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Astralman
04-13-2009, 08:31 AM
I'm new to bbq-in' and I would like to compete in the BBQ competitions. What should I do first, bbq first with my neighbors, perfect my techniques on my own grill or just dive in pits first?

I love bbq everything, chicken, pork ribs, fish but I would like to compete at the different places.

Love to hear from you.

Divemaster
04-13-2009, 08:39 AM
I'm new to bbq-in' and I would like to compete in the BBQ competitions. What should I do first, bbq first with my neighbors, perfect my techniques on my own grill or just dive in pits first?

Practice on your friends & neighbors first...

Get the timing down by doing a practice comp with the same turn in times as a real comp...

Find a team that is already competing and offer to 'Pit B!tch'...

The best part is that all of these can be done at the same time!

TN_BBQ
04-13-2009, 08:42 AM
You ought to practice before you compete. This typically means your neighbors and friends become guinea pigs. You'll also need your own equiptment (pit).

When I first started competing, I didn't have sufficient equiptment so I simply competed in chicken and ribs. Nobody says you have to do all the categories at every event (most do, but it's not required).

chad
04-13-2009, 08:44 AM
I'd take a look at the sticky: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13677

And then peruse the earlier threads in the Competition forum. Everybody started out with lots of ??? and a lot of them have been redacted in the earlier posts.

Practice is good but nothing compares with actually doing a comp. You might want to visit a couple of contests and see if you can "assist" another team to get a feel for what's involved.

Good luck!

NelsonC
04-13-2009, 08:51 AM
My advice to anyone wanting to get into competition BBQ is to first go take a KCBS judging class and judge a few contests. At each contest, identify the experienced judges at your dable, and between categories, open a dialog with the other judges at about which entries scored highly and why. For me, that eliminated a lot of the guess work and gave me a solid understanding of exactly what I was shooting for in my own cooking. Good luck!

stlgreg
04-13-2009, 09:20 AM
My advice to anyone wanting to get into competition BBQ is to first go take a KCBS judging class and judge a few contests. At each contest, identify the experienced judges at your dable, and between categories, open a dialog with the other judges at about which entries scored highly and why. For me, that eliminated a lot of the guess work and gave me a solid understanding of exactly what I was shooting for in my own cooking. Good luck!


I could not agree more. I learned more from judging that really anything else. I have found my neighbors are just happy to be eating BBQ and they think everythink i make tastes great. But by being a judge you can a real feel for what flavors score well.

musicmanryann
04-13-2009, 09:33 AM
My advice if you have the money, DIVE IN, THE WATER's GREAT!! :). While you are waiting to go to your first comp, you should get an idea of the world of a difference between home-cooked bbq and competition bbq. For that, I would take a look at the stickey threads in this forum at the top the competition forum page, titled roadmap to the competition. It will give you a good starting point to start practicing. I would also second most of everything else that has been said already. Good luck!

Bentley
04-13-2009, 10:13 AM
Dive in!

Professor Salt
04-13-2009, 11:17 AM
My team just dove in with no prior contest experience. Actually, one of us had judged before, and I suppose that's a good first step.

My bit of advice is learn what target you're supposed to hit: what flavor profile you're supposed to be using (e.g. the teriyaki sauce that your friends all rave about, or your personal favorite Carolina vinegar / mustard sauce is going to get you dead ass last in a sanctioned contest).

And like Divemaster said, practice cooking on a contest timeline. Do a few overnight cooks and know how your cooker (and you) react. Know what times and temps to cook each meat so they're done perfectly at the official turn in time.

Astralman
04-13-2009, 12:25 PM
Thanks for all of your suggestions. You gave me really good advice. I think judging is a good idea. I think I'll look into that. At the same time, I could set up a neighborhood testing group. I'm going to competitions also. I never thought about the flavors that pleases the judges. I'll look into that also. What flavors do you think I should avoid? I know that some flavors I absoluting hate on bbq-ed meat. Again, thanks for the advise. I'm review so earlier posting also.

Thanks again...I'll be reviewing more comments. Happy Q'in'

Astralman
04-13-2009, 12:39 PM
My advice to anyone wanting to get into competition BBQ is to first go take a KCBS judging class and judge a few contests. At each contest, identify the experienced judges at your dable, and between categories, open a dialog with the other judges at about which entries scored highly and why. For me, that eliminated a lot of the guess work and gave me a solid understanding of exactly what I was shooting for in my own cooking. Good luck!


Thank you for this bit of advice. Judging is an excellent way to break into contest. I would learn alot from judging. You're right, it would eliminate the guess work. Thanks again...

Sticks-n-chicks
04-13-2009, 12:43 PM
Practice, Practice, Practice. Then Practice as if you were at a comp and start Friday afternoon as you would arrive and cook through the night using the turn in times of a comp. Find someone close by who you can turn the boxes in as you would at a comp. It's opens your eyes to some of what you would expect. Also cook out of your garage...meaning get everything you think you will need to cook and then anytime you go inside for something WRITE IT DOWN and that way you will have what you need when you really need it at the comp.

Good luck, you are going to meet some great people and really have a lot of fun

TN_BBQ
04-13-2009, 01:04 PM
Thank you for this bit of advice. Judging is an excellent way to break into contest. I would learn alot from judging. You're right, it would eliminate the guess work. Thanks again...

Yes. Judging is a great idea. Because your friends and neighbors will always think your BBQ is the best stuff they've ever tasted (sort of a running joke amongst my friends and me).

Divemaster
04-13-2009, 01:14 PM
My team just dove in with no prior contest experience. Actually, one of us had judged before, and I suppose that's a good first step.

My bit of advice is learn what target you're supposed to hit: what flavor profile you're supposed to be using (e.g. the teriyaki sauce that your friends all rave about, or your personal favorite Carolina vinegar / mustard sauce is going to get you dead ass last in a sanctioned contest).

And like Divemaster said, practice cooking on a contest timeline. Do a few overnight cooks and know how your cooker (and you) react. Know what times and temps to cook each meat so they're done perfectly at the official turn in time.

The thing about flavor is to try your meat 'cooler' than you would serve to a guest... Remember that the meat is going into a clam shell and sit for up to 10 minutes... If your looking at KCBS, it's going to more than likely have cold parsley & lettuce in there too...

Food can have a completely different flavor hot compared to cold....

Astralman
04-13-2009, 01:36 PM
Again thank you. I never thought about the wait time during judging. So the flavor has to be good cool. I get bbq from the restaurants. Some places I've been to doesn't taste good cool. The flavor of the sauce seem to fall away with time.

I'm learning a lot from all of you. Especially cookin' as you would at competition. I'll stay tuned in to all of the responses.

Harbormaster
04-13-2009, 02:46 PM
Astralman-
From a very new to the comp circuit guy, I'll add my $.02.
I didn't go to a judging class prior to getting into comps. I read everything I could on the internet. I found rub recipes and tried them all. I cooked and cooked and cooked Q every chance I got. I went to a few comps and hung out with any team that would let me watch what they were doing. I pit-beyotched for a couple Brethren teams. I mentally catalogued all the info I could and finally decided to do a comp. For over a year I worked on rubs and sauces and cooked every chance I had to get timing down.
Last summer I did my first comp.
And I have to warn you, it was a farking blast!
I set realistic, but relatively low goals: Don't miss any turn-ins, and don't finish DAL in any category. I met those goals, so everything else, including two walks (pork and brisket), was a bonus.
All of the meat I cooked at the comp I cooked the same way I do them at home, using the same rubs and sauces that my family and I like.
Mind you, I'm the cautious type, and wasn't going to throw $$ away by not being prepared. You may have a different personality. Do what works for you.
However you decide to pursue it, you will not regret doing a comp.

baldbill
04-13-2009, 04:56 PM
I have not competed in any competitions yet and am ready to start out in the amature/shade tree ranks of competitors. THis is probably a dumb question but does different regional areas look for different tastes? For example if I am competing in NC shoudl I go with my own sauce or go for one that the people in that area like ( more vinegar based) or if I am in SC mustard based? I have concocted a sauce that so far everyone has liked and it even cleans stainless steel ( left some in a pan and you could see the line where the sauce came to, must be the vinegar!) and would like to try it in a contest.

thanks,
bald bill

MilitantSquatter
04-13-2009, 08:11 PM
I have not competed in any competitions yet and am ready to start out in the amature/shade tree ranks of competitors. THis is probably a dumb question but does different regional areas look for different tastes? For example if I am competing in NC shoudl I go with my own sauce or go for one that the people in that area like ( more vinegar based) or if I am in SC mustard based? I have concocted a sauce that so far everyone has liked and it even cleans stainless steel ( left some in a pan and you could see the line where the sauce came to, must be the vinegar!) and would like to try it in a contest.

thanks,
bald bill

Good BBQ is good BBQ.. regardless of geographics. Some who are really good now how to make certain tweaks but it's risky. Cook what you know how to cook best and don't try to prepare something you're not used to. Remember.. you never know where the judges are from. Not everyone is local.

Astralman - Don't get too caught up in flavors planning right now.. As Harbormaster noted, the keys to a successful first contest is a good gameplan, organization, timing and having fun.. Once you've got that nailed down then you can spend more time focusing on desired flavor profiles.

PatioDaddio
04-13-2009, 09:56 PM
I did a "Competition BBQ 101" series on my blog for just such an occasion.

The Gear (http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2009/01/competition-bbq-101-gear.html)

How It Goes Down (http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2009/02/competition-bbq-101-how-it-goes-down.html)

Tips For Success (http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2009/03/competition-bbq-101-tips-for-success.html)

I hope this helps,
John

Astralman
04-14-2009, 08:33 AM
All of you have given great advice. Keep piling on the information. The more I get the more I learn and more I can practice. Harbormaster thank you. All of this is so nervy.

Keep it comin'

Astralman
04-14-2009, 08:36 AM
I did a "Competition BBQ 101" series on my blog for just such an occasion.

The Gear (http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2009/01/competition-bbq-101-gear.html)

How It Goes Down (http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2009/02/competition-bbq-101-how-it-goes-down.html)

Tips For Success (http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/2009/03/competition-bbq-101-tips-for-success.html)

I hope this helps,
John


I want to thank you for the links. The info in it is very good. I'll keep searching the net for more and more Q_in' tips.

Thanks.

Divemaster
04-14-2009, 11:28 AM
All of you have given great advice. Keep piling on the information. The more I get the more I learn and more I can practice. Harbormaster thank you. All of this is so nervy.

Keep it comin'
You know, there are going to be a bunch of us over/down/up in Dayton next month (I don't think it's all that far from Bellbrook)... Not a real compitition, just a group of us trying to do some good... If you have the time, come on out and we can tell you all about comps. Here is the link "A Pretty Good BBQ 2009 (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54675&highlight=pretty+good+BBQ)". I know it's long, but what the heck...

PatioDaddio
04-14-2009, 01:02 PM
I want to thank you for the links. The info in it is very good. I'll keep searching the net for more and more Q_in' tips. Thanks.No problem. I'm happy to help.

Take care,
John

Astralman
04-15-2009, 07:28 AM
You know, there are going to be a bunch of us over/down/up in Dayton next month (I don't think it's all that far from Bellbrook)... Not a real compitition, just a group of us trying to do some good... If you have the time, come on out and we can tell you all about comps. Here is the link "A Pretty Good BBQ 2009 (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54675&highlight=pretty+good+BBQ)". I know it's long, but what the heck...

Thanks for the invite Divemaster, I'll make room on my calendar for that.

thanks again for all your advice...