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MasterGator
02-03-2010, 02:50 PM
I just competed in the Lakeland Pig Fest this past weekend. One thing I did not anticipate was a place to put my drippings. I was also displeased at my food prep area. There were juices flying everywhere, dripping covering my tables and just a huge mess. I tried to keep a very sanitary space but this was a huge battle. Do you guys have any advice on how to present a cleaner cooking space?

thillin
02-03-2010, 03:04 PM
We just clean as we go as much as possible. Don't skimp on using paper towels and clorox wipes.

Jorge
02-03-2010, 03:12 PM
I just competed in the Lakeland Pig Fest this past weekend. One thing I did not anticipate was a place to put my drippings. I was also displeased at my food prep area. There were juices flying everywhere, dripping covering my tables and just a huge mess. I tried to keep a very sanitary space but this was a huge battle. Do you guys have any advice on how to present a cleaner cooking space?

It's hard to offer anything specific without knowing how you are set up.

Some tips...

1) Disposable cutting boards are your friend.

2) Wrap any pans that aren't disposable in foil or plastic wrap, depending on the use of the pan.

3) place meat on those pans to move it around your site.

4) As soon as you finish a process, clean up as time allows.

5) If #4 isn't working then take a look at how you are working to see if you can streamline things to create some time.

I've cooked messy, and I've cooked clean and efficient. Being efficient has made a world of difference for me.

ssbbqguy
02-03-2010, 03:19 PM
Disposable cutting boards, ones the the edges fold to make a border help. I always set up a raw space and a cooked space. The use of sheet pans and alum. pans help also.Makes sense to clean as you go. Lots of towels and wipes. Steve.

TN_BBQ
02-03-2010, 03:36 PM
Disposable table cloths with table clips.

At the very least, a couple big pieces of foil to wrap your work space (newspaper tends to fly away even with those table clips).

Buster Dog BBQ
02-03-2010, 03:48 PM
Trim all meat at home

Inject meats in bags if possible. You can also inject through the cryo if you want.

Do like Jorge said and foil the work area then just wrap it up and throw it away.

Do what you can to reduce clutter. It amazes me to see all the stuff some people travel with.

armor
02-03-2010, 04:03 PM
Great advice.

Smoke'n Ice
02-03-2010, 04:10 PM
The use of butcher paper to cover all tables and work surfaces. Use muti layers and then remove wad and throw as necessary. The paper absorbes juice, is easy on knives and is environmentaly friendly not to mention cheaper. Sam's Clubs carry big rolls and you can buy the roll holder at a supply store. I large roll will last for the season with room to spare.

bigabyte
02-03-2010, 05:07 PM
Loving some of the ideas here!:cool:

monty3777
02-03-2010, 05:33 PM
I brew beer. Anyone who brews is familiar with the need to sanitize equipment. I have been bringing Starsan to comps and I keep a bucket full of sanitized water. After cleaning I let things like tongs etc soak in the bucket. Just one more level of cleanliness that I think is important. I also let my knives soak - handles up!

Rich Parker
02-03-2010, 05:39 PM
Trim all meat at home

That's interesting. Do you vacuum pack them at home to transport to the comp?

thillin
02-03-2010, 06:22 PM
That's interesting. Do you vacuum pack them at home to transport to the comp?

I double zip-loc them. Use the 2.5 gallon bags.

Muzzlebrake
02-03-2010, 06:30 PM
A wise man once told me that its as easy as ABC, Always Be Cleaning.

all of the prep tables that I use are stainless, and easy to clean. I like to put meats into hotel pans to season or to wrap or unwrap and have found they catch much of the mess. I'm not a big fan of disposable things or wrapping stuff, what I have found works for me is to use a dough blade to scrape off the cutting boards or hotel pans into the trash before I try to wash them. It gets rid of the big messy stuff and makes clean up a whole lot easier. I also keep Clorox wipes prepositioned within an arms reach of most work areas and use them all the time.

Like Jorge said, I think one of the biggest things is to find your groove and and figure out what works for you.

Just remember, if you're leaning you ain't cleaning........lol

Yakfishingfool
02-03-2010, 06:35 PM
Sean, love your new avatar. Another thing to consider here is to ask for a friend/spouse, etc to come and help just be the cleaning person. I try to keep up with stuff as we do them, in fact everybody on our team has pretty much gotten accustomed to cleaning their mess after making it. But during turn-ins and the finishing cooks things get really gross. Find your groove and get some help. Scott

Rich Parker
02-03-2010, 06:48 PM
I double zip-loc them. Use the 2.5 gallon bags.

I can't find the "Thanks" button so Thanks!

Buster Dog BBQ
02-03-2010, 06:56 PM
That's interesting. Do you vacuum pack them at home to transport to the comp?
I have food service bags I put the meat in.

DawgPhan
02-03-2010, 07:04 PM
We use freezer paper on our tables because one side of the paper is coated in plastic. So the juices and what not dont soak through.

Also I think having running hot water is a big help.

Mlukewow
02-03-2010, 07:53 PM
I like the idea of the butcher paper nice one and thanks

CivilWarBBQ
02-03-2010, 07:55 PM
Pick up some bus tubs at Sams. Great multi-taskser! Use to transport stuff to get to the contest, then hold your meats during prep, and finally as sinks for washing up. When not in use they stack together neatly, taking up little space.

KC_Bobby
02-03-2010, 09:06 PM
Do what you can to reduce clutter. It amazes me to see all the stuff some people travel with.
You peaked in our trailer I see.

Crash
02-04-2010, 12:26 AM
A lot of great info so far, but here is what we do. Some of this directly mimics the other advice.

1) Get yourself a 40" wide roll of disposable table covering. It's thin, cheap crap...but disposable. I dont know the exact length, but I can tell you that it should last you a long time. I think we got ours for about $25 and we're ready to hit our third contest with a ton left over. We get ours at Party City here in AZ, but I am relatively sure that any party store in your area will carry it. Just remember, it's only a table covering and not to be sliced on.

2) Like all have said above...paper towels and Clorox wipes......you can never have enough...ever.

3) Any pan that gets used for meat storage, meat injection, meat prep, etc. gets covered with foil...always. We even wrap our cheap aluminum half pans and full pans with foil every single time. If the halfpans and fullpans dont get too overly gross, a hot soapy wash will make them 100% usable again. Yes, I'm cheap!!

4) As previously mentioned, trim absolutely everything you can at home...especially ribs and chicken. This makes for a much more fun Friday night...really!

5) Lastly, and possibly the most important....find someone to help just clean up during GO TIME. It is invaluable to have a person specifically designated to just cleaning up around the cook site and the team's turn-in area. Having someone clean the turn-in area and having clean cutting boards/knives makes a world of difference . Not the most glamorous job, but great for someone who wants to learn the ins and outs of what we do.

That's all I've got. Good luck!

RubMeTender
02-04-2010, 07:48 AM
Pick up some bus tubs at Sams. Great multi-taskser! Use to transport stuff to get to the contest, then hold your meats during prep, and finally as sinks for washing up. When not in use they stack together neatly, taking up little space.

I couldnt agree with this more. Having bus tubs at the contests have made our life much easier and cleaner. Pulling a butt in a bus tub keeps the juices together, and makes cleanup simple.

Divemaster
02-04-2010, 08:21 AM
I guess if I was going to add any one item it would be our spray bottle of bleach water. While the wipes work, it's also nice to be able to spray a table down and let it soak a minute or two to make sure that any grease is removed.

Trim all meat at home.
This is one of the biggest things that we do. It just makes life easy!

That's interesting. Do you vacuum pack them at home to transport to the comp?
I cryo-suck them.

This year we are looking at trying a bunch of events (could be 16 if we are lucky) so when I have time, I plan on trimming, cryo-sucking, and freezing as much as I can to get ahead of the game.

Another thing to consider here is to ask for a friend/spouse, etc to come and help just be the cleaning person. I try to keep up with stuff as we do them, in fact everybody on our team has pretty much gotten accustomed to cleaning their mess after making it. But during turn-ins and the finishing cooks things get really gross. Find your groove and get some help. Scott
We do the same.

Our standing rule is that dishes don't wait and while I never assigned 'Jobs' to my crew there are a couple that just seem to like to get their hands wet.

Pick up some bus tubs at Sam's. Great multi-taskser! Use to transport stuff to get to the contest, then hold your meats during prep, and finally as sinks for washing up. When not in use they stack together neatly, taking up little space.
We only use our bus tubs (one for washing, another for rinse, and the last for disinfecting) for washing. We keep them ready to go with hot water all the time. When working with meat, I like to use the disposable hotel pans. You can purchase them cheaply by the case at both Sam's and Rest. Depot. The other two things that we can't/won't live without is our mobile kitchen cabinet and On-Demand Hot Water Heater.

We mounted two kitchen cabinets together and put them on wheels to make it easy to move. This unit stores almost all of our utensils, towels, tools, cutting boards, and even the bus tubs when not in use. Before this unit we were living out of seven boxes. Now we're down to one box for our spices and one for the paper products (plates, cups, plastic utensils).

The worst part of doing the dishes was trying to keep the water hot enough. The new hot water heater is going to make that a lot easier.

Pulling a butt in a bus tub keeps the juices together, and makes cleanup simple.
Again, I like using the hotel pans because I can then cover it an put it back into the cambro after a turn-in for when the guys make up their goody bags. Once they are done we pack any food up in zip bags and put it in the cooler with all of the remaining ice and simply toss the disposable pan. That's easy clean up. lol

Do what you can to reduce clutter. It amazes me to see all the stuff some people travel with.
You been looking in our trailer too?

Sean, love your new avatar.
Very cool!