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View Full Version : Notes and Observations from our First BBQ comp


BigdogKC
08-17-2008, 09:31 AM
This weekend Hot Buttered BBQ had its first comp in Excelsior Springs, MO and boy was it fun. We made a ton of mistakes and ended up in 54th place overall out of 67 teams that turned in. What surprised me the most was the comraderie of the teams and the willingness to help out a first timer even though we were their competition. At the cooks meeting they asked for a show of hands for the first timers, and after raising my hand I had no fewer than 5 teams come up to me to offer support, and tell me where their tent was, so I could come by and ask for any help I needed. That experiance alone was enough to get us to do more comps even if we had ended up in last place.

At 5:00 in the morning I was sitting in my camping chair feeling depressed, because I had let my cooker run real hot, and had potentially ruined our brisket and pork Butt. (it was so bad that when I took it off to foil it the meat was literally on fire!!) The rest of my team was a sleep and I wasn't looking forward to telling them of my huge mistake. Then our neighbors, Pig Pen BBQ woke up and asked how I was doing. After I told him how stupid I was, he spent the next couple of minutes telling me about some of his mistakes, and then asked me a question that put it all into perspective for me. Are you having fun? Aside from feeling stupid about my mistake, I was in fact having fun!! Plus even though I screwed up, it was pretty cool to see meat on fire. After that conversation I starting feeling better. Then 6:00 rolled around and it was time for free biscuits and gravy. Nothing better than food to cheer up a fat man.

When my team woke up I told them all of my mistake and apologized for it. I thought they might be a little pissed since they all spent money on this, but to my surprise they just patted me on the back and apologized that they had not stayed up to watch the cookers.

So to sum up a long post I learned the following things:
BBQ Teams go out of their way to help eachother out!!
I freaking love BBQ Comps!!
And I have the most suportive teammates a guy could ask for!!

See you at the next comp!!!

Just Pulin' Pork
08-17-2008, 09:44 AM
Big Dog thanks for sharing your story. When is your next competition? There are several local ones coming up here in Kansas City. I would highly recomend Shawnee and Mission. My only piece of advise is to take notes and keep those note to go back and look at later. Congrats on not finishing DAL. I have a feeling your addicted now and there is no going back! :) Nice job!

Bigdog
08-17-2008, 09:50 AM
Nice story. Thanks for your honesty. Did you meet any of the Brethren?

Ron_L
08-17-2008, 09:54 AM
Congrats on surviving your first one! Just take what you've learned and use it to improve at the next one!

Westexbbq
08-17-2008, 11:35 AM
Nice story and congrats, your first time is always special.
Keep up the good work,
Enjoy.

Professor Salt
08-17-2008, 11:38 AM
Some day when you guys win your first GC, you'll all look back and get a good laugh out of this story. Congrats on jumping in and doing your first comp; that's the hardest part.

Pig Headed
08-17-2008, 01:20 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I think that the comradererie (sp?) is what makes this endeavor so special. I've met a lot of great people doing this.

Harbormaster
08-17-2008, 01:44 PM
I'm going to do my first comp next weekend. Thanks for sharing your tough times with candor and honesty.
I am really looking forward to seeing old friends made here, and making new ones. This will be my third time at this comp, but first actually competing. I have set obtainable goals so as not to disappoint myself.
Having fun is at the top of the list.

BigdogKC
08-17-2008, 03:06 PM
Big Dog thanks for sharing your story. When is your next competition? There are several local ones coming up here in Kansas City. I would highly recomend Shawnee and Mission. My only piece of advise is to take notes and keep those note to go back and look at later. Congrats on not finishing DAL. I have a feeling your addicted now and there is no going back! :) Nice job!


Right now we are only signed up for the Crosspoint BBQ that is in Shawnee on Sept. 12th and 13th. My wife is due with our second child at the end of September, so we decided not to sign up for the big one in Shawnee since it is the same weekend she is due. That is one that we really want to do, but if she went into labor I would have a tough choice to make.... just kidding I would obviously go to the Hospital, as would the rest of our team, so we will miss it this year.

BigdogKC
08-17-2008, 03:09 PM
Nice story. Thanks for your honesty. Did you meet any of the Brethren?

I did meet some brethren. I had previously met HoDeDo, so it was nice to see that he was right behind my tent. He also came up with a great line for me after I told him about my "fire Brisket" he simply said..."sounds like burnt ends to me". I am still freakied out that 4 teams had a lower scoring brisket than ours. :)

BigdogKC
08-17-2008, 03:14 PM
I'm going to do my first comp next weekend. Thanks for sharing your tough times with candor and honesty.
I am really looking forward to seeing old friends made here, and making new ones. This will be my third time at this comp, but first actually competing. I have set obtainable goals so as not to disappoint myself.
Having fun is at the top of the list.

The best advice I can give you is to have a written plan before you even get there. I had planned to do this, but was unable to, because a computer virus hit our company real bad last week and I had to work a ton of overtime. I finally wrote out something at about 9:00 Friday night, just so we had a guide, but it wasn't good enough for me.

If you have a written plan it is an awesome thing to fall back on if the going gets tough!! Good luck to you, I can't begin to describe how much fun it was... you are going to love it!!!!

Sticks-n-chicks
08-17-2008, 04:44 PM
Great post. So far my failures have been my own to know about. I see your going to be a cross points. That will be my/our first comp. I will look you up when I get there. You can come by and ask the same question during my trials...

Keep Smokin'

W

chibi
08-17-2008, 05:49 PM
My first comp was last year. The 2 teams that flanked me were /are the reason I am doing more this year.
One in particular helped me when my brisket was not coming up to temp. No way it was going to be ready. They stepped over to my EZ and helped me. Gave me plastic wrap and told me to wrap 2 times and then foil. Well I did and got a call on my brisket.
Now at comps I try and help the teams as much as possible. They are my competition but that does not matter.
BBQ folks are the nicest most sincere people you will meet. If ever in the Rocky mountain region look me up.

JD McGee
08-17-2008, 07:24 PM
What a great story...thanks for sharing. You have just set my mind at ease bro...my first solo comp is coming up and I've been all over the place second guessing this, that, and the other. Now (thanks to you) I'm just gonna chill...do my best...and see what happens. First and foremost I'm gonna have a blast and enjoy that camaraderie you mentioned! :-P

butts
08-17-2008, 07:31 PM
Thanks for sharing. I finished in the middle of the pack at my first contest, and DFL at my second! I learned so much more from the second! Keep pluggin away, it will take some time but you'll get there.

Congrats on taking the chance on the first one!

Just Pulin' Pork
08-17-2008, 08:22 PM
Right now we are only signed up for the Crosspoint BBQ that is in Shawnee on Sept. 12th and 13th. My wife is due with our second child at the end of September, so we decided not to sign up for the big one in Shawnee since it is the same weekend she is due. That is one that we really want to do, but if she went into labor I would have a tough choice to make.... just kidding I would obviously go to the Hospital, as would the rest of our team, so we will miss it this year.


This is the first year for this comp. I am anxious to see how it turns out. I will make a point to stop by when I come out friday night.

BigdogKC
08-17-2008, 08:29 PM
This is the first year for this comp. I am anxious to see how it turns out. I will make a point to stop by when I come out friday night.

Everybody is welcome to stop by our tent at Crosspoints!! We are planning on cooking up some butts and chicken for friday night, so hopefully we will have something good to sample as well!!

Plowboy
08-17-2008, 10:24 PM
Andy told me about the burnt brisket. Sorry to hear about that.

Saturday morning we were both out back by the cookers and looked over to see you guys pulling your ribs off of the Weber with flames coming off of them. We both went, "Ouch!", knowing what happened to the brisket.

Then we starting singing, "The ribs, the ribs, the ribs are on fire! We don't need no entry let the mutha farker burn!"

BigdogKC
08-18-2008, 05:10 AM
Andy told me about the burnt brisket. Sorry to hear about that.

Saturday morning we were both out back by the cookers and looked over to see you guys pulling your ribs off of the Weber with flames coming off of them. We both went, "Ouch!", knowing what happened to the brisket.

Then we starting singing, "The ribs, the ribs, the ribs are on fire! We don't need no entry let the mutha farker burn!"

I think I will start telling people that fire was my secret ingredient!! The only thing that didn't catch fire was the chicken....and me thankfully!! All and all it was a pretty poor showing for me, but thankfully I have no problem laughing at myself!! Plus now I am super motivated to get everything down pat!!

Divemaster
08-18-2008, 11:20 AM
Sorry you had such a rough time. My first comp was back in June and we managed to come out 2nd in Chicken, 3rd in Ribs, and 3rd overall. (I think we got real lucky!)

The one thing that really came out was how helpfull everyone was.

I think I will start telling people that fire was my secret ingredient!!
Heck of a way to get that bark just right....

The only thing that didn't catch fire was the chicken....and me thankfully!!
Be thankful that no one got hurt. Trust me, the meat is the least of your concerns!

All and all it was a pretty poor showing for me, but thankfully I have no problem laughing at myself!! Plus now I am super motivated to get everything down pat!!
Think of this way, you meet some great people, you learned a lot, and the worst one is done! Got nowhere to go but up!