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nmayeux
08-15-2006, 05:19 PM
This could be one of those threads that could be continuously added to, but I did learn a few valuable lessons this weekend. Enjoy:

1. Don't try your first contest by yourself. I really missunderstood the amount of work, especially with the bad weather.

2. Bring it, because you will probably need it. Zip ties, parachute cord, extra injector, strainer, etc...

3. Be very patient with the spectators. It seems that "your space" is actually public space! My one regret is being short with a couple who wanted to samply my pork while I was putting together the turn-in box. If nobody explains it to the public, then how will they know how to act? Don't expect common sense...

4. Be generous with the other competitors, and they will be generous back. I did not understand how helpful my competition really was. There was only one team that had a couple of prima-donnas, but everybody else treated me like I was partner rather than a competitor. I made a lot of new friends!

5. Practice, practice, practice! Even though we had practiced, two of our turn-in boxes were a disaster. Pretty much throw the lettuce and meat in the box, and try to keep as much rain as possible out! We never tried to put one together under stress, and it showed.

6. Write out your schedule. I was amazed at all the PDAs, dry erase boards, Excel spreadsheets, notebooks, etc. It really makes a difference, especially when alcohol is involved.:mrgreen:

7. Expect the unexpected. We budgeted our time for brisket on several that we had done at about the same size. For some reason, this one didn't get stuck:evil: ! The damn thing was done an hour and a half early. Pretty frustrating...

Bub-Ba-Q
08-15-2006, 05:27 PM
That first one is a real slap in the face. Now that you have done it, things will be easier. There are alot of things to make it go smoother. Ask or use trhe tools you think neccesary to accomplish that. I personally use my gut and experience as a schedule.

Was nice meeting you and hope to see ya again. Maybe Covington Ga?

Bubba

nmayeux
08-15-2006, 05:34 PM
I sure hope so Bubba. You and your family really made this a great first experience. I must admit, I really enjoyed watching that little girl run you and your wife! She sure was a cutie.

Bub-Ba-Q
08-15-2006, 05:53 PM
Thks!!! She knows that she is queen of the castle. As much as I am there to compete, I really enjoy the people. Makes it all the better when my family can be around. I am acually looking to by a trailer so that we can be a little more comfy on the road.

Bubba

G$
08-15-2006, 06:44 PM
This could be one of those threads that could be continuously added to, but I did learn a few valuable lessons this weekend. Enjoy:


I love info like this. Thanks for sharing.

ggriffi
08-15-2006, 07:38 PM
Noah,

Thanks so much for your thoughts. We are just a little over 2 months away from our first comp so I read this with great interest. I agree with everything but would like to add one thing that I am doing for practice. The first practice I did with 2 briskets, 2 butts, 6 slabs of bb's, and 12 thighs just to see how everything fit on my grill. Everything fit fine and tasted even better! However my timing was off a bit, so this past weekend I did just chicken and ribs to work on how long these really needed. I am going to cook these again this weekend to just make sure. After that I will do butts and briskets twice, once to get an idea for the timing and second time time to verify. Then three weeks before comp I am going to do a full cook but I am going to start this at about 8 or 9 a.m. using the timing that I have figured out for everything from the earlier practice sessions. My reason for this is that this will be the first time I will be cooking all at once since the very first practice, so if I need a little longer time for things I will have a better idea. Then the weekend before I will do everything just like I plan for the comp, starting Fri. night.

This might be overkill and might not work for a lot folks but this is just my plan for now, always subject to change though.

g

nmayeux
08-15-2006, 08:22 PM
ggriffi (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=2899)
Sounds like you are on your way! The only thing that I did different, is that I cooked my chicken on a Weber kettle. I used the charcoal baskets to cook indirectly, but at a higher temp than the rest of the meats. The chicken was great, and the skin was very crispy. However, I'm not sure it was the sauce or the rain, but we could not get the sauce to flash out like a glaze. Anyway, good luck, and I'm glad I could help!

MilitantSquatter
08-15-2006, 08:28 PM
Well said Noah.... Practices were great for us too even under contest timelines, but there's not better test than doing it for real..

ggriffi - good luck with your plan... It will payoff for you....

Sawdustguy
08-15-2006, 09:26 PM
Gents,

Don't forget to use the search key here. There is a ton of information on the forum. It would be a shame not to utilize it.

Jeff_in_KC
08-15-2006, 11:02 PM
One thing I learned from Poobah was that it'll take about six contests under your belt before things REALLY just kinda "click" and so forth. Damned if he wasn't right! He was actually dead on for us. We did well in our 5th (two 3rds) but felt a bit "off". Even though we got no calls (the GAB... 207 teams), we felt really "together" the next contest, our sixth. The seventh, we did awesome and finished 3rd out of 45 teams. We've gotten in 12 contests now and are still learning but I don't have to use a timeline like I used to. I just kinda got this internal clock thing going that says "Time to make the doughnuts". Oops... that was a commercial. Anyway, you get where I'm coming from I hope.

ModelMaker
08-16-2006, 06:55 AM
My Gawd GGRIFFI!! I hope you have a lot of hungry neighbors thats a ton of food your plannin on cookin up!!
Good luck though.
ModelMaker

Sawdustguy
08-16-2006, 07:54 AM
My Gawd GGRIFFI!! I hope you have a lot of hungry neighbors thats a ton of food your plannin on cookin up!!
Good luck though.
ModelMaker

That is pretty much right on the money for a competition. Some teams cook more, some cook less. We do about the same except we do 24 thighs. Remember you are trying to pick the best of what you have made. On average it cost about $100 for meat for competition with ribs being the most expensive of the bunch. We ask our visitors to show up after turn-in and we take home enough for about one meal.

The_Kapn
08-16-2006, 07:58 AM
Moderator's Note.

This tread Road Mapped.
It has excellent potential to be a useful thread.

TIM

nmayeux
08-16-2006, 08:13 AM
Tim,
Thanks for road mapping this thread. Also, as far as the amount of food that you cook, the more food, the more choices for turn in. Out of three butts, we used the pulled from one, and the bark from another. By doing more than one, it gave us several choices to pursue. We cooked a lot of food, and brought home very little. SDG hit it with about enough for one meal. Our friends and spectators cleaned us out, and were very appreciative. This was one of the unexpected plusses.

Kirk
08-16-2006, 11:06 AM
3. Be very patient with the spectators. Don't expect common sense...
Ain't it the truth. I've only done one fairly small local comp, but I couldn't believe what some spectators would do or say. One guy actually reached into the bowl I was using to sauce my pork and tried to grab a hunk without even asking. He got yelled at. My patience is tested by stupidity but it ends at rudeness. I guess the lesson here is to expect the unexpected from the public and set up your prep area so that you can have a little seperation from passers by.

Q Haven
08-16-2006, 11:57 AM
Having just started competing this year, the best advice I can give is to do your homework before you go. There are tons of places on the Internet, on this site and others, where you can learn so much about the do's and dont's of competing.

When I went to my first event this past May, I was ready for almost everything that came our way. But I learned a few things:

1. Make sure you buy good tents. Our cheap Wal-Mart tent snapped in the first hour in stiff Rhode Island winds.

2. Make friends with the teams around you quickly. If you forget something or even just have questions, established teams are a great resource. Everyone seems eager to help.

3. Do your research on turn in boxes. There are plenty of teams that put pics of their boxes up on the Internet. The pictures can give you good ideas about what your boxes should look like. Make sure you have the right lettuce and garnish.

4. Remember to have fun!

cmcadams
08-16-2006, 12:19 PM
I cooked more than that at the last comp... but then, I had a new smoker that needed the exercise! :) We did 4 brisket flats because I was injecting with FAB-B Lite, 3 boston butts... 2 to pull, 1 to slice, 6 slabs of spares, and about 24 thighs. We also cooked a bunch the night before to feed a group of people that came by.

Bub-Ba-Q
08-16-2006, 03:40 PM
Once you get some experience, you will be able to cook less food. Your gut will tell you when buying meat and cooking it as well. A small but very helpful item during crunch time. Get a dry erase board and write on it not to ask for samples during that time period. After turn in you will have sample available. I acually take a table with tongs & paper towels and place it up front and out of the way to place my samples on. When I am done with a box, the food goes in a pan & up front. Spectators are free to help themselves to what they want. It only took 1 time for a spectator to walk in & reach over me during turn in to fix that. I love the public, but leave me alone for 2 hours.

Bubba

ggriffi
08-16-2006, 03:49 PM
My Gawd GGRIFFI!! I hope you have a lot of hungry neighbors thats a ton of food your plannin on cookin up!!
Good luck though.
ModelMaker

I hope so to!

Originally I was only going to cook one brisket and butt along with 3 slabs of ribs and 12 chicken thighs for comp. However after reading several threads here about having multiple butts and briskets I decided to go with two each. I will be using my weber as well so I will be cooking the chicken on that and it should be ok. The only concern I have is having to watch two cookers but I don't see that as a major problem.


Dr. Guy,

I couldn't agree more about the value of searching this site for the info. I have probably saved a bunch already.

g

Bigmista
08-16-2006, 03:58 PM
I've only done one contest but I made it a point to make friends with the people around me. Easiest way to do this? Make some fatties and pass them around!

And don't take too much stuff! That is the main lesson we learned the first time out. We had four truckloads of stuff and didn't use half of it. OF course we have four people on our team. This probably wouldn't be AS MUCH of a problem on a 1 or 2 person team but it can still get out of hand.

SmokeInDaEye
08-22-2006, 09:27 AM
I thought I'd add some of my personal experiences from our first competition this past weekend. I know a number of the things mentioned on this thread really helped out (zip ties were a lifesaver in the rainstorm and I made sure we had our tent sides down during turn-in times to avoid visitors with empty guts, for example).

* Organization. Create storage boxes, tool boxes, whatever, for everything you need and make sure it ends up back there so you know exactly where to reach when it's crunch time. Also makes loading and unloading much easier.

* Tall tables make a heck of a difference. We brought standard wooden folding tables and realized after getting only 1/3 of the way through trimming all of the meat that bending that far over for long periods of time does terrible things to your back. I saw a lot of PVC extensions (legs inserted into pieces of PVC) and Bad Bones had some great expandable tables from Costco.

* Again, don't try to do everything yourself. Divide responsibilities, whether assigning each person a category of specific duties. Lay it out in advance and stick to it so you're not stepping on each other.

* If there's grass, why setup your site on dirt? It looked great in the sun, next to the bathrooms and turn-in station, but the downpours turned it into a swamp. I think that's an basic rule of camping too but I was a pretty bad boy scout.

* Make sure your tent is well staked. At about 2am it lifted up and took off like a 12x12 foot kite, breaking a couple legs. Luckily we were able to bend them enough to put it back up, otherwise it would have been an even nastier night in the rain.

* When in doubt, use multiple gauges, especially on our relatively inexpensive smokers. Drilling an extra external thermometer or bringing one extra wireless thermometer would have alerted us much earlier on that the smoker temps were way too low, instead of finding out six hours before turnin and racing to catch up (unsuccessfully on the brisket, unfortunately).

* Above all else, don't take it too seriously, at least out of the gate. I almost drove myself nuts after a bad showing instead of focusing on what did work, what we had overcome, and what we accomplished. One great showing (fifth in grilling on Sat) and one bad showing (37th on Sun) equals one average overall showing with a ton of great lessons, new friends and memories.

- Clint

nmayeux
08-22-2006, 10:29 PM
Clint,
Well said, and replies like your's is what I was looking for. It is really nice to pull up a thread like this when you are new to the sport. Also, I will never be able to compete like the pros with my schedule and budget, so your advice about not taking things too seriously really rings true!

cmcadams
08-23-2006, 05:40 AM
Noah, we only compete now and then... we did 2 last year, we'll do 3 this year, and 4-5 next year. That's as much as we ever expect to do... But we try our best, while having fun!

thunderbelly
08-23-2006, 09:24 AM
Just a small tip for "staking your tent" on cement, Grab 4 of those colapsable water jugs used for camping, fill them with water and tie them to each leg of your tent. Beats the heck out of bricks because you dump the water out and only transport empty plastic jugs.

Florida Bill
09-12-2006, 03:22 PM
Noah (and others who posted here),
Thanks for the benefit of your experience. In addition to the place here in Florida, we also still have our place in Covington, Ga. I plan to visit the competition there on the 13th and 14th of October. I hope to meet you and others there. I've never been to a competition so I'm really looking forward to it.

The_Kapn
09-12-2006, 03:37 PM
Just a small tip for "staking your tent" on cement, Grab 4 of those collapsible water jugs used for camping, fill them with water and tie them to each leg of your tent. Beats the heck out of bricks because you dump the water out and only transport empty plastic jugs.

Funny that Bill would revive this thread and that this was the last post.
Yesterday, I bought a lot of 5 collapsible 5 gal bottles off of EBay for about $14 delivered.
No more concrete blocks to deal with--YEAH! :lol:

TIM

Twas gonna tell ya about this Chad--but you get to hear it here first :lol:

2Fat
09-12-2006, 05:15 PM
Just a small tip for "staking your tent" on cement, Grab 4 of those colapsable water jugs used for camping, fill them with water and tie them to each leg of your tent. Beats the heck out of bricks because you dump the water out and only transport empty plastic jugs.

Well iffen ya got a cordless hammer drill---tapcons are the answer---and a tube of grey caulk covers the holes

Buzz

ique
09-12-2006, 05:31 PM
Well iffen ya got a cordless hammer drill---tapcons are the answer---and a tube of grey caulk covers the holes

Buzz

Good idea but I guess we didnt do that at the Royal a few years ago? I recall an ezup launching and ending up a few rows away!

2Fat
09-12-2006, 06:07 PM
file that underlessons learned--after that it has been hammer time!
Our ezup went through the roof of "Everybody Loves Raymonds" tent--he was cooking out of Cali. then now he is in Minnesota running a distillery--cooked next to him a few weeks back--both laughed about that incident--now!
Buzz
maybe looking for another competitor

Dustaway
09-12-2006, 08:22 PM
This site and one other has provided me with the most usefully information.
but the only way to get better is to actually go cook under pressure.
Nothing like it I love It have yet to have a really bad time some just better than others just like????? well you know

SmokeInDaEye
01-11-2007, 09:34 AM
Funny that Bill would revive this thread and that this was the last post.
Yesterday, I bought a lot of 5 collapsible 5 gal bottles off of EBay for about $14 delivered.
No more concrete blocks to deal with--YEAH! :lol:

TIM

Twas gonna tell ya about this Chad--but you get to hear it here first :lol:

I wasn't able to find quite the same deal, but this site has 6 collapsible jugs for about $20 after shipping. Four for the legs and another couple for transporting water. http://www.galleria-e.com/cgi-bin/Colemans.storefront/en/product/129801
.

Bigmista
01-11-2007, 10:39 AM
* Tall tables make a heck of a difference. We brought standard wooden folding tables and realized after getting only 1/3 of the way through trimming all of the meat that bending that far over for long periods of time does terrible things to your back. I saw a lot of PVC extensions (legs inserted into pieces of PVC) and Bad Bones had some great expandable tables from Costco.

* Again, don't try to do everything yourself. Divide responsibilities, whether assigning each person a category of specific duties. Lay it out in advance and stick to it so you're not stepping on each other.

* Above all else, don't take it too seriously, at least out of the gate. I almost drove myself nuts after a bad showing instead of focusing on what did work, what we had overcome, and what we accomplished. One great showing (fifth in grilling on Sat) and one bad showing (37th on Sun) equals one average overall showing with a ton of great lessons, new friends and memories.

- Clint

This were all key for us in our first year, especially the last one. Our motto was "Have fun, don't come in last!" We competed in 3 contests and came in 3rd in the final two.

Be sure to walk around and talk to the other teams. Make friends and enjoy each other's company. Winning is great but I think I look forward to getting together with the friends I made more.

Fredbird
01-11-2007, 05:35 PM
Tons of good info here! There was one thing we started doing last year to safe on meat cost. We always seem to has people asking us to cook something for us. We used this to help defray some of our cost. We would cook the meat we needed for the contest, pick out the best to turn in and the unused meat would go to whoever paid for the BBQ. We cooked as many as four briskets, four pork butts and nine slabs of spareribs. But our cost remained the same or was less.

The best advice? Have fun and make friends!:-D

Stoke&Smoke
03-31-2008, 06:45 PM
Well iffen ya got a cordless hammer drill---tapcons are the answer---and a tube of grey caulk covers the holes

Buzz
What size would you recommend, and with or without some sort of washer?

scottyd
03-31-2008, 07:21 PM
I get a competition lesson every contest as I get my ass kicked.

2Fat
03-31-2008, 09:43 PM
What size would you recommend, and with or without some sort of washer?
think we use about 1/4" tap cons--the bugle head seems to hold ok without any washers--im our experience anyway

Sawdustguy
04-01-2008, 12:34 PM
In a couple of contests that we have competed in, the venue owner made announcements that any team making holes in the blacktop to secure their canopy would be asked to pack up and leave, and they meant business! Be careful.

smoke-n-my-i's
04-01-2008, 08:05 PM
This could be one of those threads that could be continuously added to, but I did learn a few valuable lessons this weekend. Enjoy:

3. Be very patient with the spectators. It seems that "your space" is actually public space! My one regret is being short with a couple who wanted to samply my pork while I was putting together the turn-in box. If nobody explains it to the public, then how will they know how to act? Don't expect common sense...



This in my opinion is where the event organizers are not educated by KCBS or any of the other organizations.

I took my hand dandy word processor, and made me some signs. All I put on it is basically: NO SALES NO SAMPLES PLEASE DO NOT ASK

I put the letters as big as they would fit on the page, then printed them on colored paper. Had them laminated, and tape them to the back of my tent sides after I get set up. It is amazing the comments you will hear, but they will not ask for anything either. The general public will look, see, and walk on by to the next team and bother them.... :biggrin:

Very inexpensive, and very effective.


If you would like, I can scan one, and post a pic.....

Just Pulin' Pork
04-01-2008, 11:42 PM
This in my opinion is where the event organizers are not educated by KCBS or any of the other organizations.

I took my hand dandy word processor, and made me some signs. All I put on it is basically: NO SALES NO SAMPLES PLEASE DO NOT ASK

I put the letters as big as they would fit on the page, then printed them on colored paper. Had them laminated, and tape them to the back of my tent sides after I get set up. It is amazing the comments you will hear, but they will not ask for anything either. The general public will look, see, and walk on by to the next team and bother them.... :biggrin:

Very inexpensive, and very effective.


If you would like, I can scan one, and post a pic.....


I have seen people use a dry erase board and prop it up Saturday morning asking the public not to talk to them until after 1:00 pm or the last turn in. Offer them a beer if they have questions and you can answer them then.

billm
04-02-2008, 08:38 AM
Best thing to do before your first comp is a practice cook at home adhering to actual turn in times and box making. This was invaluable to me before my first comp. I knew what I needed to bring (and not bring) and what to expect. As far as being short with spectators..it doesnt take a genius to figure out whether someone is handing food out or not . I really have a hard time sympathizing with spectators who dont have the manners to ask first before grabbing. I woud try and set up your area so the prep table is away from the main walkway. it will help but you still have those who think nothing of walking into your space and helping themselves . Might be good to bring someone with next time for an extra set of hands and to "bounce" rude spectators for ya

paydabill
04-02-2008, 09:37 AM
I owuld say ASK ASK ASK! - If you forgot somethign ask around. . .I am surprise hoe much people were willing to help me when things failed.

True Story

About 5 years ago. I was cooking Sedalia - a 65 mph strait wind came through, and soaked all my charcoal, flipped over my grill and tore up my EZ up. I was goign to pack it up and go. Then people came over, helped me get some things back in order, Someone gave a big bag of lump, and people got me back on track.

I still smile when I think about it!

SmokeInDaEye
11-01-2008, 10:39 AM
I thought I'd add some of my personal experiences from our first competition this past weekend. I know a number of the things mentioned on this thread really helped out (zip ties were a lifesaver in the rainstorm and I made sure we had our tent sides down during turn-in times to avoid visitors with empty guts, for example).

* Organization. Create storage boxes, tool boxes, whatever, for everything you need and make sure it ends up back there so you know exactly where to reach when it's crunch time. Also makes loading and unloading much easier.

* Tall tables make a heck of a difference. We brought standard wooden folding tables and realized after getting only 1/3 of the way through trimming all of the meat that bending that far over for long periods of time does terrible things to your back. I saw a lot of PVC extensions (legs inserted into pieces of PVC) and Bad Bones had some great expandable tables from Costco.

* Again, don't try to do everything yourself. Divide responsibilities, whether assigning each person a category of specific duties. Lay it out in advance and stick to it so you're not stepping on each other.

* If there's grass, why setup your site on dirt? It looked great in the sun, next to the bathrooms and turn-in station, but the downpours turned it into a swamp. I think that's an basic rule of camping too but I was a pretty bad boy scout.

* Make sure your tent is well staked. At about 2am it lifted up and took off like a 12x12 foot kite, breaking a couple legs. Luckily we were able to bend them enough to put it back up, otherwise it would have been an even nastier night in the rain.

* When in doubt, use multiple gauges, especially on our relatively inexpensive smokers. Drilling an extra external thermometer or bringing one extra wireless thermometer would have alerted us much earlier on that the smoker temps were way too low, instead of finding out six hours before turnin and racing to catch up (unsuccessfully on the brisket, unfortunately).

* Above all else, don't take it too seriously, at least out of the gate. I almost drove myself nuts after a bad showing instead of focusing on what did work, what we had overcome, and what we accomplished. One great showing (fifth in grilling on Sat) and one bad showing (37th on Sun) equals one average overall showing with a ton of great lessons, new friends and memories.

- Clint

Good advice, younger me. We had a similar rainstorm last weekend, using the same rebuilt canopy which didn't blow away due to some serious weight from five gallon water jugs, but did partially collapse.

Funny thing is, aside from the wet, it didn't affect us at all. We are so much better organized thanks to my advice above and the countless advice of the great folks here. In the end, though, it just takes patience, practice, and the ability to accept and learn from defeat every so often.

big blue bbq
11-01-2008, 11:10 AM
I don't know if it was Plowboy (forgive me if I am wrong), but when I was doing research for my first comp someone posted about the work boxes. When you practice, work out of your boxes. If you have to go to the kitchen for something make sure you write it down so you know to add it to the box. That will let you know you have everything. As Mista's thread said, after the first couple comps you will start to really cut back on what you take with you. The less you take, the less stress there is at set up and tear down time.
After you get home from each comp, go thru your boxes as you clean up and make a note about what you need to replace before next time. We do about one comp every two months. That gives plenty of time to make little purchases and eases the pain of the price to compete for a low budget team like us.

One huge mistake we made at the last comp of the year for us, I tried to cook extra meat for a church picnic the next day. 14 extra butts. I thought I had the time down for it to be done before rib time, but it was way too close and way too much stress. We do take orders from friends, co-workers and family and cook that meat for them on Friday or just take it out of extra butts after turn in times. It helps some of the guys on my team afford to come play.

HoDeDo
11-01-2008, 11:51 AM
I get a competition lesson every contest as I get my ass kicked.

As he gives a lesson... holding the 20th place placard up at the Royal... sharing that the secret to his ribs was over-cooking them :twisted:

ZBQ
11-01-2008, 06:48 PM
Two lessons I have learned.

1.) trim your chicken the day before and foodsaver it or just put in big baggies
in the cooler...BIG time saver.....Newbies remember, no seasoning or marinating ...just trimming.

2.) Make ABSOLUTELY SURE that your ribs and brisket slices are COMPLETELY
cut through!!

Pick each rib up separately and place in the box.......

Don't ask me how I know........:oops::roll:

Bud's BBQ
11-02-2008, 05:14 PM
Two lessons I have learned.

1.) trim your chicken the day before and foodsaver it or just put in big baggies
in the cooler...BIG time saver.....Newbies remember, no seasoning or marinating ...just trimming.

2.) Make ABSOLUTELY SURE that your ribs and brisket slices are COMPLETELY
cut through!!

Pick each rib up separately and place in the box.......

Don't ask me how I know........:oops::roll:

Words to live by - almost got dq this summer for hanging chads on the ribs :icon_pissed

smoke-n-my-i's
11-02-2008, 05:33 PM
After all of this good advice, the main things to remember:

1) Have fun....
2) Learn from your mistakes...

and my new things to remember:

1) NEVER change anything at a comp :icon_blush: ... do what you do best
2) Don't drop the first two slabs of ribs in the dirt when you only bring three... :icon_blush: :icon_blush:

And I know, no one else has ever done this before either.....

Bill

TELL YOU WHAT BBQ
11-02-2008, 07:30 PM
We are NEWBIES to Comp. --- among the many lessons. Designate a clean, extra cooler with a towel for 'early' meat to rest.

I put a case of beer in it the nite before...which means it must be consumed -- to 'make room for the meat'. Any excuse to 'crack cans'.:icon_smil

uziel5000
01-28-2010, 08:51 AM
Ultimate rookie mistake. Sadly a true story...

First comp, after spending three days reminding people what they are supposed to bring to the event, we arrive and set. We get everything ready and pass inspection. Then, it's time to light up...

Where are the matches? :icon_blush::rolleyes:

monty3777
01-28-2010, 10:16 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Propane-Weed-Burner-Torch/dp/B001NDK8C8

Who needs matches? We use our BMF! :cool:

Podge
01-28-2010, 11:59 AM
There's a thin line between enjoying yourself and having a good time. If you want to have a good time, I know of a thousand better ways to spend $700 for a good time. This is a contest, a competition, treat it as such. Besides, you "having fun" could be a nuisance to your neighbors.

I should add too, that BBQ people are the freindliest people in this country. If you have a question, ask. If you need help, ask.

Diver
01-28-2010, 02:15 PM
If you are using boiling hot grease for an anything butt entry, do not let said hot grease onto your gloved hand, then catch on fire causing you to spill an even larger amount of the boiling grease onto your bare wrist and into the aforementioned glove...come to think of it, you can probably apply that one to cooking away from comps too.

KC_Bobby
01-28-2010, 03:34 PM
In addition to Diver's comments:
Do not attempt to pick up firebrick that's been in firebox for the past 12 hours with only a food service glove - assuming you're hand is actually inside a welding glove. If you do, make sure you have a cooler full of ice cold water very close.

monty3777
01-28-2010, 04:07 PM
Pay close attention to all the stuff you DON'T use. Get rid of all the extra crap - that way clean-up will be easier! Do you REALLY need 2 10x10 tents? Do you really need 4 prep tables? These are the questions we had to ask ourselves after our first comp.

thenewguy
01-28-2010, 04:58 PM
Are you trying to mock me? LOL!
We downsize for a few contests, but when the warden wants it her way-she gets it!

JD McGee
01-28-2010, 07:56 PM
Sage advice all...:cool: Here are my top 3...

1. Game plan...
2. Pack list...
3. Meat pre-prep...

Good luck folks! :biggrin:

monty3777
01-28-2010, 07:58 PM
Are you trying to mock me? LOL!
We downsize for a few contests, but when the warden wants it her way-she gets it!

Listen, I'd love to have your Chariot! If I had that much room I'd pack the brewstand as well!

Todd Ras
01-29-2010, 03:51 PM
Our first and only comp was last year and I would say my list would be:

1) Water bucket of some sort (we forgot them)
2) Pre-prep/trimming of food
3) Ice can be expensive on site
4) We had a few 2-day practice runs with turn in boxes leading up to the event
that helped a ton!
5) Don't be scared that your doing something wrong. Everyone has there own
way and no one will think your stupid for lighting your pit at a different time
or putting your meat on an hour later than you neighbor.


We had a blast and got a call in chicken which we thought was pretty cool!! We did well at our first event last year and Donkey Punch BBQ will be doing 4-5 more this year, just not sure where yet :)

monty3777
01-29-2010, 04:02 PM
I forgot the most important thing. Take a class! No joke, here. It takes humility to sumbit yourself to another person's expertise. But there is now way to to learn more than by spending time with a proven master. It worked for the Karate Kid - it'll work for you.

KC_Bobby
01-29-2010, 04:07 PM
I'd actually argue that it would be beneficial to compete at least 3 times prior to spending good money on a class.
- get a feel for the competition so when the instructor is going over things you immediately know why rather then wonder why
- make sure you have the desire to compete, we've all went out and bought something with the feeling it was gonna be our next favorite time waster - then we tried it and it wasn't as fun as it sounded. Tangible toys can at least be sold to cut the loss. While learnings in class can still be applied to the backyard - it would still be a tough pill to swallow if it were me

HoDeDo
01-29-2010, 09:25 PM
There's a thin line between enjoying yourself and having a good time. If you want to have a good time, I know of a thousand better ways to spend $700 for a good time. This is a contest, a competition, treat it as such. Besides, you "having fun" could be a nuisance to your neighbors.

I should add too, that BBQ people are the freindliest people in this country. If you have a question, ask. If you need help, ask.

It is possible to have a good time, and compete. I know LOTs of teams that do it. Enjoying yourself is table stakes, right? Unless you have some DSM-IV classifiable issue that causes you to do things you dislike, you aren't going to drop the coin if you dont enjoy it. So it has to be about having a good time, and a good time competing.

This Is How We Que It
01-30-2010, 09:57 AM
Our first and only comp was last year and I would say my list would be:

1) Water bucket of some sort (we forgot them)
2) Pre-prep/trimming of food
3) Ice can be expensive on site
4) We had a few 2-day practice runs with turn in boxes leading up to the event
that helped a ton!
5) Don't be scared that your doing something wrong. Everyone has there own
way and no one will think your stupid for lighting your pit at a different time
or putting your meat on an hour later than you neighbor.


We had a blast and got a call in chicken which we thought was pretty cool!! We did well at our first event last year and Donkey Punch BBQ will be doing 4-5 more this year, just not sure where yet :)

If you forget your water buckets again this year we will loan you some again if we're there! :) Still lovin the team name. Hey can you get me a beer holster?!?! lol

monty3777
01-30-2010, 10:19 AM
I'd actually argue that it would be beneficial to compete at least 3 times prior to spending good money on a class.


I agree.

Capn Kev
01-30-2010, 03:46 PM
I agree.

That's exactly where I'm at... and now am taking Todd's (Plowboys) class in March. I also just took a CBJ class last night. It's all starting to make sense now :-D

monty3777
01-30-2010, 09:32 PM
That's exactly where I'm at... and now am taking Todd's (Plowboys) class in March. I also just took a CBJ class last night. It's all starting to make sense now :-D

I hope you like attention - you're gonna get calls!

charlie263
02-16-2010, 08:34 PM
I plan on entering my first comp in April 2010 in Dothan, AL. I have always loved to barbecue, and loved watching BBQ Pitmasters. Should I just do the backyard division to get my feet wet? I'm practicing different recipes now, to narrow down to the ones I will use. I also have a 30 ft. camper, is that feasible to take to the competition? Any good pointers to an extreme newbie that loves to cook would be helpful. How much will this whole deal cost me in meat, fuel, fees, etc? thanks in advance!:icon_cool

charlie263
02-16-2010, 08:35 PM
Lookin for that match!!!!

Big Ugly's BBQ
02-17-2010, 07:34 AM
I plan on entering my first comp in April 2010 in Dothan, AL. I have always loved to barbecue, and loved watching BBQ Pitmasters. Should I just do the backyard division to get my feet wet? I'm practicing different recipes now, to narrow down to the ones I will use. I also have a 30 ft. camper, is that feasible to take to the competition? Any good pointers to an extreme newbie that loves to cook would be helpful. How much will this whole deal cost me in meat, fuel, fees, etc? thanks in advance!:icon_cool

Jump in both feet. The only difference between Backyard and a full comp, is more meat and the time needed to cook it, unless you are following the Flash/High Heat cooking theory.

You need to be sure that the size you request will support your camper. Most comps allow for 20x20 or 20x25 areas, so you may have to pay a bit more for the larger area for the camper. It is nice to have something like that around, though, sort of like a hotel room on wheels. I have been considering one myself.

Lake Dogs
02-17-2010, 10:56 AM
I plan on entering my first comp in April 2010 in Dothan, AL. I have always loved to barbecue, and loved watching BBQ Pitmasters. Should I just do the backyard division to get my feet wet? I'm practicing different recipes now, to narrow down to the ones I will use. I also have a 30 ft. camper, is that feasible to take to the competition? Any good pointers to an extreme newbie that loves to cook would be helpful. How much will this whole deal cost me in meat, fuel, fees, etc? thanks in advance!:icon_cool

We have a 32ft motorhome that we use. Most of the time we're able to
park it right there in/on the site, others it's a short walk down the street
(if you will). You'll want to contact the organizers of the cookoff for
specifics. Some have an extra $50+- for larger sites; we've always paid
for the extra room to have the RV right there...

There are pluses and minuses to doing a few backyard divisions before
going with the pros. I did one backyard, enjoyed it, then began with
the pro sanctioned cookoffs. Frankly, I learned more at my first pro
comp than anything learned in the backyard. Meaning, you'll learn more
back doing it (succeed or fail) than watching. Practice, practice, and
practice. Make the practice as close to live as you can. Set
pre-determined turn-in times for yourself; see if you can hit it, with nice
warm/hot bbq that looks appetizing. If it's a KCBS cookoff, practice with
multiple turn-ins, 30 minutes apart. If you can do this, and identify all
the tools you'll use (for packing list), you're ready for it. I suggest even
if you're not all the way ready to just jump in on the pro thing. Who
knows, you might have a good day and land in some money. I, for one,
would hate to have had a good day and not get much of the rewards...

As far as costs go, we end up spending right at $800 on KCBS. I have about
$100 of that for gasoline. The others are about the same no matter how far
you travel.