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Cigarbque
03-18-2009, 07:49 PM
A few questions for you seasoned pros. I would like to try getting into some local comps with my kids as team members. I do not have the extra cash for a fancy trailer or a tow behind offset. I do have a medium BGE and a UDS and I can build another UDS or two no problem. I have a pickup to haul everything.

Is it worth doing this without a more professional cooker set up? I am happy with my results and I'm looking to have fun and learn along the way. I was thinking about the Hudson Valley Ribfest as is not far and it gives me plenty of time to practice and get stuff together.

I have seen BBQ comp shows where there are BGE's and or drum smokers involved but I'm not sure how well it works out compaired to Lang, Backwoods, FEC100's, Spicewine etc. Even on the cheap it is still a significant investment but it does sound like tons of hard work and fun at the same time.

Any input would be helpfull. Thanks.

Brian

QueTPiesBBQ
03-18-2009, 07:55 PM
while having a trailer makes it nice to get in out of the cold, I have seen several teams compete out of the back of a pickup truck and do really well. I personally think that it isn't the cooker, but the cook. If you like bbq you can learn a lot by doing a competition.

YankeeBBQ
03-18-2009, 07:57 PM
Go for it man. We started with a little Brinkman offset and won our first contest using it. I believe a team won the Royal cooking on UDS's a couple of years ago.

getyourrubonbbq
03-18-2009, 08:02 PM
I agree. You don't need to have the top of the line stuff to produce great BBQ. It's nice to have, but as long as the judges like your product they don't care if it was done in a trailer or not. Most of them will probably never know.

watg?
03-18-2009, 08:19 PM
What you have is a great place to start, give it a whirl, if you like it and decide to stay in, you may decide to upgrade, but then again, you might not. Most of all, I think it would be a great way to spend some time with the kids! Good luck.

Alexa RnQ
03-18-2009, 08:36 PM
We've always done it with backyard equipment -- WSMs. We're old and like comfort, so we travel heavy on shade and tables -- but we're still paring down yet. If this year is anything like last, far and away our biggest expense will be gas.

Big George's BBQ
03-18-2009, 08:40 PM
You have more than enough to start. I did my first few with a chargriller and had a great time. If you can try to go to a few competitions first and see what you think you need. Having a shelter is a good thing. You can get a list of what you need on the KCBS site. There are postings here that have lists of thinks to help to pack up for a Comp. Good luck and have fun

Mike - CSBBBQ
03-18-2009, 08:43 PM
Absolutely! Cooked from a pickup for years and have seen tons of winners hauling bullets in cars:smile:

Rub
03-18-2009, 08:51 PM
You'd be crazy not to give it a try.
Been there, done that :biggrin:

BTW, I enjoy a nice Opus X myself...

Cigarbque
03-18-2009, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks. Any advice on the popup tents? Are the basic ones at BJ/Costco ok or is that throwing money away? I think I'll give it a try. Again thanks.

Diva, I checked out your web site. You are not "old" but you guys look like you are having a great time together.

Bentley
03-18-2009, 08:52 PM
Try it, it should be an enjoyable experience. Eggs are top notch units, even though they use that kuncle-dragging charcol, and a UDS, say no more. Dont get caught up in the equipment, if you enjoy it and want to pursue it, you will get things you need over time, if you dont you arent out to much!

You will do well Pilgram!

http://moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/192236.1020.A.jpg

Alexa RnQ
03-18-2009, 08:56 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks. Any advice on the popup tents? Are the basic ones at BJ/Costco ok or is that throwing money away? I think I'll give it a try. Again thanks.

Diva, I checked out your web site. You are not "old" but you guys look like you are having a great time together.

I found out in HeSmellsLikeSmoke's thread that I'm old enough to be mama to a lot of you young farkers. :shock: :lol:

We're still using the Caravan 10x10 popups that we got at some warehouse store. The popups themselves are faring much better than the bags they came in!

And yes, it's been a blast -- which is why we're still at it this year. http://www.divaherself.com/funny/shiner.gif

smoke showin'
03-18-2009, 09:16 PM
it 's not what kind of grill you pull but the kind of groceries you pull off it !!! Besides if you have fun that's all that matters .

Just Smokin' Around
03-18-2009, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks. Any advice on the popup tents? Are the basic ones at BJ/Costco ok or is that throwing money away? I think I'll give it a try. Again thanks.

Costco carries the Caravan canopies for around $195, with four side walls. Not throwing your money away and can also be used at home for backyard events. You can get cheaper ones at Wal Mart, those won't hold up nearly as well in wind and rain - there you might be throwing money away.

Glad to see you decided to jump in and have fun. You have more than enough equipemnt. Like lots of folks here said, it's the product you produce and we've seen folks with CharGrills, UDS', WSM taking home lots of hardware and $$. There are a number of teams that use Eggs exclusively and do very well, consistently. The key is to have fun.

BlueHwyBBQ
03-18-2009, 09:34 PM
I think your cooking equipment is fine.

I'm in the same situation as you and my biggest concern this year is what to do if it is windy or raining. Where do you go to prep your turn-in boxes? If it is too windy you may have to take down the 10x10 canopy. Front seat of the truck or back seat of the van would be a little tight.

Butt-A-Bing!
03-18-2009, 10:36 PM
Go for it! Almost all of us started this way. Our 1st KCBS contest we hauled our 2 WSMs and a chargriller in my old Suburban and ened up 6th out of 40 somthin. Just go and have fun, there will undoubtedly be someone next to you to give advice and encouragement.

Good luck to you!:-D

Jeff_in_KC
03-18-2009, 10:50 PM
I think your cooking equipment is fine.

I'm in the same situation as you and my biggest concern this year is what to do if it is windy or raining. Where do you go to prep your turn-in boxes? If it is too windy you may have to take down the 10x10 canopy. Front seat of the truck or back seat of the van would be a little tight.

You got it and therein lies the beauty and challenge of BBQ... who can overcome the best to win! We've endured literally EVERYTHING at contests and still came away with awards. And yes, we've prepped boxes in all sorts of predicaments! You just NEVER quit for any reason! If you do, your new friends will make fun of you for the rest of the time you know them! That's kept us going on several occasions.

chibi
03-18-2009, 10:52 PM
My first contest I had a rental trailer,homemade offset and a bullet. borrowed a EZup. had 1 6 foot table...and the time of my life!!! made some great friends and got a call in brisket.
Do not compare your setup with your neighbors. They may have money but you may have quality!

Bigmista
03-19-2009, 12:23 AM
I've showed up at plenty contests with a UDS in the backseat of my Chrysler 300M. Got some funny looks until I walked. It's the cook, not the cooker.

douglaslizard
03-19-2009, 01:07 AM
i agree with everybody.ive done contests with all i have a bbq grillware grill chargriller sfb and ecb.ive won one first place in a local contest here ,and got 4th chicken at the best of best backyard here,all while sleeping in a sleeping bag in back of my brothers 88 chevy pickup

trohrs123
03-19-2009, 05:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback folks. Any advice on the popup tents? Are the basic ones at BJ/Costco ok or is that throwing money away? I think I'll give it a try. Again thanks.

Diva, I checked out your web site. You are not "old" but you guys look like you are having a great time together.


Hi
Regarding the pop up tents: some of the contests this year are requiring fire retardant certificates. EZ-UP tents have ti right on their web site. Now, Quest pop ups from Dick's Sproting goods does not even have a web site or 1- 800 number on their box, so I will not be able to use that one at htose comps that require the certificate. just food for thought before you lay out you rhard earned money for a tent for a compp.

My brother started on home depot offset char grillers and took reserve grand champ, 1st palce pork twice, 1st place ribs...so dont worry about expensive equip, work on your technique and recipes
good luck
Tim

goodsmokebbq
03-19-2009, 06:56 AM
Go for it! It really is the cook not the cooker. The best have been beat by all sorts of cookers.

BJs has the EZups for just under $200. These hold up well in real bad weather as long as you stake down / strap down (water bucket). Don't get the cheap knock offs from walmart. The extra hundred will be worth it.

FatBoyz
03-19-2009, 07:32 AM
ok look at porcrastanators thay use all back yard stuff if you will and thay do very well... go for it your kids will love it . many people use tents ... hell QU smoking crew does not even have a tent... cots and an ez up... YOU CAN DO IT

timzcardz
03-19-2009, 07:39 AM
A few questions for you seasoned pros. I would like to try getting into some local comps with my kids as team members. I do not have the extra cash for a fancy trailer or a tow behind offset. I do have a medium BGE and a UDS and I can build another UDS or two no problem. I have a pickup to haul everything.

Is it worth doing this without a more professional cooker set up? I am happy with my results and I'm looking to have fun and learn along the way. I was thinking about the Hudson Valley Ribfest as is not far and it gives me plenty of time to practice and get stuff together.

I have seen BBQ comp shows where there are BGE's and or drum smokers involved but I'm not sure how well it works out compaired to Lang, Backwoods, FEC100's, Spicewine etc. Even on the cheap it is still a significant investment but it does sound like tons of hard work and fun at the same time.

Any input would be helpfull. Thanks.

Brian


Is it worth doing this with your kids?

That sir is the ultimate no brainer!

You just may have the best time that you have ever had with your kids. I know that I did. Just remember that it is about having fun, and then enjoy yourselves.

FYI, here is my first comp, done with my son, my brother, and his son five months ago.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53056

RubMeTender
03-19-2009, 07:51 AM
I agree with timzcardz. It's all about having fun. We started competitions with a WWII Bean Stove, and "graduated" to a Lang. Even if the cash never comes, the camaraderie between teams and family bonding from these contests make it all worth while. Plus how can you ever go wrong with BBQ?

Jacked UP BBQ
03-19-2009, 08:04 AM
Remember it is the indian not the arrow. I did very well in comps with a little offset from lowes and a small grill I paid 30 bucks for. Go for it. I am a local NJ guy, if you have any questions, send me a message.

Divemaster
03-19-2009, 08:15 AM
What you have is fine... Go for it!

It's the fun you'll have with your kids and the other competitors that you'll remember!!!

Big Ugly's BBQ
03-19-2009, 08:18 AM
Can't really expand on what has been provided already, go for it and enjoy the experience. My kids absolutely love going to comps, they get a sense of responsibility, as well as quality time with Dad. Equipment is a personal thing, if you can cook on garbage can, and you are comfortable with it, then use it, doesn't matter. Lots of folks suffer from pit envy, but in the end, use what you know between your ears and not what is flashy or trendy.

Give the kids specific jobs to do, not just dishes or trash. As we prepare and load, my son's are responsible for making sure we have enough lump and wood, the coolers are clean and ready for ice, meat, etc., and that everyone has their clothes bag ready to go. My daughter maintains our inventory lists for rubs, marinades, brines, sauces and most importantly, what we are eating out there. She is our turn-in person, so she times herself several different times walking back and forth to the turn-in tent, to make sure she has a good idea of how long it will take. Including them only makes the experience that much better. Be sure to take a camera and take pictures of them doing things, its becomes something you will talk about for years, not to mention it gets real addicting.

Good luck!

ihbobry
03-19-2009, 08:31 AM
A few questions for you seasoned pros. I would like to try getting into some local comps with my kids as team members. I do not have the extra cash for a fancy trailer or a tow behind offset. I do have a medium BGE and a UDS and I can build another UDS or two no problem. I have a pickup to haul everything.

Is it worth doing this without a more professional cooker set up? I am happy with my results and I'm looking to have fun and learn along the way. I was thinking about the Hudson Valley Ribfest as is not far and it gives me plenty of time to practice and get stuff together.

I have seen BBQ comp shows where there are BGE's and or drum smokers involved but I'm not sure how well it works out compaired to Lang, Backwoods, FEC100's, Spicewine etc. Even on the cheap it is still a significant investment but it does sound like tons of hard work and fun at the same time.

Any input would be helpfull. Thanks.

Brian

We are 2 families with kids and we do Okay with just 3 wsm and 2 kettles. (It can be done with 2 & 1 ) No big trailer (Gary's family uses his utility trailer with a wagon or pickup, my family loads up one or both of our VW wagons as we have everything spread between us.) For us it's about the fun, being with friends, experiancing the experiance, and then the competition and such.

Our kids enjoy themselves and are involved, made some BBQ friends of their own or will hang out together if none are around, we're lucky to have good kids that go with the flow.

Ted Lorsen has done very well starting small as well (I didn't read the thread but he very well would have the same to say) he encouraged us to start the same way and have fun first.

Hudson Valley is a good, calm, quiet event that is very kid friendly as far as these things go. No event is like sitting @ home though. And no event can be judged very much by just visiting it, you have to cook one to understand that.

Skidder
03-19-2009, 10:04 AM
I did my first comp. two weeks ago outta my truck with a Weber 22.5" OTG, a WSM and a Brinkmann Grill King and was lucky to get a call for 2nd place sausage. Here's a pic with my little Dakota in the background. So yes it can be done.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q64/Skidder1/Picture713.jpg

Jorge
03-19-2009, 10:33 AM
Go for it man. We started with a little Brinkman offset and won our first contest using it. I believe a team won the Royal cooking on UDS's a couple of years ago.

Bubba & Jeff, two years ago in the Open. Jeff hauls his cans in a trailer, and has a very efficient setup. Nothing fancy, but he can plain cook. He can cook, because he cooks a lot and has put in the work. No doubt he'd do just as well hauling everything he needed in the bed of his truck, and cooking under an EZ-Up.

Sledneck
03-19-2009, 10:41 AM
Thanks for the feedback folks. Any advice on the popup tents? Are the basic ones at BJ/Costco ok or is that throwing money away? I think I'll give it a try. Again thanks.

Diva, I checked out your web site. You are not "old" but you guys look like you are having a great time together. Costco online has this one for $199 with free shipping.COmes with 4 walls and roller bag http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11257490&whse=BC&topnav=&browse=&lang=en-US&s=1 It is made from powder coated steel. The one they sell in the stores is powder coated aluminum, Even though it is lighter to carry around it will bend much easier with some strong wind.


As far as cooking on a budget I cook under 2 canopies with 2-3 wsm's 2 tables and couple of coolers and whatever else I can fit in my van. No trailer needed or fancy rig needed

Diva
03-19-2009, 01:30 PM
A few questions for you seasoned pros. I would like to try getting into some local comps with my kids as team members. I do not have the extra cash for a fancy trailer or a tow behind offset. I do have a medium BGE and a UDS and I can build another UDS or two no problem. I have a pickup to haul everything.

Is it worth doing this without a more professional cooker set up? I am happy with my results and I'm looking to have fun and learn along the way. I was thinking about the Hudson Valley Ribfest as is not far and it gives me plenty of time to practice and get stuff together.

I have seen BBQ comp shows where there are BGE's and or drum smokers involved but I'm not sure how well it works out compaired to Lang, Backwoods, FEC100's, Spicewine etc. Even on the cheap it is still a significant investment but it does sound like tons of hard work and fun at the same time.

Any input would be helpfull. Thanks.

Brian

Have you ever seen TheSlabs.com???? :lol:

Run whatcha brung and don't worry about what everybody else is doing. Have fun with your kids, enjoy that time.

One thing you SHOULD have (and even the Slabs have a few) are EZ Up tents or some type of shelter system, very, very important.

lunchlady
03-19-2009, 06:30 PM
I agree with everyone else... at least one EZ-UP is VERY important... not the knock-off, the real one. They come with a fire retardent cert, and sides that zip together - with those zipped and waterbuckets to hold you down you should be fine in bad weather.
... excepting waterspouts.... ummm... nothing....

We competed, and did very well, for YEARS out of the back of our pick-up truck with an air mattress for us, a tent for the kids, and limited equipment ... you can do it!

... our kids have come with us since they were 5 and 7, we will be in Hudson Valley this year too (they are 10 and 12 now) and I have to say, it is a great way to spend time with them. We've always brought extra stuff for them to do... board games, cards, portable video games, and cash is always good so you can send them out to check out the vendors... whatever will get them out of the EZ-UP between 11:30 and 1:30... we all pretty much keep an eye out for everyone else's kids anyway. Bring your bathing suits - the pool and showers are awesome!

Make sure to stop by the lunchmeat camp and say hi!
If you have any questions, PM me... I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Cigarbque
03-19-2009, 09:49 PM
Thank you all so much for the advice. I'm sending in my check for the Hudson Valley Rib Fest tomorrow. Guess I'll have to build another UDS, buy a pop-up canopy with sides and a few odds and ends and just wing it. The medium BGE has a small cooking surface so I'll need at least one more UDS.

Someone in the thread brought up a good point about putting boxes together in bad weather and another comment was made about using a tent. Do some teams set up a tent on their 20' x 20' and work out of that as a protected space? That I could do and it would give the kids a place to sleep.

Again thanks so much.

Brian

Alexa RnQ
03-19-2009, 10:22 PM
Brian, when we set up we always have three sides zipped together on one canopy. Unless the weather is truly horrid, that's about all the shelter we've ever needed (we butt the other canopy up against the open side), but it's easy to hang a fourth wall quickly from its velcro tabs at the top if necessary. That setup (with the addition of sandbags on the canopy legs) has taken us through wind, rain and hail. I can't vouch for some of the more exotic weather those east of us get :shock:

The best thing you'll get out of an actual contest, though, is learning to cook in those conditions -- there's nothing else like it. All the practice in the world isn't the same as cooking at the show!

Dale P
03-20-2009, 05:03 AM
Stefan "Shigs" said that my team set up looks like a shanty village. True as that may be we always get by. Comfort is not overated though.
Remember its not the cook, its the camper.

rbinms33
03-20-2009, 09:28 AM
I say jump in with what you have and go for it. Do a dry run in your backyard to make sure you have everything you need, load it up and take off to a contest. If you have something local to you that might be a little smaller that you can go to and get your feet wet, that's even better. Our first comp was at our county fair with a drum, two WSM's and a Weber Kettle setup under an EZup and a Firstup from Wally World. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies when we showed up there. :lol: Almost every other team there had a large trailer mounted cooker and while we felt a little intimidated in the beginning, we met some really good people that we look forward to seeing again this year.

Our intention was to do it a couple of years to figure out if it we enjoyed it enough to stick with it and THEN go out and get a camper/toy hauler/trailer.

One word of advice, if you're going to do comps with just an EZup in the beginning, try to keep your vehicle onsite with you. Even if you have to pay a little extra for a larger space. That way if it gets too hot or too cold or the weather gets extremely wicked, you have a place to go.

musicmanryann
03-20-2009, 11:30 AM
Sounds to me like you're ready to go. KCBS rules require the three sinks thing (wash, rinse, sanitize), and a fire extinguisher, so you'll need that for a KCBS sanctioned event, but other than that, everything else is just to increase comfort.

rbinms33
03-20-2009, 12:10 PM
Sounds to me like you're ready to go. KCBS rules require the three sinks thing (wash, rinse, sanitize), and a fire extinguisher, so you'll need that for a KCBS sanctioned event, but other than that, everything else is just to increase comfort.


Go to Lowe's and buy yourself 3 of these and you're all set for a wash station. And you can use them to haul stuff to and from contests. I could've gone smaller but the larger tubs help when washing cutting boards, trays, etc.