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Lazy Dawg
07-07-2007, 07:47 AM
Hello all,
been here awhile and have absorbed much. Now I am considering entering 1st comp. I have 2 brinkman offsets which I have owned for years and have become, IMHO, educated on cooking on them. The question is... what kind of equipment did you start out with at your 1st comp. Should I be looking to upgrade or does it not matter. I will upgrade eventually but may not be before the 1st intended comp. Your advice,thoughts and opinions mean much and are welcome. Please chime in.

LD

Smokin Gator
07-07-2007, 07:51 AM
Go with what you know...

My first comp I used my two UDSs and a Weber Kettle. I looked like the Beverly Hillbillys pulling up but I had fun and did pretty well.

Remember... it is the cook not the cooker.

Q Haven
07-07-2007, 08:19 AM
2 WSM's and a Weber kettle. One pop up tent, a few tables and coolers. Used a checklist I found somewhere on the Internet to learn what small stuff to bring. Here are a few....

http://www.smokingunsbbq.com/checklist.doc

http://www.pnwba.com/ContestApps/2005/EventChecklist.pdf

http://novia.net/~cedmunds/gobs/chklist.htm

The_Kapn
07-07-2007, 08:53 AM
Chad and I started with a Dera and a WSM.
Added a second WSM.
Then, Chad bought the Kingfisher.
Then, I bought the FEC100

You can compete with almost any cooker you are comfortable with.
The advantage to the larger units is some flexibility, capacity, and stability. Less "labor intensive", so to speak.

Cook with what you own and just have fun.
Yours will work just fine!

TIM

MOD Note: I clarified the title on your thread.

MilitantSquatter
07-07-2007, 12:26 PM
Go with what you have...

No need to spend cash until you determine that you enjoy contests and wish to invest in upgraded equipment.

Even if you want to upgrade for home use or competiton use , your decision on what to ultimately buy may vary as you would need to factor in ease of transportation, cooking space needed, ease of operation etc.

Good Luck !

AlabamaGrillBillies
07-07-2007, 12:57 PM
Go with what you know...

My first comp I used my two UDSs and a Weber Kettle. I looked like the Beverly Hillbillys pulling up but I had fun and did pretty well.

Remember... it is the cook not the cooker.


Our first comp was pretty much the same story. And that is how my team came to be called the AlabamaGrillBillies.

slat
07-07-2007, 01:09 PM
Comfort is a wonderful thing. If you are doing well with what you have then keep on keepin' on.

Sawdustguy
07-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Hello all,
been here awhile and have absorbed much. Now I am considering entering 1st comp. I have 2 brinkman offsets which I have owned for years and have become, IMHO, educated on cooking on them. The question is... what kind of equipment did you start out with at your 1st comp. Should I be looking to upgrade or does it not matter. I will upgrade eventually but may not be before the 1st intended comp. Your advice,thoughts and opinions mean much and are welcome. Please chime in.

LD

Thats exactly what we used at our first competition and managed to take a 5th in Brisket.

Jeff_in_KC
07-07-2007, 05:04 PM
Our first two were with a WSM, a Brinkman Smoke King and Good-One patio size smoker. The third was with those minus the Good-One.

Bigmista
07-07-2007, 05:05 PM
This is how I showed up for our first contest:

http://www.thesurvivalgourmet.com/images/Autry/Autry1).jpg

http://www.thesurvivalgourmet.com/images/Autry/Autry10.jpg

http://www.thesurvivalgourmet.com/images/Autry/Autry24.jpg

I had a Chargriller and a Meco. My teammates all had WSM's. We managed a 5th in ribs first time out. Not much has changed except I use the UDS now. Got a 1st in ribs and a 5th in Brisket our last time out.

Metal doesn't matter. You do!

The_Kapn
07-07-2007, 05:24 PM
"Metal doesn't matter. You do!"

Words to live and cook by there!

TIM

burnin butts
07-07-2007, 07:12 PM
It doesn't matter what you use, it's how you use it!!
We started out with an upright, ofset, and a webber. They worked well, and still do.

AlabamaGrillBillies
07-08-2007, 08:40 AM
Just thought I'd post some pics from my first comp so you could see that you don't have to start out with a $2000 cooker, plenty of great que has been turned out by old barrels.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/mattpair/Lowbudgetcookers.jpg



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/mattpair/LowbudgetRV.jpg



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/mattpair/Thefullsite.jpg


We have added team member since then and use his WSM in combination with a small offset. In Aug we hope to be competing at stokin the fire in b'ham with one wsm, one UDS and an OK joes Longhorn.

BBQ_MAFIA
07-08-2007, 09:04 AM
Going with what you know sounds like good advise to me.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
07-08-2007, 10:43 AM
In Paul Kirk's one book he said he uses a 55 gallon drum for his whole hog and won with it, doesnt get any cheaper then that. Know your grill and how to maintain your temps, If you can do that the name on the side doesnt matter.

Tinybud
07-08-2007, 06:44 PM
we started with just a char griller super pro w/ side firbox. that was it, had several people from other teams asking "is that your only cooker?, how can you cook everything in that?".. we did pretty good, took 6th in ribs first time out out of 42 teams. 17th overall,, was pretty happy with that. Have since upgraded from last year, but You don't need anything big and fancy to make great que. Just have fun, and do what ya know..

Big Tom
07-08-2007, 08:48 PM
The great thing about the KCBS type events is you don't have to cook huge quantities of the different meats. I person/team could cook on a single smoker if the meats would fit or cooked at the same temperatures. (if you only cooked the bare minimum quantities.) You also don't have to pepare for on-site judging/presentations; so that allows things to be kept simple as well.

Cook on smokers that you know and are comfortable with. The biggest advantage to the more expensive brands out there are lower maintenance when in use. These contests are about what you cook, not what you cook with!

Good luck and enjoy.

When you are ready to invest in higher end smokers let me know :wink:

Lazy Dawg
07-10-2007, 08:55 PM
Thanks all for the pep talk. It was great seeing some of the equipment everyone entered with. This group is the best.

LD

Muzzlebrake
07-10-2007, 09:38 PM
We have a whopping total of 2 contests under our belt and the thing that I would say is dont worry about the cooker so much, but take care of the cook!

Rich from Lost Nation was busting my chops in Lake Placid about my great site setup and our low budget cookers. The way I look at it is cooking is a whole hell of a lot more fun when I can get warm, dry, or have a place to get out of the blazing sun. These contests tend to be held in places that are not all that friendly for avoiding the elements and once you are there you are stuck for the weekend, I like to be as comfy as possible.

KC_Bobby
07-10-2007, 09:41 PM
I was the opposite and sold my OK Joes offset in order to pay for part of my Backwoods Party. I HAD TO HAVE IT BEFORE OUR FIRST COMP and in time for some practice cooks before getting judged.

Did I have to have it? No
Why did I get it? I told myself so we'd have only 1 fire to attend all night before firing up the other offset for ribs at 5 am

That said, I do think I make better Q on this smoker compared to the OK Joes BECAUSE I've learned a few more key things about smoking after I got the Backwoods and I think it is a more forgiving cooker to work on then an offset.

Looking back/forward I wouldn't purchase a new smoker for comps unless I had at least time to do 3-4 full cooks on it first. (Of course I hope to have an ugly drum in the mix come Royal time.)

Puppyboy
07-10-2007, 11:25 PM
For my first comp, we cooked everything on one Brinkman Pitmaster Deluxe. Our shelter was a canopy with tarps tied on it's side to keep out the wind and rain. It was a real red neck shanty.

Our second comp we up graded a bit. We cooked the butt and brisket on on Pitmaster and the ribs on another and cooked the chicken on an ECB. Our shelter is a 10x20 portable garage from Sam's that cost about $220.

We plan on doing more comps so the shelter was a reasonable investment.