View Full Version : Keep It Simple Stupid - Plan for 1st Comp

04-15-2007, 10:47 PM
I am registered for my first competition in May, so I used my son's birthday party as an excuse to do a practice cook. 4 butts on my new WSM, 2 brisket flats and 4 St. Louis ribs on my SKD, and 18 thighs on a charbroil ecb. Everything was good, family and friends ate or took home almost all of it. But after messing with the SKD all afternoon, I thought it would be easier to only have the WSM and the ecb to watch for my first comp. So I went to a local shop that sells green eggs and bought a grill extender so I can do 1 butt, 1 brisket flat and 3-4 racks on the WSM and do thighs on the ecb. Also, by leaving the SKD at home no need to rent a trailer. I will be doing most if not everything myself. Two friends may help overnight, but I think they will be better at making sure the beer cooler is empty rather than cooking. My wife will help with turn in boxes in the morning. Any thoughts on limiting the variables or suggestions on keeping things simple so I can at least get all four boxes in on time??

big blue bbq
04-16-2007, 06:11 AM
the only thing I would worry about with the wsm is the same problem I have with my ecb. You have to keep opening it to get to things on the lower shelves when you are mopping or turning or taking things off. You lose a lot of temp and run the risk of flipping something over. We had to smokers at our first comp this weekend, a brinkman smoke pit and a hondo Jr. by charbroil. We did on brisket on the hondo jr. and then the chicken on there after the brisket came off. Did 4 butts and three ribs on the bigger smoker, plus all the holding and glazing over the fire box on that one.
Overall I think the less you have going the better you are. We thought about bringing the ecb but could not really find a good reason to have another fire to worry about.

Hope this helps.

04-16-2007, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the advice, I see you cooked multiple briskets and butts, do you think it helped, or could you have gotten away with cooking only one?

04-16-2007, 01:01 PM
Is this ever a good question! I'm just now taking it all in from my first Cooking class/Judging event. My thoughts exactly on the WSM, and I'm sure that's where I got bit on the a**! Luckily I was paired up with a guy that had done a couple comps before and was more focused than I was! The first thing I seem to see in every BBQ cookbook is to know you're pit and and how to control the fire, I sure am glad I brought the weed torch!
We got Fourth Place in Brisket and that's not my strong point, but I knew my drum and it was doing it's thing!


04-16-2007, 02:51 PM
Boy, Neo, you missed a great opportunity for some feedback by not shooting pix! Glad all turned out well, though.

04-16-2007, 03:15 PM
Sorry no pics, but 35+ family and friends were diving in as soon as it came off smoker or out of the cooler. (Hard to explain to a hungry crowd the meat needs to pose for pictures first.)

04-16-2007, 03:37 PM
HEHE I hear that!! The proof in good Q is definitely when the bones start flyin'.

04-16-2007, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the advice, I see you cooked multiple briskets and butts, do you think it helped, or could you have gotten away with cooking only one?

When I was helping Parrothead with his team we always cooked two butts and two briskets just in case. Many times we had one piece of meat that tasted or looked better than the other. We also cooked six slabs of ribs, but if you select the ribs carefully you could probably get by with three or four.

For Red, White and BBQ I am probably going to be judging since Greg isn't cooking so if you want to borrow a WSM, let me know. I picked up a spare last fall off of eBay. I'm in Batavia so it would be easy to get it to you.