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woodfolks
02-20-2010, 08:04 PM
so,
I have been looking at this and
wanted to know how does a guy
get started in competition.

I Live in Upstate (Northern) NY on the VT, Canada Border

I have Know Idea of teams in my area.

I would be good with building equipment
and would think about buying something in the $1000.00
or less group.

Is their a primer on getting Started

Thanks

ClayHill
02-20-2010, 08:32 PM
Well first I'm going to say buy the book "Startin the Fire" by George Hensler. and then go here.

http://www.nebs.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=5

Find a comp close and then attend.....talk to teams, look at cookers.....helping a team a time or two would help you alot

woodfolks
02-20-2010, 09:06 PM
great start thanks

ill take the Road king on a ride to a few of these
events this year to
get a handel on them.

watertowerbbq
02-20-2010, 10:56 PM
so,
I have been looking at this and
wanted to know how does a guy
get started in competition.

I Live in Upstate (Northern) NY on the VT, Canada Border

I have Know Idea of teams in my area.

I would be good with building equipment
and would think about buying something in the $1000.00
or less group.

Is their a primer on getting Started

Thanks

Depending on the type of person you are you can take two different roads: a) jump right in feet first and go for it or b) take it a little slower and do some research (read up on this forum about comps) and visit a comp to get a feel for what goes on.

As for the basics, you are going to need at least enough cooking capacity to do all four meats, but not necessarily at the same time. Many teams will have their butts and briskets in the cambro/carlisle/cooler before their chicken and ribs go on. You'll need some coolers to transport and hold the meat and plan on taking at least one pop-up canopy. That's the basics.

You will also need to make sure you address food safety issues such as either having a wash station or plan on using a new knife, cutting board, etc. each time you start a new process. Either can be done, but the first option is much easier and requires less equipment. A fire extinguisher is a must and some comps require them.

Beyond that, whatever you need to cook the meat should be added to the list. Everyone's list is a little different, but the best way to build your list is to cook at your house and each time you use a piece of equipment, write it down and when you are done, you will have a list.

It will help you as a cook to know what the judges are looking for so if you have the opportunity to become a KCBS judge, I would recommend it.

Practice, practice and more practice will help you get your timing down. That is a big part of competiton. I know a guy who can cook a great rib, but for him, he's not consistent on his cooking time. It doens't matter what time you get done at home, but in a comp, it really matters.

If you have the opportunity, go and visit a comp and you will get a much better feel for what is going on. Plan on going on Friday afternoon when most of the teams are setting up and doing their prep. Tell them that you are intersted in doing a competition and could you watch what they are doing for a little while. Most will say "sure", some may say "no", but you will find someone who will lend you some time of their time. Offer to help and you might get some real insight as to what they are doing.

One last piece of advice, you've probably been told by friends and family that you cook great Q, and you'll probably be expecting to go in there and do really well. You might and you might not. If you go in an expect to win, you'll probably be disappointed. Just go to have a good time and make new friends. You'll learn more at your first comp by doing than all the information that is online.

Good luck and have fun! :-D

MilitantSquatter
02-20-2010, 11:10 PM
all of the above is good..

specific to your home location there really aren't any contests in that vicinity... be prepared for travel and associated costs to 150 miles each way (Troy, NY)... many of the others will likely be 200-300 miles within western, NY, New Paltz, New England states etc.

pigmaker23
02-21-2010, 07:18 AM
Hi There, The Closest Competition to you is in Lake Placid over the fourth of July Weekend, Please stop by and see us and many other Brethren.

great start thanks

ill take the Road king on a ride to a few of these
events this year to
get a handel on them.

Muzzlebrake
02-21-2010, 08:07 AM
Come on in the water's great' lol
Come stop by a contest and see what it looks like live and in person. The first KCBS contest in NY this year I think is Boston Hills, check out the KCBS website calender it will give the info about upcoming contests. Like Eric said feel free to stop by and talk to any of the brethren, we'll be at all of these things just look for us!

Smoke'n Ice
02-21-2010, 08:24 AM
After all the visiting and if you are still interested, the most important thing to do is take a cooking class and a judging class. Then judge some contests to get an idea about what cooks are turing in. Be a gofer for a team this year. Next year you'll be ready to jump in with both feet and have a good idea about what to do and expect. As others have said, think about the cost to include gas and motel.

Divemaster
02-22-2010, 09:59 AM
After all the visiting and if you are still interested, the most important thing to do is take a cooking class and a judging class. Then judge some contests to get an idea about what cooks are turing in.
Actually, I would be more worried about the Judging class than the cooking class. I really do agree with judging a couple of comps before you jump in though.

Be a gofer for a team this year. Next year you'll be ready to jump in with both feet and have a good idea about what to do and expect.
This IMHO is the best advice! Find a team that you can help and is willing to teach. Don't expect to be the number one expert on the block. Each team does things their own way and usually for a reason. But by spending time learning, you can often adapt that knowledge to your own team.

As others have said, think about the cost to include gas and motel.
Gas is the 'unknown cost' for us as it is distance dependent. Although we normally don't stop at a motel/hotel on the way home unless it's more than say a 4 hour drive. I know I can do 6 hurs without much of a problem after a comp but why take the chance with the team in the back seat and trailer hanging off of the truck?

woodfolks
02-22-2010, 02:26 PM
can you start with just one smoker like a WSM or will you
need something bigger. What is the least size or Number
of smokers you could use to enter all the events in
comp.

Lake Dogs
02-22-2010, 02:53 PM
There are different comps, even different types of sanctioned comps. The simplest/
smallest (meat to cook) would be the unsanctioned, usually referred to as "backyard".
Every backyard comp is different.

For KCBS (sanctioned), you'll need to cook enough to put 6 (minimum) pieces into 1
turn-in box for each of 4 events; brisket, chicken, ribs, pork butt

If you were to cook everything absolutely perfectly, you'd at a minimum need to cook
1 medium sized brisket, 6 pieces of chicken (most use thighs), 2 racks of ribs (can you
get 6 pieces off of one rack that are worth a darn?), 1 pork butt.

However, most teams
give themselves some room for error and/or choices (to choose which looks/tastes
best), by cooking 2 decent sized briskets, 2 or 3 pork butts, 12-16 pieces of chicken,
and 3 or 4 racks of ribs.

woodfolks
02-22-2010, 06:55 PM
So for the big comps
You would need to cook
2-3 Briskets
2-3 Butt Roasts
12-14 chicken (thighs)
3 racks of ribs.

Do most people cook all the ribs in the same cooker
Butt in the same cooker
Brisket in same cooke
and Chickens in same

I could see about 4 WMS cookers (4= $2000.00)

Has any one used a UDS for this

watertowerbbq
02-22-2010, 07:22 PM
So for the big comps
You would need to cook
2-3 Briskets
2-3 Butt Roasts
12-14 chicken (thighs)
3 racks of ribs.

Do most people cook all the ribs in the same cooker
Butt in the same cooker
Brisket in same cooke
and Chickens in same

I could see about 4 WMS cookers (4= $2000.00)

Has any one used a UDS for this

You don't need 4 - 22.5" WSM's to do a contest. That's way more capacity than you would need, but some teams use multiple WSM's. Musicmanryann here on the Brethren used 4 - 18.5" WSM's last year and was the Iowa TOY. So the number of cookers is really up to you and your budget.

I have 2 - 18.5" WSM's and I cook 2 butts and 1 packer brisket in 1 smoker overnight. I cook my ribs in the other WSM and when I pull the butts and briskets off to put in the cooler, I put the chicken on the smoker the butts and briskets came off of. A little timing and you should be good. You could do the same thing with a couple of UDS's. 2 - 18.5" WSM will run about $600.

watg?
02-22-2010, 07:43 PM
Just in case you need it:
www.watgbbq.com (http://www.watgbbq.com)
:-D

Mustang Sally
02-22-2010, 07:44 PM
And if you look on craigslist, etc, you may get lucky and find a used one for less. I kept watching and watching and got my second WSM for $40 plus one new grate! You can cook a lot on 2 bullets. Timing is certaqinly the key though.

As for the cooking and judging classes...I'd pick the judging class and then see if you can hook up with a team for a weekend...see how you like it, get some pointers. Then be prepared to be hooked for life!!! It's one of the most addicting things I've ever been involved with!

woodfolks
02-22-2010, 08:24 PM
Im going to do some practice runs
with my UDS and look for 1 webber

Im also going to visit some comps
to take it all in and

Find out about the classes this year

this has given me a great start.

Thank you

Just Smokin' Around
02-22-2010, 09:12 PM
Has any one used a UDS for this

It's not the cooker, it's the cook - as they say. Lots of folks win usings UDS's. Saw a team at the Jack and that's all they used. The key is timing when you have limited space. That comes with practice. Good luck and HAVE FUN!!

BigBrad
02-22-2010, 10:24 PM
I first attended a contest in my area and the next year entered. I started out with a large cooker that I built myself and a 22.5 weber. I have only entered the one contest for the last 5 years but decided this year to jump in and do 5 or 6 contests. Last year I was using a 16 in offset that I built, a store bought 16 in offset and three weber silvers. I had plenty of room and used one of the offsets as a holding/warmer. Cooked two butts, two briskets and 4 racks of ribs and 12 chicken thighs. My team has also entered the chili contest every year.

I can say that every year has been a learning experience and this year should be no exception. You just have to do it. You can read everything on here and know what to do but untill you have to meet the turn in times for real it doesn't really sink in. Contests are a lot of fun and you can meet some people that will be friends for a long time.

If you have a chance to help another team that can't hurt. Good luck and plan on aquireing lots of stuff. It's a great time. Good luck and Good Que.

Brad

Lake Dogs
02-23-2010, 08:34 AM
Im going to do some practice runs
with my UDS and look for 1 webber

Im also going to visit some comps
to take it all in and

Find out about the classes this year

this has given me a great start.

Thank you

While I highly recommend taking a comp cooking class, I personally
think there's too much that they go over (in those classes) to take it
all in and fully understand the subtle techniques, etc. I'm thinking
first would be to go see/attend a comp. For that matter, see if they'll
let you view/audit the judging, or even perhaps participate as a judge
in a category. Then, assuming you're working on the cooking part
(practice), I suggest attending a judging class. It'll teach you the
scoring and what they're looking for in detail, so you have a better idea
as to what mark to hit. Then, jump in to a comp or two. There's no
real teacher like experience itself. Then, with a few comps under your
belt, that's probably (IMHO) a better time to attend a comp cooking
class. Having made a few mistakes and learned from them will go
a long way.

Best of luck, and welcome to our obsession.

lunchlady
02-23-2010, 09:00 AM
don't forget... The New England BBQ Society's website ... www.nebs.org (http://www.nebs.org)

NEBS' primary focus is the New England/New York area.
Check out the calendar and you will see that there are numerous contests within driving distance of you, but, then again, 'driving distance' is always subjective. :twisted:
These seem to be the 'closest' to you...
Rochester, NY in May
Boston Hills, NY in June
Cape Cod, MA in June
Merrimac, NH in June
Lake Placid, NY in July
Troy, NY in July
Windsor, VT in July
Hudson Valley, NY in August
Eliot, ME in August
Clarence, NY in September
... all of these are fantastic contests to visit in order to 'check out the BBQ scene'. They all are KCBS BBQ contests which may also have NEBS grilling contests, people's choice contests, and backyard/tailgate contests attached to them.

NEBS also has a mentoring program that will hook you up with an experienced team for the duration of a contest, if you'd like.
PM me for more details on that.

Welcome to the Brethren and the craziness of competing!
Jump in!
I agree with everyone when they say to do your research... this site is the best, hands down!
... plus, everyone here is willing to answer questions and give advice.:-D

woodfolks
02-23-2010, 03:23 PM
Are the ribs Babby back or Spare Ribs?

Just woundering what the weight of
the Pork Butt (shoulder)

The weight of the Brisket

are that most people cook

any weight on the ribs would be great

watertowerbbq
02-23-2010, 05:27 PM
Are the ribs Babby back or Spare Ribs?

Just woundering what the weight of
the Pork Butt (shoulder)

The weight of the Brisket

are that most people cook

any weight on the ribs would be great

I can't speak for NEBS, but KCBS will allow either baby backs or spares. I cooke spares because I like spares. :-D

Butts have to be at least 5 lbs. Most of the ones I get around here are 7.5 lbs to 9 lbs.

Brisket can be either point or flat and there is no minimum weight. Some people swear by a certain weight for a packer brisket, but I don't have enough experience to say I like a specific weight. What I've found most around here are in the 11 lb - 12 lb range.

Ribs I buy at Sam's so I don't know what the weight is for a single rack. If you get your ribs from the same place then use that as your typical rack weight.

Go out and practice and cook what you know. Don't worry about what others are cooking. Just cook your recipe the way you've practiced it and everything will work itself out.

Lake Dogs
02-23-2010, 06:39 PM
On the ribs, we see mainly baby backs in MBN, and mainly st. louis cut spares
in KCBS. When we see spares in MBN, almost all are st. louis cut. It can be a
little tough to get a non-st. louis spare in 6 pieces in a box that doesn't look
thrown/crammed in, IMHO.

Like Matt said above, cook what you know. If you like and cook a good baby
back, then cook & present those in KCBS and you'll do fine.

You'll want to read the rules of whatever comps you enter. If KCBS, you can get
those on their web site. Note: For most, if you present it, it must be bitten/eaten.
For example, if you present chicken with the skin on it, the judge is required to bite/
eat the skin with the meat. Therefore, if you have rubbery skin on those chickens,
it'll get graded down. This is why it'll be very helpful to see a judging or two, if
you can.

woodfolks
02-23-2010, 08:05 PM
saw a cooking class and judge class
in the same weekend coming up in Mass.
Im going to see if I can me it.