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abangs
06-11-2012, 11:25 PM
KCBS competition...you register and show up with your recipe and cooker. The event organizer provides all the meat and puts it all n coolers...1 cooler per team...everyone gets 1 packer, 2 butts, 4 slabs STL's, and 8 thighs. Number the coolers, put the numbers in a hat, pull a number and let's dance. All meat from same supplier and all same quality/grade. No wagyu or Kurobuta. Just good old everyday stuff.

That would be awesome!!!! It would definitely level the playing field!!!!

New Pal Frank
06-12-2012, 05:25 AM
Sounds like fun.

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 06:08 AM
I've worked enough with different meats, meat suppliers, etc. that I'd have a tough time convincing myself to put that in the control of someone else, frankly. For the first part, I've learned that my techniques, injections, rubs and sauces dont work worth a flip with meats that have been packed with *something*. Then you'll have people who dont do spares. More who think 1 packer, or 2 butts, or particularly 8 thighs isn't enough. Oh, forgot, you'll have people who dont do thighs too...

Part of the beauty of "the system" is decisions, controls, etc. are left to the competitor, to be able to bring their very best BBQ to bare on any given afternoon.

However, following your train of thought (which isn't terrible, by the way), I think the organizer should also supply all the smokers (every single one) requiring us/you to cook only on the provided smokers, using only the provided wood/heat source. To be truly level we'd all be using the same equipment and cooking the same meats. Otherwise, IMHO, still not nearly level.

zoogme
06-12-2012, 06:49 AM
I like to see NO electricity or generators ;)

fnbish
06-12-2012, 07:31 AM
Will all of that meat come pre trimmed so I don't have to do it there :becky:? If so I'd give it a whirl. It is a cool idea, but very hard to get implemented.

abangs
06-12-2012, 07:32 AM
I've worked enough with different meats, meat suppliers, etc. that I'd have a tough time convincing myself to put that in the control of someone else, frankly. For the first part, I've learned that my techniques, injections, rubs and sauces dont work worth a flip with meats that have been packed with *something*. Then you'll have people who dont do spares. More who think 1 packer, or 2 butts, or particularly 8 thighs isn't enough. Oh, forgot, you'll have people who dont do thighs too...

Part of the beauty of "the system" is decisions, controls, etc. are left to the competitor, to be able to bring their very best BBQ to bare on any given afternoon.

However, following your train of thought (which isn't terrible, by the way), I think the organizer should also supply all the smokers (every single one) requiring us/you to cook only on the provided smokers, using only the provided wood/heat source. To be truly level we'd all be using the same equipment and cooking the same meats. Otherwise, IMHO, still not nearly level.

I think taking the "premium" cuts of meat out of the equation and having everyone cook the same grade/quality of meat would throw a monkey wrench in some of the KCBS teams system for sure. Hell, think about it, you have Joe Schmoe over here, works a 9-5, has kids and a family, and cooks maybe 6 events per year.......realistically speaking, he can't afford to cook Wagyu and Kurubota. Hell, he (most of us!!!) have to budget to cook in competitions to start with......then you have a heavily sponsored team, a guy that can throw money at a hobby without thinking about it, or a restaurant owner that has a dozen cases of briskets at any one time to choose from.....that makes it tough for ol' Joe to compete!!!

Just saying, I think it would be a great event to see how some of these teams like Jack's Old South (Myron Mixon), Cool Smoke, Memphis BBQ Company (Melissa), etc would do with the quality meat that 95% of us cook!!!!! I'd be willing to bet that you would see more "average Joe" teams getting calls!!!!!


Zoogme, I think that would be great too!!!! No dang power!! Man that would defintely throw some guys for a loop!!!!!

Balls Casten
06-12-2012, 07:32 AM
I think you would still have the same teams on top. The differences in todays teams/rankings is not the meat/supplier.

abangs
06-12-2012, 07:36 AM
Will all of that meat come pre trimmed so I don't have to do it there :becky:? If so I'd give it a whirl. It is a cool idea, but very hard to get implemented.


Jason, I saw where you did pretty well in Tryon. Your ribs and pork did well. Congrats! But, no, you'd have to trim it yourself!!!!

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 07:55 AM
I think taking the "premium" cuts of meat out of the equation and having everyone cook the same grade/quality of meat would throw a monkey wrench in some of the KCBS teams system for sure. Hell, think about it, you have Joe Schmoe over here, works a 9-5, has kids and a family, and cooks maybe 6 events per year.......realistically speaking, he can't afford to cook Wagyu and Kurubota. Hell, he (most of us!!!) have to budget to cook in competitions to start with......then you have a heavily sponsored team, a guy that can throw money at a hobby without thinking about it, or a restaurant owner that has a dozen cases of briskets at any one time to choose from.....that makes it tough for ol' Joe to compete!!!

Just saying, I think it would be a great event to see how some of these teams like Jack's Old South (Myron Mixon), Cool Smoke, Memphis BBQ Company (Melissa), etc would do with the quality meat that 95% of us cook!!!!! I'd be willing to bet that you would see more "average Joe" teams getting calls!!!!!


Zoogme, I think that would be great too!!!! No dang power!! Man that would defintely throw some guys for a loop!!!!!


I'm right there with you. I've funded all my competitions by myself, no help from team members. I've had the luxury of competing against Myron on a few occasions and so far I've outscored him a few times and so far he's yet to GC any of the competitions I compete in. I've not had the opportunity to run into Tuffy or Melissa and Pete yet.

I hear all the time that the "big teams" (meaning big money, big rigs, notoriety, etc.) have an advantage. Truth be told, their advantage is KNOWLEDGE. That's it. They know how to do it.

Money doesnt buy wins. Knowledge wins.

cpw
06-12-2012, 08:02 AM
KCBS competition...you register and show up with your recipe and cooker. The event organizer provides all the meat and puts it all n coolers...1 cooler per team...everyone gets 1 packer, 2 butts, 4 slabs STL's, and 8 thighs. Number the coolers, put the numbers in a hat, pull a number and let's dance. All meat from same supplier and all same quality/grade. No wagyu or Kurobuta. Just good old everyday stuff.

That would be awesome!!!! It would definitely level the playing field!!!!

The South Carolina BBQ Association does a variation on this. In SCBA events, you only cook butts and ribs, and the organizer provides both. The main difference is that almost always, they provide a case of each.

EDIT: Also, the cost to enter the comps isn't any higher than a KCBS event. All of them I've done have been $200 or under to enter. The comps make their money by selling tickets so the public can sample the leftover meat that the cookers don't use.

G$
06-12-2012, 08:03 AM
KCBS competition...you register and show up with your recipe and cooker. The event organizer provides all the meat and puts it all n coolers...1 cooler per team...everyone gets 1 packer, 2 butts, 4 slabs STL's, and 8 thighs. Number the coolers, put the numbers in a hat, pull a number and let's dance. All meat from same supplier and all same quality/grade. No wagyu or Kurobuta. Just good old everyday stuff.

That would be awesome!!!! It would definitely level the playing field!!!!


http://www.rachaelray.com/blogs/index.php/2012/05/07/the-bare-bones-bbq-a-contest-and-a-manifesto/ (http://www.rachaelray.com/blogs/index.php/2012/05/07/the-bare-bones-bbq-a-contest-and-a-manifesto/)

Q-Dat
06-12-2012, 08:04 AM
Of all the uneven playing fields in competition BBQ, meat quality has got to be the most uneven. People can say "still gotta cook it right" all they want to, but a better piece of meat is a better piece of meat.

That being said, try to limit it to the use of meat that can be purchased at the typical supermarket, and you will see a riot.

Competition BBQ: Taking food for the common man, and making it an a way that a common man can't/won't afford to do.

DawgPhan
06-12-2012, 08:15 AM
I think taking the "premium" cuts of meat out of the equation and having everyone cook the same grade/quality of meat would throw a monkey wrench in some of the KCBS teams system for sure. Hell, think about it, you have Joe Schmoe over here, works a 9-5, has kids and a family, and cooks maybe 6 events per year.......realistically speaking, he can't afford to cook Wagyu and Kurubota. Hell, he (most of us!!!) have to budget to cook in competitions to start with......then you have a heavily sponsored team, a guy that can throw money at a hobby without thinking about it, or a restaurant owner that has a dozen cases of briskets at any one time to choose from.....that makes it tough for ol' Joe to compete!!!

Just saying, I think it would be a great event to see how some of these teams like Jack's Old South (Myron Mixon), Cool Smoke, Memphis BBQ Company (Melissa), etc would do with the quality meat that 95% of us cook!!!!! I'd be willing to bet that you would see more "average Joe" teams getting calls!!!!!


Zoogme, I think that would be great too!!!! No dang power!! Man that would defintely throw some guys for a loop!!!!!


you wouldnt see more average teams get called. They are average. Average BBQ doesnt get called. The teams that win, do so because they are a better bbq cook than the average joe.

This whole idea of creating a contest to bring people down to your level is beyond redic...first, the only people entering such a contest are going to be people at the bottom rungs of competition anyway, unless the prize money is in high 5 digit range.

Secondly, why the sudden need to bring the best down a notch? Focus more on raising your game within the rules and worry less about what the other guy is doing.

Fancy meat and restaurant names dont get called, good cooks, cooking high quality bbq, landing on good tables get called. If you aren't getting called focus on what you can control and get better.

Rub
06-12-2012, 08:20 AM
I had my contest meat stolen out of my cooler at work this past weekend. A friend met me at the contest at 6pm with new stuff he rounded up. Pulled a rgc outta my butt ;)
I'm in!

fnbish
06-12-2012, 08:22 AM
Jason, I saw where you did pretty well in Tryon. Your ribs and pork did well. Congrats! But, no, you'd have to trim it yourself!!!!

Thanks. I've been cooking and practicing a bunch and glad to see it is working. You guys are close to me in Gainesville. Is your place a store where folks can come by and look at what you have?

Oh and if I have to trim stuff there then I'm totally against this new process :-P..........

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 08:25 AM
Of all the uneven playing fields in competition BBQ, meat quality has got to be the most uneven. People can say "still gotta cook it right" all they want to, but a better piece of meat is a better piece of meat.

That being said, try to limit it to the use of meat that can be purchased at the typical supermarket, and you will see a riot.

Competition BBQ: Taking food for the common man, and making it an a way that a common man can't/won't afford to do.


I mean, this may be correct, but it is afterall a competition, one to see who is the best of the best on that day. As an average-joe competitor myself, if I'm going to compete, I'm ****ed sure going to bring my A game and work hard to beat Myron and Tuffy and Melissa. Otherwise, why compete at all? Seriously. Why compete? I'm going to do everything I can and bring every weapon in my arsenal to bare, including purchasing the very best meat that I can (and, BTW, I dont think wagyu necessarily leads to a better brisket).

See, I'm of a completely different mind-set altogether. I just cooked for my daughters college graduation. I'll cook for our anniversary coming up on the 4th of July. The amount that I'll cook for this (or cooked a few weeks back) makes cooking for a KCBS competition look puny. Guess what? I still use the same meat. The meat that I cook "back yard" is the same meat I compete with. Why would I do this, you ask? Because if I can't cook my very best and produce my very best on this day, then I just wont cook. We can always order out pizza....

If you're of a different mind set back-yard, that's great. Fine. That's completely up to you. However, I highly suggest not doing this at a competition. I mean, you might as well author the book "How to get your *** handed to you in a competition".

BTW, if you really want to see how the big boys play (ie. Melissa and Pete of Yazoo's Delta Q, and Myron or Jack's), join in on an MBN competition. These guys (and so have I) will be cooking 7-9 20# whole shoulders (I cook 9 because they come 3 to a case and are as cheap as buying 7), usually cooking a case of baby backs, and then they're cooking 1 or 2 whole hogs... You wont see any wyagu beef... And the "big teams" dont win consistently because they're big or fancy, otherwise some other guys who are bigger and more fancy (yes, more money than Myron and Melissa put together) would win every time.

The "big teams" win because.... They know how to win; knowledge. They understand competitions. They understand how to bring their A game every day, every time. They're practiced at it. They're serious about it. They love it. And, by the way, they can cook like no tomorrow.

Q-Dat
06-12-2012, 08:28 AM
you wouldnt see more average teams get called. They are average. Average BBQ doesnt get called. The teams that win, do so because they are a better bbq cook than the average joe.

This whole idea of creating a contest to bring people down to your level is beyond redic...first, the only people entering such a contest are going to be people at the bottom rungs of competition anyway, unless the prize money is in high 5 digit range.

Secondly, why the sudden need to bring the best down a notch? Focus more on raising your game within the rules and worry less about what the other guy is doing.

Fancy meat and restaurant names dont get called, good cooks, cooking high quality bbq, landing on good tables get called. If you aren't getting called focus on what you can control and get better.

I see your point, but if you and I each cook a brisket, and one is just plain better quality than the other one, and we are both great cooks, and we both nail it, then that brisket that started out better will end up better, and usually show it in the scores. I say usually, because you never know what judges are going to do.

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 08:35 AM
^^^ While I actually disagree with your premise, if you feel strong about it then I highly recommend that you purchase the best quality meat that you can.

DawgPhan
06-12-2012, 08:35 AM
I see your point, but if you and I each cook a brisket, and one is just plain better quality than the other one, and we are both great cooks, and we both nail it, then that brisket that started out better will end up better, and usually show it in the scores. I say usually, because you never know what judges are going to do.


chances are your "nailing it" and someone else's "nailing it" are a little different. If you are nailing your cooking and not getting called, it wasnt the meat that beat you, it was your definition of "nailing it".

DawgPhan
06-12-2012, 08:39 AM
seriously the price difference on a mail order brisket and a RD choice brisket is only about $50. Who cares about that when you are spending $700 to go and compete. I dont think that most folks are using the higher end pork and I dont know that it makes much of a difference. We also cook a lot less these days than we did when we started. Teams complaining about the price of wagyu are typically the ones cooking 4-6 butts, 6-8 slabs, and 30 pcs of chicken. cook less higher quality meat.

Q-Dat
06-12-2012, 08:45 AM
Ok folks, let me clarify. I am not speaking of myself here. I haven't "nailed" anything in a comp yet. I have only even competed six times. If I could afford Wagyu I would probably use it too.

Here is my point. When you have Wagyu or Prime briskets that BARELY edge out select packers from Wally World, who really cooked better that day?

The_Kapn
06-12-2012, 08:50 AM
Here is a suggestion for a comp that "somewhat" resembles your idea.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=135140

That thread met with a lot of pushback also.

TIM

Alexa RnQ
06-12-2012, 08:50 AM
Let's see. When you go to a store to buy meat, do you look at more than one brisket, or do you take the first one that comes to hand? They're all the same, right? Same with ribs, they're all perfectly fine and none come with shiners, right? And you've never seen a package of chicken with one pterodactyl thigh and a couple of pigeons? Never looked through butts for a decent money muscle?

Anybody's who's been around the block knows that meat products are not consistent, not from animal to animal let alone from brand to brand. It's not a detail or afterthought -- meat selection is primary to the process.

As far as a level playing field, the field will never be level as long as there are competitors with more experience, or competitors who make better use of the experience they have.

BoneDaddy's
06-12-2012, 08:57 AM
We all have access to the same meats, some may pay more or less, but we all spend around the same. If another team decides to go with higher quality, they cook the same as I do and theirs tastes better and places better it is my fault and they are to be congratulated.

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 08:58 AM
Ok folks, let me clarify. I am not speaking of myself here. I haven't "nailed" anything in a comp yet. I have only even competed six times. If I could afford Wagyu I would probably use it too.

Here is my point. When you have Wagyu or Prime briskets that BARELY edge out select packers from Wally World, who really cooked better that day?

BINGO! We have a winner. You hit it precisely; dead on.

BBQ competitions are not there to judge who "really cooked better that day" at all.

BBQ competitions are about "which BBQ was better that day". That's all.

Pigs on Fire
06-12-2012, 09:05 AM
Just saying, I think it would be a great event to see how some of these teams like Jack's Old South (Myron Mixon), Cool Smoke, Memphis BBQ Company (Melissa), etc would do with the quality meat that 95% of us cook!!!!!



They cook pretty much the same meat everyone else does. Myron might get his hogs from a little ole Mennonite pork processor, but they aren't magic hogs.

You can order Waygu briskets just like anyone else can. Chicken...there's a well-known poultry producer/processor near you that many comp teams use for their chicken. Their contract farmers do not raise the birds in huge, over-crowded chicken houses like many large poultry farms do.

Ribs and butts can be picked through from Publix one by one or a local meat market or you can buy them cryovac'ed from mass marketers. Teams get called with both.

It's more about the cook, their processes, timing, taste profiles and a lot of it is whether or not you just naturally "have it". Some cooking can't be taught.

Q-Dat
06-12-2012, 09:06 AM
BBQ competitions are not there to judge who "really cooked better that day" at all.

Agreed, and I think its unfortunate that it has to be that way.

Lake Dogs
06-12-2012, 09:11 AM
The only way to see "who cooked better" would be to do it much like the Iron Chefs do. Same cookers. Same fuel source(s). Same spices to work with. Same injection materials to work with. Same knives. Same meats. Same, same, same, same, same. Otherwise, it's still a BBQ competition, trying to determine the best BBQ that day.

Alexa RnQ
06-12-2012, 09:16 AM
And even on Iron Chef, it's not quantified what "better" is -- it's about what products pleased the judges more.

abangs
06-12-2012, 09:22 AM
http://www.rachaelray.com/blogs/index.php/2012/05/07/the-bare-bones-bbq-a-contest-and-a-manifesto/ (http://www.rachaelray.com/blogs/index.php/2012/05/07/the-bare-bones-bbq-a-contest-and-a-manifesto/)


If that event were in the Southeast, I'd cook it. That event would be awesome!!!!!!

Q-Dat
06-12-2012, 10:23 AM
Teams complaining about the price of wagyu are typically the ones cooking 4-6 butts, 6-8 slabs, and 30 pcs of chicken. cook less higher quality meat.

I cook 24 thighs, 2 slabs of ribs, 2 butts, and one brisket which is usually the best looking one that I can find locally. If I happen to have a spare brisket in my freezer I may cook that as well ahead of the other one and hold it in the Cambro just in case I don't like the other one come box time. I spend the minimum that I can and still be competitive. Money is not as tight for me as it was a while back so I may double up on the ribs, and maybe cook one extra butt, but thats about it.

The meat meat quality amongst all competitors will never be equal, but it could be alot closer than it is now.

G$
06-12-2012, 11:30 AM
As far as a level playing field, the field will never be level as long as there are competitors with more experience, or competitors who make better use of the experience they have.

Professional Hair Splitter alert:

I disagree Alexa. The playing field is still level in your example, it is the participants/"teams" that are not (which is as it should be). Don't mistake the field for the player.

To be clear, I am not saying that provided meat is better than personally sourced meat for competitions, but it DOES remove one variable, and at a minimum would be an interesting thought experiment. It would never fly long term though. Many exceptional compettitors are likely against the notion because it removes one of the advantages they have, namely the skill, experience and ability to select great raw product. (and again, there is nothing wrong with that either!). Playing field is still level.

There is certainly a fine line: If you remove too many variables, you have all the cooks cooking the same meat with the same sauce with the same spice on the same pit.......

ique
06-12-2012, 11:45 AM
I dont think its a requirement at all to buy super premium beef in order win. A well selected restaurant depot brisket wet aged for 30 days can definitely beat that wagyu stuff and it does.

Here is my point. When you have Wagyu or Prime briskets that BARELY edge out select packers from Wally World, who really cooked better that day?

I think the bigger question here is the judges. My wagyu may have edged out your choice brisket but our entries were judged by completely different people on different tables. If tables were switched, your choice brisket very well may have won.

Extreme fluctuations between judges scoring from table to table is a much bigger factor in the "playing field" than whether you choose wagyu, prime or choice.

So if you want to even the playing field have a contest with 24 teams only. 4 tables and EVERY team gets to experience the same tables.

Vince RnQ
06-12-2012, 12:24 PM
http://www.rachaelray.com/blogs/index.php/2012/05/07/the-bare-bones-bbq-a-contest-and-a-manifesto/ (http://www.rachaelray.com/blogs/index.php/2012/05/07/the-bare-bones-bbq-a-contest-and-a-manifesto/)


I think it fairly safe to say that the posting of a Rachael Ray blog is about the most servere violation of your Man Card possible.

CarolinaQue
06-12-2012, 03:33 PM
Up here in Maine, the Cabela's in Scarborough hosts such a contest. They provide the brisket, ribs butts and chicken. All that is provided is 1 of all but the chicken and you get 6 of those, and they are boneless/skinless thighs. With that said, I can honestly say that I would much rather buy my own meat for a contest.

I like the contest, as it helps with getting back in the contest mode at almost no cost to the teams, but I'm not sure I like the uncontrolled variables. And no, I don't but Wagyu or any of the "high end" meat. And I've gotten my share of calls against some big names in New England. As Chris said, a wet aged RD brisket can do better than a SRF brisket any day, when it's cooked better.

My reasoning for wanting to buy my own is that I want to know what I'm getting, and you gain that through experience with a particular brand. Canadian pigs are very different than the one's I normally use. Both in size, fat content and color of the meat. Same with the briskets. One might be an 8lb packer and others may be 14lbers. The way the fat line that seperates the flat and point might run different, so on and so forth, nevermind the 'ole bend test.

As others have said, even quality varies in a single case of packed meat, so all in all, I think that a contest could be doing a serious disservice to the competitors unless they do what SCBA does. A case given a team to pick through for turn in meat would be a dream come true! Throw in no forced draft allowed and I'd be all over it up here!!!

Let the contest reps make sure the KCBS rules are followed and just cook the best you can. If you're not getting calls, the variables that need to be changed are in your control, no one elses!!!

Let's stop worrying about trying to make every one else do it the way we want it to be done and just cook the best we can.

boogiesnap
06-12-2012, 04:44 PM
an interesting approach may be to put a "cap" on how much one can spend on meats.( i know, i know, impossible to enforce-can't be a rule, but food for thought)

invest alot in brisket and roll the dice with less chicken? etc. etc.

CarolinaQue
06-12-2012, 04:48 PM
an interesting approach may be to put a "cap" on how much one can spend on meats.( i know, i know, impossible to enforce-can't be a rule, but food for thought)

invest alot in brisket and roll the dice with less chicken? etc. etc.

Why? What purpose would that really serve? Why bring others down to a certain level?

Why punish some people if others can only afford WalMart brisket versus SRF???

boogiesnap
06-12-2012, 05:50 PM
Why? What purpose would that really serve? Why bring others down to a certain level?

Why punish some people if others can only afford WalMart brisket versus SRF???

why not?

the idea isn't without merit. look at other sports organizations. i was elaborating on the OP's idea of "leveling the playing field" while still keeping meat selection under the control of the competitor.

with that said, my personal opinion is, i will win or lose depending on how i cook MY meat, not the quality of yours. cook whatever you like or can afford.

CarolinaQue
06-12-2012, 06:51 PM
But wouldn't the prices be subjective to the region? Some people have access to wholesale clubs and RD while others don't.

For example, a friend that competes with me has a RD where he is, I do not. He can get the same brand of choice grade briskets for over a dollar a lb cheaper than what I can get them for here, where I live. The only other place I can get whole packers from other than the local meat market is Walmart, which is comparable in price to RD, but not quality.

landarc
06-12-2012, 06:58 PM
Ooo, I got an idea, let's do away with all the fancy cookers too. Let's level the field where it really matters. I can afford the meat, but, I can't afford a Guru or Stoker, much less several thousand dollars for one of those cool insulated smokers. (and yes, I am being fascetious)

In my former world of professional cooking, one of the big choices is exactly the ingredient you choose. Which meat you bring to a competition defines your choices as much as fuel, spices or cooker.