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BBQchef33
08-22-2005, 11:53 PM
Good points. I will get extremely bored on Friday afternoon once all is set up if I'm not doing something so I'll plan to cook anyway. Just ribs and chicken and some fatties. My "down time" will probably come from the time I get recreational meat on until around 6pm. Then I'm quite farkin sure I'll be running on adrenaline. We'll also sit around and have a few beers and take in the sights and sounds and visit with other cooks until time to fire up and get the butts and briskets in.


guys, i did not read the whole thread, just stopped when i got to that quoted above.

jeff, answer these questions.

what time are you goin to rub the brisket, what time are you putting the chiken in a brine or marinade?, what time will u put the ribs in the cooker, how much rest time do want for individual meats in the cooler, if your brining and rubbing, what tim edoes it go in the brine, out of the brine, and into the rub... Do you know the answer to these within an hour? thats what you need to be thinkin about, not how to feed the family and friends. Figure these things out, lay out a timeline for each catagory and watch 25 hours from 12PM friday to 1PM satureday just disappear. You ARE NOT going to have alot of free time, and if you do, your not doing something, or doing something wrong.

I always bring extra meat for family, i rarely find time to cook it and wind up bringing it back home. The experienced teams, with the best equipment and fully stocked kitchen that they just drive up, plug in water and electric and they are done.. they have down time. You will spend a few hours setting up.

My first recommendation here is to skip the ribs, make some chicken(at 275-300) and burgers and bew done with the guests. You are gonna need every minute you have.

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 07:43 AM
Phil -

- Arriving at 8am and get meat checked.
- Setting up a table and pulling out conveniently packed brisket slather and rub and rubbing them no later than 9am. Wrap and put back on ice.
- Then immediately rub butts and cooler them also.
- 9:30 am: Continue to set up camp to be done before noon.
- 8:30 pm: Fire up cookers
- 9:00 pm: Get brisket on cooker
- 10:00 pm: Get butts on cooker and brine chicken
- 7:30 am: Get ribs in cooker and get chicken out of brine and rub... back in cooler.
- 8:30 am: Chicken in cooker? (not sure yet as I haven't done thighs yet. Will get a better idea this weekend)
- 9:30 am: Ribs to foil and back to cooker

Crap... No time to continue with this right now. Got a doctor appointment in 20 minutes. Anyway, I'm willing to hold off on the Brethren banner until next year if folks would rather. I don't want anyone to think I'm going to embarrass the group with my performance.

BrooklynQ
08-23-2005, 09:13 AM
That's a great schedule, but don't be surprised with a few delays. First the meat inspector. You'll be extrememly lucky if they inspect the meat that early. Two, watch out for the health department inspector. In CT, the health department was poking around and looking for all sorts of "violations". If memory serves, you need to have your site ready before you can begin to rub, brine, etc. By that I mean, you need your three sinks, your fire extingusher etc, up and available for inspection before you play with your meat.

Make sure you give yourself some windows. What are you gonna do if your brisket gets stuck? Or the ribs just aren't cooking the way you want? Always allow extra time for the prep work. How long does it take to wash the brine off and dry the chicken? At home - 15 minutes - at comp, using a bucket and hose maybe 30?

You will be busy most of the time. Yes there will be down time on Friday night, usually after the briskets and buts are on the fire. Not too much before. You will have time to have dinner and check out the other sites, but if you're planning to party, you're at the wrong event. Even with the Poohbah - dinner usually gets cooked only after his wife Sharon tells him that she and the kids are hungry. Focus on the competetion cook, not on the party, not your guests, not the spectators and you'll do fine.

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 09:27 AM
Fark! Now the doctor put me on stress meds for crissakes!!! Oh well, beats having a brain tumor.

I think I've mentioned numerous times before that I'm not planning to party. I'm bringing my five gallon keg of homebrew with me. I figure I'll sip on a beer or two while I'm working Friday afternoon and have one with dinner. Then, after the meat is on, I figure to have a couple while relaxing. I expect most of it will still be in the keg when turn in time comes. For some reason, I get the feeling the the general consensus here is that I'm doing this to party. Not true in the slightest. So, I hope that any advice anyone has to offer me (which I greatly appreciate) will focus on contest stuff and not reminding me not to party. I already said I'm going to this farker to win it, not waste my time!

BBQchef33
08-23-2005, 10:44 AM
You will be done setting up... maybe.. then you will say to yourself.. self... what do I do now? You have 4 catagories of meat to cook with a bullseye for the serving time.. that is not an easy task. It takes practice.

In a notebook create your timeline working backwards for each catagory.

Something like this...

Pork shoulder turn-in is at 1.
start pulling at 1230... after 3 hours cooler time, so........
in cooler at 9:30
8lb butt 1:30 lb.. 12 hours - in cooker at 930PM
need 3 hours dry rub - rub butt at 6:30 after 4 hours in marinade
butt must be in marinade by 2:30.

Butt:
marinade 2:30
Rub 6:30PM
cooker 9:30PM
cooler by 9:30AM
*************************
chicken:
chicken turn-in is at 12
start prep at 1130.
Done at 11:15am after 4 hours in cooker
goes in cooker at 7:15 after dry rub for 2 hours
rub at 5:15 after 8 hours in brine
Brine chicken at 9PM

Chicken:
Brine 9 PM
rub 5:15am
cooker 7:15am
hold and rest by 11:15am.

************************************************** **

This may seem simplistic, but believe me, you WILL be busy doing things. You will also get to points where you ask what you SHOULD be doing, instead of just doing. Refer to this so you know what MUST be done and When. My team is always busy.. but sometimes we are not doing what we should be doing. When rob said "what needs to be done?" , the answer is LOOK at the BOOK. Just to make sure you are not in a window where something should be brined, or rubbed and we missed it. Pork butt in at 9:30..its 8:45, is the fire started? chicken in Brines at 9PM? itss 8:45, is the brine prepared and vessels ready? In the past, we got distracted doing just "stuff" and we miss doing what we are suppose to be doing. You need that timeline to refer to.

On a side note.. everyone is drilling into your head to concentrate on the event, not the party. Dont misinterpert that.. it is RULE #1. it will be repeated again and again..As soon as you say, i bought beer, or I am cooking for friends, you just added a distraction and we will jump on it. For EVRY competition I have done. I reward myself at 1:35 with an ice cold one and a well earned rest.

At 10:30 this past sunday, Rob saw me changing my shirt to a Brethren Tee shirt and putting on the apron. i was not wearing either up until then. it was to hot. He questined that, said your putting that on now?

I looked at the apron and the shirt.. and all i can think of is...

"Battle Armor".

i found after a few events, at around 10:30, no matter how tired and whipped i am.. I enter a zone. When climbing up onto the trailer I felt like I was going into the ring. In the past that feeling was nervousness, and it showed in the frenzy during those 3 hours. That nervousness is giving way to confidence now. We arent perfectly synced up yet, but we are gettin much beter as a team. Gettin into that ring isnt nearly as nerve racking as it was last year. Although we didnt do as well with the judges this time, the peformance as a team jumped to a diferent level. That is more valuable than the trophy. The difference this time:

FOCUS. NO DISTRACTIONS. DOCUMENTED TIMELINES AND A SOLID PLAN. PERIOD. THAT WAS THE KEY.

All that being said... dont take it negativly when we guys say focus on the event. It IS why YOU are there.. if you mention here you are feeding friends, bringing a keg, etc.. I/We interpert that as distraction. They are not there to win, they are there to hangout and have fun. YOU are there to win. If this was NOT the American Royal, the responses would be, go have fun and get the feel. But its IS the American royal, So we're gonna whip you into shape differently than if it was the local backyard cooking contest.

chad
08-23-2005, 11:45 AM
Southern Brethren's checklist/timeline at Dillard was a four foot long laminated timeline from Thursday night setup to the 1:30 Saturday turnin - Printed in BOLD and checked frequently.

I walk around all Saturday morning (after meat is on/done/resting)saying 11:30 right? Noon for ribs, right? :D

Since Tim and I have been working at this for about a year we can even have a shrimp boil and a few beers on Friday evening. But we still get to bed and grab some sleep before the flag goes up. Alarm clocks, preloaded charcoal basket, etc. are at the ready for our scheduled start time - and we even cover the stuff with plastic to keep the dew off! :D

Jeff, what Phil said is solid - we've been there and have the bruises to show for it. Each one of us goes thru the stress of planning, reviewing, editing checklists, etc. Your stress "personality" will come to the fore - Tim stresses a lot differently than me - for example, I'll be checking the cooker and yakking (big surprise, huh!) with a video guy from NBBQA News - Tim walks over and "lurks" (which is tough to do since he's shorter than I am) trying to remind me about one of our "timeline" targets. :D

We are completely different but compliment each other as a team. I've got some food service experience in my background so I follow the "never let them see you sweat" school of competition. Even if something is truly and utterly screwed I brush it off and try to find somehing "ok" about it (overdone/underdone, etc) - Tim on the other hand get's pissed ("this taste like ..." :D) and we'll have a discussion about it (he rants and I tell him how good it really is!) - we then prep the box turn it in (knowing it's NOT going to please the judges) and go to the next box.

We also go into a funk after the last turn-in and with our record we stay in that funk until after awards and a couple of brews. Score sheets are read like an obituary. And this depression hangs with us for a day or two - every cookoff!

At Dillard we placed 8th in chicken (out of 58 teams) and my expression when getting the ribbon was right up there with when my doc tells me my lab results! The host said to me as I as walking up "hey, congratulations, this is a big deal." I said, quietly, "Yes sir, but a check would have been a lot nicer!" Ungracious, yep! But damn, it costs a lot of money to only get one farking ribbon! :twisted: And you know, I apologized to him, later. It was a great cook off but we busted the bank to get there and walked away with nothing but bills. On the other hand - other competitors came up to us and congratulated us and each one of them knew exactly why were down in the dumps.

Are we over it? You bet. We're already planning for Key Largo in November and have started the timeline - gotta pick up the briskets towards the end of September for them to age!! :D I'm going to start doing some serious work on our ribs (alway, always, always - overdone. Not necesarily fall off the bone but overdone every farkin' time!)

For the regulars on the circuit this stess is expected. We take this crap seriously - please don't misunderstand--we have fun but our definition of fun is walking the farking stage! Anything that distracts from the goal of gettng there is a distraction. We don't do ancillary events (anything butt, grits, trout, sausage, etc.) because we're not walking in the BIG FOUR and that's what pays the bills.

We definately visit the other sites - make new friends and hook up with other teams we've gotten to know - we skank food and site setup ideas, etc. etc. That's where we get our "fun" - it is like a big fraternity and it's amazing what you learn from the "brothers" around you. But - other than a "how you doing this morning" competition day is pretty focused - if the guys around me are sitting in the chair catching their breath we may kibutz a bit - but if they are at the pit or over at a table "messing with something I just wave and keep on walking.

I apologize for the length of this post - it's not intended as a rant. We have never intended (well, most of us!) to downplay or denigrate your excitement, enthusiasm, or palnning - it's just that a lot of us have been there and really want you to do well. Mentoring is a large part of competition - we ALL got help at one time or another from other competitors and from this group.

We don't want you to have to re-invent the wheel - we know our "advice" and "suggestion" sometimes sting - but man, I've going home from these things empty handed for almost a year. It SUCKS! :D I surely wish someone would give me the nugget that becomes the "silver bullet" and helps us place.

Heck, we get stung being counseled by the teams around us. They encourage us even when we are looking at sucking up $1000 weekend and tell us "only one year! Man, don't quit now...we quit competing for 2 years and cooked with.... until we felt ready to try it again!" Reality bites. You're going to the Big Show as far as BBQ cookoffs run - we want you just as prepared as we can get you. Not because you'll "embarass" us - heck you're paying for the abuse you'll take at the Royal - but because we really true care about you and your effort!

Well, that's enough ranting - I swore I wasn't going to post in these threads again since all I seem to do is piss you off.

Well, just be pissed! :D You're in for an adventure (even though you didn't appreciate the title on the other thread!) and we're trying to share the experience with you.

Nobody ever said mentoring via internet was easy! :mrgreen:

The_Kapn
08-23-2005, 12:20 PM
What David says--almost :lol:
Southern Brethren's checklist/timeline at Dillard was a four foot long laminated timeline from Thursday night setup to the 1:30 Saturday turnin - Printed in BOLD and checked frequently.
We could have done it in 3 feet, but it had huge print for us old Farts :lol:
Even had our sleep schedule on it.
We live by the time line--gonna mess up if you don't.
I'll be checking the cooker and yakking (big surprise, huh!) with a video guy from NBBQA News - Tim walks over and "lurks" (which is tough to do since he's shorter than I am) trying to remind me about one of our "timeline" targets.
I think what I said was "Shut the Fark up and cook", or words to that effect :twisted:
We are on a mission and that guy had enough footage already :twisted:
We don't want you to have to re-invent the wheel - we know our "advice" and "suggestion" sometimes sting - but man, I've going home from these things empty handed for almost a year. It SUCKS!
AMEN
Heck, we get stung being counseled by the teams around us. They encourage us even when we are looking at sucking up $1000 weekend and tell us "only one year! Man, don't quit now...we quit competing for 2 years and cooked with.... until we felt ready to try it again!" Reality bites.
Actually--over $1200 at Dillard, but who is counting anymore :twisted:

We have always received great advice and encouragement in person at the events and here on the Forum.
It is very difficult to do the "whole thing" over the internet, but it can be done if everyone works together.

We want you to succeed and will help all we can.
We have some highly experienced competetors here, including Champions of major events, reigning Team of the Year Champions of Regional sanctioning bodies (such as FBA), KCBS Reps, and at least 4 current or former members of the KCBS and FBA Board of Directors.
Probably more that I am not aware of.
When these Dudes talk and share, I personally take notes :wink:

But....it's really up to you.
We are here.

TIM

MoKanMeathead
08-23-2005, 12:31 PM
Alright here another side of the story. We go to contests to compete but MORE IMPORTANTLY we go to have fun - that means competing AND partying. While I agree 100% with the intenet of everypost in this thread you MUST be focused on what your are doing AND you have to have a WRITTEN plan. After that have fun!!

Here is where some will not agree but the Royal is as much a social event as it is a BBQ contest. You have never seen a party like the royal. We will have a DJ and between 20 to 30 people at our site on Friday night - all for one reason - to party and have fun. After the party we go back to being focused on the contest.

While the royal is a big party we treat every contest the same just to a lesser degree - no DJ and fewer people on Firday night. For us Friday is for the party but after the party it is all about the contest.

People do these contests for different resons but MOST want to win. There are teams that never party or even drink because they want to be focused on winning - for them they are having fun doing that. There are also teams that are there ONLY to party and competing seems to be secondary to them. The rest of us are somewhere in between. The fun part for us is entertaining friends and having a good time on Friday and then focusing on the contest. We have not won in two years (we do have a RGC and a couple of thirds) but we have never finished last either (at least not last overall). If we stop having fun we will quit.

After you do this for a while you will fall into a pattern that suits your particular reason for doing these contests, for us it is showing off our BBQing skills to our friends and family on Friday and competing on Saturday.

Just by $0.02

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 12:42 PM
Tim and Dave, I appreciate your thoughts and sharing of advice. I really do. The only thing I took exception with was the way the two or three threads were "moderated". I do feel like several of you here have gotten the idea that I'm going to party my ass off and not do my best. First off, at my age, I can't handle the partying like I used to. Secondly, my wife will be there helping out... and she wouldn't allow it anyway. Thirdly, I'm farkin HUGELY competitive. Hell, I used to take a couple of hours to get up and psyched for CHURCH LEAGUE softball games! Once I barrelled over a catcher at the plate and pissed him off over it. He said that wasn't necessary. I just turned around and told him this ain't little league and to deal with it or go play checkers. I also came back after five weeks and played after being out with a torn calf muscle. Doc said I wouldn't play again that year but when he said that, my first instinct was telling him "Bullchit I won't play!" I did five weeks later. The point is, I'm competitive. I can't help myself. I don't care who is there... once I walk onto the contest grounds, everyone who isn't on my team is the enemy. My goal is to figuratively barrel over everyone.

So... you can remind me of not partying too much if you feel like you need to but that won't be the problem. Apparently the problem is going to be getting my farkin turn in boxes just right to fit my perfectionist personality.

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 12:52 PM
Good points, Wayne. Some folks take it more seriously. I'm looking forward to having a FEW family and friends there for support as much as anything. As you mention, the Royal IS a huge social event, maybe one of the biggest of the year in all of Kansas City. To me, it's a bit of a status thing for friends and family to see you set up along side some of the best Q masters in the country. But more than friends and family just seeing my team set up with the big boys, the status / social part of it would increase by being able to say I placed and even won a ribbon. I think I'm in the "somewhere in between" category, leaning more towards the extreme serious part but not so much that I don't want have a few visitors on Friday night. I'm out to win, plain and simple. I don't care if I'd never competed before or had 10-15 contests under my belt... I'm still out to win. Now if I get 290th out of 400 teams, I'll probably be satisfied first time out but still, I will go into every contest with winning in mind and if things screw up on the cooker or something else happens, I'll face reality then.

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 01:00 PM
Just a suggestion also... from Phil's post with the timeline in it on page 2 on down, can probably be split to it's own thread as it really isn't about pre-seasoned meat brought to contests or cheating. Maybe "Time Management" or "To Party or Not to Party"... we've kinda gotten off the topic here. Of course if you farkers are going to whip me into shape (as Phil called it) over the next five or so weeks, who knows where ANY thread concerning starting up with contests will end up! :lol:

chad
08-23-2005, 01:16 PM
Apparently the problem is going to be getting my farkin turn in boxes just right to fit my perfectionist personality.


OK, case in point. Imperfect boxes can lose a catagory for you but they can't win it!! You're focusing on the "last thing you do" - at this point I'd be focusing on getting the meat as perfect as you know how.

Taste and tenderness are much more heavily weighted portions of the score.

The turn in box is lettuce and parsley in a white styro container. There is only so much you can do with a 9x9 box and 6 or 8 leaves of lettuce and a bunch of parsley - work on it for sure but don't agonize over it.

Get the meat right (after all - this is a meat contest) and make IT pretty - color, glaze/sauce, skin, smoke ring, etc. and then lay it in the box. Heck, half the work of a box is getting the edges to "poof up" - the bottom of the leaves are covered.

The appearnce score IS important but is a lower priority, at this time, than fine tuning the cooking process. I'd put working with the boxes into the last week or so so that anything really nice and inovative is fresh in your mind.

This is the type stuff "we" are going to hammer home. Prioritize what's significantly more important and work on the cosmetics on the side.

RE Wayne's post - I understand - but you guys have been doing it a while. You also have someone availabe to pick up slack if someone takes an extra hour or three to get their head out of the margarita machine! :D If Jeff gets his eye off the ball he won't have someone around to remind him or help him get back up to speed.

You are so right that different teams approach the competition from differing levels of intensity. Partying and fun are terms that indeed mean different things to each team.

Emphasis on "fun" varies, too, by region. In our neck of the woods the top players are usually solo or minimalist (2-3 members) teams and while we share invites for food and drinks very few participate in Friday night parties - I don't know why. We've emulated them because we HAVE seen the results of a bit too much partying and at 6 a.m. it's NOT PRETTY! :twisted: However, that's our choice and that's the way we would handle any contest including the Royal, Jack, or MIM. It's our "comfort zone". :D

Heck if this stuff was locked in EVERYBODY would be doing it!! :D

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 02:49 PM
OK here's what I've been killing time at work on this afternoon. Thoughts? What am I missing?

FRI 7:30 AM Arrive at Contest and start setting up camp (meat inspection whenever inspectors arrive)
FRI 10:30 AM Finish setting up camp and relax for 30 minutes
FRI 11:00 AM Trim, slather and rub Briskets and get back into cooler
FRI 11:30 AM Trim, slather and rub Butts and get back into cooler
FRI 3:00 PM Pull membranes from Ribs and rub, put back in cooler
FRI 8:15 PM Take Butts out of cooler, rub again and set out
FRI 8:00 PM Take Briskets out of cooler, rub again and set out
FRI 9:00 PM Get Briskets onto smoker (hickory)
FRI 9:30 PM Prepare Chicken brine
FRI 10:00 PM Put Butts into smoker (apple & hickory)
FRI 10:00 PM Get Chicken into brine and pack in ice.
SAT 6:00 AM Hopefully Briskets are at 165 degrees - wrap in foil and back to smoker
SAT 6:00 AM Take Ribs out of cooler to bring temp up a bit
SAT 6:00 AM Rinse Chicken, inject and rub and cooler again
SAT 6:00 AM Hopefully Butts are at 165 degrees - spray heavily, wrap in foil and back to smoker
SAT 7:00 AM Put Ribs in Smoker (cherry & hickory)
SAT 7:00 AM Put Chicken in Smoker (apple & hickory)
SAT 9:00 AM Spray Ribs and wrap in foil and back into Smoker
SAT 10:30 AM Start checking doneness of brisket with probe
SAT 11:00 AM Briskets out of smoker and into cooler (hopefully at 180 degrees)
SAT 11:00 AM Ribs out of Smoker and into cooler to hold
SAT 11:15 AM Glaze chicken and hold at temp
SAT 11:35 AM Start working on Chicken turn-in box / garnish and prepping chicken
SAT 11:55 AM Leave camp with Chicken turn-in box en route to Judge Tent
SAT NOON Chicken Turn-In at Judge Tent
SAT 12:05 PM Start working on Ribs turn-in box / garnish and slicing ribs
SAT 12:25 PM Leave camp with Ribs turn-in box en route to Judge Tent
SAT 12:30 PM Ribs Turn-In at Judge Tent
SAT 12:35 PM Start working on Pork Butt turn-in box / garnish and slicing / pulling pork
SAT 12:55 PM Leave camp with Pork Butt turn-in box en route to Judge Tent
SAT 1:00 PM Pork Butt Turn-In at Judge Tent
SAT 1:05 PM Start working on Brisket turn-in box / garnish and slicing brisket
SAT 1:25 PM Leave camp with Brisket turn-in box en route to Judge Tent
SAT 1:30 PM Brisket Turn-In at Judge Tent
SAT 1:35 PM Down several beers while relaxing in a comfortable chair!
SAT ??? Go collect my checks, trophies and ribbons!

I like the idea of a laminated chart at the camp so I want something solid to do this myself so we can refer to it.

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 02:57 PM
Apparently the problem is going to be getting my farkin turn in boxes just right to fit my perfectionist personality.


OK, case in point. Imperfect boxes can lose a catagory for you but they can't win it!! You're focusing on the "last thing you do" - at this point I'd be focusing on getting the meat as perfect as you know how.

Taste and tenderness are much more heavily weighted portions of the score.


To be quite honest, I'm not concerned at all with ribs and pork butt quality. I'm confident in my cooking these. Yeah, timing at a contest is different than at home but I still know I can repeat my success so far. I'm getting closer on brisket but not completely comfortable yet. I've yet to do chicken thighs but I'm going to resolve that this weekend and get an idea about where I stand on them.

BTW... I signed up for the sausage competition. It was free to do and I figure I'll have several fatties on in the early morning hours anyway so WTF(ark)?

tommykendall
08-23-2005, 03:45 PM
OK here's what I've been killing time at work on this afternoon. Thoughts?


My thoughts are that is exaclty why the Dr. prescribed you that stress medicine.

icemn62
08-23-2005, 03:57 PM
I have never competed, other than trying to get dinner on the table in time. Your schedule looks okay to me, but there does not appear to be much fudge time for accidents, or a lot of time for you to enjoy those beers.

Hoping everything comes out okay and you have a good time, and walk the stage.

The_Kapn
08-23-2005, 04:08 PM
Damn fine start (without looking too hard at times).

Might want to sub-note temps since this is first time. Nice reminder on the smoker woods.
Might want to prep all 4 turn-in boxes early on Sat. Put them into cooler to keep fresh (Thanks Jim Minion for that tip).
Might want to look at cook(s) and figure out a sleep schedule (if you need sleep--we do).
Might want to list "light the fire times"-I would allow minimum of one hour to get up to temp and stabilized. You can always "hold" there or just go ahead and put all but chickie in early. No problem with the cooler time on the back end.

I do not see the schedule for cooking for Friday nights supper. May have missed it. All part of the weekend and needs to be blended in :lol:

This is productive.

TIM

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 04:22 PM
Tim, in the interest of avoiding bringing up the pros and cons of cooking for family and friends, I left that part out. Basically, I'll squeeze in whatever I have time to do. Maybe I'll have my wife do the cooking for family and friends. She's getting pretty knowledgeable by now.

The_Kapn
08-23-2005, 04:23 PM
Moderator's note:

Split per Jeff's request and cleaned up a bit.

Now--how about we knock off the party talk, both from Jeff and from everyone else?

Jeff has decided how he wants to spend Friday afternoon and evening and it is "his nickle" at the Open. He has both eyes open, I hope, and needs to have a good time.

Otherwise, as long as he asks good questions, (which they have been), and listens to the input from all of us (collectively), let's focus on getting him to the "survival level" for the Open :lol:

TIM

The_Kapn
08-23-2005, 04:27 PM
Tim, in the interest of avoiding bringing up the pros and cons of cooking for family and friends, I left that part out. Basically, I'll squeeze in whatever I have time to do. Maybe I'll have my wife do the cooking for family and friends. She's getting pretty knowledgeable by now.
See my note above.
Hopefully, that "party discussion" is over, at least as it relates to you and the Open.
Please get your schedule re-worked to reflect the reality of the event and let's get on with trying to help you.

I have a delete and edit key here to keep it on topic as long as you are working with us :lol:

TIM

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 08:41 PM
Please get your schedule re-worked to reflect the reality of the event and let's get on with trying to help you.

TIM

How do you mean? Are you talking just adding fire-up times and so forth or are you talking about adding in dinner, etc.? Tell me what you want me to do and I'll take care of it...

The_Kapn
08-23-2005, 08:55 PM
Please get your schedule re-worked to reflect the reality of the event and let's get on with trying to help you.

TIM

How do you mean? Are you talking just adding fire-up times and so forth or are you talking about adding in dinner, etc.? Tell me what you want me to do and I'll take care of it...
Well shucks.
I thought I was clear, but maybe not :oops:

Since you are BBQing for dinner on Fri, the steps in prepping and cooking that meal can interfere with (or maybe help) your competetion schedule.

They really have to be blended for you-- NOT US-- to see the full picture :lol:
If you want to blend and post, maybe we can find some ways to make it all fit together to keep the stress level down and the quality up for you.
Or, you can treat them as two unrelated events.

Your call :lol:

A good timeline for a new or inexperienced team has almost everything short of "go to the potty" times IMHO :lol: :lol:
You learn to do that just before the turn-in windows start :oops:
Chad and I put more time and detail now in the time-line than when we first started. Learned our lessons the hard way :oops:
Will probably clean it up someday when it becomes "old hat', but not for now.

TIM

Jeff_in_KC
08-23-2005, 09:00 PM
Good thoughts, Tim. I'll do that tomorrow while I'm at work rather than on my own time! :lol: Tonight, I'd better go spend some time with the wife. She's leaving tomorrow and won't be back until Saturday afternoon. Don't want to deprive her of me any longer than necessary! :wink:

parrothead
08-23-2005, 11:07 PM
BTW... I signed up for the sausage competition. It was free to do and I figure I'll have several fatties on in the early morning hours anyway so WTF(ark)?

Definately do that. Don't be surprised to be in the top ten with a plain old fatty.

BBQchef33
08-23-2005, 11:27 PM
Looks like Tim has tyhings under control, but i'd like to add a few of my pennies.

First. Outstanding Idea, let the wife cook dinner, or someone else. i meant to recommend that, but got caught up in the schedule. i dont start cooking dinner for the family till someone says "im hungry." Ideal time for family dinner is somewhere between 5 - 8PM on friday(or first day). During those hours, everything should be getting happy in marinades, brines or rubs. So u are somewhat free.

i have a different outlook on the schedule than chad and kapndsl. Take it for what its worth. it works for me.

You know what you have to do.. They fall under 3 catagories. 1 - Cook 2 - Prep 3 - Other Stuff.

The "other stuff" is like rice... its a filler in between the main courses. You will be having rice for 31 hours from 7AM Friday to 2PM saturday. Alot of that time you wil be doing stuff. CLEANING, washing assembling, Brines take time to make, marinades take time.. My point here is... I prefer to know what i have to do for actual meat handling. The time in between is filler time that i fill as efficently as possibly. I guess where i am going with this is that a micromanaged schedule can fark you up if you miss something early on. But setting the major milestones will allow u to alot your time accordingly.

FYI, BTW
i make 30 thighs for an event... 6 for judges, 4-5 for tasting and the rest the family eats.. skin on every one is pulled back, they are rubed on both sides, the skin put back and then the skin gets rubbed. Thats time consuming. Plan in your mind small details, plan on the board the big ones.

My schedule has cook and prep times on it. Thats all.. i dont schedule "other stuff". I found that all I need is to know when I have to start preping and when to put stuff in the cooker. The time coming out is a hopefull guess and target time.

The_Kapn
08-24-2005, 07:48 AM
Well Jeff--you now have two totally different and opposing views on the use of a timeline.

It is up to you to determine your experience level and do as you please.

It is your nickle.

TIM

MoKanMeathead
08-24-2005, 08:01 AM
Jeff, your schedule looks good. A couple of comments. You can probably sleep in another hour - check-in on Friday for the Royal starts at 9:00 am, and it will be busy getting in. Also you will want to schedule the cooks meeting - so you don't foget it. I think the Royal does their cooks meeting on Saturday am.

If you are going to laminate your schedule leave some space to record the actual times you performed each task - helps setting the schedule for the next contest.

sigmasmokers
08-24-2005, 09:10 AM
Here is a spreadsheet that we came up with that we print off to help keep track of times.

Steve

Jeff_in_KC
08-24-2005, 11:55 AM
Jeff, your schedule looks good. A couple of comments. You can probably sleep in another hour - check-in on Friday for the Royal starts at 9:00 am, and it will be busy getting in. Also you will want to schedule the cooks meeting - so you don't foget it. I think the Royal does their cooks meeting on Saturday am.

If you are going to laminate your schedule leave some space to record the actual times you performed each task - helps setting the schedule for the next contest.

Check in is at 9am??? Holy moley! I know you can check in on Thursday night so I wonder why you can't check in earlier than 9am on Friday???

Wayne, have you received your packet of info yet? Haven't seen mine but then again, it was just August 20 that ended the sign ups.

Good idea on the blank space to record actual times.

Now why on earth would they do a cook's meeting on Saturday morning when it's crunch time? What happens if they schedule it at a time I have a lot of important stuff to handle?

chad
08-24-2005, 11:57 AM
What happens if they schedule it at a time I have a lot of important stuff to handle?


Easy - you go to the cooks meeting or DQ! Actually, any member of the team can attend the cook's meeting.

MoKanMeathead
08-24-2005, 12:10 PM
Wayne, have you received your packet of info yet? Haven't seen mine but then again, it was just August 20 that ended the sign ups.

Good idea on the blank space to record actual times.

Now why on earth would they do a cook's meeting on Saturday morning when it's crunch time? What happens if they schedule it at a time I have a lot of important stuff to handle?


Haven't received anything yet. The space assignments should be on their web site anyday. Last year it seems like they sent stuff out at least once a week. Of course there is an entirely new crew running the show this year.

For other contests the cooks meeting is on Friday night and like chad said anyone can go. You won't be DQed if you miss it (we didn't go last year - wasn't on our schedule :oops: ) Since this is your fist contest I would try to schedule your other stuff around the cooks meeting so you can go and personaly hear what they have to say.

chad
08-24-2005, 12:15 PM
At many contests you also get your turnin boxes, updated rules changes, you can ask questions about rules, etc. and often they will have the turn in box picture book and some "mentors" around to help the new teams out.

I never miss one, just in case some new info or local rules stuff has changed (site setups, etc.). And yeah, they are usually on Friday afternoon for a Saturday contest.

BrooklynQ
08-24-2005, 12:42 PM
At many contests you also get your turnin boxes, updated rules changes, you can ask questions about rules, etc. and often they will have the turn in box picture book and some "mentors" around to help the new teams out.

I never miss one, just in case some new info or local rules stuff has changed (site setups, etc.).

Turn in box picture books and mentors? Damn. Never seen any of that up here. Must be nice.

Also, you can attend the judges meeting as well, or any team member can if you can't. It's a good place to hear anything that is being stressed to or by the judges.

chad
08-24-2005, 12:57 PM
At many contests you also get your turnin boxes, updated rules changes, you can ask questions about rules, etc. and often they will have the turn in box picture book and some "mentors" around to help the new teams out.

I never miss one, just in case some new info or local rules stuff has changed (site setups, etc.).

Turn in box picture books and mentors? Damn. Never seen any of that up here. Must be nice.

Also, you can attend the judges meeting as well, or any team member can if you can't. It's a good place to hear anything that is being stressed to or by the judges.

Yep, it's been offered at Mobile, AL, and Dillard, GA. It may have been available at Plant City, FL, last year but I just don't remember. And, yes, these are all KCBS events. :D

BrooklynQ
08-24-2005, 12:59 PM
Jeff - How many people are in your team? What are their roles?

The reason I'm asking is that with Phil, I primarily take care of the presentation boxes and my jobs aren't on his schedule. My work starts at about 10 with cleaning up an area where I can work without gettting sauce, spices, etc on the boxes. Then there's cleaning of the garnish, icing, laying out etc.

Then I become Phil's time keeper telling him when I need the meats for the boxes. I always shoot to get them done 10 minutes before the window. So about 1/2 hour before turn in we're tasting, glazing, etc.

If you already answered this I apologize - just don't have the memory that I used to. I think it used to be better.

BrooklynQ
08-24-2005, 01:21 PM
The turn in box is lettuce and parsley in a white styro container. There is only so much you can do with a 9x9 box and 6 or 8 leaves of lettuce and a bunch of parsley - work on it for sure but don't agonize over it.

Get the meat right (after all - this is a meat contest) and make IT pretty - color, glaze/sauce, skin, smoke ring, etc. and then lay it in the box. Heck, half the work of a box is getting the edges to "poof up" - the bottom of the leaves are covered.


6 or 8 leaves of lettuce per box? Man you are frugal. :wink: I wish I could do it with that. On average I would say I go thru 2 - 3 heads of lettuce per box. Then's there's the parsley. At least 4 bunches of that.

chad
08-24-2005, 03:16 PM
Rob, bro, yes that's per box! :D Maybe my lettuce has bigger leaves. Besides I leave plenty of room for meat - after all, it's a meat contest! :twisted:

I use an average of 2 heads of lettuce per box to get those 6-8 leaves. Parsley is another story. I usually take 2 large bunches and use about none! :D

BrooklynQ
08-24-2005, 03:25 PM
One of the reasons I use more is that i don't use whole leaves. 95% of the time I use only the upper half. Meat? There's supposed to be meat in the box? :shock:

chad
08-24-2005, 03:30 PM
There's supposed to be meat in the box?


Exactly! :D

Kidding aside - you do a great job on the boxes.

I usually have the boxes pre-loaded Saturday morning and in a cooler with ice. We add to and primp the boxes as needed while we are setting them up.

BrooklynQ
08-24-2005, 03:33 PM
Thanks. I appreciate the compliment. Coming from you it means a lot.

I've seen people do the pre-load boxes, does that work for you? We're already at 6 or 7 coolers, we'd have to add another one just for that.

Jeff_in_KC
08-24-2005, 03:33 PM
Brooklyn, basically, there will be three of us... me, my wife and another guy, Hank. We're possibly having one other person there to help out. I have not lined out responsibilities at this time. Kinda wanted to see if the fourth person would be available or not... still no commitment. I think I'll probably have my wife be the runner, taking turn-in boxes to the judges tent. But beyond that, no idea yet.

chad
08-24-2005, 03:45 PM
Thanks. I appreciate the compliment. Coming from you it means a lot.

I've seen people do the pre-load boxes, does that work for you? We're already at 6 or 7 coolers, we'd have to add another one just for that.

We always have an available cooler. :D Remember, I've been out with you guys - I know what you mean! :twisted:

At Dillard we had a spare 70 quart cooler with ice. I was even using the two 120 quart coolers for suppies - we've really streamlined our process. The only reason we had a utility trailer with us was Tim brough me a load of his primo oad, pecan, and hickory. I was able to get the 1-120qt, 2-70qt, and one 50 qt coolers, a couple of prep boxes (cutlery, paper supplies, gloves, etc.), our sign, and two tables in the Explorer and cargo strapped the onther 120 qt cooler and the fire supply box on the cooker.
I had a lot/most of the kitchen supplies (rubs, sugar, worsty sauce, etc. packed in the empty coolers and the meat and spare ice were in the others).

A couple of extra rotisserie shelves, the propane burner and charcoal basket all went in the cooker. The propane tank, wash tub, buss tubs, etc. went in the Explorer, too.

It's not ideal but it worked this time - we're working on slimming it down even more. Being on the circuit a year and traveling all over FL, GA, and AL helped drive our effort. :D

We're working towards (still in the dream/planning stages) a competition trailer with everything on the rig. All it'll take is MONEY! :D

rookiedad
08-29-2005, 11:01 PM
hi,
i was wondering if you guys who compete in a four man crew ever break down the time-line per guy before hand or do you improvise as you go? if you do break it down i was wondering if you could give an example of the schedules. thanks
phil

The_Kapn
08-29-2005, 11:07 PM
hi,
i was wondering if you guys who compete in a four man crew ever break down the time-line per guy before hand or do you improvise as you go? if you do break it down i was wondering if you could give an example of the schedules. thanks
phil
We do not (two man team).
Matter of "do something" and look at the next item.
That becomes the next "alarm bell" and the proper person takes care of it.
Then, the next item becomes the "to-do" item.

Lots of different techniques!

TIM

jminion
08-30-2005, 12:27 AM
Jeff
Something no one has brought up, this the Royal and your going to be on the Dark Side more than likely. You could very well have a group beside you that will be having a party Friday night for 250 to 1500 people and there will be a band. On the other side of you maybe another group with their own party and another band. It's the Royal there is no quite time and more than a few drunks looking for a place to take a piss.

Get a timeline and start early, have your boxes built and your meat resting well before turn-ins start. Don't leave anything to the last minute, give yourself time to adjust flavor at turn-in time, salt and MSG will be your friend.
I understand there will be aprox 500 teams this year.
good luck.

Jeff_in_KC
08-30-2005, 09:30 AM
I guess I'm missing something... can you explain what the "Dark Side" is?

I requested the smallest space available (25x19 feet) because most seemed to be grouped together and thought they would be less likely to hace 1500 people and live bands going on.

I've got a feeling I'm going to like places like Warsaw and Boone County better than the Royal...

Thanks for the tips, Jim!

Jeff_in_KC
08-31-2005, 08:07 AM
OK I'm getting my time line revised and updated, etc. I was told that if I'm going to cook for friends and vfamily on Friday afternoon, then schedule it on the time line so I did. Comments? Additions?

Thanks!

Solidkick
08-31-2005, 05:34 PM
Maybe you should just cook wings.........

Jeff_in_KC
08-31-2005, 05:48 PM
Hell ribs are easy and I am not a big fan of wings...

spicewine
08-31-2005, 05:50 PM
Time Lines??? I don't want to have to think that much!! I go with my gut feelings, cooking conditions, meat that was purchased ect. You can over plan any contest. Let it flow Bro !! Be The Meat!! and be willing to make last second adjustments. The best laid plan can be shot to hell with a piece of meat that gets stuck at a certain temp. or an unexpected rain storm ( unless you have one of my smokers :wink: ) You will do so much better if you are relaxed and in control . Plan for the problems, but don't let them totally mess with your mind.

Find Your BBQ Chee!!

Nuff Said 8)

Solidkick
08-31-2005, 05:57 PM
Be The Meat!!

At 106* the last contest, are we sure we weren't the meat?

Jeff_in_KC
08-31-2005, 08:40 PM
Time Lines??? I don't want to have to think that much!! I go with my gut feelings, cooking conditions, meat that was purchased ect. You can over plan any contest. Let it flow Bro !! Be The Meat!! and be willing to make last second adjustments. The best laid plan can be shot to hell with a piece of meat that gets stuck at a certain temp. or an unexpected rain storm ( unless you have one of my smokers :wink: ) You will do so much better if you are relaxed and in control . Plan for the problems, but don't let them totally mess with your mind.

Find Your BBQ Chee!!

Nuff Said 8)

Oh great! :roll: I get all kinds of advice on contest time management and then Jay just waltzes in here and says "wing it"! :lol:

Jay, I can see you believing this way but being my first contest and with all the farkin' distractions presented by the farkin' drunks and semi naked women, I think I'm better off with the timeline that Dave, Tim, Kick and a few others suggested for me! :wink:

I do like the "find your BBQ Chee" part though. Very cool!

BTW... I made the September Bullsheet in the new members list! I'm somebody now! :lol:

parrothead
08-31-2005, 08:58 PM
I don't have a time line ahead of time, however, once we arrive, we make one up. One purchase before the next comp will be a dry erase board to mark such stuff as we deem necessary.

spicewine
08-31-2005, 11:15 PM
Jay, I can see you believing this way but being my first contest and with all the farkin' distractions presented by the farkin' drunks and semi naked women, I think I'm better off with the timeline that Dave, Tim, Kick and a few others suggested for me!

SCOREING (An analogy of a Q-Test) As presented by Spice

The Big Date

You have planned for weeks. The girl of your dreams and you finally got a date with her. Reservations are made, flowers are ordered, suit pressed and ready and the time set. ( as follows)

5:00 pick up suit at the cleaners
5:15 fill the car with gas
5:35 get home
5:50 shower
6:10 pick up flowers
6:30 pick up date
7:00 dinner reservations
9:00 movie
11:00 In like Flynn

REALITY

5:00- Have to work late and don't get off until 5:30 skip the dry cleaners will find something at home to wear.
5:15 Skip filling the car with gas because you had to work late
5:35 Obviously you got off at 5:30 so you haven't had time to get home yet
5:50 Quickie Shower back on track now
6:10 Flower person lost you order it will be 20 min. to get your order ready
6:40 Pick up date late (she is peeved but does like the flower arrangement
6:50 Run out of gas because you didn't have time to fill up.
7:20 arrive at Restaurant late and have to wait for a table since you were late for your reservation

9:30 Missed movie becauseof the late dinner arrangements
10:00 Say good night at the door. ( peck on the cheek Mod)
10:05 Go home



Plan all you want to, but look man---S*it happens and then you throw your list away. DUDE ---Have a plan---Just don't live or die by it!!

You know how to cook
You know how long it takes to cook each item
You know what spices you need
You know when to put the spices on
You know what temps you need to cook them at.
That's all you need to know!!
Relax--- Have Fun--- Adjust and Win
Make yourself little reminders but don't stick yourself on such a ridgid schedule that you lose track of what you are doing. It's a cooking contest for Christ sakes not a rocket science project!!

Just my .50 cents worth but if you can't have fun at contest , than it's not worth being there---win or lose---you will make some of the best friends of your life---the biggest prize---THE SCORE!!