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View Full Version : What does it take to start a team?


Stiltz6ft9in
04-09-2009, 03:48 PM
I'm just wondering, what does it take to start a team? Supplies, money, # of competitions required, time involved, number of people on a team? I'm thinking I want to get into competition BBQ but I have no clue where to start. Do you start out by helping other teams? Is there some guidelines that need to be followed?

Ron_L
04-09-2009, 03:57 PM
All you need is something to cook on, a way to get it to the site, and enough money to cover the entry fee and the meat (and fuel, beer, etc.) :-D

Seriously, I have seen one person teams up to teams with more people than I could count. Personally I think two people os the minimum, but there are a lot of folks who cook alone. You just have to be good at multitasking.

As far as equipment, you need to be able to cook at least one butt, one brisket, two or three slabs of ribs and 9 or more chicken thighs. hey are not all cooking at the same time, but you may have to juggle a bit to get everything done on time. Lots of teams cook with a couple of WSMs and do well. To me three WSMs is a good setup since you will probably want to cook a couple of butts and briskets and more ribs and chicken pieces to have more choice for turn in.

As far as money, there is an older thread on competition costs. If you factor in meat, rubs, sauces, fuel, entry fees, travel costs, etc., I think an average of $500 per competition, MOL, is a good starting point.

How to get started? i would suffest visiting a Brethren team at a comp local to you first, just to see if you are really interested. Then volunteer to help a team out so you can get a feel for the stuff that happens when the crowds aren't around (tending the pit in the middle of the night, etc.). I would also suggest becoming a CBJ and judging a few comps to get an idea of the turn ins and the quality of the food. Finally, jump on in! You can also look for backyard events near you (rib cookoffs, etc.) and try oneof those.

musicmanryann
04-09-2009, 03:58 PM
See the sticky threads aboove this one that are titled "General guidelines to the Competition Forum", and "KCQuers roadmap to the competition, (aka our FAQs)"

After reading through those go through the threads and archives, a TON of information in there. After that ask any more questions you may have and people here will be more than willing to help out. Just watch out though, because once you gete bitten by the bug, your life will forever change! ;-)

Most comps are between $100 to $200 to enter for the grand championship, or $25 to 450 per meat entry. You supply the meat, spices, sauce, cooker etc and those costs obviously vary considerably.

Jorge
04-09-2009, 03:59 PM
I'm just wondering, what does it take to start a team? Supplies, money, # of competitions required, time involved, number of people on a team? I'm thinking I want to get into competition BBQ but I have no clue where to start. Do you start out by helping other teams? Is there some guidelines that need to be followed?

Pay your $ and take your chances. This forum should have enough info to get you started if you do your research. After you've done that feel free to ask questions.

There are more than a few folks here that have won that are willing to help you. They probably won't come cook for you, but they'll give you some advice. Just remember that it's worth what you pay for it:wink:

chad
04-09-2009, 04:18 PM
Hehehe! Grasshopper, you are feeling the power of the "dark side".:twisted: :shock: :mrgreen:

Assisting another team is a good way to see what a cook off weekend entails.

If you review the archives in the Competition forum you'll find many discussions of "stuff" for the first outing.

Plowboy
04-09-2009, 04:21 PM
- Disposable income
- Strong need for affirmation from others
- Detachment from common sense
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

NelsonC
04-09-2009, 04:26 PM
- Disposable income
- Strong need for affirmation from others
- Detachment from common sense
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

EXACTLY!!!! :biggrin:

Divemaster
04-09-2009, 04:50 PM
- Disposable income
- Strong need for affirmation from others
- Detachment from common sense
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
I couldn't agree more! LOL

I think the best way to start is to pit b**ch with another team for a couple of comps and talk to the captain about how he started.

Check out the mentoring forum above and maybe start a new thread if you don't see some thing in your area.

TN_BBQ
04-09-2009, 04:53 PM
It's not too difficult to compete. It's rather difficult to be competitive.

Nobody says you have to enter all the categories. Our first competition, we only did pork butt & ribs.

It's my experience that most teams are simply a group of buddies that pooled their resources and had a good time.

nancee
04-09-2009, 04:59 PM
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Skidder
04-09-2009, 05:06 PM
If it was me I would try to find a one day grilling contest to get your feet wet or even just go to a comp and visit with the teams and ask questions like I did. I was a one man team at my 1st grilling contest and got a 2nd place trophy and three weeks later was lucky enough to nab a 1st with the help of my daughter. It's definetly easier with help. Good luck but do it, it's a ton of fun.

carlharper
04-09-2009, 05:07 PM
You should find this blog to be an invaluable resource, informative and entertaining. Be sure to start "in the beginning"

http://thenewguys.blogspot.com/

acorette
04-09-2009, 05:07 PM
More money than brains.

HBMTN
04-09-2009, 05:19 PM
The ability to cook the meats required in the competition and the means to transport all nesessary equipment to and from a competition. The food safety items like cleaners, coolers, thermometers and such to have safe food The man or woman power you deem nesessary to complete all of the above and about $1000.00 per competition you plan to enter. Your list will grow from there with all the cool play toys and gadgets. You can search for competition checklists and get an idea what everyone takes with them.

bbqbull
04-09-2009, 05:20 PM
- Disposable income
- Strong need for affirmation from others
- Detachment from common sense
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Oh hell yes on the above from Plowboy............me and girlfriend at the time visited a little contest, bought a mobile pit and we entered a KCBS contest.

Scared to death and went up against some big guns.
Took way too much equipment but we took 3rd in chicken on our first try.

Done a few more contests and got our lunch handed to us ever since.

Might I suggest you go to the Competetion section, top of page and go to the Mentoring section, offer your services and hopefully you can hook up with a veteran team who will take you under their wings and you will get a dose of a fullblown sanctioned comp.

Ford
04-09-2009, 07:00 PM
I'll be in Eagle MI on April 24-25. Take Friday off and drive over and cook with me. You won't learn much from me but you can watch others while pretending to help me.

Serious offer. PM me if interested. I'll also be doing Auburn Hills MI June 26 - 27 but I'll be a lot more serious there and have a couple of helpers signed up so it will be a group thing.

I Agree with Todd. Understand Bull's story. I've mentored one or two people and most went off to form their own teams. Wanted to get away from the bossy control freak. And be careful. It's starts as let's cook a contest and see what happens and ends up touring the country cooking wherever you can.

jbrink01
04-09-2009, 08:00 PM
True Story;
5 years ago, I cooked a pork butt on my Brinkman Cimmaron for a buddy. I now have a wall with a bunch of ribbons, couple of big trophys, roughly $50,000 in BBQ related stuff including 2 trailers and all kinds of small items. Not to mention a $30,000 truck to pull the trailer and a $35,000 shop addition. Oh yea, a catering license, business license, LLC and a big insurance bill every spring......did someone say money.....................come on in, the water's fine!!

jbrink01
04-09-2009, 08:21 PM
BTW - The tenor of my post is not to say "Look at all my stuff", but to illustrate what can happen to a guy who starts with a contest and works constantly to get bigger and better. BBQ has been very good to us. We saved our money from catering jobs which came more readily after a few contest successes.

We do contests wth 2 or 4 people. 2 is plenty.

bbqbull
04-09-2009, 08:36 PM
I forgot to mention that our team will be mentoring a new fellow but your welcome to come and hang with us and Ford if you wish.

Glad you changed your mind Ford and going to make the fun cook.

Spydermike72
04-09-2009, 09:00 PM
Eagle would be a great place to see if what you need to get started. It is very relaxed but it is a simulated event so the teams will have all of their gear there and setup like an actual comp.

I cant think of a better person than Ford to show you the ropes (I am being serious here). You will learn lots and if you play your cards right you will eat like a king at Saturday Breakfast!!!

I know it is a bit of a drive but it is worth it and there are Hotels nearby if you dont like sleeping in your truck!!

KC_Bobby
04-09-2009, 09:04 PM
- Disposable income
- Strong need for affirmation from others
- Detachment from common sense
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Funny, last weekend Don (my brother/teammate) asked me if civilians (non-bbqers) thought of us (meaning all competition cookers) in the same way the general public thinks about Trekies. I wasn't sure what to say and I'm still wondering about it.

I have to admit, over the past 2 years I probably talk about BBQ everyday. Do we have a thread on this site that we can openly discuss our possible BBQ discussion need?

Coz
04-09-2009, 09:08 PM
Maybe I will have to have a practice here in the yard on the 24th and 25th.I would have to phone my entries to Eagle....I have spent a comp with Ford and its well worth the price of admission.Still tryin to figure what to bring to Fort so I dont have to spend 5 hours driving around looking for those damn Krispy Kremes

Plowboy
04-09-2009, 09:09 PM
Funny, last weekend Don (my brother/teammate) asked me if civilians (non-bbqers) thought of us (meaning all competition cookers) in the same way the general public thinks about Trekies. I didn't have an answer and I'm still wondering.

I have to admit, over the past 2 years I probably talk about BBQ everyday. Do we have a thread on this site that we can openly discuss our possible BBQ discussion need?

You want a thread on a BBQ forum to talk about the need to talk about BBQ? :confused: Huh?

Coz
04-09-2009, 09:27 PM
I guess its not been that long since we started the addiction.Last year we started competing.It started the year before when a friend says there is a bqq comp about 20 miles away we should go check it out.Now at the time we were both cooking a few butts and thought we were good at it.So off we go.Looked around ,met some great people.We say well lets try it.So we went to 2 more and were fortunate enough to spend turn day with a team and got to see whatits about first hand.So we started practicing and collecting gear(seems like a miilion$ ago)Compared to some of the other teams there we were the beverly hillbillies for sure.2 WSMs and a homemade cooker.We ended up doing 3 regular contests last year and had somewhat respectable results.I think the biggest thing is you have to decide if you want to do it solo and there are some folks who do that damn well.Or you have to find some one that you enjoy the time spent with and who is willing to do what it takes to compete.There are teams that compete and win with just UDSs for cookers.If you have some basic skills to make those you shouldnt have a lack of cooking space.Our team consists of my wife and the friend I mentioned,and myself.The wife and I have done it on our own when Jack couldnt make it.If you could spend one comp with a team you would have a much better understanding then all of us exsplaining.It can be done a lot cheaper then most do it by cooking minimal amounts of meat and not entertaining a bunch of your friends (Takes money to buy whiskey).Try it ....worse thing happens is you end up in a 7 step program...Hi My name Is Coz and I have a problem...

Ron_L
04-09-2009, 10:35 PM
Oh yeah... I forgot... You also have to enjoy sleeping in a lawn chair or in a truck :-D

Also, you should be prepared to meet a bunch of great people and make new friends! Even though we are all competing for the same prizes, a lot of us are friends and look forward to seeing each other at the competitions.

Podge
04-10-2009, 03:26 PM
all you need is yourself. You don't need a "team"..

Scottie
04-10-2009, 03:43 PM
I agree Podge.... I've won them going solo or with just my girls... Too many people get in the way is my feelings...

Bentley
04-10-2009, 07:34 PM
A pit and a desire to cook in a competition.

Greg60525
04-10-2009, 09:49 PM
Oh yeah... I forgot... You also have to enjoy sleeping in a lawn chair or in a truck

all you need is yourself. You don't need a "team"..


After much internet research and talking to the people at Uncle Bub's I entered my first 2 comps last year. I basically went in cold turkey! My wife "accompanied" me on my first one.............basically, I did most of the work, but it was nice to have her there anyway. Some of you guys remember how cold it was in Westmont last May............I caught cat naps in my reclining lawn chair right next to the firebox with covers pulled over my head. My wife found shelter in the heated Uncle Bub's tent.

I got creamed in my first comp, but I learned a lot and had a great time. I did much better the second time around.

So, do you need a team...........I think you can do it by yourself, but it's nice to have someone to help out, if not to just chat with. My brother is helping out now. The first year cost can be a little on the steep side if you don't have much. I had to get a tent, load up on some foil, utensils, etc.. I made a spreadsheet of all of the stuff you need to bring.........most of the stuff I had, but the list is staggering. You must be organized.

I found that taking a notebook to keep track of the things that have to happen for each turn-in was very helpful. Basically, schedule all of the details that must happen. I start at the turn-in time and write down the process in reverse with times for each.

Go for it and have fun!

CajunSmoker
04-10-2009, 10:09 PM
- Disposable income
- Strong need for affirmation from others
- Detachment from common sense
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


That pretty much sums it up bro:-D

smoke showin'
04-11-2009, 03:25 PM
less is more on people and equiptment unless you are there just to have fun ,but something strange happens after you get your name called once !!!!!

Podge
04-11-2009, 05:53 PM
I agree Podge.... I've won them going solo or with just my girls... Too many people get in the way is my feelings...

That is very ture.. If a feller was to look at all the "teams" that always do well, you rarely see more than 2 people total in that team..

txschutte
04-11-2009, 07:05 PM
Wyatt simply asked some fellow Brothers. They are going to help him out in 4 weeks with his first comp. Maybe fork out some cash for entry, then invite some members to help out and maybe teach you a thing or two.