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View Full Version : Impressions of my first MBN experience.


Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-26-2012, 12:05 PM
This weekend we competed in our first ever MBN contest in Nashville TN at the Music City BBQ festival. First impression...WOW. That was a lot to take in all at once. We knew we were going to be hard pressed to have a nice "setup" for MBN on site judging but we were not prepared for how nice some of the setups several teams had. We were pretty worried right off the bat. We figured we would be in way over our head competing in all 3 categories so we went with whole hog. Honestly if it wasn't for the hog I doubt I would have ever considered an MBN contest. Cooking a good hog seemed like the pinnacle of cooking BBQ to us. Many of the big teams had 10-15 team members cooking. We are normally just a team of two. Thank God a few of our good friends came down to help out. We would have been in big trouble without them. It was simply too much to get done not having a real "game plan" in place. We decided to put our head down and try to worry less about what other teams were doing and worry more about getting our hog done right. We had a 202lbs. hog so we had to hit the ground running as soon we pulled in Friday morning. Got the hog prepped and into the cooker and then we went about preparing our "sales pitch" for the next day. This is the part I was the most worried about coming from a KCBS background. I figured that we could build a great blind box but would struggle with on site. My guess was completely wrong. We built one of the ugliest blind boxes I've ever seen and then did a pretty decent job with our on site judges. We kept improving and improving with each judge. After the on site was over we felt like a huge weight was lifted and all nerves were calmed with a cold beverage. Those calm nerves would only last so long. About an hour after the last judge left a golf cart pulled up out front. They smiled and handed us a sign to put up in our camp site. WE MADE FINALS!!! We set out to with a VERY lofty goal of a top three finish and we had done just that. For the next 3 hours adrenaline was pumping pretty hard and I found myself wandering around the campsite not really knowing what to do with myself. Right before the judges showed up rain crept in and threatened to turn our area into a mud hole. We were so incredibly nervous that I eventually had to go in the trailer and lay down because I was pacing and sweating like crazy. When the judges finally showed up I somehow went on auto pilot and my thoughts seemed to come naturally. All of the finals judges asked a really large amount of questions. Many more than the 1st round. I was able to take all of them in stride and felt I had good answers and reasoning to everything we did. After they left I had a pretty good feeling about the process in general. When awards came around we were giddy knowing we had 3rd place in the bag no matter what. To our surprise they called us up for 2nd Place! We were on cloud 9. To be up against two of the best hog cookers in the country and finish between the two in our first contest was truly and awesome feeling. All in all I loved the experience and format as it was a nice break from the KCBS style. Am I ready to drop KCBS and do MBN full time? I doubt it. The costs involved with an MBN contest are astronomical and most contest are pretty long haul for us. If it weren't for our friends helping out we could have never finished as well as we did. They can't always be there to help so that is going to be a big factor for future comps. Wrestling a 200lbs hog around is a minimum of a 3 man job 4 makes it tolerable. After all was said and done I really did enjoy the weekend but will certainly make some changes to make ourselves and our site more comfortable next time. And there will be a next time. :)

Lake Dogs
08-26-2012, 12:11 PM
CONGRATS! AWESOME!!!

I must admit, I'm a bit addicted to the MBN style/approach, but holy cow is it expensive and a big undertaking. It's why I smile when I read about folks complaining about the cost and effort of KCBS. I've never done Hog, but always did both Ribs and Shoulder.

I'm glad you guys had fun!

Podge
08-26-2012, 12:36 PM
Yup, ya done Kentucky proud.. Great Job guys !

indianagriller
08-26-2012, 01:30 PM
Thats awesome guys! Jeff from Yellow River and I are thinking about trying our hand at a few MBN competitions next year.

Pappy Q
08-26-2012, 02:01 PM
Congrats!

porkingINpublic
08-26-2012, 02:27 PM
Great job. Our first comp ever was a mbn and it was intimidating! We left with 2 awards and we were addicted ever since!

What all teams were y'all competing against?

Pigs on Fire
08-26-2012, 02:44 PM
We could easily do 15-16 KCBS contests a year within 2 hours of north Atlanta.

Does MBN have 15 contests a year??

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-26-2012, 04:08 PM
Great job. Our first comp ever was a mbn and it was intimidating! We left with 2 awards and we were addicted ever since!

What all teams were y'all competing against?

We were in the Finals Against 10 Bones and Boars Night Out. I believe Boars Night Out is currently 1st in MBN TOY and 10 Bones is 3rd.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-26-2012, 04:12 PM
Yup, ya done Kentucky proud.. Great Job guys !

We can recruit some other boys from KY and have a go at all three next time if you want. :)

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-26-2012, 04:13 PM
Thats awesome guys! Jeff from Yellow River and I are thinking about trying our hand at a few MBN competitions next year.

Its a nice change of pace from KCBS but I would need a big team to help with the amount of work and the amount of money it takes to compete regularly.

indianagriller
08-26-2012, 05:36 PM
Its a nice change of pace from KCBS but I would need a big team to help with the amount of work and the amount of money it takes to compete regularly.

Well, if you ever need help with one im sure we could lend a hand, I learned MBN from one of the best.

porkingINpublic
08-26-2012, 08:00 PM
We were in the Finals Against 10 Bones and Boars Night Out. I believe Boars Night Out is currently 1st in MBN TOY and 10 Bones is 3rd.

We competed against those guys too. All good people.

You must be doing something right cus you were in good company

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-26-2012, 08:39 PM
We competed against those guys too. All good people.

You must be doing something right cus you were in good company

Well we thought the hog was pretty good but being our first contest we had no clue if it was competition good. I know we have to do it again to prove it wasn't a fluke. :)

Rocky_Northern
08-26-2012, 08:53 PM
congrats man thats awesome ! from KY!!

New Pal Frank
08-27-2012, 08:08 AM
Nice job. Congrats.

Svenmac
08-27-2012, 09:19 AM
Good Job from a West Ky Boy.

WeQ4u
08-27-2012, 11:02 AM
Awesome job!! Congrats!!!

Dragline
08-28-2012, 08:21 AM
Big Congrats, awesome experience maybe we all should get together and do one

Shiz-Nit
08-28-2012, 08:34 AM
Congrates so what is next for yea all?

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-28-2012, 10:37 AM
Congrates so what is next for yea all?

We are winding down on our season. I'd say a couple more KCBS comps and we will be done. We've joked about doing the Big Pig Jig but I think the cost and travel would be a bit much for us. Our great friends who helped out would prob balk on traveling that far even if we did happen to scrape up enough cash.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-28-2012, 10:41 AM
Big Congrats, awesome experience maybe we all should get together and do one

Im sure there will be some opportunities for that to happen in the future.

TooSaucedToPork
08-28-2012, 12:10 PM
We could easily do 15-16 KCBS contests a year within 2 hours of north Atlanta.

Does MBN have 15 contests a year??

27 if you don't Count Memphis in May which the MBN format mirrors.

CONGRATS ON THE 2ND Y'ALL - That is awesome!!!

My first contests many years ago were MBN contests. Yeah they are expensive, but they are tons of fun. In my opinion, doing both makes you a better BBQer...Different styles, different turnins, and as any judge who has judged a MBN ancillaries catagory will tell you, you see some amazing culinary talent.

Like we've said before...if anyone ever wants to come down and experience a MBN contest, or be on the team for Memphis in May, give us a shout.

Neil

Lake Dogs
08-28-2012, 01:23 PM
> and as any judge who has judged a MBN ancillaries catagory will tell you, you see some amazing culinary talent.

OH MY, like words just cannot describe! When we competed last I had a guest cook for wings, another award winning pastry chef for dessert, etc. We placed 1st or 2nd in everything from wings, dessert, seafood, chicken, margaritas and even bloody mary's. They're definitely NOT 2 person KCBS style teams! But HOLY TAMALE was I worn out!!!! And finals, lets not forget those!!!

Pigs on Fire, take a look south to Milledgeville in late October; Deep Roots Festival. Has been a really good MIM/MBN cookoff since 2004 I think. Then there's always Vienna GA for Big Pig Jig (bring ant killer; you're in a field LOADED with 'em).

wingpirate
08-29-2012, 11:12 AM
Congrats dude. When I came to say hi, that hog looked to be perfection. I knew you guys would do well.

Congrats again, my friend.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-29-2012, 12:44 PM
Congrats dude. When I came to say hi, that hog looked to be perfection. I knew you guys would do well.

Congrats again, my friend.

Thanks man nice meeting you.

neuyawk
08-29-2012, 02:38 PM
Mind breaking down the expenses associated with doing an MBN contest? I figure
200lbs hog -> $600
Gas
Motel
contest fees.

Anything else?

Lake Dogs
08-29-2012, 02:46 PM
Sweetwater Festival (now DeepRoots Festival) our entry fee was like $550 for a few ancillaries and ribs and pork. I was able to get an unbelievable discount on the meat buying by the case, the case of ribs cost about $110 and 3 cases of whole pork shoulders was like $280. I was able to cook all of these on 1 Lang (which is basically an original 84 model), but not a hog which will require it's own smoker. Ancillary meats and supplies ran us another $300 give or take. Didnt have any motel charges; we didnt sleep much and when we did it was a quick nap in the camper. Gas charges this time for us was nominal; I'm local.

I had about $1250 in it without doing Hog. That's a little high. You can trim out the ancillaries and save probably $300+-. Add in Hog, have someone bring another hog smoker, add another 2 or 3 guys to the team, you're in around $1700+- doing all 3.

neuyawk
08-29-2012, 03:12 PM
550 for an entry fee? That's pretty nuts! Was there some talk about trying to lower the fees to attract more people to MBN contests?

So for an average contest how many shoulders would you need and how many ribs?

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-29-2012, 03:31 PM
Mind breaking down the expenses associated with doing an MBN contest? I figure
200lbs hog -> $600
Gas
Motel
contest fees.

Anything else?

My hog was $400
Gas was around $360because we towed down 2 trailers
Hotel was $120 (contest wouldn't let us leave till Sunday)
Contest Fee was $375

Throw in ice,sauces, rubs, beer, garnish, and misc for another $250.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
08-29-2012, 03:33 PM
550 for an entry fee? That's pretty nuts! Was there some talk about trying to lower the fees to attract more people to MBN contests?

So for an average contest how many shoulders would you need and how many ribs?

15-18 racks of ribs and 9 whole shoulders. You can see how costs skyrocket and why many MBN teams have 10+ team members.