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Smoky River BBQ
12-12-2008, 09:01 PM
Ok...here is my question. Do you think that a cooking class is a necessity to win at comps, or can just plain ol' trial and error get it done? I am debating about a class, but there are none close to me. Thoughts? :?:

Big Mike
12-12-2008, 09:15 PM
I don't think a class is necessary, you can win without the classes. The thing the class would be good for is to maybe shorten your learning curve some.

cmcadams
12-12-2008, 09:18 PM
What Mike said... But taking a class helped us out, and it was fun.

Tinybud
12-12-2008, 10:07 PM
I'm really considering the myron mixon class in feburary down at his home in georgia,,, but not sure I can make it ,,might have to wait for another one,, but I do want to take one,,, think it would be allot of fun,, and very valuable in helping at comps.

Big Tom
12-12-2008, 10:21 PM
The Myron Mixon class should be very informative and a fun getaway. He definately has championship credentials.

Most all the different classes are taught by folks that have won in different styles of contests. They won't teach anything that the crew here (or any other forum) points out and reccomends, but the chance to spend some quality time with a group of other serious and not so serious cookers and maybe learn a thing or two can't be all bad, if you have the time and money for that type of experience.

Against The Grain
12-12-2008, 10:32 PM
Absolutely not! That would take the fun out of it.

VA BBQ PIRATES
12-13-2008, 06:59 AM
I'm really considering the myron mixon class in feburary down at his home in georgia,,, but not sure I can make it ,,might have to wait for another one,, but I do want to take one,,, think it would be allot of fun,, and very valuable in helping at comps.


I've heard a lot of good stuff about this class & talked to Myron about it in Lynchburg. If my wife didn't just get layed off I'd be considering it.

For me the reason to take a class is to pick up the little things or to tweek something that will give me a couple more points here or there (And maybe introduce a new chicken cooking method to consider).

I wouldn't expect a class to make me a champion though any more than I would expect a couple of guitar lessons would get me a gig with Van Halen.

Tom

Bigdog
12-13-2008, 09:09 AM
I was talking to RonL about his experience with the cooking class he just took. He said that one of the keys to it is to develop consistancy with your cooking. That claim can certainly be backed up by the many comp. cooks here like Rod Gray that are usually in the money.

MilitantSquatter
12-13-2008, 01:32 PM
It all depends on where you're starting point is at. A decent cook, who plans well and has spent some time on the forum asking or reading can gain a ton of insight to assist them in cranking out a decent performance.

I don't think classes are necessary to win at all, as many here have proven over time, but a comp class will help with some of the finer points, provide creative ideas to adapt to your own style etc and many do have a lot of fun hanging with other cooks as well.

Good Luck !!

beam boys bbq
12-13-2008, 02:55 PM
i have taken classes and i have learned more from you all here and from trial and error and cooking an contest with other teams

york

Alexa RnQ
12-13-2008, 02:59 PM
We are big believers in classes. We took QN4U's class early, before we learned many bad habits, but then again we were so green that most of the information flew right over our heads. We repeated the class at the beginning of this year, which set us up for a pretty nice season. Taking the class for the third time last weekend, we can honestly say we STILL learned new things. It's as if your relative skill level expands what you infer from the same data presented.

We'd love to go do some other classes, but the travel involved, missed work and having two boys in school aren't making it look good at the moment.

Jorge
12-13-2008, 03:00 PM
If somebody is winning, and willing to share some of that info I'm willing to learn. After talking to several people that have taken the class, Rod Gray and Johnny Trigg will be getting some of my money this year.

Black Cat BBQ
12-13-2008, 04:06 PM
We repeated the class at the beginning of this year, which set us up for a pretty nice season. Taking the class for the third time last weekend, we can honestly say we STILL learned new things. It's as if your relative skill level expands what you infer from the same data presented.



I wondered about that too. I thought about taking another class but given by different instructors/champs. Everyone does things just a little bit differently and the more info the better.

We learned a lot at our class - all the champs seem to have their thoughts about BBQ and its really interesting to hear why. The big focus for us was all the info about how to make a good rub/sauce. Being consistent was the theme with everything. Once you can consistantly produce the same results (whether good or bad) you are on the right track.

Taking all the information from a class and applying to what people do or say here has been unbelievably helpful. We havent won anything but it sure has been lots of fun in the process!

Podge
12-13-2008, 04:20 PM
Ok...here is my question. Do you think that a cooking class is a necessity to win at comps, or can just plain ol' trial and error get it done? I am debating about a class, but there are none close to me. Thoughts? :?:

people have won before there were classes.

Double D's BBQ
12-13-2008, 04:24 PM
We've taken classes in order from:

1. Texas Rib Rangers
2. Myron Mixon
3. Fast Eddie and Paul Shatte
4. Mike & Debbie Davis
5. Chris Lilly
6. Bart Clarke & Donny Teel
5. Rod Gray and Johnny Trigg

I can honestly tell you that we've taken something away from every class we've taken and have put little bits of it from each class into practice with our own style of Barbecue. Has it made us grand champion anywhere yet? No but we've improved from the bottom of the second half of the contests to a level of consistency that usually puts us in the top 10 consistently and gives us a shot at doing well. Last year in a two month span we had three reserves, a third, and a fourth and missed the Grand at Madison by .0006 of a point. So for us anyway it has helped and we had a wonderful time meeting these great people that teach the class and share their knowledge with us. Highly recommended!

cmcadams
12-13-2008, 04:27 PM
True, people have won before classes, and without classes.

But look at it this way... If a class gives you a 3-4 comp boost in learning things competition oriented, and it costs you $300, that's saving at least $1200 in learning at comps along the way, maybe more, by saying you'd spend $500 for 3 comps to learn as much.

Heck, it costs less than a comp, and it's fun anyway. If you can afford the class, have fun and take it.

Podge
12-13-2008, 05:08 PM
We've taken classes in order from:

1. Texas Rib Rangers
2. Myron Mixon
3. Fast Eddie and Paul Shatte
4. Mike & Debbie Davis
5. Chris Lilly
6. Bart Clarke & Donny Teel
5. Rod Gray and Johnny Trigg

I can honestly tell you that we've taken something away from every class we've taken and have put little bits of it from each class into practice with our own style of Barbecue. Has it made us grand champion anywhere yet? No but we've improved from the bottom of the second half of the contests to a level of consistency that usually puts us in the top 10 consistently and gives us a shot at doing well. Last year in a two month span we had three reserves, a third, and a fourth and missed the Grand at Madison by .0006 of a point. So for us anyway it has helped and we had a wonderful time meeting these great people that teach the class and share their knowledge with us. Highly recommended!

I'd say 2009 is your year !

LoneStarTom
12-13-2008, 06:39 PM
My wife and I took a class from Paul Kirk. Good class and a lot of fun. Where we really improved our skills was hanging out with a client and very seroius competitor. He posts on several forums as Gordo, a frequent GC, he's been very sharing of bbqing technique. Emulate those that are successful, find folks that are will to share their skills and talents.

Ford
12-14-2008, 07:31 AM
As Podge said people win without classes. Also win with classes. I really beleive it's up to you what you get out of the classes. If you can't cook decent BBQ now then most of the classes mentioned here won't help you that much but if you can compete and get some calls now then these classes will improve your results. How much depends on how you can translate what is taught into what you do. These classes won't be something you follow step by step but rather like Dallas says it's some things you take away from each class and add to your own style.

My results improved after taking classes by DR BBQ, Mike and Debbie Davis and Rod and Johnny in one year. In 2003 I took classes by Paul Kirk and USA Smoke and while I learned a lot I didn't know enough about competition to really apply what I learned then

Dale P
12-14-2008, 10:30 AM
Good post Ford. Makes sense to me.

Podge
12-14-2008, 11:38 AM
I guess i should add too, that this question, and similar questions regarding cooking classes, seem to show up at least once a month. Do a search on it here, and you'll find several discussions on this topic.

Podge
12-14-2008, 11:39 AM
Good post Ford. Makes sense to me.

Dale, missed you yesterday.. hooters has $1 drafts all day long. in three hours we had a good bill !

Dale P
12-14-2008, 01:27 PM
Dale, missed you yesterday.. hooters has $1 drafts all day long. in three hours we had a good bill !


We wound up working all day and finished a job. I wish i would have been there.

Plowboy
12-14-2008, 03:23 PM
This forum is a never ending class in itself. I wish we had this place back in 2001 when we started. I've learned more here over time than any one class.

The most significant thing that we learned that changed our level of competition came from a class. You can track our shift into the next gear back to the first Lotta Bull class in Lynchburg, March 2007. What we learned is that you gotta have a plan and process that is repeatable each time. You have to minimize what you bring to what you need. Seems so simple, because it is, but we saw the step by step regiment of Mike and Debbie. It hit home in a big way that we didn't operate as a well oiled machine but rather like two monkeys humping a football.

Classes offer more than just cooking techniques.

U2CANQUE
12-14-2008, 03:46 PM
but rather like two monkeys humping a football.


Dare I ask how you would know what this one looks like......:biggrin:
Scary thing is, I think I actually had a visual, and didnt say it was a good one.....:icon_blush:

G$
12-14-2008, 04:18 PM
The thing the class would be good for is to maybe shorten your learning curve some.

I hear this a lot, and in fact agree with it. But ...

I think there are examples of teams that competed for many years with middle of the road results. After taking a class, the result changed over night. This does not seem to support the learnign curve theory.

Plowboy
12-14-2008, 04:25 PM
I hear this a lot, and in fact agree with it. But ...

I think there are examples of teams that competed for many years with middle of the road results. After taking a class, the result changed over night. This does not seem to support the learnign curve theory.

Huh? Seems like that supports the theory completely.

bam
12-14-2008, 05:50 PM
If you are considering classes take them could learn just what need to do better.

G$
12-14-2008, 09:20 PM
Huh? Seems like that supports the theory completely.

Well, not in my mind. Let me explain.

In other words, these teams likely would have done the same thing for many more years, with mediocre results. They were not inexperienced, and were well beyond the curve. The class was more than 'shortening the curve'. It had game changing or eye opening moments that would not have come with just "more time".

That clear it up for you?

G$
12-14-2008, 09:25 PM
...Taking the (QN4U) class for the third time last weekend, we can honestly say we STILL learned new things....

This is pretty remarkable. A team that had an incredible year, culminating at the Jack, gets enough value out of taking a class 3 times. That speaks volumes.

Vince RnQ
12-14-2008, 11:52 PM
This is pretty remarkable. A team that had an incredible year, culminating at the Jack, gets enough value out of taking a class 3 times. That speaks volumes.


We strongly believe that if you ever reach the point where you've closed your mind to learning you're shooting yourself in the foot. Sometimes it only takes one little thing to make a huge difference in the end result and there just isn't any way that a person can learn and/or retain everything that happens at a class so repeating the same class just made sense to us.

Like DivaHerself said, we both got things out of the class the third time around that we missed the first and second times making it well worth the money spent to attend.

Buster Dog BBQ
12-16-2008, 05:31 PM
I wish there would be a class in Iowa.

The_Kapn
12-16-2008, 08:20 PM
I really feel that there is a lot of unnecessary emotion running around here.
Seems like it got "off track" a while ago. :oops:
Not a productive way to do things, IMHO.

Here is what I KNOW from first hand experience.

#1--Chad (my former partner) took the class from Myron a couple of years ago.
I was personally there at the end and reviewed his notes and the BBQ they produced.
I have since had a lot of interaction with Myron and Dobie and have even had the pleasure (yeah, sure :oops:) of "washing dishes" for him.
There is no "disconnect" between what Chad was taught and what I have seen in person.
Myron is very open and honest with those who are the same with him.
He teaches what he cooks.
We took a lot of what he presented and adapted it to our cooking.
Great improvement, but still not scoring as well as we wanted. Our consistancy went up.
We just could not make it all "work" for us.

#2--I had the honor of cooking with DRBBQ. I found him totally open and forthcoming to any question I asked. In fact, when I was quiet (most of the time), he offered guidance and information to help me progress.
Call it "guidance" or an "a** chewing", but it really worked and helped me.
A month later, it really helped us at Key Largo with our Brisket and has ever since.
Since then, he has answered any question I asked--fully.

#3--I have cooked with Kevin (HomeBBQ) on three occasions. I have been to one of his classes (most of it anyway). I saw no "disconnect" between what he does and what he teaches. Totally open with those that are the same to him.
Once again, "bits and pieces" of his technique have helped a lot and he is always available and open if I have a question.

#4--I have met Rod (Pellet Envy) and Fast Eddy on several occasions.
I know for a fact that Rod will "share" with you and tell you point blank when you are off base. That is a compliment, Rod.
I feel that Fast Eddy is the same, but have not tried him yet.
But, I will shortly since I am cooking on FEC now. :-D

#5--When Chad and I were first getting started in '04, Jim Minion passed along several tips which I use to this day. He did not have to do that. We just asked and he answered.

What I am trying to say has been stated above,

The guys at the top of the heap have no fear of the rest of us and do not feel the need to hold back.
You can not duplicate what they do since BBQ is still an "ART", and not a "SCIENCE".

Now, there may be some "instructors" out there that short the students.
I do not know.
But I really feel that they are in the minority and do not represent the majority!

Those few are no reason to tarnish the good being done by the professional cooks who teach or make a living at BBQ.

JMHO

TIM

JD McGee
12-16-2008, 09:37 PM
Ok...here is my question. Do you think that a cooking class is a necessity to win at comps, or can just plain ol' trial and error get it done? I am debating about a class, but there are none close to me. Thoughts? :?:

Let's get this thing back on the right track shall we...

To answer your "original" question sir...NO...I do not think a class is necessary to win at comps...but it wouldn't hurt if you're a rookie (like me) to get the basics down before flyin' solo! :-P

YankeeBBQ
12-17-2008, 07:28 AM
Ok...here is my question. Do you think that a cooking class is a necessity to win at comps, or can just plain ol' trial and error get it done? I am debating about a class, but there are none close to me. Thoughts? :?:

No I don't think it's necessary but it will shorten the learning curve quite a bit. I think it's important for people to take a class that suits their level of expertise. If your a beginner you should take a beginners class if you've been at this a while then you should take a more advanced class. I think that's the way to get the most out of whatever class you take.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
12-17-2008, 08:13 AM
for the record, I want to take a class and have a great one in mind, and have seen the results.I never said anything negitive about any ones class.I just feel that if you can help some one you should, thats what being part of this community is all about (I think). As far as plugging ones products, I may have been off base (a little).

thanks for all of the support via p.m.'s I have recieved!

Sal
I just love BBQ and the friends I have made here and out there!

Sidw
12-17-2008, 08:53 AM
Ok...here is my question. Do you think that a cooking class is a necessity to win at comps, or can just plain ol' trial and error get it done? I am debating about a class, but there are none close to me. Thoughts? :?:


We have taken 2 classes – One from Music City Pig Pals and one Rod & Johnny. We drove about 14 hours round trip to take each class. We had 2 hotel nights for each class, meals, gas and vacation time for Friday. Plus the cost of the class – You can do the math. From our perspective it was worth every penny we spent - it made an immense difference it what we do & how we are scoring now. We combined the knowledge & experience we had with the many things we learned from both classes in every comp we go to. I can’t speak for other classes, but these guys are the real thing. They truly do share their knowledge and work hard to help you improve.

As for as the classes being “money makers” - man I hope they are. But again, do the math. They also have travel, hotel & food expenses, products & supplies; hours of travel, prep time and teaching the class. I bet the money is not as big as you might imagine. They have knowledge (product) and they should be compensated for it. Like every product and service - If they were not delivering value people would not be paying them to put on the classes

Are classes necessary to win at comps, not for everyone- but they sure helped us.

Jorge
12-17-2008, 09:17 AM
This thread has been scrubbed. At one point three of us were taking time out of our day to deal with it. You can either keep it on topic, or play solitaire on your computer. If there is any more personal sniping there will not be a PM explaining why your posts aren't showing up. It will be because all of the moderators are too busy to review and release your post, for the next day or two.

Merry Christmas:mrgreen:

Smoky River BBQ
12-17-2008, 10:18 AM
A lot of information here! :grin: Through it all, however, I do believe I am going to take a class. Right now my scores are run of the mill, and it seems like a class could possibly improve it to a few top ten scores. I appreciate EVERYONE'S help, advice and opinions on this. Just watch out at next years comps, cause I'm gonna be a threat!! haha

Sledneck
12-17-2008, 10:53 AM
Depend on the class and what you get out of it. I took the ISS class last June. Up until that point I was doing OK but not really walking and losing interest fast in comp cooking. Besides being exposed to such great knowledge the class itself was one of the best times I have had cooking. Fast forward to my first comp on my own August in New Holland PA. I tanked. Like many great cooks have said before, they could give their recipes to 20 different guys at the same comp and result would be completely different for all of them. I went about it the wrong way. I tried to plug the rubs and sauces that they used in to what I always did and it backfired. My next contest was a month away and I had plenty of time to think about. I sat down and wrote out a plan and a time line incorporating what I have always done with what I had learned in the class as far as teamwork, responsibilities , delegating etc. I am gonna guess that it either worked or was pure luck because that contest I was GC and it was a contest that ISS was cooking at as well so I can be sure they held nothing back.
Was it worth every penny? Absolutely. Maybe I would of won eventually but it would of cost me plenty of time, trial & error and at $600-1000 per contest you do the math. Would I take the same class again? Absolutely only after this post I would like a discount:biggrin: My only disappointment with the class was that Steve did not teach us how he did the short ribs from the Jack:twisted::biggrin:

BBQchef33
12-17-2008, 12:30 PM
Oh.. is that when your were going to PA for 'a job'? (Or was it MD?)

Sledneck
12-17-2008, 12:36 PM
Oh.. is that when your were going to PA for 'a job'? (Or was it MD?) You are like a wife sometimes:tongue:

Alexa RnQ
12-17-2008, 12:38 PM
And don't think that kind of love doesn't shine through in the pictures.

SoEzzy
12-17-2008, 02:08 PM
Ok...here is my question. Do you think that a cooking class is a necessity to win at comps, or can just plain ol' trial and error get it done? I am debating about a class, but there are none close to me. Thoughts? :?:


Is it a necessity...No!

Can plain ol' trail and error get it done...Absolutely!

But as others have said if you're ready to learn, and have a class near by that you would like to take, the cost in time and money could short cut your learning process and assist in getting calls and taking walks earlier than just ol' trial and error.

I learn every time I cook, I learn whenever I'm around others who are cooking, I learn when judging, I learn from competitors at competitions, I learn from lots of forums, and from cook books and other internet sites.

Some of that learning may pay off in competition, some may pay off at other times, but the day I don't learn something, is the day I start to die!

Take what chances and times to learn that you can, if that means a class, then take the class, if it means finding and working with a mentor, then do that too, never refuse the opportunity to gain some additional knowledge!

JM2C!

Jacked UP BBQ
12-17-2008, 02:40 PM
I heard it from a friend who
heard it from a friend who
heard it from another.... that the ISS class is the best. I am not telling you who told me, but you can see who I heard it from so it's not reliable, so I am not sure if it is really any good. I should have ground this through the rumor mill.

Smoky River BBQ
12-17-2008, 03:54 PM
Is it a necessity...No!

Can plain ol' trail and error get it done...Absolutely!

But as others have said if you're ready to learn, and have a class near by that you would like to take, the cost in time and money could short cut your learning process and assist in getting calls and taking walks earlier than just ol' trial and error.

I learn every time I cook, I learn whenever I'm around others who are cooking, I learn when judging, I learn from competitors at competitions, I learn from lots of forums, and from cook books and other internet sites.

Some of that learning may pay off in competition, some may pay off at other times, but the day I don't learn something, is the day I start to die!

Take what chances and times to learn that you can, if that means a class, then take the class, if it means finding and working with a mentor, then do that too, never refuse the opportunity to gain some additional knowledge!

JM2C!


I think this sums it up very nicely. Thank you :-D

BBQchef33
12-17-2008, 05:38 PM
I heard it from a friend who
heard it from a friend who
heard it from another.... that the ISS class is the best. I am not telling you who told me, but you can see who I heard it from so it's not reliable, so I am not sure if it is really any good. I should have ground this through the rumor mill.


and the purpose of this post is ???

YankeeBBQ
12-17-2008, 06:23 PM
and the purpose of this post is ???

I'm Shocked :eek:

Jacked UP BBQ
12-17-2008, 06:38 PM
and the purpose of this post is ???


To let the entire thread know that I heard from a reliable source that ISS cooking class is the best but according to all the instructors that my source is not very reliable so his opinion on this is worthless. That's my only point.

Jacked UP BBQ
12-17-2008, 06:39 PM
I'm Shocked :eek:

So am I old 30%er