View Full Version : Grilling contests day before-pro/con ? (title edit)

02-21-2007, 08:36 PM
What's the general consensus for the Saturday contest? Worth it? Do most people do it?

Do most people arrive Friday night?


02-21-2007, 09:19 PM
i dont like doing them.. they take your attention away from what you need to be doing. Unless your really organized and start early.

02-21-2007, 09:25 PM
Big Barry - I edited thread title to make it less specific to one contest (HV Ribfest) so others can chime in who compete and have opinions on the value f grilling events the day prior or of.

From my experience - It's fun, BUT... if you roll in and set up.. it's all work and no play until after turn in time on Sat. And from there you go right into the some prep work for your KCBS entries before relaxing a while... You have to define your goals and oblectives for why you are there....

You need to enjoy the grilling categories they have. (Ex. if you hate cooking or eating fish, do you really want to compete in that category ?? maybe/maybe not... only you will know that.. If you're looking to just do your best and have fun,then go for it, give it a shot and make a decision after if it was worth it.. Better chance of placing high somewhere if you give yourself more opportunities. If your only focus is how you place in KCBS categories only, don't do it. Also factor in the additional cost of entry fee and meat if cost is a factor.

Here's my real life example - I was not going to do the grilling event last year at HV Ribfest as my teammate was not there and my father was filling in. Our own YankeeBBQ (Steve) from I Smell Smoke/Team Agave fame, called me out for backing off the grilling categories.

See post # 27 here where Stevecalled me out http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19195&highlight=ribfest. I ended up doing it and I took 2nd in Steak (Steve topped me by a half a point). In the end I was glad I entered and thanked Steve later that day for getting on my case for making excuses as to why I was not going to do it. This year, I'll take each contest as it goes and see if I'm interested or not..

Specifically for HV Ribfest, a good portion of the teams were there on Friday but they want teams to check in before it gets dark. (Remember traffic out of LI and the Bronx is brutal after rush hour)...

Last year, there were 42 teams competing in total at HV, 24 of them cooked the NEBS grilling categories. For NEBS, many teams who want a shot at being team of the year will compete in the grilling events as well, as these points count towards the top 5 scores used in TOTY calculations.

02-21-2007, 10:05 PM
I know that you would like this to be general. We competed at our first comp. last August at Hudson Valley Rib Festival (HV). We did the full competition. We got in too late on Friday night so we slept over locally and arrived at 7 AM Saturday. We had meat inspection after the cooks meeting. We had not done a turn in box before and found the grilling competition to be helpful in getting our turn in times and timing amongst ourselves in line. We were so excited to do our first turn in Fish that we lost track of where we were. The following turn ins just made the cutoff by seconds. We placed well for our first competition. For the KCBS portion on Sunday, we had our turn ins right on or up to 5 minutes ahead. If we had done just the KCBS we would had a more difficult time. It increased the expense but doubled the fun. I would do it the same again. It was a great learning experience. It was a great experience overall. For our first comp. I would still do it the same way. Just relax and enjoy the experience!

Yours in BBQ,


02-21-2007, 10:21 PM
Vinnie - thanks for the edit.

I ask because I am filling out the entry form tonight. I think I will arrive Sat and skip the NEBS portion this time.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

02-21-2007, 10:41 PM
The HV contest was our first ever and we enjoyed the grilling contest. I thought it worked well to settle the nerves and all of that stuff and get everything going in the right direction and everyone in the right frame of mind.
Also think it adds a little more bang for your buck by having 2 contests over the course of the weekend.
Agree you have to like what you are grilling, didnt do fish for that reason (looking forward to lamb this year!)
All in all in my very limited experience, I like it. Much better idea I think than some of the other Saturday contests I have read about, ie deep fry, chicken wings, etc

02-22-2007, 11:01 AM
If there is a grilling, we are competing in it. We kinda feel like if you're already there, you may as well fix up another cooler and see what happens. We have tried to nix a couple, but in the end, the evil pitboss (heheh) decides that we are doing it, and then, afterwards, the rest of us are glad that we did.

we find the grilling to be fun, and also aggravating...
more of your money out in cost, BUT double your chance of winning more ...
they do tend to take away brainpower(a tad) from the KCBS event...you need to watch this...especially if you win big, celebrating can diminish the focus of the next day.
... and we always try to get there Friday night if it is available/possible.

We haven't done Hudson Valley yet, but this year we are planning on it, sending our my app this week, and I am really looking forward to it. I believe we are gonna try to get in Brethren Row. :> You guys don't really sleep, do ya?

I am only talking 'bout our experiences over the past few years at Merrimac NH, Lowell MA, RI, and the only Hyannis event there ever was. Harpoon has KCBS on Saturday and then grilling is on Sunday....that is painful.


The Anchorman
02-22-2007, 12:50 PM
I love doing grilling comps, it gives the cooks a real place to shine. We have gotten to grilling comps right about 7 am and then go right in to prep mode. It is fast and easy. It is always alot of fun for The Anchormen to grill, heck if wasn't for grilling comps The Anchormen would never be as high in the ranking at NEBS.
I Love To Grill!