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View Full Version : Comp site setup...


Wager
10-16-2012, 08:23 AM
For those that don't have trailers or RVs that they live out of at the comps, how do you setup your site? We've got two 10X10 tents and a bunch of tables and chairs but it seems like we just have way too much junk laying around all over the place. 6 or 7 coolers, storage boxes, miscelanous junk.

How many tables do you typically setup? One for prep and one or more for other stuff?

How do you store all of your various supplies? do you bring some shelves or have some sort of storage setup that keeps things organized?

How many coolers do you typically have? 1 for comp meats and 1, 2, 3 or more of other food and beverages?

We've only done two competition cooks but it seems like we bring our entire house with us to these things. We've gone through the list of stuff to see what we didn't use but it seems like we used just about everything we took so maybe it is just an organization issue. What do you guys do to organize what you bring?

Hawg Father of Seoul
10-16-2012, 08:41 AM
Watching with anticipation. We have the same issue. Thinking about buying a big shelf of bins and shrink wrapping it to transport. Someone has the key to this.

Harbormaster
10-16-2012, 08:43 AM
We're a small time comp team, only doing a couple a year. I get all of our gear in a Chevy Venture mini-van and a 5x8 trailer.

We set up three tables, 2 6 footers and an 8 footer. We have 2 canopies; a straight legged one that covers the food prep area and another for storage/sitting area. We do bring a large shelving system that's on wheels which holds our charcoal, bus tubs, storage containers, etc... The shelving unit gets wrapped with a heavy duty tarp for transport and remains partially covered at the comp to protect from weather and sticky fingers. EDIT: Just read Chad's post. We also have a table system for a three bay wash tub set up and a place for a beverage cooler to hold out hot water.

We do have a lot of coolers. One for comp meat, one for finished turn-in boxes, a couple for our beverages/food, resting coolers etc... These get stacked or stored out of the way under tables. Not everything is under the canopies either.

Some of the storage bins that hold lights, extension cords, tools get stacked out of the way of the work area.

Hope there's something useful there for ya.

chad
10-16-2012, 08:43 AM
When Tim and I started we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving. We did refine that even before we started using the RVs and cook trailer:
1 table for wash rack, 1 table for food prep and such, we had one small card table for the coffee pot and a place to put our personal "stuff". We had two EZ-up type tents and sometimes only put one up. We finally got down to 2-3 coolers. One for transporting the meat too the contest and used after prepping to keep stuff cool. This one usually went home with me with my leftovers. Tim usually brought a couple of smaller coolers with our personal food and drink. He and I love a beer but we never drank until after the 2PM turnin on Saturday and we did not try to throw a party either. Our cooking stuff was in Rubbermaid totes and I usually had about 3 and Tim would bring a couple. We'd try to store them under the prep and cleanup tables and stack the coolers neatly.
Neatness of the site is a challenge if you don't have a trailer or an RV to keep your personal stuff out of the way.

JerryA
10-16-2012, 08:51 AM
I've done 12 comps so far and this last weekend I probably brought half the stuff (or less) than what I had my first comp. That is the main thing you have to figure out, how to minimize your processes because it becomes a pain to have to pack, unpack, wash/clean. I now have just a 50qt cooler for meats and a small cooler for my sauces, injections, drinks. The big stuff is not a big deal to take, I take 4-5 tables, and 1 to 3 canopies depending on whether I'm having friends/family come, but the big stuff is easy to load and unload. It's the stuff like containers, dishes, cutlery, cutting boards, cooling racks, sauce pans, mops, brushes etc. ect. that can become a pain. If you didn't use it, don't take it the next time, and even if you did use it, see if there's a way to do without it.

Smokin' D
10-16-2012, 08:53 AM
We bring too much stuff too. Seems to be the norm. Anyway, we have two 10x10's and sometimes set up just one. 2 - 6 foot tables for prep, on leg extensions and with a shelf below for holding supplies, and a 4 foot table for the sanitation station. All our equipment goes into marked plastic containers of various sizes. The smaller ones go on the shelf below the tables, larger ones on the ground below the shelf. One chair per person on the team. Guests need to bring their own. Biggest thing is to keep washing the dishes and various other tools and to put them back into the appropriate container. Keeps things neat and tools are readily found when needed. You need what you need for coolers. It is the miscellaneous junk you need to control.

eggzlot
10-16-2012, 09:00 AM
Guido, his son and I (BBQ Mafia) have done a few events over the last 2 years. We travel in two Envoys. His Lang gets attached to his Envoy and we fill both cars up with stuff. We have gotten better and we find we bring less and less to each event. The main things we pack:

1) 3 6' folding tables and 1 4' folding table. 4' one is used as a cleaning station for the 3 bins. We use another 2 tables for prep only and the other one we use to store our stuff so its within arms reach.

2) Chairs - 2 folding chairs so we can work at the tables, and 3 anti gravity chairs for sleeping

3) EZ ups - we have 2 10x10 ez ups

4) Shelves: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/storage/stackingBinsBaskets?productId=10006896&N=71232&Ns=p_price_sort%7C0 - we have 3 of those and stack them on 1 folding table so we can get to all of our tools, rubs, glazes, sauces, snack foods, etc

5) I personally keep a lot of my rubs, misc tools like foil, pans, thermometers, etc all in small plastic boxes, which then go into larger storage totes: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/storage/totes?productId=10027414&N=71235&Ns=p_price_sort%7C0 - this step may be overkill, but makes it easy to pack up when I go home, store my comp gear in my basement and pack my car easier. I slide 2-3 of these boxes in, some tables, and I am ready to go. If everything was loose it would be harder to track and pack everything.

6) coolers and cambro - we usually have a cambro + 1 medium size cooler for all comp meats, then 1 larger cooler for all personal food, beverages, etc.

7) misc stuff like water coolers to help transport water to/from water stations, power supply, etc all vary based on the event and what they supply or dont supply.

As far as set up, that varies on the size of the spot we have, weather, etc. Usually the two 10x10 ez ups go front to back to cover 10x20, and the open 10x20 is used for the Lang.

dhuffjr
10-16-2012, 09:04 AM
We started with two Eggs in a van. It was quite full. Two 3x5 folding tables, a tent, 1 EZup, coolers for drinks, meat/sauce, and one for holding meat plus tubs to keep various supplies in. I've always had the crates for transporting the Eggs that I flip over and they hold the wash tubs.


http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j44/dhuffjr/noroomforkidsLOL.jpg
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j44/dhuffjr/thesetup.jpg
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j44/dhuffjr/campHuff-1.jpg

tnjimbob
10-16-2012, 09:08 AM
Checklists and pre-packing my truck before my first comp were the keys to deciding what I would take and what I had to leave behind. I only have a small truck and no trailer to use for now, and this has made me travel as light as possible. I take two small cookers (An 18" WSM and a 22" Performer, which gives me another table and storage too), three Rubbermaid tubs for utensils, rubs and misc. stuff, and three small coolers. I plan to replace two of the coolers with one larger cooler, around a 70 qt. and I will still take a smaller cooler for food, sauces, etc. I have three tables, and I will only take two from now on to save space. Since I cook by myself, I don't have to worry about making room for someone else's stuff.

Patrickkva
10-16-2012, 09:25 AM
We bring too much stuff too. Seems to be the norm. Anyway, we have two 10x10's and sometimes set up just one. 2 - 6 foot tables for prep, on leg extensions and with a shelf below for holding supplies, and a 4 foot table for the sanitation station. All our equipment goes into marked plastic containers of various sizes. The smaller ones go on the shelf below the tables, larger ones on the ground below the shelf. One chair per person on the team. Guests need to bring their own. Biggest thing is to keep washing the dishes and various other tools and to put them back into the appropriate container. Keeps things neat and tools are readily found when needed. You need what you need for coolers. It is the miscellaneous junk you need to control.

We have almost the same set-up, but started out with way too much stuff. Our team took inventory AFTER the comps to see what needed to be left home. Stuff like: extra rubs, spatulas, knives, tongs, exension cords, chairs. We had double and triple of this stuff in bins. That string of lights in the bottom of the bin you haven't used in months? -gone Stuff like that adds up.

nthole
10-16-2012, 09:35 AM
We now have a checklist that guides what we really need and do as much slimming down as we can. We easily bring only half as much stuff as when we started.

We have 1 12x12 popup. We use 2 6ft tables, one that holds three bus tubs for wash rinse sani and one to work on. In addition we have a folding 'kitchen' from Cabellas that we pop up and that holds all our stuff. We take 3 18"in wsms. All the gear we need to cook with is stored in two cambro units that come along. Other than that its 3 chairs, 3 cots, 2 coolers (beer/meat) and one small rubbermaid tub that contains lights, dishtowels, trashbags, disposables, fire extinguisher. We get it all there in a 5x8 trailer and a Colorado pickup bed.

columbia1
10-16-2012, 10:05 AM
This is our first year of competing, each comp this year we have found more things to leave at home and ways to pack tighter. All of our parsley goes into the 5 gal igloo that becomes our hand washing station. The two five gallon buckets for water get packed with head lettuce. We are now making most of our injections and sauces at home and putting in quart jars, eliminating the need to pack all the individual ingredients. The next comp we are also going to premix our spices and put in pint size jars. The pots, pans. knives, utensils and the rest of the ingredients go into the wash tubs for transport.
We do take 3 canopies, two 10 by 10's tied together with walls for our cook area, and one 10 by 10 to provide shade over the pit. Three tables, all with leg extenders. One for prep, one to hold wash tubs and one for upfront. Two fold up comfy chairs and two popup chairs for the kids. Two coolers, one large enough to hold all of the comp meat, and the other for beverages. For sleeping we use air mattresses and sleeping bags. We are able to pack the canopies, wood charcoal and the 18" WSM on the pit trailer but still need two vehicles, one blazer and the wifey's car. Next year we are hoping to get EVERYTHING into the blazer(including the two kids).

Thanks for posting this, the new ideas so far are awesome!!

fnbish
10-16-2012, 11:07 AM
I feel we do it about as simply as we can. About the only thing that changes is an additional cooler if we have more than 3 people. I used to worry about forgetting stuff and at one time had a dedicated checklist which I don't anymore. But since there is always a grocery store close I don't worry about forgetting paper towels, brown sugar, and stuff that I can easily buy. I do write out a small checklist to not forget meat and sauces I can't get at the store, but it is pretty small.

How many tables do you typically setup? One for prep and one or more for other stuff?
-I have 2 tables on leg extenders that are our prep and box making tables. We do have a 3rd lower table that is used to put misc stuff on or the cambro to get it elevated and easier access.
How do you store all of your various supplies? do you bring some shelves or have some sort of storage setup that keeps things organized?
-I have 2 small plastic bins for spices & food prep items like knives and cooking tools. Then 2 other plastic bins, which one is for wood and the other is for tools, fire extinguisher, light, torch, etc.
How many coolers do you typically have? 1 for comp meats and 1, 2, 3 or more of other food and beverages?
-I use 3 when it is just 2 or 3 people. One is for meat, one is for drinks, and the 3rd is solely for parsley and lettuce and then to hold the parsley boxes over night. A 4th cooler comes into play if we have 4+ people because then we need a water cooler and a separate beer cooler :becky:.

Here are my 2 boxes for knives, spices and some misc stuff. Not very large. I do have some duplicate tools items, but they are not large items.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j395/fnbish69/Rome%20Thunder%202012/IMG1464.jpg

Here is our setup a few weeks ago. Had 2 people at this one (technically I was there alone on Friday). But this is 2 canopies with the 3 coolers and 2 prep bins and it is pretty minimal, but has everything I need. Doesn't looked cramped.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j395/fnbish69/Rome%20Thunder%202012/IMG_0340.jpg

Here is the back of the site with the wood bin, tool bin and cookers.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j395/fnbish69/Rome%20Thunder%202012/IMG_0339.jpg

And here is the setup condensed into 1 canopy when we just had 2 people. So it works with one canopy too.
http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j395/fnbish69/Lincolnton%202012/IMG749.jpg

The_Kapn
10-16-2012, 11:12 AM
Lots of great ideas above from guys who have been through the same thing.

Dave (Chad) above spoke about our first couple of years and the massive trimming down we did.
In addition, I set up 2 tubs with "spare" stuff. Things like about a mile of electrical cord, extra hoses and spay nozzles, a spare coffee pot (most important stuff), a few critical utensils, and stuff you would really need "only if"..... Also, extra paper towels, foil, and some expendables, just in case.
These tubs were never unpacked and were left in the tow vehicle unless needed, which was only once or twice-- and that was to lend to other teams.
Really helped reduce the clutter and the packing challenges.

Just keep at it--you will figure it all out!!!

TIM

Wager
10-16-2012, 11:29 AM
Thank you everyone very much for all of the replies. This is really helping out, especially the pics.

boogiesnap
10-16-2012, 11:51 AM
here's mine. 1 10x10 canopy, 2 4' tables, 2 coolers, 2 WSM's, 1 shelving unit, 1 toolbox, 2 chairs.

71678

71679

HickoryJ
10-16-2012, 12:10 PM
yes, thank you!

AZScott
10-16-2012, 01:11 PM
We take two canopies, two tables 6', one card table, two chairs, two bins of "stuff", two cambros, a large cooler, an FEC 100, a fan, a small suitcase and 2 sleeping bags and an air mattress. We fit all that in a Toyota Tundra with room to seat 2 and a baby.

boogiesnap
10-16-2012, 01:32 PM
^^^good point, i should add, everything goes into my xterra. it's tight, but keeps the extra "junk" in check.

cpw
10-16-2012, 02:01 PM
What all of these setups are telling me is that we bring way too much crap to competitions.

Smokeytales
10-16-2012, 02:04 PM
We started out with a pickup and smoker....got too small. Then added an open trailer....got too small. Then picked up 6x12 enclosed trailer...now it's too small. If we bought a full sized rig it would probably be too small within a few months. We have got to cut back on the crap we haul around....as someone mentioned it's the loading and unloading that wears you down...and makes me grumpy... ;)

smokeyw
10-16-2012, 03:02 PM
We use one of these to help keep small things organized, mostly things like rubs, seasonings, utensils, etc. We hang it above the prep table at the back. It folds up flat for transporting.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Camping/Outdoor-Cooking/Camp-Kitchens%7C/pc/104795280/c/104754780/sc/104248980/Creek-Company-Hanging-Camp-Cupboard/746707.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fcampi ng-outdoor-cooking-camp-kitchens%2F_%2FN-1100713%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104248980%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253Bcat104795 280%253Bcat104754780&WTz_l=SBC%3Bcat104795280%3Bcat104754780%3Bcat10424 8980

GMDGeek
10-16-2012, 05:51 PM
3 Questions from reading this post:

1. How often do the sites have power and/or running water?
2. Could someone describe a typical sanitation station? Hot Water?
3. How often do you get to park your ride (Truck, SUV, Car, whatever) next to your setup site?

Thanks,
Gerry

columbia1
10-16-2012, 06:23 PM
3 Questions from reading this post:

1. How often do the sites have power and/or running water?

All comps we did this year had both.

2. Could someone describe a typical sanitation station? Hot Water?

We use a 5 gallon igloo cooler with a "free-flow" spigot. We have three bus tubs we use for washing dishes, plus a wash bucket. Always have a gallon of bleach on hand and use a coleman stove to heat hot water.

3. How often do you get to park your ride (Truck, SUV, Car, whatever) next to your setup site?

Not as often as we would like.

Thanks,
Gerry
Thanks

big piggin bbq
10-17-2012, 10:53 AM
i too use to bring the entire house to a comp, then i started doing them by myself and realized loading and unloading all that crap by myself was for the birds... so now everything i take fits in my toyota tundra....

Ford
10-17-2012, 11:09 AM
I have a trailer now but didn't start with one. After a few years I learned one simple rule. If you don't use something at a comp don't bring it next time. Keep it simple! Also clear plastic bins with labels. Always out stuff back where it belongs. When practicing at home bring out the bins don't use the kitchen.

Wampus
10-17-2012, 11:55 AM
We really streamlined at the beginning of the year.

Someone posted a comment early this year that made TOTAL sense: "If there's something in your stuff that you haven't used at the last 2 comps....lose it because you don't need it."


With that in mind, we now only bring 2 totes/bins (1 is mine and 1 is Jimmy's - we live an hour apart), either 2 10x10 EZ Ups or 1 10x20 canopy, depending on the weather forecast, 3- 4' tables, a cambro (which we store meat and metal pans in), a couple of fans, our 2 air mattresses, chairs, a stack of empty buckets and the Jambo (which we usually stick the wood, charcoal, foil pans, etc into).

I'll try and snap some photos at next weekend's comp to post here.

indianagriller
10-17-2012, 01:54 PM
We really streamlined at the beginning of the year.

Someone posted a comment early this year that made TOTAL sense: "If there's something in your stuff that you haven't used at the last 2 comps....lose it because you don't need it."


With that in mind, we now only bring 2 totes/bins (1 is mine and 1 is Jimmy's - we live an hour apart), either 2 10x10 EZ Ups or 1 10x20 canopy, depending on the weather forecast, 3- 4' tables, a cambro (which we store meat and metal pans in), a couple of fans, our 2 air mattresses, chairs, a stack of empty buckets and the Jambo (which we usually stick the wood, charcoal, foil pans, etc into).

I'll try and snap some photos at next weekend's comp to post here.

The one thing Kempis didnt mention is that we use a LOT of disposable items such as cutting boards, aluminum pans, and we also have meat pre trimmed so that cuts down on alot of hauling back and forth. we can be set up in about 30 minutes, tear down takes a while because I am lazy LOL

Pole D
10-17-2012, 03:45 PM
The one thing Kempis didnt mention is that we use a LOT of disposable items such as cutting boards, aluminum pans, and we also have meat pre trimmed so that cuts down on alot of hauling back and forth. we can be set up in about 30 minutes, tear down takes a while because I am lazy LOL


That's what we do. As much disposable as possible and trim ahead of time. One other thing we do (because we only compete close to home) is just have a bin for utensils, gloves and whatever else gets dirty at competition. We just throw all the dirty stuff in there and then clean it when we get home. That way we don't need to bring 3 tubs for cleaning.

kenthanson
10-17-2012, 04:22 PM
Something that I saw a team do at a contest this year that made total sense is to use foil pans as your wash stations instead of hauling 3 plastic tubs around. We were already bringing 6-8 pans to comps so whats another 4 going to add for weight and volume, not much, but it will be easy at the end of the weekend to empty the pans and chuck them.

BoneDaddy's
10-18-2012, 08:03 AM
So I had all of the same issues as everyone else and here is what I did....I bought maybe 5 or 6 see through tubs, all the exact same size and everything went in a tub. There was a rub/injection tub, a cleaning tub, an extension cord tub/light tub....etc. Made it very easy to pack and very easy to find stuff. They go in a logical order under my tables. Even with a trailer I pack tightly. 3 tables, 3 coolers, a cambro, 1-3 ezups....pre-make all sauces and injections...I actually do not dread the unpack anymore

Wager
10-18-2012, 11:11 AM
Thank you all very much. this has been extremely helpful. some great ideas here that we will certainly be working with in going forward.

Dr_KY
10-18-2012, 11:42 AM
Depends on what I'm doing exactly.

For comps it a cambro and a cooler and four of these heavy duty boxes for storage.
1 small= rubs, sauces knife roll and other small tools.
2. small = cleaning products, first aid kit, flashlights, thermometers etc.
3. cooking gear such as pans, trays, cutting boards, foil, pots etc.
4= overflow- ropes, scissors, aprons, towels, uniforms etc.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2ajrms8.jpg

http://i46.tinypic.com/2qu11ld.jpg

If doing demonstrations and traveling on the train etc. It's the man-bag, small suitcase or backpack and a rotisserie or whatever is needed. The bag will hold thermos , tickets, bourbon,knife roll, iPad and travel documents along with other small items.
http://i48.tinypic.com/14d3n9d.jpg


Classroom teaching -demonstrations is about the same as above with one of the small boxes for miscellaneous demo items and product.

Lakeside Smoker
10-18-2012, 01:29 PM
Here is our set up:

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n40/lakesidesmoker/297543_347436052005968_2021695023_n.jpg

We sometimes take an RV to comps, if we can. Even then we still set up our 'cook' site just like this. Every comp, every time, the same set up.

-Mike

sdbbq1234
10-18-2012, 09:14 PM
Going to our second comp tomorrow and we look like "The Grapes Of Wrath".

We would look a lot worse had we not gone to a bunch of competitions and looked at what others had done. We also tried to gauge what they brought their stuff in compared to what we have to travel with.

Also, going to the competitions and talking with the teams that are there and just asking a few questions really helped.

wallace