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schmitty28
01-27-2013, 10:04 PM
what are some of the biggest mistakes made when you first star competing I know its an open question but what you think is most common

82's BBQ
01-27-2013, 10:58 PM
Not FOLLOWING my checklist. Kind of embarrassing during meat inspection to realize that your butts are at home in the refrigerator.

Icekub
01-28-2013, 03:06 AM
We just did our first contest last year. The #1 thing I'm going to do different next time is have a plan for sleep. I figured I'd just pull an all-nighter like back in college, but I'm a little older now. 3-4 hrs should be enough, but it definitely affected me the next day (the most important part of contest). I did go sleep in my car for abt 45 mins but not enough.

Lake Dogs
01-28-2013, 06:19 AM
1. Chicken; rubbery skin. Some were ok, but most not.

2. Ribs purchased on sale; 2 of the 4 racks were skunky.

3. Checklist items (refer to above) missed.

4. Pulled pork too soon; went out cold; took what was a great day on pork down to middle of the pack.

Rich Parker
01-28-2013, 06:19 AM
Not following my timeline correctly and not getting enough sleep.

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

MAP
01-28-2013, 06:39 AM
Not rinseing off chicken when I took it out of the brine. Tasted like a sauce covered salt lick, and their were 10 that finished below me theirs must have been real bad.

Untraceable
01-28-2013, 06:57 AM
brought too much crap

nthole
01-28-2013, 07:54 AM
Biggest repeated mistake (for a while) was not having a checklist for packing and an exact checklist for execution. But that's more like a planning error.

Didn't happen to me, but I guess the biggest single mistake I've seen was someone putting a paper towel over the finished product in a box to keep it moist ready to go but then turning it in and forgetting about the towel. Instant DQ.

Oh.. and I guess every pit you've ever seen catch fire. That's usually a big mistake.

Podge
01-28-2013, 08:09 AM
Having the idea of getting into BBQ competitions in 1997 and waiting until 2004 to do so.. that is my biggest mistake.

DawgPhan
01-28-2013, 08:29 AM
letting someone else cook brisket.

PaPaQ
01-28-2013, 08:33 AM
Do not try anything new at a contest, all experiment's should be done at home.

JerryA
01-28-2013, 08:57 AM
Cut brisket with the grain in first contest.
Dropped a slab of ribs on the ground in my second contest.
Pop up cover of my sauce container popped up in the cooler and got filled with water.
Left rear vents of my WSM open and temps shot up to 330, supposed to be 250.
DQ'd in Ribs at a contest because I did not pay attention to the clock and got to the table a few seconds late.
Many times I focused more on making the boxes look good rather than making sure that only good meat was in the box. Appearance scores were good but taste/tenderness scores were lacking.

sitnfat
01-28-2013, 09:05 AM
I didn't carry any Pabst to a contest once. I bombed there. Never will I do that again.

bbq.tom
01-28-2013, 09:07 AM
Second guessing myself and ending up with some pork that could have cooked a wee bit longer!

jmoney7269
01-28-2013, 09:10 AM
Not following the timeline and checklist, not gettig enough sleep

Shiz-Nit
01-28-2013, 09:23 AM
Forgot all my rubs and injections at home.

boogiesnap
01-28-2013, 10:04 AM
not taking my wife up to receive awards with me. this summer will be two years since, she still won't come out and cook again. :oops:

Granny's Gang Barbeque
01-28-2013, 10:23 AM
Not tasting the rub. Made the rub a dozens times over. Followed the recipe. Don't know how or why, but ended up WAY too salty. Didn't realize it until I was tasting the finished wings. Oh well, make the box look pretty to get a few more appearance points. Now I constantly taste everything, rubs, sauces, maranades, injections... everything.

ibrisky
01-28-2013, 10:45 AM
Remember to eat something and probably not something high in fiber unless you are into porta-john roulette......so I have heard

Sawdustguy
01-28-2013, 11:07 AM
In our first contest, the Grill Kings at Heckscher State Park our Brisket was finished at 4:00 AM. The problem was that we had planned for an 11:00 AM finish for the 1:30 PM turn-in. During the night the smoker must have gotten real hot but hey, what's 7 hours amoung friends. Many towels and a cooler later we finished 5th in brisket.

BeaverBBQ
01-28-2013, 11:18 AM
Waiting to long to prep chicken...takes me a while
Allowing invited friends to our camp and in turn they invite more and more. Disrespectful to those around you and not good for sleep.
Forgetting rubs and sauces. ( we now have a checklist )

Lake Dogs
01-28-2013, 11:22 AM
letting someone else cook brisket.
Been there; done this in an MBN contest, in Ribs. I'll never do this again.

Outnumbered
01-28-2013, 11:30 AM
Forgot my brisket rub once.
Too much hot on chicken.
Not practicing enough. I hate prepping chicken, so I don't practice it. DUMB.

Kit R
01-28-2013, 12:36 PM
Not removing all the foil from my brisket before slicing it. I have this wonderful picture of a single slice of brisket, laying in a turn in box with a sliver of foil stuck in it. The rep was kind enough to bring it back to me so I could see exactly what had caused the DQ. That'll never happen again. :icon_blush:

NickyG
01-28-2013, 12:40 PM
I think I brought my entire kitchen with me the first time. Way too much stuff to deal with that I didn't even need.

Alexa RnQ
01-28-2013, 01:46 PM
Let's see...

We could have dry-camped for a MONTH with all the crap we brought to our first contest. It took us another couple of YEARS to stop bringing stuff "just in case". Since we stripped down to exactly what we need and nothing more, we've never had "just in case" happen.

Things didn't start happening until we worked out a timeline and stuck to it. The very first time we went out with a detailed timeline, we were so proud that we managed to hit all our marks. We got our first RGC that day, so it was apparent that having that tool to improve our focus was useful.

When we finally made a pack list, we neglected to observe the rule that you don't check something off until you have actually laid hands on it and PACKED it. "I'm sure I did" is what got this WSM team to a contest without a chimney starter, durrrrrrr.

Select and trim your own meat. We let a butcher do ribs for us our first time out -- disaster, shiners everywhere, not even a hope of a straight bone. Nobody is ever going to care as much about your meat as you do.

Learn how to hold meats if they come in early. We didn't even know that meat COULD be held, resulting in the brisket pictures in the "What not to do" thread. Hilariously tragic.

I'm sure there's plenty more, but I've blocked out a lot of past contest trauma.

Fatback Joe
01-28-2013, 01:54 PM
Worrying about what others around me are doing.

If the neighbor fired up their smoker, I should fire mine up too, right? Their meat went on, mine should go on, right?

Like others have said, have your timeline and stick to it.

Pappy Q
01-28-2013, 04:53 PM
Paying more attention to what the former World Champions on each side of me were doing instead of what I was doing.

Tack
01-28-2013, 05:53 PM
It appears as tho I am guilty of the same thing most of the people who have posted are . Not following my timeline. That and overindulging in adult beverages at a comp.

early mornin' smokin'
01-28-2013, 05:58 PM
listening to a passerby to figure out turn in times, turned in ribs instead of chicken.

Coz
01-28-2013, 06:05 PM
Going to that first contest ...

Ron_L
01-28-2013, 06:32 PM
Going to that first contest ...

Yep... This ^^^^

:becky:

Other than that,, we've never made a mistake.

Well, other than forgetting the salt for the brine.

Or forgetting my pork foiling liquid.

Or grabbing the vac-u-sucked package of thigh trimmings instead of the vac-u-sucked package of thighs.

Or...

boogiesnap
01-28-2013, 07:03 PM
Yep... This ^^^^

:becky:

Other than that,, we've never made a mistake.

Well, other than forgetting the salt for the brine.

Or forgetting my pork foiling liquid.

Or grabbing the vac-u-sucked package of thigh trimmings instead of the vac-u-sucked package of thighs.

Or...

what exactly does one do with chicken thigh trimmings? mine are pretty nasty. i'm even hesitant to eat thighs at this point, and i'll eat butter.

BChawg
01-28-2013, 07:10 PM
Disqualified on our first entry ever -- the guys put chicken in some sample cups in the box for presentation points. We got em alright!:clap2:

Clark

BruceB
01-28-2013, 07:14 PM
Threw the cap away on a bottle of Gentleman Jack as it was making the rounds among several competitor friends at our cook site 2 years ago. That won't happen again!!!!!!!

Rub
01-28-2013, 07:19 PM
*Grease fire
*Falling asleep and letting the fire go out
*Forgot my sauces
*Oversleeping
*Leaving the Guru probe outside of the cooker
*Catching my jeans on fire, twice
*Breaking my neck
*Breaking my ankle
*Using wrong rub or sauce

I could go on and on...

Rub
01-28-2013, 07:21 PM
what exactly does one do with chicken thigh trimmings? mine are pretty nasty. i'm even hesitant to eat thighs at this point, and i'll eat butter.
Can't speak for Ron, but I've fried the skin and made cracklins, and used the chunks of meat in stirfry.

Alexa RnQ
01-28-2013, 07:48 PM
i'm even hesitant to eat thighs at this point, and i'll eat butter.
I will gnaw on a cold stick of butter all damn day before I ever willingly eat a chicken thigh again.


*Catching my jeans on fire, twice

LMAO! If at first you don't succeed....

Threw the cap away on a bottle of Gentleman Jack as it was making the rounds among several competitor friends at our cook site 2 years ago. That won't happen again!!!!!!!
You won't need that cap!

MattG
01-28-2013, 07:55 PM
Forgot my tongs
Didn't sauce my chicken
DID NOT SLEEP.

Coz
01-28-2013, 08:39 PM
I guess for me really the worst mistake and I keep repeating it is when I have somethiing working I tend to get complacent and sloppy then it hits the fan.

schmitty28
01-28-2013, 09:16 PM
great stuff to read about nothing I would want to do though, but am sure I am just one entry away from all the above definitely getting a checklist and a pack list and would love to know how you find time to sleep

motoeric
01-29-2013, 01:53 AM
We are nowhere efficient enough to have one prep station for our turn-ins. We definitely need to have at least 2 distinct areas to cut our meats, prep the box, etc.

While we are finishing up chicken, the second table should be starting ribs. When chicken is done, it should be cleaned off and set up for pork. Maybe when we get better at this, one area will suffice, but it took us a while to realize that the harried, one table for all turn-in prep wasn't working.

Eric

Muzzlebrake
01-29-2013, 06:04 AM
what exactly does one do with chicken thigh trimmings? mine are pretty nasty. i'm even hesitant to eat thighs at this point, and i'll eat butter.

I forget if it was last year or the year before but John Delpha from iQue made this incredible chicken gravy over toast with his trimmings for breakfast. It is one of the best things I have ever eaten at a contest

boogiesnap
01-29-2013, 07:12 AM
I forget if it was last year or the year before but John Delpha from iQue made this incredible chicken gravy over toast with his trimmings for breakfast. It is one of the best things I have ever eaten at a contest

ah! birdsh*t on a shingle! love it!

Kit R
01-29-2013, 08:36 AM
Here's a few of the biggest mistakes from 2012:

Learning from successful teams IS a good idea. Assuming what works for one team will always work for another is NOT. It doesn't.

Using the "three results rule" before making any changes may send you further down the rabbit hole. Usually a mid-pack finish is what you deserved on a given day, and unless you've got a very clear idea of what sunk a particular turn in maybe it's better to just ride things out and cook better.

Untraceable
01-29-2013, 09:29 AM
Hair of the dog bites me hard. Drinking the night before Im fine with but waking up and thinking its not the worst idea to start back up to feel better is never a good think. Coffee and cream until the last turn in leaves the tent

tnjimbob
01-29-2013, 10:06 AM
-Not adhering to timelines. Practice and refine timelines.
-Not following checklist for packing. Just because you have it doesn't mean that everything made it into the trailer. Modified checklist with another column showing "loaded" and not just checked off. Embarrassing to get to a comp missing basic, important things... like charcoal. :cry:
-Watching what others are doing and thinking I need to be doing what that instead of sticking to my game plan/timeline.
-Not prepping/inspecting/resealing chicken @ home before the comp. Once opened, that pack of thighs went straight into the trash.
-Not practicing enough to be consistent, regardless of weather conditions.