View Full Version : New Competition-Need you imput

06-06-2012, 12:05 PM
I have been asked to look into putting a competition together in my area..... Need your thoughts and here are some quick details....

This is going to be a back to the basic competition...

Only electric to be used is for lights... Period... No exceptions... No gurus, no computers, no augers, no fans, no digital thermometers....

No manufactured cooking fuel... (only wood chunks and lump charcoal)

You will get a 20x20 spot... No more no less... This is plenty for a competition....

There will be the following entries: Brisket, Pork shoulder, Ribs, Chicken(will be turned in as a half chicken-one breast, one wing, one thigh and one leg), Sausage, Dessert... (the dessert entry must be cooked on site and it must be cooked on a wood fired source... it will also be placed in the normal box)

All meat will be provided..... This will be like the PittMaster Show.... Teams will draw numbers... You pick your meat in order....

You will get the following:

1 Brisket
1 Whole Chicken
1 Slab of Spare Ribs
1 Pork Shoulder
2# of ground pork for the sausage...

This is a competition that will see who is the best pit master. This is not going to be a competition who can cook the most meat and pick out the best pieces... All of your ribs will come off the same slab because you only have one... Same with the brisket...

This is just the beginning of putting things together... Please let me know all of your thoughts and ideas...


Lake Dogs
06-06-2012, 12:43 PM
> Chicken(will be turned in as a half chicken-one breast, one wing, one thigh and one leg)

You might want to think about the logistics of judging this and perhaps change it to something like 8 chicken thighs....

> 1 Pork Shoulder

Need further definition. Meaning, 1 Picnic (aka. Shoulder), or 1 Whole Shoulder (includes the picnic and butt cuts)

Dessert? Really? Might as well have categories for slaw, another for brunswick stew, and perhaps another for....

Also, consider whether this is a BBQ contest, or a grilling contest. If grilling, might as well have steaks in there. If BBQ, honestly, do people BBQ sausages (I dont; I grill them, they're fantastic in Red Beans & Rice)? Chicken (again, I grill mine, even in KCBS contests, not BBQ'd at all from me)?

06-06-2012, 01:27 PM
I'd say drop the dessert. Also I would say add charcoal briquettes. three whole chickens to get six samples seems a bit much to me. keith

Just Pulin' Pork
06-06-2012, 01:28 PM
This will be a fun thread to follow!

06-06-2012, 01:42 PM
Sounds like a fun event to me.... As mentioned, dessert might be a bit too much but what the heck. The challenge, as I see it, is to see who really can "cook" with the restrictions in place. Something different and outside the box so to say. Cheers, and good luck with the event!!!

06-06-2012, 01:50 PM
Sounds as if it would work. Hope to see if many are interested. I would be, as long as there is fire to cook on count me in.

Lake Dogs
06-06-2012, 01:52 PM
Signature, I wasnt trying to be rude. My sincere apologies if it came off that way! I was trying to have you think through why you're having a contest (ie. what's the desired results) and have whatever type of contest it is that best meets your needs and hopefully gets you to achieve your desired results.

You're a sausage maker, yes? You're wanting to feature and promote your sausage, yes?

That's a great thing to do!!! Might I suggest a grilling contest and not a BBQ contest? Have steaks, perhaps chicken, and of course your wonderful sausage. I might even suggest 2 sausage categories; naked (ala. just sausage) and a sausage dish of some kind (whether sausage & peppers Italian style, or Red Beans & Rice w/Sausage Cajun style, etc.).

On the chickens though, think through judges having to pull pieces apart, each getting a different sample, etc. It usually doesn't work well. You're better off getting them to cook one particular cut and having them supply X number of them in the blind box.

You'd mentioned: see who is the best pit master. In my case anyway, you'd be mixing BBQ Pit master with Grill master... Briskets and pork shoulders [depending on which you define] are almost never grilled. Most great ribs aren't grilled either. Chicken, even if on a smoker, is usually done at much higher heat, but probably at least 50% of the time or more they're actually properly grilled, and I think most sausages are also grilled...

06-06-2012, 01:57 PM
Suggest you make one exception for electronics and allow instant read thermometers (food safety)

06-06-2012, 02:37 PM
Maybe allow your dessert to be turned in in a cast iron pot?

06-06-2012, 02:38 PM
I really like Lake Dogs suggestions about making it more of a grilling contest. Might also open your audience up to more backyard cooks that don't have the confidence to do a full blown bbq competition cook yet. That to me would seem like smart business if you are trying to promote your sausage(s).

FWIW, my in-laws live in Tonganoxie so if you PM me your business info I will pass it along to them and I will be in the area towards the end of July and would love to give your stuff a try!

Just Pulin' Pork
06-06-2012, 02:43 PM
I will say I love the idea that its a stick burner contest only!

06-06-2012, 02:45 PM
If you do a dessert I would not limit it to the same box. Desserts have a much broader range than bbq'd meats as far as size go. And because you can be a great pitmaster without ever having bbq'd a dessert IMHO it will lead to boring entries, because the cook will be hesitant to try something extravagant, and risk messing it up and hurting their overall scores. I think having open presentation in desserts leads to more flair and much more exciting entries. I hope any of that made sense.

06-06-2012, 03:53 PM
I agree with Hance on the chicken. I would probably refuse to judge chicken if I 4-5 other judges had handled that chicken half before it got to me. That would be as bad as a contest I judged last year where a judge at my table brought his own fork. He used it to get his portion out of the box. The problem was he stuck it in his mouth to clean it off between boxes.

My other question would be if you are supplying all the meat, what would the entry fee be?

Butcher BBQ
06-06-2012, 03:59 PM
The one thing on desserts is if you don't state must be cooked on site they might bring a cake that was baked in an oven at home using electric. Just trying to think of all the gray areas. Other than that good luck with it.

06-06-2012, 04:26 PM
Ok thanks for the comments.. Will need plenty more as time goes on because we want this to be something that everyone likes...

Here are the reasons for a few things....

@Lake Dogs as for being a bbq contest or a grilling contest... This is going to be a cooking contest... How ever you would like to cook it you can... Slow/fast your decision... 1 whole shoulder as in 1 whole shoulder... As for the Dessert: This is a category that is becoming popular in many contests and is something we will do in this one only difference is that it is going to count for your overall score.... As for the sausage entry because we are a sausage co we will def have that category....

@Kenthanson As for the dessert yeah I guess the actual box doesn't make a difference but what is going to be stressed is that it is cooked ON SITE and ON A WOOD HEAT SOURCE.... NO EXCEPTIONS and also this will count as your overall score...

As of right now we do not plan to make this a KCBS competition... Because we will have different rules and such....

@SlamDunkPro Instant read thermometers will be allowed to test the temp of the meat but other than that nothing else... This is going to be a back to the basic competition...

Keep the comments coming I am righting them all down....

06-06-2012, 04:44 PM
@ButcherBBQ.... Yes that will be something that is addressed for sure... Not only on site but on a wood fired cooking source... Usually when it says on site these teams with huge RVS and full kitchens think they can just use their ovens... not in this site...

06-06-2012, 04:47 PM
As for the entry fee that is still up in the air...

We were thinking $350-$400 is this something you guys think is unreasonable? Cash paid to the top 3 in each event.... these will be small events probably 25 teams...

06-06-2012, 05:18 PM
I think you're approaching this wrong.

Will you insure all the chicken is uniform?
All the ribs have straight bones, good marbling, and are meaty?
Pork has a nice size MM and no packet gashes?
Briskets have nice thick flats, straight grain, good fat, good flop, and no gashes?
Probably not.

Have a balls out sausage contest on Saturday, you provide the sausage, maybe a PC, and a BBQ au natural on Sunday.

I can't imagine many would pay a $400 entry fee unless the payouts were very, very large.

06-06-2012, 05:30 PM
@Boogiesnap are you familiar with the Pitmaster show? This is kind of what we are going to duplicate... There will be a refer trailer with the supplied meat that contestants will be able to choose from... To answer your questions... No we will not ensure that all of the chicken is uniform.... They do not grow all the same... Some will be smaller and some will be bigger... same with the other meats.. No guarantee on them... Kind of like luck of the draw...

The entry is something that is open right now... What would you be willing to pay... Remember you are being supplied all of the meat you need so that cost is out... I assume it will cost us about $100 per team to supply the meat... This is not a fundraiser and nothing is going to a charity so all of that money will be going in the pool...

We will do a draw for the teams that get to participate... I would like to limit this to 25 teams... If 75 teams apply we will do a drawing for the 25...

Thank you again for everyone putting in their thoughts.. This is going to be a great event I can assure you of that...

06-06-2012, 05:36 PM
Quick breakdown of prizes... (Not including any donations from sponsors)

$400 entry per team that covers all 6 categories and all of your meat needed

$2000 GC
$600 RGC

Each Category
1st $500
2nd $200
3rd $100

This is just with the entries paid from the 25 teams nothing added...


Sat-Sun event rather than Fri-Sat?

06-06-2012, 06:10 PM
listen, my point was, you might be asking too much of us competitors.

4 categories of meat we have no control over, plus a sausage contest(which shouldn't be blown off because it is important to YOU), and a dessert category. all this while excluding your team pool of top competitors who may be able to pull this off that have invested in automated cookers and then on top a high entry fee. (btw, i spend a whole lot more than $100 for the 4 categories and would rather select my own and pay for it myself than have it provided, unless it was free, then maybe different story).

something needs to give to draw.

i like the idea, but, like hance said about your chicken idea, the logistics aren't there yet.

neither is the promotion of your product. nobody is going to taste the sausage entries except 25 judges. that's not a big market.

i've seen all the pitmaster shows. tell me, how many categories did they cook?

06-06-2012, 06:20 PM
Hey thanks for your imput... that is why I asked not trying to get in any arguments... The reason for making everyone use the same source of meat and getting it right before comp time is to put everyone on an even playing field... As for the logistics not being there yet nothing is there yet just in the brainstorming phase as of right now...

We have a lot of time to go through the details this is just the beginning...

06-06-2012, 06:23 PM
Hey thanks for your imput... that is why I asked not trying to get in any arguments... The reason for making everyone use the same source of meat and getting it right before comp time is to put everyone on an even playing field... As for the logistics not being there yet nothing is there yet just in the brainstorming phase as of right now...

We have a lot of time to go through the details this is just the beginning...

sorry, that did come off aggressive. unintended.

06-07-2012, 09:45 AM
I'm still stuck on how you will handle judging portions with an intact half chicken in a box. Also, just one rack of ribs? I'm pretty sure on Pitmasters, they got more than one slab. IMHO, you are going to have to give them at the very minimum 2 slabs if using spares.

Wouldn't the meat selection process throw an unintended variable into the equation? The lucky first 5 in the draw are going to get the best meat. The unlucky last 5 are getting the leftovers. #25 won't have a choice at all, he just gets whats left.

I think the decision not to allow electronics or briquettes will greatly limit your potential field.

Again, not throwing rocks at your idea. I like the overall concept. Just trying to offer some food for thought.

06-07-2012, 10:06 AM
Hey thanks for your imput... that is why I asked not trying to get in any arguments... The reason for making everyone use the same source of meat and getting it right before comp time is to put everyone on an even playing field... As for the logistics not being there yet nothing is there yet just in the brainstorming phase as of right now...

We have a lot of time to go through the details this is just the beginning...

The very fact that its a luck of the draw for who picks first on the meat is an instant turn off. Pay $400 and you may be the last team to pick and get the last 2 racks of crappy ribs with nothing but shinners. I'd be super pizzed. That's not a 'level' playing field, as you have said.

Yes, it's 'pitmaster'esq, but it's not a level playing field. I'm sure on Pitmasters they got 4 sets of VERY similar quality meat. That will be very difficult to do with 25 teams.

The size restriction will eliminate a lot of teams with trailers. The non-electricity will eliminate a lot of teams because that is the type of pits they have. No briquettes would eliminate a lot of teams. Now you're left with a very small pool of teams that you are trying to get to show up for about the same amount of money that they would spend to pick their own meats and have larger prize pools at other contests.

I think the idea of what you want to do is neat. But being so rigid and controlling the meats I think is likely to cause you to fail. In Pitmasters teams got national tv exposure and were cooking for a VERY large prize. Really, the way you've described it, I'd be paying for a crap shoot on getting decent meat, with tough restrictions on cooking, all for a group of non-certified judges.

06-07-2012, 10:15 AM
There are about 50 contests each weekend in Texas using 1/2 chickens...

Balls Casten
06-07-2012, 11:25 AM
My biggest complaint about KCBS is that there are too many restrictions. This seems to have more.
I dont understand why someone would want to sponsor a contest where the cooks were restricted from producing their best food. I would agree getting cooks off their game would be fun to watch for one category. But an intire contest is asking a lot for that amount of money. Draw 5 names out of a hat and have a friday night pitmaster'esq contest with your sausage. I will guarantee the other cooks will come up to watch.
As others have said, not condeming your idea just providing response to your question.
Good Luck to you.

Limp Brisket
06-07-2012, 05:33 PM
IBCA turns in chicken the way you are wanting. The link is to their rules. Maybe check around on forums to find out how IBCA judges deal with chicken.


06-07-2012, 10:43 PM
I'm right in your backyard and I'd be interested. Honestly, though, looking at the limited prize payouts (3 spots) and the relatively high entry fee, I think you'd be better off going to a larger contest with more teams, yes, more payouts.

I'm interested, though, and would consider it.

Is it only a contest? Is there any other family entertainment around it? Could you do a KCBS contest adn then do an invitational in addition to it where you run your rules?

06-08-2012, 04:58 PM
I live in the area as well and you have me interested. My biggest problem would be the possibility of picking the meat in the bottom 5. To get around this you could have more than 25 cuts of each catergory on hand. What wasn't used could be returned to the local store as long as you kept it cold. I like the idea and what you are trying to do. But the current meat idea you have would be a deal killer for me.

06-10-2012, 12:32 AM
Interesting concept.

I can tell you that here in Georgia a $400 contest where only a 20x20 site with lights is allowed such as you describe it would be nearly impossible to get 25 teams to sign up. The majority of teams here use trailers, and they aren't going to face the Dixie heat without a fan if not air conditioning. Yes, there are some non-Pro guys that would do it, but they won't pay a $400 entry.

Obviously I can't speak for Kansas, but from my experience in the Southeast I'm guessing that you are going to have to loosen your restrictions to get your team quota.

06-10-2012, 06:28 AM
The conditions you are suggesting are the same ones advocated by many who decry any technology, use of premium meats, and such all the time.
Especially during the winter months on the forums. :-D:-D

Only change I can see needed is some source of hot water for sanitation.

The complaints about meat selection are easily solved by just having a team member (or staff) reach into a cooler without looking and pulling out a chicken or whatever. Pure luck of the draw.

Good luck--should fill up easy it the "purists" actually want what they ask for. :-D


06-10-2012, 09:14 PM
back to basics?! so where exactly do you put the thermometer? :shock:
oh, by the way it's hard to find a mercury thermometer today.:wink:
sorry, couldn't resist.