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Duddy55
02-18-2014, 01:40 PM
A friend of mine and i have decided to take the leap into competition this year... We love and know bbq, but what we aren't up to par on is what all to expect or the littlest things to plan for, for a competition... We understand the main priorities and stuff like when to put the diff meats on, building the boxes, trimming and ect.... But what we could use some advice on would be things like when do most of you take your meat off before judge presentation... Rest it before or straight from the smoker to the box? Any advice at all in regards to anything a newbie might want to know before a comp is greatly appreciated

Ron_L
02-18-2014, 01:46 PM
Each team does things a little different based on their cookers, cook temp, etc. If you can find a local team who would be willing to let you cook with them that is a great way to get some experience. Also, in the stickies section of the Competition forum there is a list of competition classes. If you can afford one that is another way to learn.

For us, I like our briskets and butts to rest at least two hour before turn in. Ribs and chicken for us are just-in-time cooks.

PekingPorker
02-18-2014, 02:10 PM
We also like to rest brisket and pork a couple of hours before turn in. I usually do this at home as well. Chicken and ribs come off and are turned in as soon as possible.

RumRunner_1492
02-18-2014, 02:34 PM
I would take the class to become a certified BBQ judge. That was very helpful in preparing to compete. You learn what judges look for and how it all works. After I took it I judged 3 competitions before entering my first one to compete. It was beyond helpful.

ITBFQ
02-18-2014, 02:37 PM
I would take the class to become a certified BBQ judge. That was very helpful in preparing to compete. You learn what judges look for and how it all works. After I took it I judged 3 competitions before entering my first one to compete. It was beyond helpful.

I did the exact same thing. I am more of a backyard comp kind of guy, but judging is helpful in preparation for competition.

msavard
02-18-2014, 02:41 PM
I would take the class to become a certified BBQ judge. That was very helpful in preparing to compete. You learn what judges look for and how it all works. After I took it I judged 3 competitions before entering my first one to compete. It was beyond helpful.

THIS! Great tips here. Also start watching videos on youtube. If you have the money, take a class from a reputable/quality team or individual and it will dramatically smooth out the learning curve.

And finally... practice practice practice.

Burnt at Both Endz
02-18-2014, 03:15 PM
pork 7:30, brisket 8:30-8:45, Chicken 11:53, Ribs 12:19. Big meats can be a few minutes either way, but the small meats will come off at these times. Hope this helps a little!

Duddy55
02-18-2014, 03:28 PM
thanks for all the answers...definitely helps

triplezip
02-18-2014, 04:55 PM
Once you feel like you're ready to compete, be sure to do at least one practice cook in the yard or driveway to simulate cooking at the comp site. Get everything set up the way you intend to have it at the comp, and see how much you can do without "cheating" (running into the house / kitchen, etc)... Make a note of everything that you didn't think of as it comes up. This was very helpful for us before our first comp.

TooSaucedToPork
02-18-2014, 05:27 PM
^^^Great Advice TripleZip^^^

Practice like its a comp. Log all the info you can.
Every time I cook BBQ I set timetables, I log temperatures in meat, in smoker, outside air. I take HD pictures when I open the lid. I log humidity for the day, weather that day, and how much fuel I put into the cooker. I log whether sun is shining on my cooker, or if it is in shade.

With this information I have competition timetables for different outside temps and weather. I know how the cold and warm air effects my cooker, my timetable, and my temps. There are reduced surprises come Comp time...and if you can eliminate variables, you are one step closer to variance, one step closer to a call.

Hope that helps,

PS Dont be as anal as me

Neil

SpicemanJames
02-18-2014, 06:39 PM
Welcome :clap2:

J&B'sBBQ
02-20-2014, 10:17 PM
Yes, yes and yes to all of the above :). We follow some of the above suggestions with big meats off early to rest, and chicken and ribs with just enough time to prep and turn in.

I know Neil's plan sounds a bit over the top, but once you have your first competition under your belt you'll see why those details can help. We have a very similar method when it comes to understanding our pit and how it reacts, but we cook on an off-set so it's a little more temperamental than other styles of cookers.

Practice a lot! We do two practice cooks for every competition we do. We cook chicken and ribs in one, and briskets and butts in the other. This is our way of fine tuning in flavors and techniques without throwing major stuff to the wind, but until you have your timing down pat I would cook all 4 meats at each practice.

Good luck and welcome to the competition world!!! Be careful, it's addictive :)

jketron
02-21-2014, 11:08 AM
Last year was my first year in comp and it was an awesome learning experience.

First thing.....pick a comp and sign up, thats right jump right in. Now you have a date.

Practice what you know, cook every meat several times like a comp. Then cook like its a comp. Meet every turn in time just like a comp. You will be surprised at how compressing the turn in times and having to meet a window adds stress. Don't try something new at the comp. Know what you want to do before you get there. Know what your boxes are going to look like.

For boxes research around and you will see lots of box turn in pics. Print out your favorite for each meat.

For all of your cooks take notes. As many have stated above take detailed notes that work for you. I write everything down and even at a comp. When you feel the stress coming on and you pork is stalling you can look back on your notes and see this is normal and approx when it will break.

While there isn't an exact science to the times and temps they are damn close given the same conditions.

Make your first goal to make all the turn in times and equal to that is to have fun. The people out there are amazing, they are helpful and overall its a fun family event.

ShencoSmoke
02-21-2014, 11:41 AM
Want to see some boxes? Check out BBQ critic.
www.bbqcritic.com

jketron
02-21-2014, 11:43 AM
Great place to get some pics to take with you

Want to see some boxes? Check out BBQ critic.
www.bbqcritic.com (http://www.bbqcritic.com)

Teamfour
02-21-2014, 11:50 AM
Pick up this book! George Hensler's Starting the Fire.

http://www.amazon.com/Startin-Fire-George-W-Hensler/dp/1890689149