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View Full Version : How often do you need to compete to keep your edge?


Alexa RnQ
07-08-2008, 04:00 PM
When VQ first started wanting to go to comps, I was fine with once in a fairly great while. But over the last year, we've noticed that we lose a little something over a layoff, and that home practice doesn't quite hone the edge like a fo-real comp does.

We're not in an area that has a comp practically every other week, like some of you lucky farkers. I'm staring at an ENTIRE MONTH till our next scheduled comp, and starting to get the shakes.

If gas weren't such an issue, how often would you ideally like to compete?

Sledneck
07-08-2008, 04:02 PM
Once a month

Ashmont
07-08-2008, 04:36 PM
Try this.... Pack up the vehicle like your going to a comp. Drive around for two to three hours. Then return home unpack everything in your back yard. Setup a tent and cook like a comp. This must be done either on the hottest day of the year, coldest rainy or snowy even a combination. You must not go into your house for any reason. If you need to use the restroom walk to the local quicky mart... Saturday morning wake up make coffee on open fire. No showers until its over. Create turnin boxes and give them to neighbors at 1200, 12:30, 1:00 and 1:30 with a slip of paper asking for a judging score of 2-9 and have them come out and announce the scores at 3:00. Then pack up and leave. Then drive around another 2-3 hours come back home unpack and clean everything. Then rest on Sunday!


On a serious note! I have a journal that I write in about the contest, times, meat where I bought it, Temp of meat, wrap unwrapped any thing I can think of during the contest and the days following. If your team has several people I ask them as well. Sometimes funny stories get in the journal as well to save for the next time your together. Review the journal many times before the next contest. Anyway it helps me not lose anything or do something stupid again. (Not that I have done that) Hope it helps... Have a great day....

Ron_L
07-08-2008, 04:44 PM
I don't know if we have an edge yet :-D I'd say once a month would be a minimum. After Shannon this weekend we're not competing again until the end of August, so the will be 6 weeks off. We'll see how if affects us. I'd like to do more during that down time but we have a friend's wedding, a family weekend, a vacation and a business trip that screws up a competition weekend to keep us busy :rolleyes:

CajunSmoker
07-08-2008, 04:44 PM
We won't get to do another comp until September (unless something else comes up close to home).

I've made it a habit that I only Q out of the BBQ trailer. If it ain't there, then I can't use it. I keep a list of things I wanted that I didn't have.

It's not quite the same as being there, but it helps a little.

Edit - Once or twice a month would be perfect if it were possible.

Podge
07-08-2008, 04:45 PM
I only compete 7-8 times a year, and it seems to take me the first 3-4 contests to get going good. After that i seem to stay in a groove. I wouldn't want to compete much more than that because i feel i lose focus if i have too many weekends competing in a row. 3-6 weeks apart seem to do well for me.

Diva
07-08-2008, 04:49 PM
We compete every weekend with the occassional weekend off.

beerguy
07-08-2008, 04:53 PM
Ashmont, good ideas! I have a question, since Im just starting out and have NO experience and No built up supplies. How do you farkers afford all this? between the entrance fees, the meats for practice, the comp meats and the incidentails, my bride is about to have a cow! The best thing I could do at this point is finish dead last, and go back to being a a backyard cook thats really learned a lot! If I walk, gee, Ill be hooked and want to do it again and again.

KC_Bobby
07-08-2008, 04:57 PM
Try this.... Pack up the vehicle like your going to a comp. Drive around for two to three hours. Then return home unpack everything in your back yard. Setup a tent and cook like a comp. This must be done either on the hottest day of the year, coldest rainy or snowy even a combination. You must not go into your house for any reason. If you need to use the restroom walk to the local quicky mart... Saturday morning wake up make coffee on open fire. No showers until its over. Create turnin boxes and give them to neighbors at 1200, 12:30, 1:00 and 1:30 with a slip of paper asking for a judging score of 2-9 and have them come out and announce the scores at 3:00. Then pack up and leave. Then drive around another 2-3 hours come back home unpack and clean everything. Then rest on Sunday!


Wow, now I'm just thinking to myself ... why, why why why????




Ahh, you didn't cover the beer drinking with friends part and the anticipation/hope of hearing your name.


And as for the question, we haven't found our edge but if able, I'd like to compete every 3rd weekend. 1 on, 2 off

Ashmont
07-08-2008, 04:59 PM
Just like perfecting BBQ it takes time. Some do it with sponsors. I have collected the stuff I need over the last 4 years. Just got my excellent super fast thermapen for my recent birthday. One step at a time...

Ashmont
07-08-2008, 05:02 PM
Wow, now I'm just thinking to myself ... why, why why why????




Ahh, you didn't cover the beer drinking with friends part and the anticipation/hope of hearing your name.


And as for the question, we haven't found our edge but if able, I'd like to compete every 3rd weekend. 1 on, 2 off


About the odifferous two flusher on Sunday. Then saying I dont remember eating that!!!!

Alexa RnQ
07-08-2008, 05:04 PM
Just got my excellent super fast thermapen for my recent birthday.
What color is it?

Ashmont
07-08-2008, 05:17 PM
What color is it?


Yup Blue! That I typed that.... Yes it will be at my next comp....

Sledneck
07-08-2008, 05:28 PM
Yup Blue! That I typed that.... Yes it will be at my next comp....Wise choice, welocme to the family

Double D's BBQ
07-08-2008, 06:03 PM
Our best results last year were in back to back comps in Madison, IN and New Holland, PA.

We learned from the mistakes we made in Madison and corrected them in New Holland.

Doing a back to back next two weeks in Franklin, PA and Kettering, OH. Hoping for similar results.

scottyd
07-08-2008, 06:06 PM
I don't think we have ever achieved the edge. This year we are pretty rusty.

Black Cat BBQ
07-08-2008, 07:07 PM
Yup Blue! That I typed that.... Yes it will be at my next comp....

why blue?

Ashmont
07-08-2008, 07:10 PM
why blue?


It is the superior Thermapen!!!!

CivilWarBBQ
07-08-2008, 07:44 PM
Here in Dixie there aren't a lot of contests in the hottest part of the summer. I've noticed that if we go more than a month between shows during that time we seem to be less organized and feel more rushed when we start back at it.

Bigmista
07-08-2008, 07:48 PM
I hope we can get an Edge like Rhythm and Que one day. Unless we come up with a backyarder or a new contest in SoCal, we don't have another contest until Viejas. Can't afford the gas to go up north.

MilitantSquatter
07-08-2008, 08:17 PM
I guess you asked two questions, each a bit different

1) need to compete to keep edge - I don't think frequency matters as much as attention to detail once you've established what works for you. it's what you do when you're there that matters most (along with some kind judges and a little luck). Surely coming off a successful previous event helps keep motivation high.

2) Ideally like to compete - If gas and other non-cost issues weren't at play, once a month would be ideal.

Alexa RnQ
07-08-2008, 08:19 PM
Neil, I want you GOOD and bored by Viejas! :mrgreen:
Can you maybe come over to Payson or Taylor in the meantime? Shoot right on out the 10, and turn left!

CWB, that's it exactly -- a month seems to be about the limit of our attention span. We've gotten warmed up and synchronized enough that turn-ins aren't total chaos -- I'd hate to lose that in weeks of layoff.

bbqczar
07-08-2008, 08:43 PM
The thing about the comps is that you have to have balance,you have to do "other" activities with the kids and family.I think 1 comp a month is more than enough to keep sharp,too many other things in life to do ! The comps get old for the kids,they usually don't have much fun at them so especially in the summer you have to take vacations,trips,activities,etc.

Alexa RnQ
07-08-2008, 08:50 PM
Timmy, put 'em to work vending!

Vince RnQ
07-08-2008, 08:55 PM
The thing about the comps is that you have to have balance,you have to do "other" activities with the kids and family.I think 1 comp a month is more than enough to keep sharp,too many other things in life to do ! The comps get old for the kids,they usually don't have much fun at them so especially in the summer you have to take vacations,trips,activities,etc.

Spoken like a man with teenage daughters! (And charming daughters they are.)

Pre-teen boys still seem to view competitions as big time adventures so we're likely good for a year or two. And if they ever get interested in Kids Que then who knows how long their interest will last!

Ford
07-08-2008, 09:01 PM
I like to do 2 a month if I can. Now a week or 2 in-between is also nice. But I did 2 in May and 2 back to back in June and July it's starting 3 in a row this Friday. One in August and I'll do 2 in September and waiting to see what I might do in October.

I found that I can pretty much remember from one to the next what needs to be done and when. Just lucky that way. I like a practice run to start the season as well. Doing 2 in a row did seem to make the second one easier and I did like the results. I just hope I survive this month. And that's a lot of vacation days to do 10 this year.

Just Pulin' Pork
07-08-2008, 09:15 PM
Ashmont, good ideas! I have a question, since Im just starting out and have NO experience and No built up supplies. How do you farkers afford all this? between the entrance fees, the meats for practice, the comp meats and the incidentails, my bride is about to have a cow! The best thing I could do at this point is finish dead last, and go back to being a a backyard cook thats really learned a lot! If I walk, gee, Ill be hooked and want to do it again and again.

That is a great question! I think if you truely have a passion for this sport/hobby you figure out how to afford it. Once you get a call you will be hooked so watch out. The veterns who have been doing this a while (not me I am in your boat) have sponsors. My advise from my experience, the more you compete the more you learn what you need and what you do not need. We have 4 people on my team and divide everythihg 4 ways. With gas prices becoming an issue it will be interesting to see in time how this effects all of us who compete.

Dale P
07-08-2008, 09:21 PM
We are going to do at least 4, but if i had the $, 2 a month sounds about right. I love it, but we have a poor mans set up. No comfort, just agony and hangovers. We love it but times are tough for us.

Franklin Ky
Kettering Ohio
Madison Indiana
Owensboro Ky

Next year we are going to try and do 2 more.

Bigmista
07-09-2008, 01:32 AM
Neil, I want you GOOD and bored by Viejas! :mrgreen:
Can you maybe come over to Payson or Taylor in the meantime? Shoot right on out the 10, and turn left!


I have a vending event and a large catering gig in August. If those turn out well, who knows?

butts a fire
07-09-2008, 12:14 PM
If money were not an issue I would probably compete every other weekend during the season probably around 10 events a year sounds about right.

For us we actually did our best this year our first event out I was prepared and paid attention to detail after that I think I slacked off to much and the results showed it. We did three contests this year and are done until next April, our last one was almost a month ago and I am wishing I could get another one in.

Podge
07-09-2008, 01:10 PM
We are going to do at least 4, but if i had the $, 2 a month sounds about right. I love it, but we have a poor mans set up. No comfort, just agony and hangovers. We love it but times are tough for us.

Franklin Ky
Kettering Ohio
Madison Indiana
Owensboro Ky

Next year we are going to try and do 2 more.

i'd really like to see you all do more too !!

Divemaster
07-09-2008, 01:36 PM
I guess I would say every 3 weeks would be best for us... The problem is that between work and other commitments, it won't be until late August before the next comp.

Ashmont, good ideas! I have a question, since Im just starting out and have NO experience and No built up supplies. How do you farkers afford all this? between the entrance fees, the meats for practice, the comp meats and the incidentails, my bride is about to have a cow! The best thing I could do at this point is finish dead last, and go back to being a a backyard cook thats really learned a lot! If I walk, gee, Ill be hooked and want to do it again and again.

I had the same problem. I took a clip board and gave it to the GF and had her follow me around for the whole cook... Her job was to put down on paper every thing that I picked up... There were things that I came up with that I didn't use but thought we should have (like an extra fire extinguisher)...

The week before my first comp, I took the list and started putting every thing aside and then after I was sure I had it all pulled, I loaded it all up on the trailer....

I'm already picking stuff up for just comps so I don't have to 'borrow' from the kitchen any more, but if you're already using it to cook, you already have it...

Dale P
07-09-2008, 01:44 PM
Podge, next Thursday cant get here quick enough my friend, and you have mail..
And just to stay on topic, we stay rusty.