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View Full Version : Comp bbq vs backyard???


coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 02:42 PM
Heard it said quite a bit that comp bbq would not be good to serve as backyard bbq. I've only been to one real comp but the food I ate there for the most part was VERY good and some was completely amazing. I'd be proud to serve it.
I'm getting ready for my very first comp in September. I'm excited. Cooking, making notes, trying to get it just right. Hope I'm not going the wrong way.

My question; Should I not be trying to get it to the point that this is what I would serve my guests in a backyard bbq?

BBQBeaver
07-16-2013, 03:03 PM
"One Bite BBQ" - The judges are only going to take one or two bites, so you have to give them everything (smoke, flavour/taste, sweet, heat, seasonings, texture, moisture) all amped up for that bite.

I would not serve my competition bbq to my backyard guests, as it is too over injected, over rubbed (and spiced), over sauced ... to candied to eat a whole bunch of in my back yard. For home, I keep it simple bbq.

But that is just me.

Podge
07-16-2013, 03:06 PM
"comp bbq would not be good to serve as backyard bbq" Whoever said that is F.O.S.. I only cook Comp BBQ and everyone loves it. Just make the absolute best BBQ you can, all the time. People like to say, that you have to make an entry pop with the first bite. If it's not great on the first bite, neither will the third, twentieth, etc..

gettinbasted
07-16-2013, 03:08 PM
I would (and do!) serve my competition stuff in my backyard.

Fat Freddy
07-16-2013, 03:09 PM
Personally when i cook for myself,my wife, and anybody else at home we like our ribs to be falling off the bone tender. I would recommend not having it that tender for a comp.

My backyard pork, brisket and chicken is also quite a bit different than what I turn in. For backyard pork is ALWAYS pulled no slices what so ever, I cook a whole bird in backyard and if there is anything on my brisket but salt pepper and garlic then I sure didnt cook it for me.

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 03:11 PM
"One Bite BBQ" - The judges are only going to take one or two bites, so you have to give them everything (smoke, flavour/taste, sweet, heat, seasonings, texture, moisture) all amped up for that bite.

I would not serve my competition bbq to my backyard guests, as it is too over injected, over rubbed (and spiced), over sauced ... to candied to eat a whole bunch of in my back yard. For home, I keep it simple bbq.

But that is just me.

So what you are saying is to please the judges the bbq has to be so rich in seasonings that to eat four or five ribs would be sickening.

And that wins??? Thx df

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 03:13 PM
"comp bbq would not be good to serve as backyard bbq" Whoever said that is F.O.S.. I only cook Comp BBQ and everyone loves it. Just make the absolute best BBQ you can, all the time. People like to say, that you have to make an entry pop with the first bite. If it's not great on the first bite, neither will the third, twentieth, etc..

That's what I envisioned but what do I kno?

Eggspert
07-16-2013, 03:14 PM
Like everyone said, Comp BBQ needs to be so intense. We make our own BBQ sauce that we love, but it is not a competition sauce. We buy sauce for competition. Competition BBQ is so intense that if I try to eat a meal of it, I actually get sick to my stomach, it's just too much. Likely the huge amount of calories? Anyway, I cook backyard the same as comp, but comp is just much more intense in my opinion.

Eggspert

Podge
07-16-2013, 03:16 PM
Judges are people too.

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 03:16 PM
Personally when i cook for myself,my wife, and anybody else at home we like our ribs to be falling off the bone tender. I would recommend not having it that tender for a comp.

My backyard pork, brisket and chicken is also quite a bit different than what I turn in. For backyard pork is ALWAYS pulled no slices what so ever, I cook a whole bird in backyard and if there is anything on my brisket but salt pepper and garlic then I sure didnt cook it for me.

Since the folks I talk to about. Brisket feel the same way (including me) would your backyard brisket just not have a chance?

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 03:19 PM
If someone turned in food that the judges could eat a belly full of and be glad they did, would they be laughed out of the comp?

midwest_kc
07-16-2013, 03:30 PM
I look at making comp BBQ like making a really rich chocolate cake. It's unbelievable for a small amount, but you may not want to eat a whole piece or two. It's just too much. My backyard food uses a lot of the same flavor profiles, just not as much, and is more for eating a pound of food than a single bite.

BBQBeaver
07-16-2013, 03:32 PM
So what you are saying is to please the judges the bbq has to be so rich in seasonings that to eat four or five ribs would be sickening.

And that wins??? Thx df

What I am saying is that it is too much for me in my backyard.
Like Fat Freddy, I tend to simplify my backyard bbq cooks (smoke, heat and meat) and focus on the beverage in hand at the time with good company.

The_Kapn
07-16-2013, 03:45 PM
Common topic here.

I do not lavish the attention to detail on home cooks vs what we did while competing.

But....I select the important parts of the process and flavorings and would never serve my family and friends less than some quality BBQ.

JMHO

TIM

Lake Dogs
07-16-2013, 04:01 PM
The difference is in who you're appealing to and that if someone eating your backyard BBQ doesnt care for it, big deal, have 'em have another few beers and eat some coleslaw... Competition judging you must not tick off any one person; there is no coleslaw & beer...

However, it doesn't mean that they cannot be the same. One involves your personal preferences; not smoked; smoked into oblivion; extremely sweet; not sweet at all; spicy and hot as ****; not spicy at all, etc. Whereas a competition BBQ, to appeal to everyone yet not alienate anyone, should have some of all of the above, but not too much of anything (hence the balance we talk about).

KCBS and its style tend to be more one-bite BBQ; other sanctioning bodies be prepared that they'll have 2, 3, 4 or more bites. Different sanctioning bodies, different "game", different techniques used by judges...

TheJackal
07-16-2013, 04:01 PM
I cook and serve in my backyard exactly what I would turn-in for a competition. I use every cook as an opportunity for a practice run.

Untraceable
07-16-2013, 04:07 PM
I serve cheaper whiskey at home

Q-Dat
07-16-2013, 04:10 PM
I see you're in Louisiana. Is this an IBCA event or KCBS? It makes a big difference on how tender the meat needs to be.

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 05:43 PM
Mbn. I'm n la but I'm gona fuel up before I leave. Lol

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 05:50 PM
I'm gona cook as a "backyard" entry. This is my first. Hope to kinda move up from there as I learn the ropes. I can tell from the answers to this question that there are as many opinions about the important stuff as there are folks competing. And that's all right. I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around this thing. It appears that you just have to get in there and start swinging. Thanks for the responses and I wouldn't mind hearing more. df

Pappy Q
07-16-2013, 07:45 PM
I'm gona cook as a "backyard" entry. This is my first. Hope to kinda move up from there as I learn the ropes. I can tell from the answers to this question that there are as many opinions about the important stuff as there are folks competing. And that's all right. I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around this thing. It appears that you just have to get in there and start swinging. Thanks for the responses and I wouldn't mind hearing more. df

For your first comp, cook what you know. Don't over complicate it...that will come down the road.

Podge
07-16-2013, 07:58 PM
For your first comp, cook what you know. Don't over complicate it...that will come down the road.

Tom, you forgot to tell him not to invite 38 people to help and hang out at his first contest too!

mtbchip
07-16-2013, 07:59 PM
I tasted a few other competitors q after the turn in. Many wanted to share and compare! Most on site I spoke with readily admitted that the "style" of food is unique to the competition and they don't do this at home.

Me, I'm much more of a backyard bbq guy. I could not tolerate (nor could my stomach) the intensity of the food turned in (KCBS style). Much of it LOOKS a whole lot better than what I "present" in my backyard. But the assault on the tongue once you bite...... ack!!! I would also venture to say that BBQ'd meats that are "sponged up" with apple juice, brown sugar, molasses, margarine/butter, honey, maple sugar, etc etc etc (shhh some of it is TOP SECRET) are not the most healthy to eat. Somehow healthy is not discussed much on this site.

I'm 6 foot tall, weigh 165 pounds. I earned a black belt in martial arts in 1982 when I was 22 and at my ripe age of 55 can still kick a apple off one's head and take a ride on my mtnbike 30+ miles and still want more. Doctor says I have the body of a 33 year old. (Wife agrees and refuses contact with "youngsters" ....I lose out again). I eat good food to match my active life style. Sugared and buttered food like that would put more than a dent in my healthy profile. Prob give me cavities......:shocked:

I'm with you OP, do your best backyard work and see what the judges think!

Lake Dogs
07-16-2013, 08:21 PM
Mbn. I'm n la but I'm gona fuel up before I leave. Lol

MBN, even backyard, is nearly as opposite KCBS as there is. Not always (there is no 100% rule in any BBQ), but most successful ribs are babybacks in MBN. Know that MBN defines the perfectly tender rib very different than KCBS. KCBS = bite through (lends itself better to a cadillac or regular cut st. louis spare), MBN = pull cleanly from the bone with only slight resistance. The MBN rib is much closer to falling off the bone than the KCBS rib (but not falling off). KCBS judges, from what I understand, are more accustomed to a little meat with their sauce. MBN, opposite. My recommendation is to sauce the ribs (it improves their appearance), but lightly.

Not all, but the wise MBN competitor realizes in ribs the definition "pull cleanly from the bone" and delivers the ribs so that it facilitates this. When I competed, I always delivered my ribs in 2 bone cuts, so they could grab a bone in each hand and "pull".... :-)

coondogbbq
07-16-2013, 09:21 PM
Good info. Thanks much.

CivilWarBBQ
07-17-2013, 03:57 AM
I think characterizing eating a plate of comp BBQ as being "sickening" is a bit of an over-exaggeration.

I always use the chocolate chip cookies vs. fudge analogy. Both are good, but a lot of folks can eat a plate full of cookies. Not many will finish a plate of fudge. :D

Mad About Que
07-17-2013, 07:53 AM
is there a difference in mine? sorta.. there's a whole lot less trimming done for the family (or customers if i'm catering) than for the judges. and prolly a little less rubs. And the finish is not as pretty as the comp stuff. but then i'm usually not sitting there babying it every 15 seconds. now that beer in my hand in my backyard - different story.

Mad About Que
07-17-2013, 07:59 AM
I'm gona cook as a "backyard" entry. This is my first. Hope to kinda move up from there as I learn the ropes. I can tell from the answers to this question that there are as many opinions about the important stuff as there are folks competing. And that's all right. I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around this thing. It appears that you just have to get in there and start swinging. Thanks for the responses and I wouldn't mind hearing more. df


I've done a few MBM "Competitors Series" (backyards) stuff. and have done well. I cook 6 racks of 2.5 and ups baby backs and 4 butts (i like the leftovers). The one around here also has the element of the on sight judging. which is nice when on the other side of the parking lot is JOS, Melissa Cookston and the like.

i sauce the pork lightly and send in sauce cups, the ribs are glazed with sweet sauce, not too thick..

might be a backyard, but still being judged by MBM judges (some might have just been made MBM for that weekend, but still....)

Mad About Que
07-17-2013, 08:03 AM
I'm 6 foot tall, weigh 165 pounds. I earned a black belt in martial arts in 1982 when I was 22 and at my ripe age of 55 can still kick a apple off one's head and take a ride on my mtnbike 30+ miles and still want more. Doctor says I have the body of a 33 year old. (Wife agrees and refuses contact with "youngsters" ....I lose out again). I eat good food to match my active life style. Sugared and buttered food like that would put more than a dent in my healthy profile. Prob give me cavities......:shocked:

I'm with you OP, do your best backyard work and see what the judges think!

i got a blackbelt in eating around that time.. my mountain bike can go 30 miles too, i think. but i haven't found a mountain 30 miles up to throw it off of yet, so that's just a theory.

coondogbbq
07-17-2013, 10:37 AM
I tasted a few other competitors q after the turn in. Many wanted to share and compare! Most on site I spoke with readily admitted that the "style" of food is unique to the competition and they don't do this at home.

Me, I'm much more of a backyard bbq guy. I could not tolerate (nor could my stomach) the intensity of the food turned in (KCBS style). Much of it LOOKS a whole lot better than what I "present" in my backyard. But the assault on the tongue once you bite...... ack!!! I would also venture to say that BBQ'd meats that are "sponged up" with apple juice, brown sugar, molasses, margarine/butter, honey, maple sugar, etc etc etc (shhh some of it is TOP SECRET) are not the most healthy to eat. Somehow healthy is not discussed much on this site.

I'm 6 foot tall, weigh 165 pounds. I earned a black belt in martial arts in 1982 when I was 22 and at my ripe age of 55 can still kick a apple off one's head and take a ride on my mtnbike 30+ miles and still want more. Doctor says I have the body of a 33 year old. (Wife agrees and refuses contact with "youngsters" ....I lose out again). I eat good food to match my active life style. Sugared and buttered food like that would put more than a dent in my healthy profile. Prob give me cavities......:shocked:

I'm with you OP, do your best backyard work and see what the judges think!
In 82 I was fresh outta boot and strolling around MCRD I was fulla piss and vinigar. Sorta let myself go some since then. I'd have to grunt to kick an apple off of a 5 gallon bucket. But I like apples so I'd probably just eat it. I love cooking and eating good bbq.

Kave Dweller
07-17-2013, 02:47 PM
I serve cheaper whiskey at home

Thats just mean.

BBQchef33
07-17-2013, 03:06 PM
My comp and backyard BBQ is very different.. excep[t chicken, they are very close except no sauce at home.

One, and most important, and especially the brisket, is it way to rich and seasoned. No one can eat alot without getting sickened.. kinda like the a super rich chocolate cake.. 2 bites and your looking for a gallon of milk. Also, i wouldnt inject home bbq with phosphates.. 'eatin' briskets get salt,pepper, garlic, cayenne.. and thats it.. pork is savory and chunked.

* I never foil at home, always at comps(for timing reasons).

* I like dry rub unsauced ribs and so does the family. Comp ribs are sauced.

basically, the one bite WOW factor is not needed at home.. at home, my guests pig out on bbq, and it wows them without being over the top rich.... they eat as much as they want with no effects except overeating.

mtbchip
07-17-2013, 11:37 PM
My comp and backyard BBQ is very different.. excep[t chicken, they are very close except no sauce at home.

One, and most important, and especially the brisket, is it way to rich and seasoned. No one can eat alot without getting sickened.. kinda like the a super rich chocolate cake.. 2 bites and your looking for a gallon of milk. Also, i wouldnt inject home bbq with phosphates.. 'eatin' briskets get salt,pepper, garlic, cayenne.. and thats it.. pork is savory and chunked.

* I never foil at home, always at comps(for timing reasons).

* I like dry rub unsauced ribs and so does the family. Comp ribs are sauced.

basically, the one bite WOW factor is not needed at home.. at home, my guests pig out on bbq, and it wows them without being over the top rich.... they eat as much as they want with no effects except overeating.

Sounds honest to me :wink:

coondogbbq
07-18-2013, 12:08 AM
I think if I were to take bite after bite (several boxes)of bbq that was that rich, I'd have heartburn and I'd hate everybody's food.

bbq.tom
07-18-2013, 12:36 PM
From a KCBS judge's perspective, I'd love to take more than 2 bites from each entry, but I have to refrain so that I can make it all the way through brisket.

From an MBN judge's perspective, I can and will eat more on site, as I know I'm only judging 3 competitors, and might not get another category to judge.

I still attempt to cook at home the same as in competition, as it is practice EVERY time.

Just saying...

JeffR
07-18-2013, 01:38 PM
From my judging perspective, a lot of very good food comes through the table and scores accordingly. The 9 is the entry that after one bite of each I can't wait to get back to and finish before I through the samples away, and then wish I could even have more.

Most judges I have sat with will take more than one bite. As a cook, you are just trying to turn in something compelling enough to want more than one, and if so you probably turned in a 9

coondogbbq
07-18-2013, 02:08 PM
I sure thank you fellas, competitors and judges alike, for sharing your knowledge with me. Between this post and my other post and the pm's I feel as though I'm starting to understand. I really appreciate your sharing with me the things that uve worked so hard to understand. df

joe@bge
07-18-2013, 05:00 PM
I sure thank you fellas, competitors and judges alike, for sharing your knowledge with me. Between this post and my other post and the pm's I feel as though I'm starting to understand. I really appreciate your sharing with me the things that uve worked so hard to understand. df

x2! I am going to be doing my first two comps (one KCBS and one unsanctioned) starting in Sept. This information is great. So far I have done a couple practice cooks at home and I am having a hard time getting away from some of my backyard techniques. Looking forward to the experience and meeting the great folks that make up competition Q!

BB-Kuhn
07-18-2013, 05:21 PM
It all depends on what mood i'm in, but i'd say that 3/4 of the time, I cook my ribs comp style for normal backyard consumption.

It's all practice, and the more I do it, the easier and smoother it goes under the tents when the time comes. Also, we eat it enough that we are used to the over the top-ness of the flavor, and quite often, "normal" ribs seem boring to eat.

Usually, I cook multiple slabs. At least one if not all gets the comp treatment, I throw in an unwrapped dry rub one in sometimes, or fool around with new recipes with another, etc.

Harbormaster
07-18-2013, 05:32 PM
Let me start by saying that I compete once or twice a year, and though we have never finished higher than 5th overall, we have only cooked one comp where we did not get a call.

Other than chicken, the meat I cook for comps is exactly the same stuff I cook at home. I use the same rubs, sauces, and cookers at home that I compete with. Until my most recent comp, I had never injected a piece of meat. I have placed first in brisket, second in pork, and top five in ribs.

Of course, I don't waste 4 hours making turn in boxes at home. I am not anal about brush marks in the glaze at home. I don't fret how thick my brisket slices are at home, nor do I worry my ribs might be a little too "fall off the bone".

I think that well cooked barbeque is good barbeque whether at home or a comp.

But that's just me.

Good luck at your first comp. Warning, getting that first call is like crack for your ego!