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View Full Version : Newbie questions for the 100th time.


Tweedle
08-18-2009, 11:40 AM
First off, I just wanted to say hello to everyone I have to say this is one of the best forums that I have run across in my travels. (Not to mention the fact that it prompted me to dive in over my head and enter a comp) I was wondering if I may be so bold as to ask a few questions that Iím sure have been asked 100 time before. FYI its KCBS sanctioned

1) I was wondering the quantities of meat that everyone cooks? I was going to cook 2 Boston Butts, 2 Briskets, 6 slabs of ribs (ST. Louis style),and 16 thighs. To little to much right amount?

2) Any advice on stuff to bring that people usually forget or need extra of so that i don't? Any thing that makes life easier that people bring? I did up a check list molded off of one I found online and added stuff i think i need.

3) They are offering two different people choice contests as well one on Sat one on Sunday. Do you think its a good idea or bad idea at a first comp to try and enter them as well?

4)Now for some advice to help end a marital squabble lol. :icon_cool When I Q at home I use my own home made sauce been going over well in the neighbor hood for a couple years now... The wife seams to believe "I can't get my ego out of the way" as she put it :-D(Its really not my fault it's a big ego) and just use a commercial sauce that has more of a well known/generic taste and appeal to it. whatís the general consensus about it?

5)Any other advice anyone has would also be helpful.

Is anyone on here competing in the Harvard Fall Festival Sept. 18th -19th In MA?

Thanks again for any and all help. sorry to ask the same old questions again but I figured if anyone knew ya'll would.
P.S. Iím doing my first run thru on Sunday/ Monday next week and was wondering if I post up pics of my trial run turn in boxes if I could get some feed back on them?

Lake Dogs
08-18-2009, 12:02 PM
I think the quantities of meat that you're cooking seems about right. 16 thighs could
be cut-back a few, but you're not saving that much $$$... Always have an extra
(IMHO) / backup.

You found a check-list? Where?

Tweedle
08-18-2009, 12:26 PM
I think the quantities of meat that you're cooking seems about right. 16 thighs could
be cut-back a few, but you're not saving that much $$$... Always have an extra
(IMHO) / backup.

You found a check-list? Where?
I found a ton of them but I like the format and thought this one sounded closest to correct. Again, I made a couple changes to it but all in all it will work I think.

http://ods.timberlakepublishing.com/files/BBQChecklist.pdf

Dustaway
08-18-2009, 12:28 PM
I cook 2 butts because they are packages that way, 1 brisket, 2 slabs of St ribs, most of the time 16 thighs.

I would stay away from the peoples choice stuff can be a distraction

I would use a good commercial sauce like either head country or blues hog original mixed 50/50 Tenn red and a little apple juice


and have fun that's the most important thing

Ron_L
08-18-2009, 12:33 PM
1) I was wondering the quantities of meat that everyone cooks? I was going to cook 2 Boston Butts, 2 Briskets, 6 slabs of ribs (ST. Louis style),and 16 thighs. To little to much right amount?

2) Any advice on stuff to bring that people usually forget or need extra of so that i don't? Any thing that makes life easier that people bring? I did up a check list molded off of one I found online and added stuff i think i need.

3) They are offering two different people choice contests as well one on Sat one on Sunday. Do you think its a good idea or bad idea at a first comp to try and enter them as well?

4)Now for some advice to help end a marital squabble lol. :icon_cool When I Q at home I use my own home made sauce been going over well in the neighbor hood for a couple years now... The wife seams to believe "I can't get my ego out of the way" as she put it :-D(Its really not my fault it's a big ego) and just use a commercial sauce that has more of a well known/generic taste and appeal to it. whatís the general consensus about it?

5)Any other advice anyone has would also be helpful.

Is anyone on here competing in the Harvard Fall Festival Sept. 18th -19th In MA?

Thanks again for any and all help. sorry to ask the same old questions again but I figured if anyone knew ya'll would.
P.S. Iím doing my first run thru on Sunday/ Monday next week and was wondering if I post up pics of my trial run turn in boxes if I could get some feed back on them?

1. Sounds good. I only cook 4 slabs of ribs and have never wished for more.

2. You mentioned a run through. Set up EVERYTHING and pretend that you are miles from home. Every time you discover something that you are missing write it down. Do you have a source of hot water for cleanup?

3. It's up to you, but unless the People's Choice is easy o do I normally skip it. I'm more likely to do it if it is on Friday (or Saturday fr a Sat/Sun competition).

4. Have you tasted competition BBQ in your area? It is likely different than what most folks cook at home. You have one or two bites to impress the judges so the flavors are usually stronger. Can you find an experienced competitor or judge who will give you an honest opinion on your sauce? You can always try it and see how it does. You may be pleasantly surprised. But, then again, you may not :-D

5. Set a realistic goal for the competition (turning everything in on time, not getting a DQ, getting a call, etc.). Most fo all, have fun and talk to your fellow competitors and learn all that you can!

Feel free to post your practice boxes. You'll get plenty of feedback.

Here is the Roll Call for the Harvard Fall Festival...
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66882&highlight=harvard



You found a check-list? Where?

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=987745&postcount=3

Jorge
08-18-2009, 12:39 PM
I cook 2 butts because they are packages that way, 1 brisket, 2 slabs of St ribs, most of the time 16 thighs.

I would stay away from the peoples choice stuff can be a distraction

I would use a good commercial sauce like either head country or blues hog original mixed 50/50 Tenn red and a little apple juice


and have fun that's the most important thing

Almost sounds like you've been talking to a certain Jambo owner from Oklahoma:wink::mrgreen:

CivilWarBBQ
08-18-2009, 01:50 PM
Have faith in your own skills and go with your homemade product. You don't have to use commercial rubs and sauces to win.

CMALANGA
08-18-2009, 01:52 PM
We cook two butts, two briskets, 8 chicken breasts (I hate theighs and refuse to cook them, judges be dammed), and six racks of St. Louis cut ribs (that's because they are my favorite). Good luck in you competitions.

Big Mike's BBQ
08-18-2009, 02:28 PM
I cook 2 butts, 2 briskets 3 racks of ribs and 8 to 10 thighs and a whole breast. That normally gives me what I want for a good turn in and way to many left overs.
Use your own sauce, most of the commerical ones started out this way.

Most important rule to follow: Have fun.

Big Mike

Diva Q
08-18-2009, 02:29 PM
I cook 2-4 butts, 2 briskets, 16 thighs and 4 racks of ribs. I use my own sauce on the ribs,butts and thighs. The briskets I can't find a sauce I like yet. Still a work in progress.

Ford
08-18-2009, 02:30 PM
First off, I just wanted to say hello to everyone I have to say this is one of the best forums that I have run across in my travels. (Not to mention the fact that it prompted me to dive in over my head and enter a comp) I was wondering if I may be so bold as to ask a few questions that Iím sure have been asked 100 time before. FYI its KCBS sanctioned

1) I was wondering the quantities of meat that everyone cooks? I was going to cook 2 Boston Butts, 2 Briskets, 6 slabs of ribs (ST. Louis style),and 16 thighs. To little to much right amount? 3 slabs should be more than enough. I only do 10 thighs because that's what fits in a half pan. More ribs and thighs means more choices. Sometimes that's not good in the heat of turn-in.

2) Any advice on stuff to bring that people usually forget or need extra of so that i don't? Any thing that makes life easier that people bring? I did up a check list molded off of one I found online and added stuff i think i need. lots of paper towels. toilet paper incase the porta johns run out. good tequila if I smell smoke is coming.

3) They are offering two different people choice contests as well one on Sat one on Sunday. Do you think its a good idea or bad idea at a first comp to try and enter them as well? I no longer participate in these. My goal is 4 meats.

4)Now for some advice to help end a marital squabble lol. :icon_cool When I Q at home I use my own home made sauce been going over well in the neighbor hood for a couple years now... The wife seams to believe "I can't get my ego out of the way" as she put it :-D(Its really not my fault it's a big ego) and just use a commercial sauce that has more of a well known/generic taste and appeal to it. whatís the general consensus about it? Unless you have some "unusual spice" in it then it should be fine to try. The sauce is less important that the rub. And use lots of rub as it's one bite. Unless your wife says it's way to salty then you didn't use enough rub and salt.

5)Any other advice anyone has would also be helpful. There are some evil people at contests who try to get new cooks drunk. Be very careful of people with blenders, frozen bottles and jello shots. But have fun. Get there early, prep as much as you can ahead of time.

Is anyone on here competing in the Harvard Fall Festival Sept. 18th -19th In MA?

Thanks again for any and all help. sorry to ask the same old questions again but I figured if anyone knew ya'll would.
P.S. Iím doing my first run thru on Sunday/ Monday next week and was wondering if I post up pics of my trial run turn in boxes if I could get some feed back on them? By now if you've been reading, you should know it's a waste of time. All cooks think their box is a nine and most don't score others very high but cooks never give out 5's.

bodcat
08-18-2009, 03:21 PM
We do 3 racks of ribs, 12 thighs, 2 butts, and 2 briskets. I also have a newbie team, we have done 2 contests in the last month and I can say just doing the 4 main categories is more than enough work starting out.

Cigarbque
08-18-2009, 08:08 PM
First off, I just wanted to say hello to everyone I have to say this is one of the best forums that I have run across in my travels. (Not to mention the fact that it prompted me to dive in over my head and enter a comp) I was wondering if I may be so bold as to ask a few questions that Iím sure have been asked 100 time before. FYI its KCBS sanctioned. I just cooked my first comp this past weekend. This web site helped more than anything else I came across in almost 15 years of backyard smoking. I was fortunate and had some mentoring from two seasoned folks here at a comp early this summer. No question is stupid to ask. The folks here are great but use the google search function at the bottom of the page first. You will find a ton of stuff that way.

1) I was wondering the quantities of meat that everyone cooks? I was going to cook 2 Boston Butts, 2 Briskets, 6 slabs of ribs (ST. Louis style),and 16 thighs. To little to much right amount? I think you are fine but four racks of ribs are probably all you need.

2) Any advice on stuff to bring that people usually forget or need extra of so that i don't? Any thing that makes life easier that people bring? I did up a check list molded off of one I found online and added stuff i think i need. That's a great way to go. My girls and I looked at everything we brought and then checked off what we didn't use. The less you bring the less you have to pack up. We didn't do too bad but I wish I left the lighter fluid at home but that's another story.:-P

3) They are offering two different people choice contests as well one on Sat one on Sunday. Do you think its a good idea or bad idea at a first comp to try and enter them as well? On the advice of Sled, Sal and SIDE I bailed out of the grilling comp last weekend and only cooked the KCBS. It was very good advice for a first time cook. Keep you eye on the four meats and you will do fine.

4)Now for some advice to help end a marital squabble lol. :icon_cool When I Q at home I use my own home made sauce been going over well in the neighbor hood for a couple years now... The wife seams to believe "I can't get my ego out of the way" as she put it :-D(Its really not my fault it's a big ego) and just use a commercial sauce that has more of a well known/generic taste and appeal to it. whatís the general consensus about it? It's all subjective. I use two purchased rubs and two purchased BBQ sauces. I make my own rib, pork and brisket rub and my own rib and pork sauce. Try some of the stuff you see people winning with and compare it to your own. Use whatever you like. It's all good.

5)Any other advice anyone has would also be helpful. BBQ folks are the best folks you will ever meet. We received so much help and made so many friends. Be nice and willing to help and help will come to you. If you forgot something ask and others will probably have it. Do your practice cook and take notes. Bring a cot to sleep on. Beats the truck or a chair big time. Drink a cocktail between turn in's the first time. After the second one I stopped stressing and realized this was going to work out after all. Have fun.

Is anyone on here competing in the Harvard Fall Festival Sept. 18th -19th In MA?

Thanks again for any and all help. sorry to ask the same old questions again but I figured if anyone knew ya'll would.
P.S. Iím doing my first run thru on Sunday/ Monday next week and was wondering if I post up pics of my trial run turn in boxes if I could get some feed back on them? Please do. You will get very helpful advice.

bigdogphin
08-18-2009, 08:24 PM
The advice here is great. On the subject of the peoples choice. I decided to cook them at my first comp because I didn't know any better. I am glad I did. It was worth the extra work to turn something in on a deadline before the real thing. You won't believe the adreneline and nerves going through you as the turn-in time approaches; something you can't practice at home for. Having experienced those feelings on day one prepped me for the real turn-ins on day two. It also helped define the role of each team member so on day two everyone knew what to do and what to expect.

Lake Dogs
08-19-2009, 07:53 AM
Good points there bigdogphin. Learning team strengths and who's better at what is important.

Tweedle
08-19-2009, 11:15 AM
Thanks for all the great info and help ill be posting my practice boxes next week. Thanks again to everyoner who jumped right in and helped the newb. :-D

Lake Dogs
08-20-2009, 01:03 PM
Also, Tweedle, thanks for that checklist link; looks like a GOOD one.