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boogiesnap
05-21-2012, 12:11 PM
hi all.

i've done 4 KCBS comps. middle pack 1st two. i changed up everything and practiced another solid 2 months. earned RGC. i was pretty stoked i had found a repeatable and successful process. i continued practicing the same cooks and recipes. yesterday they earned 14th.

now, i know a couple things went a bit off track. i'm on board with that, it happens and i'll address it, but they weren't catastrophic failures by any means.

my question is, what are y'alls thoughts on changing up again? is that swing too far to continue with the same recipes? or do you guys think 2nd to 14 is common(ish)? or more likely the RGC was a fluke? :icon_blush:

i'd appreciate any thoughts. thank you!

AZScott
05-21-2012, 12:16 PM
What happened? Did all of your meats not do as well? Was it only one or two that tanked? You said a couple of things went of track so I would correct those first and see how you perform with everything working as they should.

Pigs on Fire
05-21-2012, 12:21 PM
Here in GA, it has as much to do with the geographical area, the sanctioning body and the other cooks who are there as to where your (consistent) meats will place.

We can go to south GA and cook in an FBA or GBA competition and be hit or miss with the exact same procedure and recipe as we will cook for a KCBS in North GA and come out with a few dollars and a trophy fairly consistently.

I would not change my recipe or procedure until I saw consistent (poor) results cooking in the same general geographic region with the same (more or less) competitors and saw some of the same judges to and fro the tent.

MattyB
05-21-2012, 12:21 PM
I wouldn't go as far as calling it a fluke...obviously you did something right.

Few questions to help me understand your situation better...
You placed 14th out of how many teams?

Depending in the size and quality of the field, your disappointment in dropping 2nd to 14th might not be a huge deal.

Were these comps in the same general regional area?

We did fairly well in NY last year (taking RGC at 3 of 5 comps), but got completely killed in Louisa, VA.

Did any turn-in drop significantly or did you all 4 generally drop off. Might help you focus your attention as to what "went wrong"

Or, you just had an off day. It happens. Brush it off and get back to it. If you continue to finish middle of the pack (where I'm assuming 14th place was) after 3-4 more comps, then I'd start to take a look at what's going on, talk with neighbors at comps and sample their food. Take note and see where you place relative to them...

Podge
05-21-2012, 01:07 PM
Whoever said "you can't do the same thing every time and expect different results" has never competed in BBQ.

MattyB
05-21-2012, 01:36 PM
Whoever said "you can't do the same thing every time and expect different results" has never competed in BBQ.

Amen, brother!

TheJackal
05-21-2012, 01:39 PM
I would pay less attention to what place you finished and more attention to your scores in each category (weighted and unweighted). A 650 can be RGC one weekend and be 14th the next.

Fatback Joe
05-21-2012, 01:43 PM
After meeting you this weekend, I would say it was a fluke. :caked:

Of course, I am just kidding. Based on talking with you, I would say to give it a little more time before you tweak things unless you are sure that someting needs fixed..........and I suppose if you were sure you wouldn't be asking about it now.

I wasn't happy with my results this weekend either (well, minus the pork) and I don't plan on changing a thing before the next one.

Give it some time. You know what flavor profiles generally work well up here, just keep fine tuning that execution. And I would also suggest that if you make changes, make small ones. Things can get confusing as hell when you start revamping everything and it doesn't work. :icon_blush:

Good luck.

Lake Dogs
05-21-2012, 02:32 PM
Sit behind a few hundred judging tables and you'll realize that many times the difference in a top 3 vs. a 10th place is a complete luck of the draw. Luck (or unluck) as to who else's BBQ is at your table, and luck/unluck as to what judges are sitting at your table. It just is. Then, what teams are at this particular contest, and how well did they fare? It all plays in. If you GC'd or RGC'd or were 3rd or 4th overall in a contest with 30 or more contestants, then I wouldn't change a thing for 4 or 5 more contests.

boogiesnap
05-21-2012, 02:48 PM
hi everyone. thank you so much for the replies.

i would say the skill level of the teams at both contests was equal. this one had 25, the RGC had like 35.

i don't think i adapted quickly enough to just how warm it was outside. brisket and ribs finished up way before i was expecting so didn't catch it. both were a bit on the overdone side...but nothing disastrous.

pork was consistent with the other contests i've done. a 4th, 5th, and 6th.

this is how the others dropped:
chicken from 5th to 11th, ribs from 8th to 15, and brisket from 13 to 17. what concerns me is i have swings of 6 to 9 and 5 to 8 in multiple categories from multiple judges.

not sure how to approach that.

i'll go over my notes and pics and take a close look at what exactly i left on the table for points.

thanks again for all the thoughts everyone.

boogiesnap
05-21-2012, 02:55 PM
After meeting you this weekend, I would say it was a fluke. :caked:

Of course, I am just kidding. Based on talking with you, I would say to give it a little more time before you tweak things unless you are sure that someting needs fixed..........and I suppose if you were sure you wouldn't be asking about it now.

I wasn't happy with my results this weekend either (well, minus the pork) and I don't plan on changing a thing before the next one.

Give it some time. You know what flavor profiles generally work well up here, just keep fine tuning that execution. And I would also suggest that if you make changes, make small ones. Things can get confusing as hell when you start revamping everything and it doesn't work. :icon_blush:

Good luck.

naw, you ain't kidding. all things considered i'm lucky i didn't finish DAL in anything. :icon_shy:wink::tsk::becky:

but seriously, i know the product and it was pretty close to where it needed to be.

Jorge
05-21-2012, 02:58 PM
If it was me, I'd cook the same program and recipes again and see how I did. If something goes wrong or I didn't nail it, I'd take that into consideration. You have to many variables involved for me to consider drastic changes in the same situation.

va92bronco
05-21-2012, 03:03 PM
Im in a similar boat as I just did my second contest and really didn't do as well as I thought. I do feel that my pork needs to be changed because I have not been happy with it. The other three I am making some small changes, but staying pretty true to what I started with.

It sounds to me that you are confident that your system worked. You just expected a different outcome. I think you need to stick with what you have at least a couple of more times. Sounds to me like you are just second guessing your self rather than actually have a possible issue with your system.

Jacked UP BBQ
05-21-2012, 03:21 PM
BBQ is a lot of luck and skill. Are you using "popular flavors" if not, do so and tweak to make them better or different. We changed our ribs and chicken every comp, once we hit with chicken we kept it going. We finally just may have gotten ribs. I dont know that they will do well for every comp, but last two comps two top tens, If get 18th next week I am not gonna change. Its gonna take a lot of time.

Big Ugly's BBQ
05-21-2012, 03:30 PM
We finally just may have gotten ribs.

AAAwwwwwww crap, didnt need to know that tidbit of information..........:mrgreen:

Now we gonna have to work that much harder.......

Jorge
05-21-2012, 03:32 PM
BBQ is a lot of luck and skill. Are you using "popular flavors" if not, do so and tweak to make them better or different. We changed our ribs and chicken every comp, once we hit with chicken we kept it going. We finally just may have gotten ribs. I dont know that they will do well for every comp, but last two comps two top tens, If get 18th next week I am not gonna change. Its gonna take a lot of time.

Who are you?:shocked:

boogiesnap
05-21-2012, 04:27 PM
BBQ is a lot of luck and skill. Are you using "popular flavors" if not, do so and tweak to make them better or different. We changed our ribs and chicken every comp, once we hit with chicken we kept it going. We finally just may have gotten ribs. I dont know that they will do well for every comp, but last two comps two top tens, If get 18th next week I am not gonna change. Its gonna take a lot of time.

i use very popular flavors now for sure, with each category getting one extra sumtin' added to try and stand out just a bit. my first two i was trying to be a cavalier and concocted all this great stuff...that didn't get me very far.


i think we'll run out the same show in june at NH.

thanks again everyone, i really do appreciate it.

jaestar
05-21-2012, 05:02 PM
A couple things to keep in mind. Your ribs and brisket scores could have been from being overdone. Tenderness seems to affect the taste scores. I have been told by judges that even slightly over/under cooked can also affect the taste. Chicken is, well, chicken. It seems to be the category that fluctuates the most for teams.

Red Valley BBQ
05-21-2012, 06:55 PM
I never make any changes until I've bombed in any category for three consecutive comps. Then I go back and compare scores to see what type of changes need to be made. If I consistently recieve low taste scores then that is what I focus on, but I never make more than one change at a time. I also agree with what the others have said. Many times it just depends on what table you end up on. I realize that my entries will not please everyone, but analyzing your scores can help you pinpoint what the judges are looking for.

Tack
05-21-2012, 08:09 PM
ANd you have to consider the biggest variable of em all and that is the judges. Different judges mean different ideas on what is good and what is great.

boogiesnap
05-21-2012, 08:18 PM
ANd you have to consider the biggest variable of em all and that is the judges. Different judges mean different ideas on what is good and what is great.

thanks man, but i'd counter with there are most definitely a few cooks up here putting out food that everybody thinks is great all the time.

boogiesnap
05-22-2012, 12:56 PM
once again i wanna say thank you to you all for helping me work it through.

the closer i look at the actual cook, i realize the farther i was from the program.

a good mental note, and i just read it over on lakeside's blog as well...all the practice doesn't recreate the actual contest.

we're gonna chaulk it up as rust, regroup, nail down the missing details and have some more fun out there!

thanks again everyone.

ique
05-22-2012, 01:04 PM
Are you using "popular flavors" if not, do so and tweak to make them better or different.

my first two i was trying to be a cavalier and concocted all this great stuff...that didn't get me very far.


If you check the archives you will see that Matts real secret is wasabi glaze.

You should try that in NH.

boogiesnap
05-22-2012, 01:08 PM
If you check the archives you will see that Matts real secret is wasabi glaze.

You should try that in NH.

i think that was actually his brother....

but, you first. :laugh:

CivilWarBBQ
05-22-2012, 03:38 PM
One contest doesn't mean much. The odds of being struck by lightning in any given spot are long, but it happens. If you have something you believe in and it tanks, don't switch until you see it fail repeatedly. By the same token, if you're casting about with new recipe ideas and something hits, don't assume you've discovered the magic bullet until you prove it over the next several events.

Jaskew82
05-23-2012, 08:12 AM
I think you should change everything. I saw your recipes and they are all farkin sh!t.
:laugh:

Kidding of course

Sweet Breathe BBQ
05-23-2012, 11:01 AM
I don't really know what to take away from Lexington this weekend. The one category that I cooked to my usual "program" was ribs and they earned me my lowest place of the day 16th. My brisket which I used a new injection, new rub (which was a decision made right before applying), and a finishing sauce I made up on the fly got me a 5th place. Trust your instincts.

Sweet Breathe BBQ
05-23-2012, 11:10 AM
Keep in mind though I'm not collecting GC or RGC all the time either. :-P

MattyB
05-23-2012, 11:13 AM
Trust your instincts.

Amen brother. These things happen sometimes and it can drive you nuts if you let it get to your head. I remember a long drive back from New Holland to Rochester last summer after getting schooled down there being filled with what-ifs and maybe-we-should-haves...

you get knocked down...get back up and try again.

Jacked UP BBQ
05-23-2012, 11:27 AM
If you check the archives you will see that Matts real secret is wasabi glaze.

You should try that in NH.

Thats my new secret, wasabi glaze for heat covered by blues hog

CivilWarBBQ
05-23-2012, 07:12 PM
Thats my new secret, wasabi glaze for heat covered by blues hog

Ugh. I just threw up a little there.