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tx_hellraiser
07-25-2013, 10:01 AM
So i want to start doing some BBQ competitions I am Newbie green how ever you want to call it. I will be competing in Texas only for now

How do you practice?

What advice will you give me?

When doing brisket chicken and ribs What should i be looking for?

My knowlegde
What i know is you want the brisket to have a little bit of elastistcy and break away easy
Chicken should be able to take a bit with out pulling off the skin
ribs a clean bit through with hardly no pull


What else do i need to learn?

Ron_L
07-25-2013, 10:11 AM
My responses below...

So i want to start doing some BBQ competitions I am Newbie green how ever you want to call it. I will be competing in Texas only for now

How do you practice? - Cook a lot :-D Seriously, there are different types of practice. You should cook the brisket, ribs and chicken individually on the cookers that you will use in comps to dial in your timing and seasoning. You should also do a mock competition or two. Set up exactly as you plan to at the real comp, but do it in your driveway or yard. Cook to the exact turn in times for the competition. Keep track of anything that you have to run into the house to get and keep track of any changes you need to make to your timeline in order to get stuff turned in on time.

What advice will you give me? - Have fun. Don't get drunk. Set realistic goals like no DQs, finishing in the top half, etc.

When doing brisket chicken and ribs What should i be looking for? - That depends on the sanctioning body. It sounds like ICBA since you didn't list pork. I've never cooked an ICBA comp so I can't help there.

What else do i need to learn? - Tons. I learn something every time I cook :-D

Stoke&Smoke
07-25-2013, 10:12 AM
Here is a GREAT place to start
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13677

Know Bull
07-25-2013, 10:32 AM
Competition is far more about organization and timelines than it is the food. If you do not master your organization, the food will suffer. If you have the process down, then your food will perform well. (This coming from someone that is still trying to master the process).

Two things that I did not sufficiently consider when i started:

Practice by cooking all contest foods prepared for turn in at the same time as would be in the competition. If that means staying up all night, so be it. Put all of your supplies and equipment in the garage, and you only get to use things in the garage. No going in the house for more. If you do not have it, figure a way to accomplish your task with the tools you have. If you put something in the pile that does not get used, then take it off the list and do not take it to the contest. I hauled WAY too much stuff to my first contests. You will thank me at load out time after a night of little or no sleep.

Water is always an issue. If you are taking a camper/RV, then practice out of it and only use the water supply that is in it. If you are cooking under a tent, get a 5 gallon drinking water container and a 5 gallon bucket to catch the drain and cook/clean from that. NO going into the house to the kitchen sink. You can refill the 5 gallon container as often as you like from the outside faucet. You will be surprised at how much it changes the way you have to cook when you are restricted on your water use. No cheating - you still have to keep things clean even on water restriction. Aluminum foil and disposable pans will become your new best friends.

Best of luck to you.

Kave Dweller
07-25-2013, 10:40 AM
My responses below...

Well said.

Have fun with it, make sure you don't lose track of that.

Pelkster
07-25-2013, 10:47 AM
Practice, practice, yes we're talking about practice! I cooked everything for a full year getting my times down before I did my first comp. I had a 20'x30' concrete pad outside of my house, and I set up there, exactly as I would on site. And yeah, it even rained lol...A LOT! I spent the night in my Zero-G chair outside and everything. I even went so far as to get some 9x9's and did complete turn ins with garnish. I didn't write stuff down, or make piles of stuff I didn't use (wish I would have), but a couple of weeks later I felt I was very prepared. Nothing will prepare you for your first official turn in though. Staring that clock in the face watching the minutes pass by is pretty intimidating. Just be sure to have fun with it. Treat your practice like a real comp.

tx_hellraiser
07-25-2013, 11:14 AM
thank fro all the advice :)

Stark-O-Rama
07-25-2013, 11:58 AM
You've come to the right place - WELCOME!!!:clap:

I recommend searching this website with the search bar at the bottom. Almost every question you'll have will pop up with a ton of great wisdom.

Good luck!

fnbish
07-25-2013, 12:05 PM
Definitely hit up the search bar at the bottom. It helped me find a ton of information about competitions. But if you do have any additional specific questions post away. A lot of topics have been covered in various threads of course, but new discussions on popular topics are great and bring about new information and new opinions/techniques/ideas :-D.

The link Stoke&Smoke put up will lead you to a ton of great stuff.

Cayman1
07-25-2013, 01:15 PM
If you have the time and the money, take a competition cooking class. Not a requirement, but it will speed up the learning curve, depending on the class you take, and hopefully you can skip some of the common rookie mistakes. Enough practice and you won't make mistakes, but picking someone's brain in a class certainly helps to skip right over the common mistakes we all made starting out..

tx_hellraiser
07-25-2013, 01:22 PM
How many different pits does a normal team have

Uncle JJ
07-25-2013, 01:26 PM
If you have the time and the money, take a competition cooking class. Not a requirement, but it will speed up the learning curve, depending on the class you take, and hopefully you can skip some of the common rookie mistakes. Enough practice and you won't make mistakes, but picking someone's brain in a class certainly helps to skip right over the common mistakes we all made starting out..


Do you know of a resource that lists such competition classes?

Ron_L
07-25-2013, 01:28 PM
Most guys who teach classes list them here. Look for the Cooking Class prefix on a thread or check this thread in the stickies section...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87743

bruno994
07-25-2013, 01:36 PM
Hellraiser, if your just going to be cooking in Texas right now, mainly IBCA, LSBS or TGCBCA, tenderness is the big key. The judges take their samples with the flimsy, white plastic forks and knives, they are not allowed to touch the meat otherwise. Chickens, you cook half chickens, wing tips on, if you can get bite through skin great, if not, you'll still do fine since by the 3rd judge or so, the skin is obliterated anyway. As far as timelines, not as tight a schedule as KCBS, whose turn ins are every 30 minutes, IBCA is typically every hour to 1 1/2 hour, but it is still important to know the time frame it takes each of your meats to reach the correct doneness. Everytime I cook at home, I consider it practice, keeping notes on cook times so I will hit my marks during a comp. There are a number of us Texas cooks here on the Brethren whom I am sure will be along shortly with their take on Texas comp cooking as well. Best of luck and most importantly have fun!

tx_hellraiser
07-25-2013, 01:45 PM
Thanks Bruno I been cooking the meat for about a year and a half now I do hit my mark as far as when i want the meats done. its a good start but i am sure its going to be little different in a comp. I plan on making some trips to comps to watch. I am hoping by next year i can start competing. I plan on taking a class as well. Thank you for your insight on what the judges are looking for. IBCA is that the largest Organization out of the 3?

bruno994
07-26-2013, 07:27 AM
Yes, IBCA runs over 200 events a year, mostly in Texas. As far as getting your feet wet, jump in, but if you prefer to ease yourself into the comp scene, check out the IBCA website and locate a cook off close to you and call to put your name on a list for judges. I know I wish I had done this first, shortens the learning curve. There are a number of Texas cooks holding classes including Redneck Cookers and Ritters BBQ, both get rave reviews.

Brandon87
07-26-2013, 03:35 PM
As others have stated, Texas sanctioning bodies are much different than KCBS. Go to the IBCA or LSBS website, find a cookoff close to you, and go hangout and meet some teams and/or judge. Most will be more than happy to answer questions.

Also, Redneck Cooker aka Jeff Wyatt does several classes per year. There is one coming up in August http://www.redneckcooker.com/bbq-cookin-school/.

Bentley
07-26-2013, 05:32 PM
Great advice, find out what is placing so you have an idea...

...locate a cook off close to you and call to put your name on a list for judges. I know I wish I had done this first, shortens the learning curve.

find a cookoff close to you...judge. Most will be more than happy to answer questions.