View Full Version : threads on starting in Competition

bluegrass smoke
06-29-2012, 09:45 PM
Is there a good thread a "ugly drum smoker" type thread for everything
about Competition..... I don't even know where to start
thanks for the help:-P

Smokin Mike
06-29-2012, 10:06 PM
I believe you just started one.

I had used a uds for comps, hot and fast in the morning, rotate, flip, ect, and wrap when I have a nice color. Then it goes in the FEC. I really really do not know what temp its running, its just all intakes open.

that was last year, and worked well.

Hot and Fast isn't working for me anymore, so I went back to slow and low.


I do know guys that use uds successfully, and do win, I just don't.

06-29-2012, 10:12 PM
look in the comp roadmap.. there are alot of pointers to other threads in there.

06-29-2012, 11:36 PM
Look for the book "Starting the Fire." Pick an event or type of event (KCBS sanctioned, unsanctioned, backyard, etc) and read the rules. Ask questions. Besides that, the Search feature is your friend.


06-30-2012, 11:18 AM
You can use the search feature on this site too......just a thought.

06-30-2012, 03:59 PM
Is there a good thread a "ugly drum smoker" type thread for everything
about Competition..... I don't even know where to start
thanks for the help:-P

Ask questions as they come to you post them here...keep coming back and asking, you will get some good data. And you will have done a service for others.

What is question number One?

Big George's BBQ
06-30-2012, 06:45 PM
Read the book Startin the Fire It is a Great tool for starting in Comps

bluegrass smoke
06-30-2012, 10:12 PM
Question number one..... I have a old country offset and my father will be bringing a big green egg. What time do I need to start cooking so I can make turn in times?

06-30-2012, 10:19 PM
As far as what time to start cooking, that is determined by your cooking style and your equipment. Make a few practice runs at your house, cooking along the same turn in times as the comp you are preparing for. Practice and most of all, have fun!

06-30-2012, 11:22 PM
Good answer, cant add any info that would make it a better one.

bluegrass smoke
07-01-2012, 07:22 AM
I for sure understand cooking styles can vary but I have to assume there is a general time that most start... Assuming you have a 12pm turn in time for pork shoulder and a 12:30 pm time for chicken.... Do you start as soon as inspection is over?

07-01-2012, 08:55 AM
If it is a KCBS contest turn in times are 1155-1205 Chicken, 1225-1235 Ribs, 1255-1305 Pork, and 1325-1335 Brisket.

With my style of cooking we start the fire between 0200-0300 and meat goes on between 0300-0400 and the big meats are off between 0900-1100 Chicken and ribs are timed to come off the pit right before turn in.

07-01-2012, 09:13 AM
You might want to use a working back time line, if chicken turn in is at 1200, 5mins to make box, 15 mins to rest, 2 hrs to cook, 8hrs to marinade, 1hr to trim then you would start minimum of 1030pm.
As far as what other teams are doing, make a time line for how you cook and stay on schedule.

07-01-2012, 09:46 AM
BGS, how long does it take you to cook your food at home?

use those times and work backwards. for the big meats give yourself a couple hours leeway if thy're going slow. for the chicken and ribs time it so they come off the pit ready to eat about 15 minutes before turn in.

07-01-2012, 10:03 AM
Read George's book then jump right in the water is fine.:grin:

07-01-2012, 10:14 AM
I for sure understand cooking styles can vary but I have to assume there is a general time that most start...

As you can see by some of the answers, there really is not a general time. For example, I start my Butt & Brisket at 6pm on Friday evening...

Just keep asking questions...

bluegrass smoke
07-01-2012, 12:24 PM
Thanks Bentley!!!

07-01-2012, 08:02 PM
I've been thinking about this while out of town and I may have come up with a slightly better, more detailed approach:

1) Pick an event type, sanctioned by body A, or unsanctioned (often modeled after KCBS).

2) Download the rules for that sanctioning body and/or event and read them enough so that you can take a test on them.

3) Plan your setup. Pick cooker(s), a travel vehicle, gear, and a way to move it all around. For gear, you can find free checklists on line, or write down all the things you use for your practice cooks. Oh yeah...

4) Do at least one practice cook. This is expensive and time consuming, but you'd hate for your first time out to be your first practice. At the very least, this will give you a direction on where you are going with scheduling and gear.

5) On your gear and your practice cook, remember that weather changes and things go wrong. Prepare for hot/cold/rain/dark. "cover" and light are a must IMHO.

5) Work out a schedule. Figure out how long it takes you to cook things, ask if you are going to hold things hot or cold, and count backwards. Your schedule should include everything starting with what time you show up, and everything you do from then until you go home. No kidding. Again, you can probably find some for download.

6) You might wanna practice again. Just sayin...

7) Depending on your budget and what you can see yourself doing, take a class. There are several out there in several differen price ranges. Most of the top ones are in the off-season, but some are year long.

8) When you don't know or have a question, search here and ask. You may not get (helpful) answers, but asking won't hurt.

Don't forget to stay hydrated and have fun!


bluegrass smoke
07-08-2012, 08:36 PM
I got the book startin' the fire.. My next question is he states that most teams cook 2 briskets, two butts, 4 slabs of ribs and 12 pcs of chicken. I wanted to see what yall do?

bluegrass smoke
07-08-2012, 08:38 PM
also are there any comps or classes around central KY?

07-08-2012, 10:04 PM
I cook, 1 brisket, 2 butts, 3 slabs of ribs, and 12 to 16 chicken thighs.

07-08-2012, 10:43 PM
20 pieces of chicken, 3 racks or ribs, 1 butt, 1 brisket...

Comps, just check the different scantioning bodies to see if they have contest in your area...other will have to weigh in on cook classes, I dont believe in em!

Butt Rubb'n BBQ
07-09-2012, 07:51 PM
I would start with a butt if it was me and work my way to a shoulder. I cook around 225 and allow around 12 hours for the cook. I like a 8 lb average. If you are going to rest it I would allow about another hour for that. Go to YouTube and look up comp cooking. There a a tone of great videos there. Ribs I allow about 5 hours for with no resting time. Brisket same as butt. Chicken a hour and half or two. Good luck and happy smoking.

Red Valley BBQ
07-09-2012, 08:18 PM
16-20 pcs of chicken, 3 racks of ribs (usually), 2 butts, 1 brisket.

What time you start cooking depends on the type of cooker you have and how effecient it is. My brisket usually goes on at midnight, pork goes on around 2 or 3am depending on size, ribs go on around 6am and chicken at 10am or so.