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Sticks-n-chicks
07-19-2008, 09:25 AM
I have a chance to take my new smoker Diamond Plate Pit Series 60 and Compete in the American Royal Open, it will be my first competition and I was hoping someone might have some tips on what to expect down there.

Just looking to have some fun and take it all in.

Chris Nickelson
07-19-2008, 10:08 AM
For a first time comp. the Royal is trial by fire! Literally.

If you want to cook all four catagories I would suggest getting help for the first one so you don't stress too much.

If you want to do it yourself, I would suggest only a few of the catagories until you get more comfortable with the schedule of turnins.

If you want to do side dishes I would only pick one or two your first time around. Staying on schedule can be a challange for even the veteran cookers, when your trying to turn in every catagory.

Dodge County will be there so stop by and shoot the chit a while, We'll try to answer any questions you may have.

smknwhlswife
07-19-2008, 11:44 AM
You need to talk to Jeff_in_KC (BigCreekBBQ). The Royal was his first contest ever a couple of years ago.

I would really recommend that you cook some other contest first, but that is just me. There is a totally different feel to the Royal compared to other contests.....I think because of the masses amount of people. You will have to watch all your stuff, including your meat on the smoker (just ask Scottie!) and guard your toilet!

If I were you I would try and get into the Shawnee contest. Great teams and it is a great time!

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2008, 12:30 PM
Sticks, I'm surprised no one has brought up my Royal Thread from 2005... I probably should go back and read it but best I recall, it was pretty annoying! :lol: I was totally clueless... and planned to win the Royal! :roll: Actually, someone usually finds the link to it and posts it when a new person asks about the Royal. I guess it's got some good insight and advice from others but there's a couple of things I'd caution you on before you even go.

First off, you'll probably be on the "dark side" or close to it. I was. I didn't know better. Now I have gone to school at the University of Missouri so when it comes to parties, dude, I knew my stuff! But the dark side... wow. It FAR surpassed anything I had ever seen or imagined. Really, really distracting and frustrating if you aren't there to party as well. After all the things I witnessed, I swore I'd never go back with my team until I earned a letter inviting me to the Invitational. We finished 400th out of 475 teams. I enjoyed the day time when things weren't so crazy. But as I recall, I wasn't sure BBQ comps were for me. Then the next week or two, I signed up to cook at DeSoto, KS where there was like 35 teams and we finished middle of the pack. THEN I was hooked and I always prefer comps under 100 teams to contests such as the Royal or the GAB.

I guess I'd have to know your mind-set before I offered my advice on how to approach it. Either way (emphasis on party or emphasis on BBQ), if you think you might want to compete regularly throughout the year, try to control the partying and learn everything you can. There will be some masters in the art of BBQ there. Talk to them any chance you get. Talk to any of your neighbors. Most times, your neighbors at comps will be more than happy to help you out with advice or if you forget something (well, that is unless you forget MEAT!). Don't be shy to tell someone it's your first event. We've all been there before and most people are not so far into it that they don't remember that. BBQ isn't like most "sports" or competitions where the vets have the attitude "Sorry rookie! You should have known your stuff before you came to play with us!" That kind of attitude doesn't fly in the BBQ community. We're like family. Ask. Learn. Take notes.

Two of the most important lessons I can offer are these:

1. Have a plan and stick with it. Know what you'll be doing every minute of the contest. And just understand that the unexpected will happen (that brisket will get "stuck" and you will be behind) but don't let that throw you off your plan. Schedule everything from when you trim and season meat to when you put it on and when you pull it off.

2. Don't stress. It's just BBQ. We aren't saving the world or finding cures for deadly diseases. We're trying to make six judges look at a box of food and think how awesome that looks (think fine dining presentations) then taste it and have their assessment agree with their initial impression of the appearance. That's all these is to it. Just do what you do, learn what adjustments you'll need to make before your next contest and have fun.

Oh and one other piece of advice... look for Brethren banners at team sites. You'll always find great advice, good conversation and open beer coolers.

Now if you're looking to party, the best information I was ever given was this: If you want to party, save a TON of money, invite all your friends to your house, leave your smoker in the driveway and cook for them there. This chit costs way too much cash to not at least try to learn something!

Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Jeff

Sticks-n-chicks
07-19-2008, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the input, I plan on competing in 6-8 comps next year, this came up out of the blue. I am really looking to meet some teams get some advice and attempt to compete. I donít have big expectations more of a learning experience. Who knows, sometimes you learn to swim faster when thrown in the deep end and sometime you drown. I plan on doing several practice runs at home, late August and September with Friends to get my timing down. As always any advice is welcome. Let me know if you are going to be there and I will do my best to find you. for those of you who re local let me knwo if you would want to swing by and drink a few and offer advice. I am over by the race track.

smknwhlswife
07-19-2008, 04:09 PM
Don't stress. It's just BBQ. We aren't saving the world or finding cures for deadly diseases. Jeff

That's funny coming from you Jeff.:-P.....Sticks don't let him fool you!.....We give Jeff hell all the time for getting so stressed.:wink:

Jeff you know we love ya!!!:lol::lol::lol:

Sticks-n-chicks
07-19-2008, 05:15 PM
Thank Kim, no wories, I sure am surprised how nice everyone is on this site. I have posted a similar question on other forums but no replies as of yet. Do people really have other things to do? Too Bad...

Jorge
07-19-2008, 05:58 PM
Visit the Royal, and look for the Brethren banner and visit. The entry for the Open is a steep price to get your feet wet. If you still want to do it, I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice.

In fairness to Jeff, there is also a post from him about what he learned over the course of a year that's pretty informative.

Jeff_in_KC
07-19-2008, 11:58 PM
Visit the Royal, and look for the Brethren banner and visit. The entry for the Open is a steep price to get your feet wet. If you still want to do it, I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice.

In fairness to Jeff, there is also a post from him about what he learned over the course of a year that's pretty informative.

OK here that one is...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20886

Bigdog
07-20-2008, 08:36 AM
Thank Kim, no wories, I sure am surprised how nice everyone is on this site. I have posted a similar question on other forums but no replies as of yet. Do people really have other things to do? Too Bad...

You came to the right forum. The people on this site are very helpful, especially when it comes to comps. I was surprised at this at first, but when I got to know people around here, I wasn't surprised at all. Some of the best people in BBQ hang out here. We are Brethren after all. 8-)

Sticks-n-chicks
07-20-2008, 10:01 AM
Great post Jeff, I am like you a home body and hope to make Q'ing a family thing...not at the Royal.. but at the other events. We have 4 kids (11, 7, 6, 3) my wife is already involved with q'ing and has been a huge help in better understanding rubs. But more inportantly she is the one that keeps things real...some say I might be a dreamer and do do it unless it is full on without her evenness I would be totally spinning out of control both in thought, practice and $$$$. It has been a blast just practicing and I am lucky to have a few good friends that are each willing to help out at the comps and a retired father who is acting just as much like a kid as me.

Will you be at the Royal this year, what about Desoto? I keep thinking aobut doing Desoto as well but it is the very next weekend after the royal...may be to much...did I say that...

I would be thrilled to have half the experience (in friendship) and just a taste of the experience you had in your first year of competing.

We need to grab a beer.

HoDeDo
07-20-2008, 01:25 PM
Sticks, I'm surprised no one has brought up my Royal Thread from 2005...
Oh and one other piece of advice... look for Brethren banners at team sites. You'll always find great advice, good conversation and open beer coolers. Jeff

The Royal is one of those events that just isnt like any other.... for example... we dont have a beer cooler, we have a keg truck:twisted:

I'm lucky enough to have a sponsor that keeps Jeff awake on the darkside, so I can try to do some damage during turnins :wink:

Thanks for the input, I plan on competing in 6-8 comps next year, this came up out of the blue. I am really looking to meet some teams get some advice and attempt to compete. I don’t have big expectations more of a learning experience. Who knows, sometimes you learn to swim faster when thrown in the deep end and sometime you drown. I plan on doing several practice runs at home, late August and September with Friends to get my timing down. As always any advice is welcome. Let me know if you are going to be there and I will do my best to find you. for those of you who re local let me knwo if you would want to swing by and drink a few and offer advice. I am over by the race track.

We are over by the racetrack as well, and if you search through some of the threads, you can see pics of the Jeff and I's daughters running around. And some of them snagging some kid's que hardware. BBQ is a great family pastime. Some people go to the lake, and boat -- some have soccer, or softball... we have BBQ. and I don't think you get a better model for generosity, camaraderie, or sportsmanship. Good people, good friendships, and great competition.

Great post Jeff, I am like you a home body and hope to make Q'ing a family thing...not at the Royal.. but at the other events. We have 4 kids (11, 7, 6, 3) my wife is already involved with q'ing and has been a huge help in better understanding rubs. But more inportantly she is the one that keeps things real...some say I might be a dreamer and do do it unless it is full on without her evenness I would be totally spinning out of control both in thought, practice and $$$$. It has been a blast just practicing and I am lucky to have a few good friends that are each willing to help out at the comps and a retired father who is acting just as much like a kid as me.

Will you be at the Royal this year, what about Desoto? I keep thinking aobut doing Desoto as well but it is the very next weekend after the royal...may be to much...did I say that...

Depends on how much you take on at the royal.... all the available catagories or just the 4 main ones..... and it depends on how much you get sucked into the party around ya. :twisted:

I would be thrilled to have half the experience (in friendship) and just a taste of the experience you had in your first year of competing. We need to grab a beer.

Dive in - I think you will find alot of friends in the making... and new memories every weekend. I can't imagine not getting out there week after week. Family loves it too... My girls always have the option of going for something else. They choose this over soccer or other activities. They love thier "BBQ friends".

We're happy to help as well... just PM or email me!

Jeff_in_KC
07-20-2008, 03:06 PM
Will you be at the Royal this year, what about Desoto? I keep thinking aobut doing Desoto as well but it is the very next weekend after the royal...may be to much...did I say that...

I would be thrilled to have half the experience (in friendship) and just a taste of the experience you had in your first year of competing.

We need to grab a beer.

Yes, we're doing the Royal Invitational and Open as Sloppy Creek BBQ - teamed up with another Brethren to win our first ever last weekend. It's a combined team name. I think just a picture of a flooded creek is good enough for a banner. :lol: Plan on doing DeSoto as well if the $$$ holds out. We're only done five so far and will probably be doing one in August on a really tight budget (if cash is there), then Blue Springs, maybe Kearney, the Royal Invitational, the Royal Open and DeSoto.

As for our first year experience, we consider ourselves EXTREMELY fortunate to have had the success we had at awards ceremonies but more important, we're fortunate to have made the number of friends we have. Good luck and enjoy it!

ZILLA
07-20-2008, 09:16 PM
If you can afford the entry and don't mind a crowd go for it. No big deal. It's like any other cook just more folks. Go and have fun.

ique
08-10-2008, 02:53 PM
We're in site 876 again this year.

Just found out that the loaner Backwoods we've used the last couple of years (graciously provided by Ray the webmaster of the BWS forum) is not available this year.

If any Brethren have a loaner available (Backwoods preferred but not required) please let me know. Can repay in Brisket recipes or fine tequila :-D

PM if there is anyway you can help me out. thanks!!!