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View Full Version : First BBQ competition On Sat. Help


cjallen85
08-21-2010, 03:41 PM
I am going into my first actual competition on next Sat. I was wondering any last minute pointers that anyone might have or any input. Thanks for any help!
Cole

monty3777
08-21-2010, 03:55 PM
Have you done a practice cook? If not, do a real time cook to figure out the timing. And if it's a KCBS contest in the midwest - use more sauce than you normally would. Ignore anyone who says "It's a meat contest not a sauce contest." Fact is we didn't start getting calls until we started saucing the chit out of everything (except brisket). Have fun!

MilitantSquatter
08-21-2010, 03:56 PM
very broad question without knowing how prepared you already are (or not).

Check out the comp section FAQ above for good tips.

keep it simple, don't cook too much, bring too much and make sure you stick to a plan.. hit you're turn in times and have fun.

Good Luck !

cjallen85
08-21-2010, 04:06 PM
Yeah I have got my times down and have done a few practice cooks. Its Midwest but not KCBS bout 45 competitors for Blue and BBQ downtown. I am pumped. I am up in the air about saucing the pulled pork and am trying to find a good post on the box turn in for it.

MattCom
08-21-2010, 04:07 PM
Make a schedule for everything; prep, cook times, box making and be prepared for the turn in times. Find a BBQ comp check list and use it while packing your vehicle. Lastly have fun!! I hope you get a call!

TomB
08-21-2010, 05:37 PM
I'm competing for the first time also next weekend.

I made a timeline to help keep me on task.

Good luck!

Captain P.J.
08-21-2010, 11:09 PM
I found, for my first one, that a timeline/schedule and my recipie cards helped alot from me getting frazzled and forgetful from a lack of sleep! ((My first was a KCBS comp that I did all 4 categories by myself... well the wife build the boxes and watched our 3.5 yr old son.)) I would lightly sauce the pork... especially if you have good bark and smoke. Let the meat speak for itself! Best of luck!

Lake Dogs
08-22-2010, 10:03 AM
Good stuff above. I still use the timeline/schedule and packing list. It's very easy to forget something at 2:30am... The practice is important. As far as sauce, it's very regional thing. Here, sauce less if at all. As Monty said, in his area sauce is a must.

What hasn't been said is once you get set up, relax and have fun. Find some time
to get out and chat with the other competitors. Best of luck.

BBQ_MAFIA
08-22-2010, 10:27 AM
Beyond the practice, I would do a search and get a good check list.
I had too much stuff for my first comp, but that was OK. I wanted to make sure that I was comfortable and covered.

I would trim all the meat before arriving at the contest. This will save you a ton of time and allow you to do it slowly and carfully.

Make sure you have the correct size fire ext.

Good Luck and have a great time.

cjallen85
08-22-2010, 12:05 PM
So on the pork box....
Should i slice some and shred? or just make some medallions and pull some?

Thanks for all the help!

cjallen85
08-22-2010, 12:09 PM
Do you want a lot of heat in your rub or sauces or should a make sure it is not as spicey as to my liking?

Lake Dogs
08-22-2010, 12:14 PM
Both above tend to be regional too. Around here, we expect a pork box to be pulled,
with perhaps a little money muscle sliced. The pulled meat shouldn't be shredded,
as the smaller chunks wont hold their moisture well. Have it be as hot as possible
when you put it in the box. As much in the box as reasonable. Dont skimp.

Hot rubs/sauces can turn off some judges, as can some salty. We go light sodium
and medium on the spices. There are other areas where the medium spices are
too spicy.

cjallen85
08-22-2010, 12:21 PM
That sounds good, my rub it is right around what your saying. My sauce has a bit of heat but is pretty sweet.
I am also doing an open division that was won last year by smoked stuffed peppers. My plan is to do a BBQ bacon wrapped meatloaf, unless some one talks me out of it....
It is something I have done a hundred time and turns out great each time.

Lake Dogs
08-22-2010, 12:38 PM
That sounds good, my rub it is right around what your saying. My sauce has a bit of heat but is pretty sweet.
I am also doing an open division that was won last year by smoked stuffed peppers. My plan is to do a BBQ bacon wrapped meatloaf, unless some one talks me out of it....
It is something I have done a hundred time and turns out great each time.

Judges can be fickle, and vary from table to table. As a general rule,
if you make what you enjoy eating, as long as it's not extreme, you'll
be happy. You can take the very same entry and put it on 3 different
tables and come away with 3 different results, sometimes with a pretty
good variance. That, unfortunately, is all part of it. If you do well, that's
great and enjoy it. If you dont, dont take it to heart. You may have
just ended up on a table with a few judges who prefer it to be something
different.

luke duke
08-23-2010, 11:19 AM
light your pit an hour before you think you need to

luckyduk
08-23-2010, 12:29 PM
light your pit an hour before you think you need to
100% agree, you never know when some rain will come through or 6 more beers!!!

Plan on everything getting done earlier rather than shooting for perfect timing, you can hold a while, especially with the larger cuts.

Captain Caveman
08-23-2010, 12:33 PM
As mentioned above, keep a timeline IN WRITING. You WILL start to question your process about 5-6 AM. I still refer to my timeline every comp.

CivilWarBBQ
08-23-2010, 02:16 PM
Don't forget to have FUN!

Non-sanctioned events often have quite a few screwy judging issues. If you do well, great! If you don't, don't fixate on it. It's impossible to get a read on overall judge's reaction to your competition cooking from a single event.

cjallen85
08-23-2010, 04:34 PM
Thanks everyone! I got a list going and about have everything in order! I appreciate all of the help. It helps out greatly. We are all about the fun and it should be a good time I will let everyone know how it goes!
Thanks!

PimpSmoke
08-23-2010, 06:35 PM
Where are you competing??

You said Blues and something. If it's Milwaukee......


Choke the bear, like 3 times.



That is all.:thumb:

cjallen85
08-23-2010, 09:02 PM
Its in Springfield IL