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akoda
08-05-2013, 12:09 PM
I have been making BBQ for over 10 years and I and my family thinks it's great :)

My first competition is coming up in a month and I have been reading up on everything that you gurus have been willing to share. Skinning chicken (that sux), brisket pull test, boxing, sauces, money muscle <--wtf ;).

My stress is getting up there, I need to remind myself to have fun and hope for some beginners luck.

Thanks for all of the tips you all are sharing on this forum.

PekingPorker
08-05-2013, 12:48 PM
akoda, I'm in the same boat as you. My first comp is next month plus, they bumped me into the professional division. It was a totally stress free "just have fun" thing for me when I registered for Backyard (filled up while my application was in the mail), so when they offered to give me a pro spot for the same price as backyard I said yes. I've been on a roller coaster of emotion trying to tell myself to just have fun. I've only set one goal for myself, not to finish DAL in every category.

The money muscle has been kicking my @$$ too! I use to think my pork was good, but that's when I just pulled and/or chopped the entire thing.

Have you read Startin' The Fire? It's a guide to doing your first competition. Easy read, and I thought it was helpful http://www.startinthefire.com/

I'm hoping for beginners luck as well. Good luck to you!

DriverWild
08-05-2013, 02:30 PM
Some advice from a newbie, keep it fun! If you go into it expecting to win you will get too serious and stress yourself out. Keep in mind you are up against teams that have been doing this a long time and dialed in to the judges. Go into it with the attitude that you're there to learn, meet new people, and have a great time doing something you love. Otherwise you will leave frustrated and wondering if you want to do that all over again. You will learn as you get more experience and eventually the calls will come. I wish you the best! Cheers to a good cook!

mobow
08-05-2013, 02:44 PM
Have a check list to keep you on track as you pack up for the comp and have a time line for cooking your comp. Then just do what you know how to do and see where the chips fall. Have fun and good luck. Keith

Ron_L
08-05-2013, 02:45 PM
Definitely keep it fun! Also, set some reasonable goals (no DQs, don't finish DAL, etc.) and be happy when you achieve them

Also, do a full practice cook! Set up exactly as you plan to at the comp and cook to the same turn in times. Build boxes (if you need to for your comp), etc. just like you would at the comp. Keep track of anything that you have to run into the house to get and add that stuff to your packing list.

DepChief22
08-05-2013, 08:17 PM
I have been making BBQ for over 10 years and I and my family thinks it's great :)

My first competition is coming up in a month and I have been reading up on everything that you gurus have been willing to share. Skinning chicken (that sux), brisket pull test, boxing, sauces, money muscle <--wtf ;).

My stress is getting up there, I need to remind myself to have fun and hope for some beginners luck.

Thanks for all of the tips you all are sharing on this forum.

Good luck to you. I am gearing up for my 3rd comp and I still get nervous. Do sweat it. Just go have fun.
Where is your comp? I see you are from Va. I am too so I may be there.

Swanny26
08-05-2013, 08:30 PM
Just go and cook it like you have practiced! All you can do is cook it the best you know how and leave it to the judges at this point!!

akoda
08-06-2013, 08:07 AM
I'll be doing the Recovery Fest in September, are you going to that one?

Good luck to you. I am gearing up for my 3rd comp and I still get nervous. Do sweat it. Just go have fun.
Where is your comp? I see you are from Va. I am too so I may be there.

mikerobes
08-06-2013, 08:12 AM
Being nervous is part of the game, so embrace it, have fun and enjoy the fine people of BBQ...Best of Luck

Alexa RnQ
08-06-2013, 08:41 AM
Ron's advice to do the full practice cook is golden. Do it on real contest times, so that you get an idea of how much the fatigue factor is going to crush you.

Document every piece of equipment that you actually use during that cook, make a pack list, and check things off as you actually pack them (no doing the "I'm sure I saw that in there" thing, you have to lay hands on it).

With information from your full practice cook, make a finalized timeline and stick to it. At the first contest where we did well, we had instituted a timeline and as far as we were concerned we had scored before awards were even called, because we'd hit every one of our marks on the timeline successfully.

You'll do fine (that's a collective "you", for all the new teams here). Trust me, if you've been reading here, you are SOOOO much better prepared than we ever were when we started out, and many more teams like us.