers
Butts - 2
Thermopen or other reliable thermometer
Alcohol pads (or raw therm and cooked therm) to prevent cross contamination
3 rubbermaid tubs for wash water
Way to heat wash water
bottle of bleach
roll of TP
2 rolls paper towels
snacks
Entry fees
Misting bottles
Silicone mops
Charcoal
wood
burn bucket (for ashes)

This is off the top of my head...I know I'm forgeting stuff

boogiesnap
02-02-2012, 03:44 PM
50 on charcoal
60 ribs
30 butts
40 brisket
25 chicken
50 ice
40 beers
prolly 50 in rub and sauce
250 entry fee
25 foil/pans etc.
50 food for the week-end
20 water
on and on and on. :help:

SirPorkaLot
02-02-2012, 03:45 PM
When i set up my team in 2009, I spent well over 1,000 getting ready for the first comp. This did NOT include the costs of the comp, meat etc..
That also did not include buying any cookers (I used what i had)

If the contest is local, I budget 600-700 (entry fee, meats, beer, fuel, etc.). If is is farther way, then add in fuel, lodging, etc.

dmprantz
02-02-2012, 04:00 PM
In case no one has it figured out, I'm pretty analytical and anal about some things, so I have a comp budget. In this budget, my expenses are broken down into four categories:

Bulk Items: Whatever I buy for multiple contests at a time. while I tend to spend more, I would estimate about $100 for you to do one comp, give or take. If you already have some of these items, such as your rub, yours could be less.

Entry Fee: Depends on the comp and is self explainitory.

Per Comp Costs: I estimate $325 per competition. This includes meat, food to eat, adult beverages, garnish, and whatever else I buy and use for that comp.

Gas: I drive a V8 SUV pulling a trailer and have to put in mid-grade gas. I use Mapques to determine how far away from my house the comp is and then budget in $0.45 per mile. That's one way miles, so it could be $0.22 per mile driven, but the $0.45 figure accounts for stops, WalMart runs, etc. Again, it's a budget forecast.

That should be a good start for you, but you may have to tweak it to your situation. You may not buy as much meat as I do, or may buy more expensive cuts or may use more charcoal, or less, different gas/diesel, etc, etc, etc.

As for the equipment, I have no idea because it has taken me years to acquire what I have and a lot of "I should buy X" moments. I would suggest you find or make a packing checklist and go through what you have and what you would need to buy. Price it out on Amazon, etc. To replace what I have would cost over a thousand dollars. You certainly don't need it all though....

dmp

Stoke&Smoke
02-02-2012, 04:14 PM
About the same as moocow maybe a little less on ice. Other things you would need is a ez-up $150.00. Couple of chairs, coolers if you don't already have them $100.00. Folding table $50.00. Fire extinguisher $75.00. That could get you close to a first time and could build from there if you enjoyed it. keith

unless you are fairly short, you'll want to buy 1 or 2 10' sections of PVC pipe a little larger than the diameter of your table legs so you can raise the table height to a level comfortable for you to work on.

I'm 6'6" and cut mine to be about 18" long, but experiment to see what works for you. This will save you enough in chiropractor bills to pay for the rest of the stuff you need

"Bone to Bark" BBQ
02-02-2012, 04:46 PM
exactly how do you position the pvc pipe on the table legs? do you just cut it to length and then stick them on the legs? How stable is the table when raised like that?

motoeric
02-02-2012, 04:52 PM
I would suggest picking up a copy of Startin' The Fire by George Hensler. It's an excellent 'how to start competing' book. Well worth the money for anyone thinking about joining the comp circuit.

Eric

Ron_L
02-02-2012, 05:01 PM
exactly how do you position the pvc pipe on the table legs? do you just cut it to length and then stick them on the legs? How stable is the table when raised like that?

Yes, stick the end of the leg into the pipe. Mine is very stable.

smoke-n-my-i's
02-02-2012, 05:42 PM
Yes, the table leg extensions are a back saver....

another tip.... get you some scrap pieces of 1/4", 3/8", 3/4" plywood and cut into abt 4" square pieces... they are great for leveling the tables, etc on uneven ground or pavement. I carry abt a dozen of each size.

Ron_L
02-02-2012, 06:34 PM
Yes, the table leg extensions are a back saver....

another tip.... get you some scrap pieces of 1/4", 3/8", 3/4" plywood and cut into abt 4" square pieces... they are great for leveling the tables, etc on uneven ground or pavement. I carry abt a dozen of each size.

A package of wood shims are also helpful for leveling since they are tapered.

Jaskew82
02-02-2012, 07:10 PM
Thank you guys very much.

rlncookinbbq
02-02-2012, 07:23 PM
Here is what I got, 9500$ motor home 2500 for cook trailer,tables, work bench knives thermo pen lawn chairs coolers 500$. Then the fuel meat aand if you want to even get close to a call ,a $5oo cook class. So you should budget around 14,000 to get started. Ive been the route,and dont regret any of it. Just sayin RLN COOKIN

boogiesnap
02-02-2012, 07:45 PM
Here is what I got, 9500$ motor home 2500 for cook trailer,tables, work bench knives thermo pen lawn chairs coolers 500$. Then the fuel meat aand if you want to even get close to a call ,a $5oo cook class. So you should budget around 14,000 to get started. Ive been the route,and dont regret any of it. Just sayin RLN COOKIN

:roll:

i've gotten trophies in all 3 of my KCBS contests including an RGC.

i drive an xterra, cook on 2 WSM'S under 1 caravan canopy, and have never taken a cooking or BBQ class.

BC Squared
02-02-2012, 08:49 PM
You don't need a 500 dollar class to get calls, we've gotten plenty without spending money on a class. I'll tell you how for a $500 fee....LOL!

boogiesnap
02-02-2012, 08:55 PM
i should say though...i am shopping a class. nobody knows everything and it's great to learn.

jbrink01
02-02-2012, 09:08 PM
You would be amazed at who takes classes. We can ALL learn. I have $100,000 in BBQ and Catering stuff. Best contest investment was a $7500 used toyhauler. Comfortable ROCKS! $1000 a weekend, average.

boogiesnap
02-02-2012, 10:03 PM
You would be amazed at who takes classes. We can ALL learn. I have $100,000 in BBQ and Catering stuff. Best contest investment was a $7500 used toyhauler. Comfortable ROCKS! $1000 a weekend, average.

wouldn't surprise me at all.

some of the smartest people in the world are perpetual students.

i was only suggesting you don't NEED to take a class or those other ammenities to get a call or two and have some fun.

speedrcer1
02-02-2012, 10:21 PM
If you have a tow vehicle, a U-Haul trailer is a good cheap transport idea. About $20 a day. Get the biggest your vehicle will tow. Why? Good shelter!
And no mileage charge, other than the MPG penalty.
I will say, the Long Island Williepalozza is a fun, casual, low pressure comp. Not a bad start. Under 90 mins without traffic for you.

BigBellyBBQ
02-03-2012, 11:00 AM
Here is what I got, 9500$ motor home 2500 for cook trailer,tables, work bench knives thermo pen lawn chairs coolers 500$. Then the fuel meat aand if you want to even get close to a call ,a $5oo cook class. So you should budget around 14,000 to get started. Ive been the route,and dont regret any of it. Just sayin RLN COOKIN
well said here for starters and try not to think about it as it gets worse
!!!! however you shake it, what ever you can afford is what it is all about, as it has been fun, streesssfull and then fun and it really feels good when you get that call!!

lcbateman3
02-03-2012, 12:13 PM
When we first started we borrowed a lot of things, tables, tents, etc.

We have slowly purchased everything. We use to clean coolers and swap them over to hold in coolers.

Now we have a 7x16 trailer, two cambros, two 150 qt coolers, a 45 qt Yeti, Tables, two pop up tents etc. The best thing I can say is we paid cash for everything we have got. Haven't used a credit card yet. If you have friends that have the things, see if you can borrow, then give them left overs...thats what we did.

We average about 1000 a comp between meats, contest costs, seasonings and rubs, ice, fuel, etc.

PeppermonkeyBBQ
02-03-2012, 06:15 PM
Sounds like you are over the big hurdle, you have something to cook on! We started with the bare minimum. A large Big Green Egg, a small Big Green Egg, and a weber grill. We had one EZ up and a table. Our first comp the heat index was 118 deg and we were wondering just what we had gotten ourselves into. No calls, and out $500. For some reason ... we were still hooked! Decided comfort would make it more enjoyable and got an RV toy hauler trailer. Added a couple more Big Green Eggs after a few comps.

Bottom line, you can make do with next to nothing if you have cookers. But you'll be hooked once you start and once you start getting calls and have experienced BBQ teams complimenting you. So plan to start simple, but know you'll soon be expanding! We spend about $800 per competition, and have yet to profit, but we have broke even on entry fee and food expenses. Start simple, have fun, expand, have more fun!

Joel M

QueNivorous
02-04-2012, 01:28 PM
Looking at the list of equipment you show you must be cooking BBQ now. You have what it takes so you just need to make the jump. What you aquire as you compete is a gradual process so it's relatively painless. I've seen teams cook on some pretty basic stuff and have just as much (or more) fun than teams with $X00,000 motor homes, fancy pits, and Wagu briskets. Just enter a competition and see what happens.