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Coldholler
05-28-2012, 03:20 PM
Does NC allow the use of propane?

Sauced!
05-28-2012, 03:28 PM
I believe the NC Pork Council does.

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Bentley
05-28-2012, 03:39 PM
Does NC allow the use of propane?


Not sure what you are asking?

I would venture to guess there are places in NC that use propane.

If you are refering to something like a KCBS BBQ Competition in NC, the answer is no.

I am not sure if NC has a BBQ Association or Socity. If you are asking about whether there is one, and if so, do they run contests and do they allow using propane in said contest, someone else will have to weigh in regarding that.

smokeyw
05-28-2012, 05:09 PM
99% of people cooking whole hogs in North Carolina Pork Council events do use propane.

bbq.tom
05-28-2012, 07:50 PM
As indicated above, the North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) allows ANY heat source for cooking the whole pig to be judged on the grill and blind box after the grill judging is complete (as appropriate - not all NCPC competitions have blind box judging). The NCPC sanctions about 25-30 competitions throughout the year and they allow propane.

The North Carolina Barbecue Society (NCBS) only sanctions one contest annually (currently; however, Jim Early (president and founder) is planning more contests in the future) - in Cary, NC - the "Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival". This contest allows wood and charcoal only.

There is one Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) contest annually in Charlotte. MBN allows only wood and charcoal.

There are 10-15 KCBS contests in NC annually - and of course, KCBS allows only wood and charcoal.

There are numerous "unsanctioned" contests held in NC annually. Each contest sets their own rules on fuel so you would have to check with each contest for their fuel rules.

I hope this helps your understanding of NC barbecue competitions and the different sanctioning bodies and allowable fuel.

bbqbrad
05-29-2012, 06:11 AM
The Pork Council "allows" all, but will grade you down if you do not use propane. I found that out the hard way. And yes, I was told that by a NCPC judge at the event. Wish I could have gotten my entry fee back at that moment...

The Cosmic Pig
05-29-2012, 08:33 AM
Why in the world would they grade you down for choice of fuel source? :confused:

bbq.tom
05-29-2012, 09:05 AM
The Pork Council "allows" all, but will grade you down if you do not use propane. I found that out the hard way. And yes, I was told that by a NCPC judge at the event. Wish I could have gotten my entry fee back at that moment...

I don't know who that NCPC judge was, but that is DEFINITELY NOT the case!!! I am a NCPC CBJ and there is NO WHERE in ANY of the rules or guidance to back that statement up!

If you can tell me who the judge was that made that statement I'd GREATLY appreciate it so that he can be reported to the NCPC office! There is NO room for judges who take it upon themselves to make statements like that!!! What he might have said is that you put yourself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane as usually smoke will darken the pig and color is one of the judging criteria, but to say that he grades down because of using fuel other than propane is downright WRONG!

In what contest did you compete?

lcbateman3
05-29-2012, 09:43 AM
I was at one contest last year when I heard a group of NCPC judges say, "Oh, another charcoal cooker, we know he isn't winning" as they walked into the site. Decided then I would never cooking in a NCPC contest.

bbq.tom
05-29-2012, 09:54 AM
I've only judged one NCPC contest where the cook used wood/charcoal and his pig was much darker than all the other pigs that were cooked on propane (Durham in 2010). Since the color of the pig is one of the 5 major categories to judge it would be extremely difficult for a wood/charcoal cooker to win; HOWEVER, that statement should NEVER be verbalized by ANY judge!!!

Myron Mixon cooked a pig for the NCPC contest in Edenton (in conjunction with the KCBS contest) last year and was way back in the standings for the grill part, as he cooked it on wood/charcoal and it looked pretty black. He won the blind box part of the NCPC competition but definitely NOT the grill part!

Market Hunter
05-29-2012, 10:19 AM
bbq.tom,

Could you clarify the NCPC's color definition for judging purposes? I have only entered a few fun NCPC judged contests (ECU Pigskin Pigout) where "yellow pigs" dominated (it's my personal term for propane cooked pigs due to the finished color of most hogs I have cooked or seen cooked. It's not meant to be a jab at propane cookers).

Also, has the no injection rule I have heard of become part of the rules with NCPC or was this an original rule?

Thanks!

Jerry

bbqbrad
05-29-2012, 10:24 AM
They were not saying it's an "automatic" markdown, they were saying that only gas wins.

What he might have said is that you put yourself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane as usually smoke will darken the pig and color is one of the judging criteria, but to say that he grades down because of using fuel other than propane is downright WRONG!


Put myself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane? Does it say that in the rules or guidance? I would have liked to known that before I paid my entry fee rather than when I showed up for the event.

I was told by more than one judge at the most recent event. It started out at the cooks meeting with the statement "cooks who cook in KCBS or MIM don't succeed in NCPC events". He even told me that Myron Mixon cook one NCPC event and did not do well. After the meeting was over I asked why. I was told that my cooker (stickburner) was not what wins at NCPC events. NCPC wants crispy skin, and that comes from cooking with gas. They want it not smokey. So I wrapped my pig 5 hours into the cook to protect the color. I jacked up the heat at the end to crisp the skin.

After the event, a judge came back to talk to me. He suggested a brand of gas cooker that most were winning with in NCPC contests.

Heck, while you've asked, we were told at the cooks meeting that injecting, rubs and basting were not legal. But I had read in the online rules that it was legal. "North Carolina barbecue is defined by the NC Pork Council as chopped/sliced pork meat seasoned as the cook believes necessary for best taste." We argued, but were shot down. That was the second time that I have been to a NCPC event and something was changed.

Now, I like rub. I like injecting. I like a smokey flavor. I don't think skin crispiness should be judged as heavy as the meat. I was told that judges bend the pig back and want to hear the crispy skin cracking. And if that's what NCPC judges are trained for, then so be it. But (as you said) my cooker puts me at a disadvantage because it's not gas. It cooks great BBQ, but it's not gas. And I'm at a "disadvantage" because of that.

bbq.tom
05-29-2012, 10:37 AM
bbq.tom,

Could you clarify the NCPC's color definition for judging purposes? I have only entered a few fun NCPC judged contests (ECU Pigskin Pigout) where "yellow pigs" dominated (it's my personal term for propane cooked pigs due to the finished color of most hogs I have cooked or seen cooked. It's not meant to be a jab at propane cookers).

Also, has the no injection rule I have heard of become part of the rules with NCPC or was this an original rule?

Thanks!

Jerry

Hey Jerry,

Concerning the color, "Browness" is the actual term that is on the NCPC judging form and under the heading it asks: "Is meat golden brown, dark, or burned?" On the judge's DVD it indicates that the meat should be a golden "chestnut" color. 'Yellow' pigs are just as bad as black pigs as far as color is concerned IMHO. Properly cooked pigs on propane cookers will achieve a golden color (NOT yellow!) and the skin will be crisp. This is EXTREMELY difficult to accomplish (I know, as I also cook in NCPC comps). If you try to impart smoke flavor through a firebox or wood-chip brick it usually turns the pig dark/black.



While I'm on here I need to add one additional "sanctioning" body in NC - the "Southern Barbecue Network" (SBN). This year (2012) there is only one SBN sanctioned contest in NC - "The Spruce Pine BBQ Championship & Bluegrass Festival" held in Spruce Pine, NC July 20-21. According to their rules you can use propane or other fuel sources:

6. COOKING FUELS - Approved cooking media include wood, charcoal, or
wood pellets, gas (propane or butane), and electricity; these are acceptable for SBN contest cooking process.

bbq.tom
05-29-2012, 10:48 AM
They were not saying it's an "automatic" markdown, they were saying that only gas wins.

Put myself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane? Does it say that in the rules or guidance? I would have liked to known that before I paid my entry fee rather than when I showed up for the event.

I was told by more than one judge at the most recent event. It started out at the cooks meeting with the statement "cooks who cook in KCBS or MIM don't succeed in NCPC events". He even told me that Myron Mixon cook one NCPC event and did not do well. After the meeting was over I asked why. I was told that my cooker (stickburner) was not what wins at NCPC events. NCPC wants crispy skin, and that comes from cooking with gas. They want it not smokey. So I wrapped my pig 5 hours into the cook to protect the color. I jacked up the heat at the end to crisp the skin.

After the event, a judge came back to talk to me. He suggested a brand of gas cooker that most were winning with in NCPC contests.

Heck, while you've asked, we were told at the cooks meeting that injecting, rubs and basting were not legal. But I had read in the online rules that it was legal. "North Carolina barbecue is defined by the NC Pork Council as chopped/sliced pork meat seasoned as the cook believes necessary for best taste." We argued, but were shot down. That was the second time that I have been to a NCPC event and something was changed.

Now, I like rub. I like injecting. I like a smokey flavor. I don't think skin crispiness should be judged as heavy as the meat. I was told that judges bend the pig back and want to hear the crispy skin cracking. And if that's what NCPC judges are trained for, then so be it. But (as you said) my cooker puts me at a disadvantage because it's not gas. It cooks great BBQ, but it's not gas. And I'm at a "disadvantage" because of that.

Different sanctioning organizations have differing criterion for what the judges are looking for in competition barbecue. Prior to entering any competition it is advisable to know and understand what the judges are looking for. That is precisely why so many KCBS cooks take the CBJ training, not to become judges, but to understand what the judges are looking for. If the style of barbecue you like is not what normally wins a contest in a particular organization's competitions, then it might be an idea to look for a sanctioned contest where the organization's criteria is more along the lines of what you like to cook. Just a thought.

Concerning the NCPC rub/injection rule, that was new to 2011. To my knowledge, they have still not listed that on their website.

bbqbrad
05-29-2012, 11:08 AM
Concerning the NCPC rub/injection rule, that was new to 2011. To my knowledge, they have still not listed that on their website.

Thanks for the clarification on that rule. No, it's not on the website. I went there to check the rules, but they were not posted. There was a problem at the comp when 2 sets of rules were presented. That's probably what happened.

Bentley
05-29-2012, 01:48 PM
Prior to entering any competition it is advisable to know and understand what the judges are looking for.

One of the reasons I am so happy to be judging this weekend at the Hog Happenin In Lincolnton. I realize since it is a KCBS competition I am not gonna be served Eye of Newt or Yak...But I would like to get a feel to see if the predominate sauces on each meat mirrior the West or if there are some huge differences so I have a clue for the Peak City contest in Apex.

SirPorkaLot
05-29-2012, 02:02 PM
As a lifelong resident on NC. I am afraid the NCPC does a huge disservice to both BBQ and the State of NC.

Propane hog cooks are an isolated (Eastern, NC) thing, and not only do not represent the entire state, but they does a poor job of representing BBQ itself.

I keep hoping for an awakening, but I don't see it happening.

bbq.tom
05-29-2012, 02:38 PM
As a lifelong resident on NC. I am afraid the NCPC does a huge disservice to both BBQ and the State of NC.

Propane hog cooks are an isolated (Eastern, NC) thing, and not only do not represent the entire state, but they does a poor job of representing BBQ itself.

I keep hoping for an awakening, but I don't see it happening.

I definitely do NOT disagree with you on the disservice to both BBQ and NC; however, I can see their point in promoting pork the way they do. To me, one of the biggest reasons they allow propane cooking is that it is the way MOST backyarders cook. This competition allows the regular backyard joe an opportunity to cook in competition without a month's salary invested in the contest. A UDS with a bottle of LP with a pup-tent is about all you need - along with your $25.00 entry fee. The pig is provided to you so there is truly not much you have to invest to cook in competition. I know this because I cook in NCPC competitions and have seen some pretty small operations! Kinda looks like a team with a BGE and a 10x10 set up next to Myron Mixon with his battle-wagon (if compared to KCBS/MBN).
Anway, if someone wants to compete with a stick-burner in North Carolina there are PLENTY of opportunities!!! KCBS, MBN, NCBS, and other contests don't allow propane, but if you only have a gas cooker then why not have a contest to cook in as well.

bbq.tom
05-29-2012, 03:11 PM
I should add that I don't truly believe that the "barbecue" that is produced by cooking a pig with propane is true "barbecue". It is roast pork.
I agree with Jim Early and MANY other authors and afecionados that "barbecue" is PORK, cooked over wood coals, and flavor enhanced with sauce. Any other use of the term "barbecue" just isn't quite right to me. I have learned to refrain from disputing some who think that ANYTHING cooked over coals (wood or charcoal) is barbecue, but that is another story. How a temperature-controlled pellet-pooper can be defined the same as a real stick-burner is a wonder to me just as much as a gas pig-cooker compared with a stick-burner.

smokeyw
05-29-2012, 04:35 PM
Tom, I agree with you partially. I think the NCPC originally intended for their contest competitors to be backyard cooks. I also believe that the NCPC wants the average backyard cook to be able to compete in these contests today. I was told that the injection rule was put in place to help the new backyard cooks. However, the guys regularly winning these contests are certainly not your average backyard cooks. Like so many competition cooks, the same ones may not win all the time, but they are usually in the top 10% of the field. Anyone that thinks these contests are easy to win should cook in one. It certainly is not anything like KCBS, but at the same time it is not easy. It is just different.

I definitely do NOT disagree with you on the disservice to both BBQ and NC; however, I can see their point in promoting pork the way they do. To me, one of the biggest reasons they allow propane cooking is that it is the way MOST backyarders cook. This competition allows the regular backyard joe an opportunity to cook in competition without a month's salary invested in the contest. A UDS with a bottle of LP with a pup-tent is about all you need - along with your $25.00 entry fee. The pig is provided to you so there is truly not much you have to invest to cook in competition. I know this because I cook in NCPC competitions and have seen some pretty small operations! Kinda looks like a team with a BGE and a 10x10 set up next to Myron Mixon with his battle-wagon (if compared to KCBS/MBN).
Anway, if someone wants to compete with a stick-burner in North Carolina there are PLENTY of opportunities!!! KCBS, MBN, NCBS, and other contests don't allow propane, but if you only have a gas cooker then why not have a contest to cook in as well.

Market Hunter
05-29-2012, 06:00 PM
My 2 cents: If the NCPC wants to help out the backyard cook, they should add a separate category for non-propane users. Cut out the onsite presentation too. You would probably see more interest and more new faces.

I learned about 8 years ago to not take NCPC contests too serious in terms of chances to win. I was asked to cook by someone who entered us as a team. Found out about the thermometers, napkins, knifes and water bottles at the on site presentation. We got the "Y'all haven't ever done one of these contests things, have ya?" :twitch:

I did like to crap myself when our "head cook" (i.e. the guy who did not look so rough and could talk) asked the judges would they like a drink of liquor...and it was 9 am in the morning! It was priceless to see the look on those judge's faces :clap:

We had fun then and still do when we cook one of their contests.

smokeyw
05-29-2012, 06:42 PM
They actually get plenty of interest and participation. The largest whole hog competition in the US is a NCPC event in Newport NC that usually has about 90 cook teams every year. They sell all the BBQ after the contest and are usually sold out a few hours after the judging is over. All of the money for the BBQ sales goes to various charity groups.

My 2 cents: If the NCPC wants to help out the backyard cook, they should add a separate category for non-propane users. Cut out the onsite presentation too. You would probably see more interest and more new faces.

bbq.tom
05-30-2012, 08:53 AM
It is what it is. Not everyone will want to cook in a NCPC competition, but then again, not everyone wants to cook in a KCBS or MBN or whatever other competition either. This is just available to those who have a desire to compete using gas or whatever other fuel they might use.

Personally, I've had a GREAT time both cooking in NCPC competitions and in judging NCPC competitions!!