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View Full Version : Has anyone thought of "retiring" from contest cooking ?


MilitantSquatter
06-10-2008, 09:55 PM
I thought I would post this question to see where some other teams/cooks heads are at. I could have used the word "quit" but "retire" seemed like a good euphemism.

Many of us have shared the reasons we got into contest cooking (ex. natural progression from the backyard, love of competition, travel, meeting new people, seeing familiar faces etc.) Not many of us have shared their experiences on thinking about or actually stopping their participation in competition BBQ.

I'm only in my third year at contests. By my own standards, I think I've been fairly successful in a relatively limited time. No GC's or RGC's but typically high placings in almost all contests either overall and/or specific categories. It's a good feeling when it happens knowing you gave your all.

I finished last season in late October. My next contest was this past weekend. During that seven month gap, I planned out my '08 schedule while simulataneously lamenting if I wanted to do it any longer, why it was important etc. I also spent some time talking privately to several members on this site whom I respect their opinions and who know me personally to get their input.

So, I cooked this weekend. It was fun. We did well with a top 10 overall (7th). I enjoyed the prep, the fast pace at turn in time etc. I had laughs with lots of good friends. Another plus was the group effort.

Still - I have several other events lined up for '08 and I continue to question my desire to compete when looking out longer term. Still haven't pinpointed the exact reason. It could be the time away from home, increased costs, work involved leading up to event, traveling to and from events etc.... not sure. It's not about the winning for me although I do enjoy it. A part of me just wants to get back to basics of cooking more often at home for the enjoyment of the process without the whole hoopla of the contest scene and some of the BS that goes on relative to organizations etc. I'd also think I'd get just as much satisfaction cooking with Brethren friends & hanging out, attending a contest or two and lending a hand to other head cooks, attending BBQ related events etc. Time will ultimately help me answer this question.

So, I'll throw it out there - Has anyone been there ? Are you there now ?

ZILLA
06-10-2008, 10:14 PM
I think about it all the time. I got into comp BBQ on a lark. I spend a ton of money on it but I have a great time. I'm sick of driving to Houston to cook but I never regret going when it's all over. I think I may get my own rig and go solo some day. For now I'm still having fun, I win a little money now and then and I always have fun. Craig and all the Houston regulars are great folks. If your having fun then keep it going. For me it's all about the social network, even hanging around Dustaway is worth the trip sometimes. :wink:

HoDeDo
06-10-2008, 10:26 PM
Of course its fun getting together for a bash or just a backyard session.... but something about midnight at a contest.... or that 6am flurry of activity. Cooking in torrential rain with 30 other certifiable nuts, you just dont get that at anything but a comp.

In addition, I would say some of my best friends, and a few folks that have made a HUGE impact on my life, not just my BBQ - have come from the world of competitive BBQ. Some of my girls best friends... and wonderful families...

Would I rather spend that money on a boat at the lake.... or a country club membership.... not on your life. Would I rather the girls be at home playing a Wii or on a soccer field watching parents berate thier kids, and argue like kids themselves... heck no. Competitive BBQ also brought me here...and I have made some pretty amazing connections here as well. I can't see competition not as part of my life. Even if I pare it back considerably, I guess after a while there isnt any "hoopla" anymore, it is more like a family. You set up group dinners, breakfasts, on weekends you arent competing you are calling folks to see how weekends are going etc... or maybe drinkin a cold beverage with them at someones home. It just becomes part of your weekends/life. Kinda like a guy that owns a lake home and a boat... you have lake friends that you see every weekend, cookout with, etc... and eventually the "hoopla" of the lake wears off, and it is just families enjoying time on the water as part of thier lives. Don't know if I am making sense or not Vinny, but you know I'd love to sit out on the patio and discuss it.... or maybe we just have a late night Amer. Royal discussion on it. I'll tap a fresh keg. ;o)

Sledneck
06-11-2008, 07:55 AM
Let me sum it up this way . This past weekend at Yardley my 6th place overall could of been DAL at 56th and I don't think it would of made a difference. I do not enjoy it like i once did.Crazy as it might sound the only time i do still enjoy is turn in time. I don't cook at home as much as I used and would like to do more of that.

Podge
06-11-2008, 08:05 AM
yes, every single Saturday at a contest about an hour or two before turn-in.

MrSmoker
06-11-2008, 08:16 AM
I retired after three years because it was not fun anymore,more like work. i had placed in the top ten eight times out of ten contest. I spent big bucks the last year to make it easier and more comfortable. It didn't help, it would take me four or five days to get over a contest. I still smoke several times a week for family and friends and i'm having fun again.

BBQchef33
06-11-2008, 08:45 AM
I decided to quit competing and just hang out at Dover.:mrgreen:


i think we all go thru it.. Its a burn out.


Also i think it depends on what one has competing for that time. In my situation, thats the biggest issue. i have atained critical mass. Theres is NO room. If one is at a stage in life where you can kick back and dedicate the time to the hobby, it easier and less stressfull, but if you have to 'insert' the time to setup, shop, and spend time away from family, into small slots in a day, it makes it more difficult. I envy those whose entire families go to the events and spend the weekends together. With family members all being part of the event. I saw it at the MoFo contests under so many tents that I was green. Husband and wife teams, Kids Q's, etc..

I am sure thats is the biggest factor that allows one to keep going. But since events take my son and I AWAY from time with my wife and daughter, it makes it difficult to do as often as we would like. Couple that with 2 full time jobs, house/yard work, schooling, after school events, shuttling, boy scouts, civic association meetings, etc...its at a point where sleep is the only expendable option. And with all that stuff going on, even a backyard BBQ with friends is difficult because the time is at a premium.

billm
06-11-2008, 09:11 AM
I thought I would post this question to see where some other teams/cooks heads are at. I could have used the word "quit" but "retire" seemed like a good euphemism.

Many of us have shared the reasons we got into contest cooking (ex. natural progression from the backyard, love of competition, travel, meeting new people, seeing familiar faces etc.) Not many of us have shared their experiences on thinking about or actually stopping their participation in competition BBQ.

I'm only in my third year at contests. By my own standards, I think I've been fairly successful in a relatively limited time. No GC's or RGC's but typically high placings in almost all contests either overall and/or specific categories. It's a good feeling when it happens knowing you gave your all.

I finished last season in late October. My next contest was this past weekend. During that seven month gap, I planned out my '08 schedule while simulataneously lamenting if I wanted to do it any longer, why it was important etc. I also spent some time talking privately to several members on this site whom I respect their opinions and who know me personally to get their input.

So, I cooked this weekend. It was fun. We did well with a top 10 overall (7th). I enjoyed the prep, the fast pace at turn in time etc. I had laughs with lots of good friends. Another plus was the group effort.

Still - I have several other events lined up for '08 and I continue to question my desire to compete when looking out longer term. Still haven't pinpointed the exact reason. It could be the time away from home, increased costs, work involved leading up to event, traveling to and from events etc.... not sure. It's not about the winning for me although I do enjoy it. A part of me just wants to get back to basics of cooking more often at home for the enjoyment of the process without the whole hoopla of the contest scene and some of the BS that goes on relative to organizations etc. I'd also think I'd get just as much satisfaction cooking with Brethren friends & hanging out, attending a contest or two and lending a hand to other head cooks, attending BBQ related events etc. Time will ultimately help me answer this question.

So, I'll throw it out there - Has anyone been there ? Are you there now ?
I stepped back form comps this year for two reasons:

1) devote more time to my sauce business (product demos, outdoor)
markets)
2) It stopped being fun and started becoming work.

also it seems once we won our first GC it was all anti-climactic after that

I have only been competing 4 years but i know where you are coming from.
Doesnt mean you cant still engage in and enjoy the comraderie on Fridays though

I did do Westmont IL comp this year though as I had the weekend open and really wanted to support hometown KCBS comps as there are so few in the Chicago area. Dont want to see them go away.
But by Saturday I remembered why I decided to step back :)

Jaybird
06-11-2008, 09:30 AM
Been doin it for eight years now and I'll die before I retire from competition. Just can't do it. There's a big 'ol bbq family out there I'll miss too much. Plus......I need the adrenalin rush....I'm too old to get it any other way!!

Scottie
06-11-2008, 09:39 AM
I gave it some serious consideration after winning the JAck. What more can you accomplish was my point of view? But instead of quitting, I decided to go at it full strength and try and use the platform that I was lucky enough to be on... To use it and go out and raise awareness about cancer and to raise money for cancer research.

I am too much of a competitor to just quit anything... There is always another hurdle to clear. So that is the way I look at it...


Scottie

Podge
06-11-2008, 09:39 AM
I guess that is what I was getting at in my response. A lot of times, it becomes like a job. A job you have no idea if you'll break even, lose money, or make a buck. Not a nice job to have, but a lot of the times, that's what it feels like. It's the spirit of competition that drives me to keep competing, and getting to be with my freinds keeps me going to BBQ contests. If BBQ competition gets old to me, to where it's not personally fulfilling, then I'll quit competing. But I'll see myself still going to BBQ competitions to be with my freinds and drink their beer. :mrgreen:

Jacked UP BBQ
06-11-2008, 09:50 AM
I have been competing for about three years, not a lot though. They are not really contests anymore, they are a crap shoot or a lottery, throw your foor in a box with some lame garnish and hope the guy in the tent likes your sauce and texture, oh yeah and that fancy garnish! I believe these are sauce contests, they are not really judging the meat. They should not allow sauces and see what kind of food they get. I would love to stop but my competitive nature will not allow to!

BanditBBQ
06-11-2008, 09:53 AM
I'm to new to the contest scene to consider 'retirement', but wanted to say, Scottie, that I like the logo...haven't seen this design until now.

Carpe 'Que,
Jim

Big George's BBQ
06-11-2008, 10:01 AM
I will have to admit that at Yardly I thought is this treally worth it- because of the heat. I have been lucky so far not to have to deal with rain. I am sure that will come. My team is made up of my sons and one of their friends. I get enjoyment spending time with them at the cooks. My wife has joined us also. Not ready to quit yet. I have only been doing it for a year

Sawdustguy
06-11-2008, 11:24 AM
Vinny,

I am glad you brought it up because I have been thinking about this for a long time. If I could sell my trailer I would give it up tommorrow. We out commited ourselves and can't wait until next year when we will only do two or three contests. We are having a built in pool and outdoor kitchen installed and want to have some time to enjoy it. I will never give up BBQ but the competitive aspect I could drop in a heartbeat.

Dale P
06-11-2008, 12:03 PM
If i could get you guys to pay my bills, I would compete 2 comps a month and sleep the rest of the time.

Solidkick
06-11-2008, 12:13 PM
Note to self....resurect this thread in October.....

I dunno Vinnie, I don't know what my answer would be today....those that know me know that I stress about just about everything, this week before Sedalia is no exception. I guess the main reason I still do it is the friends you get to see at the contest. Swap a few stories, swap a few lies, swap a few tips.....It could be the time away from home, increased costs, work involved leading up to event, traveling to and from events ....yea I hate all of this.....but I seem to have a good time once I'm there....
I just wish I was 15 years younger! I'm like Mr. Smoker........it takes a few days to get back to myself again!

Neal
06-11-2008, 02:25 PM
If I could, I would compete every weekend.

That said, every weekend we are competing there is about 30 to 60 minute span where I ask myself if I really want to keep doing this. It's a feeling of uncertainty. It always comes at some point after the last turn in, before the awards begin. Weird thing is, if we do well at the awards, then I want to get back out and keep going. If we don't, then I want to get back out and prove to myself that we are not as bad as our finish would indicate.

Some say it's all a crap shoot and it doesn't matter if you turn in good food or not. I disagree. Yes, you have to be lucky...but I firmly believe that you have to be good enough to be lucky. You have to cook well enough to put yourself in the running...then you have to see how it all shakes out. To some that might be discouraging...but it's not to me.

Black Cat BBQ
06-11-2008, 02:40 PM
I am not a competition BBQ cook, yet. The reason I am very interested in competing in BBQ is because I am a competition chili cook. I am tired of the "chilitics" as we call them.

It use to be great fun traveling all over the country competing for points and sometimes money, meeting new people and supporting great charities. Anymore, its become a headache. I thought BBQ would be different. Figured ya'll spend way more money for entry fees and on your rigs so the BS would be kept to a minimum. Right??

If not, at least there is still tequila. Glad to see you all embrace it like we do in the chili world!

ique
06-11-2008, 02:59 PM
yes, every single Saturday at a contest about an hour or two before turn-in.

Same here, almost every contest in the AM (and after awards if I get killed) I'm thinking this is crazy, I'm retiring.

What keeps bringing me back is that I love to compete. On the ride home, or the next day, I'm already thinking about how to cook better, what to tweak etc. The challenge of cooking better next time, or trying to beat Tuffy or ISS, keeps me coming back. Also, the fantasy of winning the Royal or the Jack has kept me out on the trail as well.

I've cut back on my contests this year. And eventually will probably only cook Harpoon and maybe one other contest.

jbrink01
06-11-2008, 03:19 PM
We will cook only 1 contest this year. We cooked in something like 15 contests in 3 years, winning a GC, top ten several times, and never went home from any contest without a walk for something. What I would call verysucessful in a short period of time. This year we decided to focus more on the catering, which has always been a prioority, and good lord are we busy. Busier than we want to be.

The money is great (new shop, trailer and major kitchen remodel all courtesy of our hard work). But, the first $150,000 gets my trailer, truck, supplies, equipment and customer base! I'm tired!

Just Pulin' Pork
06-11-2008, 03:28 PM
The first time this happened was 3 weeks ago at the GAB. We finished the awards and walked out of there asking ourselves "why do we do this. It's a waste of money, waste of time, etc etc etc". We ended up finishing 42 out of 225. We did not get a call and yes we spent alot of money to do a hobby we have a passion for. But when we found out how we finished, after the shock wore off we continued down our BBQ road.

This may sound dumb but its what we do and seems to help with the mental edge a little. We keep a journal of the scoring sheets from all contests we compete in. We avg out every category and within every category we avg out PTT. We have a set average we shoot for and that is our benchmark. If we go above that mark we take notes on what we did and refer to it before the next contest. If we fail to meet that benchmark we look at pics of what we turned and take notes on things we can do different. I think the key is note taking. I know alot of people think its a pain but it definatley helps us see where we are at and what we need to do to go forward.

backporchbbq
06-11-2008, 03:48 PM
This weekend at Yardley and the drive home I was thinking about it. I have realized that the 3 day events are too long, and to hard on the body. We have 3 more contests this year, they are all two dayers and that is not too bad. The only one that will be a hard is the drive home from Dover. But I like the competitions and I like meeting the other competitiors.

The_Kapn
06-11-2008, 03:50 PM
I understand fully Vinny.

Last fall, I was ready to hang it up.
Two reasons--

#1--Too much physical labor to deal with the utility trailers and all of the pack-up, set-up, and tear-down time. Wound up exhausted and still had to unpack the chit at home. Wore me out and little to show in the way of quality product.
CheKeeta fixed that problem--She has put the fun back into comps.:lol:
Quality is up because of fewer distractions and irritations.

#2--Too much "out-go" and not enough "in-go" ($$$$$$) to keep it up.
I finally had a change in disposable income and can now afford to enjoy my hobby a few more times a year.
Since quality is up, "in-go" is up a bit and that helps compete even a bit more.

And, I am blessed with 2 of the best partners a guy could ask for. Chad and Smokin Gator are tops and we have a great time at the events.
I would not give that up for the world.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

TIM

Vince RnQ
06-11-2008, 03:51 PM
Been doin it for eight years now and I'll die before I retire from competition. Just can't do it. There's a big 'ol bbq family out there I'll miss too much. Plus......I need the adrenalin rush....I'm too old to get it any other way!!


We've only been at it for a year and a half but right now I feel the same way. It may be a lot of work and a lot of expense but there isn't anything else like the excitment the builds towards turn in times and then the rush that hits at the awards ceremony.

We've also made what I know will be lifelong friends thanks to competition barbeque and sometimes the only place we get to see them is at events because we live in different cites or states.

Besides, where else (well, maybe poker) can you start your career competing against the very best cooks in the country and stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning? Barbeque is where it's at!

Maybe I'll feel differently after a few more years of this but right now the only thing keeping us from competing in more events is the damn cost of gasoline because we have to drive long distances to most of the contests we enter.

MilitantSquatter
06-11-2008, 08:30 PM
Thanks for all the sharing of thoughts and comments so far. It's very interesting to see the similarities and differences in our views. There's no right or wrong answer as it's such an individual decision. For those who have the benefit of entire family involvement and support to do it very frequently, that is surely a plus. Those who thrive on victory certainly have an outlet to perform at contests.

I don't think burn out is the reason for my increasing disinterest. My schedule was never big enough like some teams to say it was overly consuming. Hell, it's was seven months between the past two contests. Cooking solo at Dover contest last year put things into a new light. Although that was an exception that I knew I would never allow to happen again it still made me question all the energy/time/cash that I was expending. The rewards of placing well no longer seemed important enough to justify doing the same thing on a repetitive basis. Cooking methods for the judges had become a bit boring. Usually I don't even taste my entries as it's not what I'd cook at home or like for myself if I was judging. It's just getting done to get a good score.

Since I began competing, my outdoor cooks at home trying something new etc. have dropped like a rock except for quick gas grilling for dinner on weekdays and an occasional long smoke typically when asked to make something for someone else. Almost more than anything the competition aspect becomes a topic of conversation that others seem to get a kick out of asking about. Somehow, a backyard cook who makes killer stuff is less interesting.

Wizards of 'Que
06-12-2008, 01:19 AM
We have been in competative BBQ for 17 years. We will still cook a few nearby contest, but the schedule will be 2 or 3 a year. We love the people which is what it is about. But cost force us to make decissions about our recreational dollars. Plus, I love to cook for our customers, friends, and family more than so-called judges. It has become hard to cook the stuff that wins instead of good BBQ. I guess i'm not retired, but at least semi-retired.

swamprb
06-12-2008, 05:39 AM
I haven't competed enough to want to give it up yet, but my schedule is not allowing it to happen right now. I pick my vacation weeks for the year in mid January, the comp schedule isn't even available until around March-April around here and I've committed to cover weekends for co-workers since last month with a couple more weekends left. Poor planning on my part, I've taken more BBQ classes in the last year than I've competed! I'm chomping at the bit, I'm set pitwise and feel I can get it done and amazed myself at the Spring Training how focused I was. I went into this with a plan, and so far I've followed through with it, but its tough starting out by yourself.

Big Dog Barbecue
06-12-2008, 07:20 AM
We've found need to take a pause this year. My son (the Big Dog) has to return to school the weekend of the Hudson Valley Ribfest, so sadly for the first time we won't be there.

But other factors, specifically the cost and the time involved in preparing for and getting to the competitions are keeping us home this year. If the event in Westport that is posted for September occurs, we may be there.

Like most of the other comments posted, we enjoy the competition and the occasional accolade we've gotten. We also enjoy the comaradery and have met some truly great people at the events.

I think, at least for us we'd be more likely to compete if the events were closer and the cost of competing were less.

Unfortunately, if you consider the 'opportunity lost' from the cost of a competition there are a whole lot of other things I can do with the money I spend at each competition. Of course, spending the weekend with my son and having some fun at the event is something I can justify, just not that often.

We're down, but not out and hope to be seeing some of our brethren again in the not too distant future.

Jeff_in_KC
06-12-2008, 08:30 AM
I think about it all the time for various reasons. I know I'd still be involved somehow (judging, becoming a KCBS Rep, putting on events, visiting friends at comps and assisting friends' teams when they need a hand). I don't think I could just walk away. We have only been doing this for close to four seasons now but in that time, we've made some of the best friends we'll ever have. We probably have more BBQ friends than friends from any other "source".

However, several issues have basically burnt me out...

1. Time - probably the biggest reason. I'm working two jobs now, both of which have weekend requirements every so often. Add to that home and yard upkeep that's gotten away from me, my daughter's activities, family commitments and some catering. I don't have much free time anymore.

2. It often feels more like work than fun. I don't like work. LOL

3. Feeling like I can't figure out what I need to do with my turn-ins. We're in a huge funk right now and that never helps attitudes and outlooks.

4. Lower back pain. I can't stand on my feet for too long. I THINK it's the extra weight I've put on in the last year. Whatever the cause, a lot of the time, I'm miserable with that. It is literally a pain to load, set up camp (most times by myself), be on my feet all weekend and tear down, load back up and unpack at home. I'm living on Advil for days after an event and pop it pretty regular when I'm not competing. And when I'm NOT on my feet and sitting or lying down for any length of time, my back stiffens up and I walk all hunched over like an 80 year old guy for a little bit until I can stretch it out.

5. I love cooking for catering clients, family and friends. They appreciate it and love it. Judges... well, getting a bunch of 878's on a piece of paper isn't as gratifying as it once was.

6. Money. We're out. Plain and simple. And I used to get a bonus every January from my old job. Even if I'd stayed there, I was told it was stopping due to company finances as of this year. That was where I got all my comp money. Not sure where it's coming from next year... or the rest of this year for that matter. We have this one in Sedlaia this weekend then nothing til September. Not even sure where that's going to come from other than sponsors we currently have.

So... yeah, I'm there with ya, Vinny. I love the idea, the concept and the friends but man, the rest of it is frustrating.

Sledneck
06-12-2008, 08:36 AM
We've found need to take a pause this year. My son (the Big Dog) has to return to school the weekend of the Hudson Valley Ribfest, so sadly for the first time we won't be there.

But other factors, specifically the cost and the time involved in preparing for and getting to the competitions are keeping us home this year. If the event in Westport that is posted for September occurs, we may be there.

Like most of the other comments posted, we enjoy the competition and the occasional accolade we've gotten. We also enjoy the comaradery and have met some truly great people at the events.

I think, at least for us we'd be more likely to compete if the events were closer and the cost of competing were less.

Unfortunately, if you consider the 'opportunity lost' from the cost of a competition there are a whole lot of other things I can do with the money I spend at each competition. Of course, spending the weekend with my son and having some fun at the event is something I can justify, just not that often.

We're down, but not out and hope to be seeing some of our brethren again in the not too distant future.Considering you lost to fish sticks I would highly recommend you retire from the sport entirely:tongue:

rookiedad
06-12-2008, 09:07 AM
its the money man! i only did one comp so far so i'm still a little ways off from wanting to retire, but i compared the prep and money outlay to moving and Christmas shopping all wrapped up into one. i work weekends, so any competition i plan has that to take into consideration too. also with four year old twins, i don't even buy coffee at the deli no more because i feel like i'm robbing their college fund! but, i try to make it a family event and in the end i believe that the memories made and the experience of working together as a unit combined with getting to meet and interact with all the fun folks at a competition makes it all worth it afterall. also, being semi-delusional at 4:00am and looking across the field at the Two Fat Pollaks camp and seeing them all hanging out under the pointy tents, and suddenly getting the feeling that everyone is one big nomadic tribe broken into seperate family groups out in the desert waiting for daybreak don't hurt either.

Bigmista
06-12-2008, 12:25 PM
We're in our third season and I am still loving it. I get excited weeks before a contest. I love getting setup and then walking around and talking to all of the teams. I love the Friday night Potluck. I love the quiest at 2 or 3 am when I put on my brisket and watch the smoke float up in the moonlight. I love the rush of turn-in time. I love being able to sell samples to the crowd (always nice to leave with some cash in your pocket...). I love being able to interact with the crowd and be silly on the microphone.

I think some of my teammates might be tired or ready to go in a different direction but right now, competition is way too much fun to even consider giving up.

Oh yeah...the winning is cool too.

Dustaway
06-12-2008, 03:30 PM
This makes year three for us and I still enjoy competing and now that I fill like I can really start setting some goals for myself other that just placing. And now the wife is even doing some comps it helps her understand what it's all about, we have met some of the best people at contest and have friends that I never thought we would have If I could I would Q every weekend.

I'll retire after three straight jack wins:mrgreen:

Jaybird
06-12-2008, 03:32 PM
This makes year three for us and I still enjoy competing and now that I fill like I can really start setting some goals for myself other that just placing. And now the wife is even doing some comps it helps her understand what it's all about, we have met some of the best people at contest and have friends that I never thought we would have If I could I would Q every weekend.

I'll retire after three straight jack wins:mrgreen:

That avatar stinks!:-D

Podge
06-12-2008, 04:08 PM
This makes year three for us and I still enjoy competing and now that I fill like I can really start setting some goals for myself other that just placing. And now the wife is even doing some comps it helps her understand what it's all about, we have met some of the best people at contest and have friends that I never thought we would have If I could I would Q every weekend.

I'll retire after three straight jack wins:mrgreen:

Well, if that were my goal, i got one down, two to go... :shock:.. I think i'll retire if i even get lucky enough to place in the top 10 again in that contest !!!... actually, i need to have a goal of juggin' in pork at the jack. I want a jug in pork and a cow shaped cuttin' board in Madison..

smokeandbeer
06-12-2008, 04:49 PM
I maybe out of line to contribute to this discussion, as I have not competed yet. I am planning on attending the Kettering comp with Curt as a helper to see if it is something I may be interested in. However, I can tell you that being part of the Pretty Good Barbecue at our local church was one of the most fantastic events I have ever been a part of, for many reasons I won't bore you with. As well, my whole family was involved, we had Brethren from all over there, and we all had a great time, without the hassle of competition. We did have a mini-comp, but it was more for fun than anything else.

As well, I usually smoke something once or twice a week, and I usually will make 4-5 times what our family will eat. I have a stack of styrofoam boxes in the garage, and after dinner, I will float some around to the neighbors just to surprise them. Brings me a great amount of joy, and doesn't cost much at all.

I guess if you still have passion for cooking maybe there are other ways to use your talent if the comp scene is too much hassle.

I personally think it would be cool if the Brethren site had someone plan out 6-8 events each year at various strategic places in the US, with a very informal contest system and minimal associated costs. I know we do Bash's every once in awhile, but if it was planned out at the beginning of the year like a comp calendar, everyone would have time to plan for it and it would add a little structure to the process. That would give us all an excuse and a place to get together, with some small amount of competition involved. Think Bash combined with very loose KCBS judging. Maybe a Brethren Comp Commitee 6-8 geographic areas setup a bash/comp that could happen each year. Eventually the events would grow and be KCBS sanctioned and we would be right back to comps again! :eek: Oh well, it was just an idea....

Good luck with your decision, but don't stop the sweet blue. Maybe just use it in another way....

ThomEmery
06-12-2008, 05:11 PM
I lost a year when I was CBBQA President just could not do it all that year
Now when I am not organizing the contest I love to cook with Kyle and we have done OK

This summer we are building up the Catering/Vending Biz and I am sure that will limit us in the future

Double D's BBQ
06-12-2008, 05:26 PM
My BBQ team is made up of family and friends. This is my time to spend with them without the distraction of TV, video games, and other outside influences. The thought of retirement from competition has never crossed my mine probably becuase the competition season is so short up North. We just had our first competition last weekend and if we're lucky we'll stretch the season into October.

Retire, never! Quite the contrary. In fact when I die, I've already instructed my son to have me cremated and sprinke my ashes down at the Jack Daniels BBQ Contest site and a little bit of me up on BBQ Hill. That way I'm sure to make the Invitational every year!:-D

ique
06-12-2008, 07:23 PM
My BBQ team is made up of family and friends. This is my time to spend with them without the distraction of TV, video games, and other outside influences.

I agree with this, my team is made up of 7 guys (friends and family) and contests give us the rare opportunity to have some QT.


1. Jamie Geer Large Trailer Mounted Pit (On order)


OK, spill the beans, lets hear the details on this :-D

Double D's BBQ
06-12-2008, 07:35 PM
Chris,

Jamie agreed to put me on his waiting list about 18 months ago and it didn't look like I'd ever get one made. I think the trick to the whole thing was that I gave up on it and ordered a backwoods Fatboy. One week after it arrived, Jamie announce he was coming out of retirement and wanted to know if I was still interested. I was totally shocked when he asked me what size and color I wanted. I never thought we had a choice. I had always heard that Jamie builds what he likes and you better like it, kind of like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.

Jamie told me that he is going back into the business full time and has now orders for eight of the large pits with the grill on back. I had moved up to #3 in the meantime and the pit should be ready by the end of September. I sent my check in Tuesday so I'm now officially on the build list. Here is a picture of Rod Gray's pit. Mine will look very similar to Rod's:

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll78/dpacker1/Geerpit1.jpg

CajunSmoker
06-12-2008, 07:36 PM
Thanks for all the sharing of thoughts and comments so far. It's very interesting to see the similarities and differences in our views. There's no right or wrong answer as it's such an individual decision. For those who have the benefit of entire family involvement and support to do it very frequently, that is surely a plus. Those who thrive on victory certainly have an outlet to perform at contests.

I don't think burn out is the reason for my increasing disinterest. My schedule was never big enough like some teams to say it was overly consuming. Hell, it's was seven months between the past two contests. Cooking solo at Dover contest last year put things into a new light. Although that was an exception that I knew I would never allow to happen again it still made me question all the energy/time/cash that I was expending. The rewards of placing well no longer seemed important enough to justify doing the same thing on a repetitive basis. Cooking methods for the judges had become a bit boring. Usually I don't even taste my entries as it's not what I'd cook at home or like for myself if I was judging. It's just getting done to get a good score.

Since I began competing, my outdoor cooks at home trying something new etc. have dropped like a rock except for quick gas grilling for dinner on weekdays and an occasional long smoke typically when asked to make something for someone else. Almost more than anything the competition aspect becomes a topic of conversation that others seem to get a kick out of asking about. Somehow, a backyard cook who makes killer stuff is less interesting.

Same here (except the gas part). I seem to spend all my time trying to tweak things for competition at the expense of cooking for our own personal taste.

We have been in competative BBQ for 17 years. We will still cook a few nearby contest, but the schedule will be 2 or 3 a year. We love the people which is what it is about. But cost force us to make decissions about our recreational dollars. Plus, I love to cook for our customers, friends, and family more than so-called judges. It has become hard to cook the stuff that wins instead of good BBQ. I guess i'm not retired, but at least semi-retired.

I visited with Rota Brown for a long time last weekend at Memphis. I understand he was/is a member of your team. Nice guy.


After our 3rd contest (2 KCBS this year and 1 IBCA last year) I really feel like I'm just getting the feel of things. Like everyone else I'm way behind on my yardwork and other honey-do's and the expense is kicking me in the arse, but I still want to play:biggrin: I just wish the farking diesel prices would ease up a little.

Sawdustguy
06-12-2008, 09:19 PM
With us it's not the money. God has blessed me with a job that allows me to afford competitive BBQ. We compete as a family. I am personally running out of time with more and more work and travel responsibilities and BBQ contests. We bit of much more than we could chew this year and I barely have time to breathe this summer.

SmokeInDaEye
06-12-2008, 09:36 PM
This is a thread that I need to read front to back when I get a second. I'm tired, too, but I also see something really cool happening for our past time. Why the pitty party guys??

SmokeInDaEye
06-12-2008, 09:45 PM
With us it's not the money. God has blessed me with a job that allows me to afford competitive BBQ. We compete as a family. I am personally running out of time with more and more work and travel responsibilities and BBQ contests. We bit of much more than we could chew this year and I barely have time to breathe this summer.


Call me, Guy. This is crazy that everyone who built up and supported bbq in the region is feeling blah. Find my cell number, send me a pm, whatever...You all have got to roll on.

Rick's Tropical Delight
06-12-2008, 09:57 PM
i'm thinking of retiring and i haven't even done my first comp yet :-?

BBQchef33
06-12-2008, 11:13 PM
I have committed to one contest in July, and one in August, then the Royal and Battle of the Brethren(or the Jack) in October...

Im doing demos during the summer at a local Library, and something for Newsday, and helping the boyscouts at a few fund raisers.

More importantly, I have signed up with these guys.. WWW.OnsightSupport.org (http://WWW.OnsightSupport.org)

click on the link on the left(Airpower Museum), and it it brings you here. (http://www.onsightsupport.org/airport%20museum.html) Notice the logo midway down on the right.?? Thats us. I will be there this Saturday serving BBQ to whoever wants it and it benefits our soldiers in Iraq. We have run into some problems with the airport management shutting down the cooker, but we will figure something out.

I love to cook.. I love to feed people, and the contest scene is a small piece of BBQ. But IMO, I don't find the 6 pieces in the 9x9 given to a faceless judge, as fulfilling as serving the public and talking up our craft and watching the amazement and interest as the uninitiated bite into REAL BBQ for the first time. Those are the folks we have to convince. The judges already know. Its those that think BBQ is burgers and dogs and boiling ribs who need the education and the awakening. Feeding the judges are just a hobby... that gives us the bragging right to say we are competition chefs and produce award winning BBQ..

I can tell you that being part of the Pretty Good Barbecue at our local church was one of the most fantastic events I have ever been a part of, for many reasons I won't bore you with. As well, my whole family was involved, we had Brethren from all over there, and we all had a great time, without the hassle of competition. We did have a mini-comp, but it was more for fun than anything else.

that quote from smokeandbeer says it all.. There are ways we can use our skills and craft aside from contests that may be more fulfilling and enjoyable, and I think i'm leaning more towards this type of stuff this year. I would much prefer to cook to benefit our troops than to feed the 6 judges. But im still gonna do both... hopefully doing some mentoring next year to get new teams started up.

gordo
06-12-2008, 11:18 PM
I'm going on 10 years cooking comps now....Think the only way I would get out or retire is for health reasons..I cook 10-15 cookoffs a year

I just enjoy it that much, I love meeting new folks, enjoy the many good friends Ive made over the years..like being able to help the new teams just starting out...

When it comes to competing, I love the feeling when my number or team name is called at the awards...if it don't get called, no problem..Ive had a great weekend win or lose...

Have learned to keep it as simple as posable...Im lucky to have so many local contest without having to drive much....

But if I had the money, Id be on the road half the year hitting the big events and meeting more great BBQ people..:biggrin:

Sledneck
06-13-2008, 03:54 AM
This is a thread that I need to read front to back when I get a second. I'm tired, too, but I also see something really cool happening for our past time. Why the pitty party guys??

Call me, Guy. This is crazy that everyone who built up and supported bbq in the region is feeling blah. Find my cell number, send me a pm, whatever...You all have got to roll on.Pffft this coming from an ash-hole who bails on a KCBS contest last weekend in order to do a 1 day grilling event.:rolleyes::tongue:

ThomEmery
06-13-2008, 07:57 AM
I have committed to one contest in July, and one in August, then the Royal and Battle of the Brethren(or the Jack) in October...

Im doing demos during the summer at a local Library, and something for Newsday, and helping the boyscouts at a few fund raisers.

More importantly, I have signed up with these guys.. WWW.OnsightSupport.org (http://WWW.OnsightSupport.org)

click on the link on the left(Airpower Museum), and it it brings you here. (http://www.onsightsupport.org/airport%20museum.html) Notice the logo midway down on the right.?? Thats us. I will be there this Saturday serving BBQ to whoever wants it and it benefits our soldiers in Iraq. We have run into some problems with the airport management shutting down the cooker, but we will figure something out.

I love to cook.. I love to feed people, and the contest scene is a small piece of BBQ. But IMO, I don't find the 6 pieces in the 9x9 given to a faceless judge, as fulfilling as serving the public and talking up our craft and watching the amazement and interest as the uninitiated bite into REAL BBQ for the first time. Those are the folks we have to convince. The judges already know. Its those that think BBQ is burgers and dogs and boiling ribs who need the education and the awakening. Feeding the judges are just a hobby... that gives us the bragging right to say we are competition chefs and produce award winning BBQ..



that quote from smokeandbeer says it all.. There are ways we can use our skills and craft aside from contests that may be more fulfilling and enjoyable, and I think i'm leaning more towards this type of stuff this year. I would much prefer to cook to benefit our troops than to feed the 6 judges. But im still gonna do both... hopefully doing some mentoring next year to get new teams started up.


You Bet We cook for the Wifes School and they make us feel like big time GCs

SmokeInDaEye
06-13-2008, 09:54 AM
Pffft this coming from an ash-hole who bails on a KCBS contest last weekend in order to do a 1 day grilling event.:rolleyes::tongue:

Still got to turn in four boxes, still got to set up and break down all of the cr#p, for a one day grilling contest.

Cabntmkr1
06-13-2008, 11:40 AM
Of course its fun getting together for a bash or just a backyard session.... but something about midnight at a contest.... or that 6am flurry of activity. Cooking in torrential rain with 30 other certifiable nuts, you just dont get that at anything but a comp.

In addition, I would say some of my best friends, and a few folks that have made a HUGE impact on my life, not just my BBQ - have come from the world of competitive BBQ. Some of my girls best friends... and wonderful families...

Would I rather spend that money on a boat at the lake.... or a country club membership.... not on your life. Would I rather the girls be at home playing a Wii or on a soccer field watching parents berate thier kids, and argue like kids themselves... heck no. Competitive BBQ also brought me here...and I have made some pretty amazing connections here as well. I can't see competition not as part of my life. Even if I pare it back considerably, I guess after a while there isnt any "hoopla" anymore, it is more like a family. You set up group dinners, breakfasts, on weekends you arent competing you are calling folks to see how weekends are going etc... or maybe drinkin a cold beverage with them at someones home. It just becomes part of your weekends/life. Kinda like a guy that owns a lake home and a boat... you have lake friends that you see every weekend, cookout with, etc... and eventually the "hoopla" of the lake wears off, and it is just families enjoying time on the water as part of thier lives. Don't know if I am making sense or not Vinny, but you know I'd love to sit out on the patio and discuss it.... or maybe we just have a late night Amer. Royal discussion on it. I'll tap a fresh keg. ;o)
Besides, where else except at a comp. could you snap a photo of a brother in a wig singing; "I'm so pretty"...???:eek::mrgreen:

Bigmista
06-13-2008, 12:34 PM
I love to cook.. I love to feed people, and the contest scene is a small piece of BBQ. But IMO, I don't find the 6 pieces in the 9x9 given to a faceless judge, as fulfilling as serving the public and talking up our craft and watching the amazement and interest as the uninitiated bite into REAL BBQ for the first time. Those are the folks we have to convince. The judges already know. Its those that think BBQ is burgers and dogs and boiling ribs who need the education and the awakening. Feeding the judges are just a hobby... that gives us the bragging right to say we are competition chefs and produce award winning BBQ..

That is part of the reason that we add the sampling to almost all of our events in California. It gives us an opportunity to interact with the crowd and let them taste some award winning barbecue. We get to see their faces light up and feel the pride when they tell us it's the best they ever had..

Also it is always nice to leave with $200-$300 bucks from selling you contest leftovers. Even if you don't walk, you get your contest fee and/or your gas covered and the crowd isn't just standing around watching you cook.

Sledneck
06-13-2008, 01:15 PM
That is part of the reason that we add the sampling to almost all of our events in California. It gives us an opportunity to interact with the crowd and let them taste some award winning barbecue. We get to see their faces light up and feel the pride when they tell us it's the best they ever had..

Also it is always nice to leave with $200-$300 bucks from selling you contest leftovers. Even if you don't walk, you get your contest fee and/or your gas covered and the crowd isn't just standing around watching you cook.Isues with health departments, organizers who vend etc keep that from happening here. I think it also why we wait so long to do awards on Sunday afternoon, trying to squeeze out a few more nickels. I see a lot of teams giving out food to the public after turn in and it is wrong. . It is basically taking away profit from the vendors .If i were vending i would be pissed. People who come sample stuff will tell that it is the bet they have ever had blah blah blah yea better than the vendors of course it is when it is free...

Fat Angel
06-13-2008, 01:50 PM
Its all about friends, family, and nice people. This is only my second year on our own but have been with Lost Nation Smoke Company for a few years before that. Our team is about bringing family and friends together. Top that with all the nice people on the circuit and there is no reason not to smile all weekend. BBQ people are the nicest group of people I have ever met. Yes we all get testy around turn in time, and the drive home can be bear sometimes, but its about having fun at the competetions.

Its not about winning and losing, although walking to the stage is a great feeling, its about getting outside on a weekend and doing what you like to do. Some people spend just as much money playing golf and go out and hack it up, but they have fun doing it.

I have asked myself "why do i do this" but have always thought about the positives and try not to dwell on the negatives. I guess someday I may get burnt out, but hopefully that day is no time soon.

SmokeInDaEye
06-13-2008, 08:48 PM
Its all about friends, family, and nice people. This is only my second year on our own but have been with Lost Nation Smoke Company for a few years before that. Our team is about bringing family and friends together. Top that with all the nice people on the circuit and there is no reason not to smile all weekend. BBQ people are the nicest group of people I have ever met. Yes we all get testy around turn in time, and the drive home can be bear sometimes, but its about having fun at the competetions.

Its not about winning and losing, although walking to the stage is a great feeling, its about getting outside on a weekend and doing what you like to do. Some people spend just as much money playing golf and go out and hack it up, but they have fun doing it.

I have asked myself "why do i do this" but have always thought about the positives and try not to dwell on the negatives. I guess someday I may get burnt out, but hopefully that day is no time soon.

So, so correct, Steve.

ThomEmery
06-13-2008, 09:22 PM
Isues with health departments, organizers who vend etc keep that from happening here. I think it also why we wait so long to do awards on Sunday afternoon, trying to squeeze out a few more nickels. I see a lot of teams giving out food to the public after turn in and it is wrong. . It is basically taking away profit from the vendors .If i were vending i would be pissed. People who come sample stuff will tell that it is the bet they have ever had blah blah blah yea better than the vendors of course it is when it is free...

It is difficult to start these But not impossible
We have done many of them under many different Health Depts
It is a matter of not taking no for an answer
At Stagecoach we did right at $40,000 in PC money

River City Smokehouse
06-14-2008, 04:43 AM
That avatar stinks!:-D
It sure looks like it would.:eek:

River City Smokehouse
06-14-2008, 04:50 AM
I notice from almost everyone's posts that "friends" is the largest part of why we do this. For me that is one of the biggest factors in why I compete. This year I am only doing 4 total. I did 11 before that until my accident. I would like to do more but my recovery put me back so much that I am now playing catch up. The rise in the cost of everything does kinda have me thinking maybe I oughtta sit back and just cook here at the house and continue to do my few caterings and the fund raisers. Time will tell.

Mo-Dave
06-14-2008, 10:21 AM
I notice from almost everyone's posts that "friends" is the largest part of why we do this. For me that is one of the biggest factors in why I compete. This year I am only doing 4 total. I did 11 before that until my accident. I would like to do more but my recovery put me back so much that I am now playing catch up. The rise in the cost of everything does kinda have me thinking maybe I oughtta sit back and just cook here at the house and continue to do my few caterings and the fund raisers. Time will tell.

Like Jim has said, my bypass operation and being off work, has set me back financially so I can only hope to do one contest this year. Adding my company has decided to move and close down soon, makes me even more aware of my financial responsibilities. And the cost of everything going up and up has made it hard to justify the expense of doing contest.

But I'll be damned if all I am going to do is eat, sleep and work. Contest are the only vice I have left and I will stay involved even if its just judging.
Dave

Sawdustguy
06-14-2008, 05:24 PM
After Harpoon, the trailer is going up for sale as well a the large medium Spicewine. We are not quitting Competition BBQ. We are scaling down our operation so Michele and I will cook with just a few Smokey Mountains.

Big Dog Barbecue
06-14-2008, 05:31 PM
After Harpoon, the trailer is going up for sale as well a the large medium Spicewine. We are not quitting Competition BBQ. We are scaling down our operation so Michele and I will cook with just a few Smokey Mountains.

Is that like Jumbo Shrimp?????

Mrs. Sawdust
06-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Is that like Jumbo Shrimp?????


Huh????:confused:

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
06-14-2008, 05:46 PM
Saying "large medium" is somewhat like saying "jumbo shrimp" is what I thought that meant.

ThomEmery
06-14-2008, 06:27 PM
Its a taller Med Spicebox

MilitantSquatter
06-14-2008, 06:45 PM
After Harpoon, the trailer is going up for sale as well a the large medium Spicewine. We are not quitting Competition BBQ. We are scaling down our operation so Michele and I will cook with just a few Smokey Mountains.

Guy - Were you reading my mind ???

Last night I had some crazy idea of seeing if I could strap one canopy and one 6ft table to the roof of my Trailblazer and then somehow manage to fit 2 WSM's (that I'd need to re-buy) in the trunk area and then fill the seating area w/2 coolers and a minimal amount of other needed supplies. I was thinking that if I go even more minimal that I already do might help in my decision making. It might be feasible but probably the same amount of work in the end. The cost side does not change much either. It was a fun idea while I was working out the logistics in my head though.

I've been considering trying to sell my 5 x 8 trailer but once I sell that there is no way the Spicebox ever leaves my garage again. I don't want to make any decisions I will regret so I have not acted on anything yet.

Sawdustguy
06-14-2008, 07:05 PM
Vinny,

I have a beautiful, candy apple powder coated, Medium Spicewine sitting in my Gararge that I am pretty sure I will keep. I sold a Blue Medium Spicewine this morning. Vinny, I am being very honest when I tell you that after this past weekend we are canceling out of Lake Placid, New Paltz and New Holland. We will be cooking in NH, Harpoon and Sayville. Next year you will see a trimmer Two Fat Polocks Team using WSM's and traveling much, much lighter. It will be just Michele and I. It's just too much with the job requiring more and more of my time. This was not a snap decision that Michele and I have made. This has been mulled over for the past few months.

WMI
06-14-2008, 07:09 PM
Vinny
What a interesting question. I can see how somebody would raise that question. I went to my first contest today ( Mt Vernon, IL ) as a spectator and just as I expected it really is alot of work and most of those guys were beat at the end.
I guess you really have to prioritize in our busy lifes.

Sledneck
06-14-2008, 11:49 PM
I cant imagine what it must be like to travel to a comp without a trailer and a spicewine and only show up with an ezup and a couple of wsm's:rolleyes::biggrin:

Q Haven
06-15-2008, 10:40 AM
There is a New England team that competes and shows up with all their stuff in a Subaru station wagon (and they still feel like they bring too much stuff). I think they took 2nd place in brisket at Peter's Pond yesterday.

Jaybird
06-16-2008, 09:28 AM
On the real far away comps I travel light. I have a hitch carrier for the truck. On it I put my 2 BDS's with 2 WSM's stored inside. Works out great. Hate to leave my new fifth wheel at home but $5 a gallon for deisel at 10 mpg makes me pucker up.

Sledneck
06-16-2008, 09:32 AM
I drive a Ford cargo van so my entire setup fits no problem. Gas mileage so so at 10 MPG fully loaded but most contest are within 2-3 hours. I think from now on I will bringing some day laborers to load my truck, set up at site then pack up and get back to my house and unload. Then I would love to compete, even solo

WannaBeBBQueen
06-16-2008, 09:37 AM
I think from now on I will

That's the part we like best...lol :biggrin:

Robert's giggling.

Dale P
06-16-2008, 12:18 PM
We just finished power washing all our coolers and grates. Loaded up the trailer with most of our "stuff' getting ready for a comp this weekend. It is hot, and im tired. We need to scale down too. Just keeping things clean wears us out.

YankeeBBQ
06-16-2008, 12:26 PM
When we win the Jack and the Royal in the same year I'm done ! I'll never cook another chicken thigh again ! Ever !

Scottie
06-16-2008, 12:52 PM
You just made me thirsty... 8-)

Dr_KY
06-16-2008, 01:11 PM
Scale down??? I wannaadd a few extras. Mianly things to tidy up our woek area.

toys4dlr
06-16-2008, 02:00 PM
We are really in our first year and a half of comps. We did two in 07, 5 already this year and we should get at least two more in by years end. We have been lucky and made walks in every event we have done and nothing thrills me as much as seeing our boys (7 & 10) go up for the picture and pick up the trophies.

If we get a check, I grab that and promptly hand it to my wife.

I can see the burn out, it happens with the travel, expense etc. Heck, when I was younger I tried to make a living bowling, so I know about high cost, little return and burn out.

BBQ for me it is a pure hobby that I get the share with my family. It is a really expensive hobby, but we get to spend the weekend together and along the way we have met some really great people.

As Neil mentioned, the PC money does help to off set some of the costs, but I am not into the vending thing and that is where my wife excels. Everyone plays a big part in the event and that is what it is all about.

Now lets talk in a year or two and see where I stand.

Jaybird
06-16-2008, 02:26 PM
You just made me thirsty... 8-)

That's gotta be some tasty stuff!!

They got tequila in Boston??

CTSmokehouse
06-16-2008, 11:06 PM
When we win the Jack and the Royal in the same year I'm done ! I'll never cook another chicken thigh again ! Ever !


Steve,

We will hold you to that...

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff

chad
06-17-2008, 05:12 PM
I understand fully Vinny.

Last fall, I was ready to hang it up.
Two reasons--

#1--Too much physical labor to deal with the utility trailers and all of the pack-up, set-up, and tear-down time. Wound up exhausted and still had to unpack the chit at home. Wore me out and little to show in the way of quality product.
CheKeeta fixed that problem--She has put the fun back into comps.:lol:
Quality is up because of fewer distractions and irritations.

#2--Too much "out-go" and not enough "in-go" ($$$$$$) to keep it up.
I finally had a change in disposable income and can now afford to enjoy my hobby a few more times a year.
Since quality is up, "in-go" is up a bit and that helps compete even a bit more.

And, I am blessed with 2 of the best partners a guy could ask for. Chad and Smokin Gator are tops and we have a great time at the events.
I would not give that up for the world.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

TIM

Tim and I have shot through a lot of money, fuel, etc. over the last few years. Having the comp trailer has made a world of difference in the overall "work" of competing.

I do a lot fewer contests now...new job doesn't give me the skate time on Fridays that I used to have AND I got burned out...no one specific thing. I don't even hang around here as much as I used to. :shock:

Tim and I used to disect every event...how we show up, cook, turn-in, go to awards...review the results and get on with our lives.

It's still fun to go out - but if I didn't do another contest it would be "ok".:mrgreen:

scottyd
06-17-2008, 06:48 PM
I have officially retired from contest cooking. I will watch from the sidelines. Oh yeah and I will just cater and vend.

DBrentster
06-17-2008, 08:41 PM
I kind of wish I hadn't started reading this thread but it had so much traffic I couldn't resist.

What a bummer! I am going into my 2nd comp and monmouth next month and can't wait. I guess its still fresh and fun as a hobby.

Is this what I have to look forward to in the coming years? I hope not!:|

Jeff_in_KC
06-17-2008, 10:51 PM
I kind of wish I hadn't started reading this thread but it had so much traffic I couldn't resist.

What a bummer! I am going into my 2nd comp and monmouth next month and can't wait. I guess its still fresh and fun as a hobby.

Is this what I have to look forward to in the coming years? I hope not!:|

Yeah, that's the only problem with a thread like this... it can get those who are excited about getting started a little concerned, depressed, what have you. But to answer your question, no I really don't think so. I mean eventually, everyone probably needs a break. I would not let a thread like this dampen your spirits about competing. Go out and have a blast and ride it as long as it's good for you. The thing is, if you DO get burnt out on it, it won't bother you to give it up or scale way back. I have to admit that even with the first in chicken last weekend, it still hasn't really stoked my fire. I'm still burnt out and looking forward to a break. I'll be cooking at Warrensburg, MO in a few weeks with Lee (Sloppy) as "Sloppy Creek BBQ" and after that, I'm done til after Labor Day.

The good thing about taking a break is that it lends more time for fishing! I'm headed out this Friday to try to put the hurt on some crappie down at Truman Lake and enjoy some stress-free solitude. Now THAT, I'm looking forward to. :wink:

Jaybird
06-18-2008, 10:48 AM
I kind of wish I hadn't started reading this thread but it had so much traffic I couldn't resist.

What a bummer! I am going into my 2nd comp and monmouth next month and can't wait. I guess its still fresh and fun as a hobby.

Is this what I have to look forward to in the coming years? I hope not!:|

Look back at my post on page 1. It is still fun for us. I don't know what else we'd be doing!!:-D

BBQchef33
06-18-2008, 12:54 PM
Jeff nailed it..

I still do it, and will continue.. but depending on other factors, burnout may come sooner, later or never. I stared feeling it last year... All it took was to surround myself with friends and concentrate more on having a good time and fun as opposed to making the perfect chicken thigh. Now I spend more time on recreational cooking, mozerella platters, bana cauda and tequila shots than chicken prep and injecting butts. I'm sure we all will eventually need a break, but I just scaled down to one a month to 5 weeks and will look forward to seeing all the folks I only get to talk to or write to all year round.

Sledneck
06-18-2008, 01:14 PM
Jeff nailed it..

I. All it took was to surround myself with friends and concentrate more on having a good time and fun as opposed to making the perfect chicken thigh. Now I spend more time on recreational cooking, mozerella platters, bana cauda and tequila shots than chicken prep and injecting butts..And your finishes are really showing it:tongue:

BBQchef33
06-18-2008, 01:29 PM
yeah.. i noticed that too. :redface::tongue:

scottyd
06-18-2008, 08:08 PM
Yeah, that's the only problem with a thread like this... it can get those who are excited about getting started a little concerned, depressed, what have you. But to answer your question, no I really don't think so. I mean eventually, everyone probably needs a break. I would not let a thread like this dampen your spirits about competing. Go out and have a blast and ride it as long as it's good for you. The thing is, if you DO get burnt out on it, it won't bother you to give it up or scale way back. I have to admit that even with the first in chicken last weekend, it still hasn't really stoked my fire. I'm still burnt out and looking forward to a break. I'll be cooking at Warrensburg, MO in a few weeks with Lee (Sloppy) as "Sloppy Creek BBQ" and after that, I'm done til after Labor Day.

The good thing about taking a break is that it lends more time for fishing! I'm headed out this Friday to try to put the hurt on some crappie down at Truman Lake and enjoy some stress-free solitude. Now THAT, I'm looking forward to. :wink:



I might be just scaling back!! Just a little burnt out I think. need a break.

Sledneck
06-18-2008, 09:24 PM
And your finishes are really showing it:tongue:

yeah.. i noticed that too. :redface::tongue:I like the current cook better. Watching you when you were an obsessed madman with a knive was disturbing

Jeff_in_KC
06-18-2008, 09:46 PM
I like the current cook better. Watching you when you were an obsessed madman with a knive was disturbing

Hey at least Phil didn't try to stab his wife at a BBQ contest. :oops:

homebbq
06-19-2008, 04:35 AM
This is something we have been thinking very seriously about, especially with the fuel prices as high as they are... Pulling that trailer at $ 0.60 a mile in just diesel cost has really helped make us think about things...

Jorge
06-19-2008, 12:14 PM
Hey at least Phil didn't try to stab his wife at a BBQ contest. :oops:

When you do that, you know that you are taking all the fun out of it for me...right?:-P

The Anchorman
06-19-2008, 12:24 PM
I have been thinking about retiring for the past 2 years now. This may be my last year, but I may then get a pair of pink suspenders and become a professional judge.

butts
06-19-2008, 12:25 PM
I'm still in it full tilt! However we do stay close to home with fuel prices like they are. Buying a comp trailer also helped take some of the work out of the comps.

Jeff_in_KC
06-19-2008, 09:53 PM
When you do that, you know that you are taking all the fun out of it for me...right?:-P

Oops... sorry. Beat ya to it! :twisted:

Dale P
06-22-2008, 09:17 AM
I never thought about actually becoming a Judge, until yesterday.

Sit down, look at box, take a piece, take a bite, write down 5. Easy, peasy.

Sledneck
06-24-2008, 11:57 PM
I never thought about actually becoming a Judge, until yesterday.

Sit down, look at box, take a piece, take a bite, write down 5. Easy, peasy.
I judges a few times. WOuld much rather cook. I did not like the fact that I had to ignore friend as I walked through. The after the judging everybody is just exhausted and wanting to get the hell home.

acorette
06-25-2008, 07:14 AM
I sure hope all you guys retire.... I'm at 1000 degrees and just getting warm... Maybe with only half the field left, I might stand a chance at a walk! :biggrin:

Alexa RnQ
06-25-2008, 10:18 AM
I have very mixed feelings about hearing warrior teams say they'll consider retiring. On the one hand, it would be reassuring to have an influx of judges who know intimately how a piece of meat got to the table.

But having excellent teams in the field is what makes everyone better. We have to work a lot harder to achieve competence in an experienced field. Hell, taking potshots at Jaybird makes it a lot more fun, too. http://www.divaherself.com/funny/shiner.gif

Smoky River BBQ
06-25-2008, 10:42 AM
I can't say I have thought about quitting much...I am only in my third year of serious competition. But with the friends that I have made doing this, and the fact that at turn in time it is such an adrenaline rush, I will probably keep doing it as long as I can still afford it! $4 a gallon gas is definitely something to consider.

Sledneck
08-30-2011, 09:56 AM
Same here, almost every contest in the AM (and after awards if I get killed) I'm thinking this is crazy, I'm retiring.

What keeps bringing me back is that I love to compete. On the ride home, or the next day, I'm already thinking about how to cook better, what to tweak etc. The challenge of cooking better next time, or trying to beat Tuffy or ISS, keeps me coming back. Also, the fantasy of winning the Royal or the Jack has kept me out on the trail as well.

I've cut back on my contests this year. And eventually will probably only cook Harpoon and maybe one other contest.
Hmmmmmmmm:becky:

Jaybird
08-30-2011, 10:35 AM
Been doin it for eight years now and I'll die before I retire from competition. Just can't do it. There's a big 'ol bbq family out there I'll miss too much. Plus......I need the adrenalin rush....I'm too old to get it any other way!!

Now that's funny to bring this up again and to see what I wrote 3 years ago. Well since then I have SEMI-retired to just maybe 6 contests a year. I still couldn't leave competitions completely because of the reasons I stated above. Life changes. Don't practice much anymore and my scores show that. Just can't afford the money and time to keep on top anymore. But I still have fun doing it.:butt:

Sawdustguy
08-30-2011, 02:05 PM
I am happy now with the one or two contests we do a year now. It is just enough to get away with the family twice a year and see the good people I have not seen in a while.