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BenRias 04-12-2014 03:41 PM

Best Use of Money?
Hello bros!

I'm looking for your thoughts in helping me decide how to spend $100 that fell into my lap. I'm debating between taking my first KCBS judging course or putting it towards some useful equipment/tools. This is my third season of bbq'ing and still consider myself a novice...still using a weber 22" and snake technique for charcoal.

Since there are not a ton of opportunities for me to judge in Boston, the course would be to teach me the ideal elements of competition style bbq--something I'm interested in pursuing down the road. Plus, that knowledge will help me focus the dishes I prepare and give me better ideas of what's needed to refine my recipes.

On the other hand, I would love to get some good thermometers, another weber so i can cook more items at one time, or even a sausage stuffer as my kitchen aid attachment just isn't cuttin' it anymore. Maybe there are other items I hadn't thought of yet?

What would you recommend to a mostly new comer? Knowledge? Or tools?

Happy Saturday Smokin'!

IamMadMan 04-12-2014 03:46 PM

Put it toward your needs and wants.

Right now put it to good use that helps you enjoy your hobby.

You can always take judging courses later on if the mood still strikes you.

HOGIE 04-12-2014 03:55 PM

I would spend half on pork and half on craft beer.....just sayin:thumb:

kenthanson 04-12-2014 04:15 PM

I would say that if you really like bbq'ing stay away from the kcbs judging course. That will send you into a spiral of scraping fat off chicken thighs and injecting phosphates into beef. Buy another weber kettle and enjoy the simplicity of backyard bbq.

Teleking 04-12-2014 04:19 PM


aquablue22 04-12-2014 04:33 PM

Spend it on things you will enjoy, I agree with kenthanson. Really invest in tools, i.e. Thermapen, maverick, etc. things that can help you improve your hobby. When you win the lottery become a KCBS judge, until then become the backyard guru!, just sayin'

Bludawg 04-12-2014 04:41 PM

Build a UDS!

Zin 04-12-2014 05:01 PM

Bet it on Manny Pacquiao.

aquablue22 04-12-2014 05:15 PM

7 posts, you guys are slacking ………..

IndoorOutdoorCook 04-12-2014 05:19 PM

Hi, fellow boston area person!

You're about where I was a year ago. I spent money on both of those. I can't say what is more important. Sometimes you have to stick your head out and see what you can see.

I don't plan on competing any time soon (need a truck, cookers, $800-900 a competition for fees, meat, and gas), but I think there is value in trying new flavor profiles, networking, and talking to other BBQ people. It definitely gave me a few new ideas for my backyard cooking.

If you want to talk BBQ anytime, PM me.

Blanton 04-12-2014 07:38 PM

If you are going to judge some events it is a good way to learn what comp bbq taste like. I don't think you will get that in the class, at least what I sampled at mine

cheapbeer 04-12-2014 08:08 PM

I helped cook for a judging class this spring. The class timeline ran much later than the times they asked us to have the meats ready so the chicken and ribs sat around a lot longer than we would have liked. The big meats were resting in cambros so no issues there. For the class instructors to put enough boxes together to run the class they are not able to use the same level of finishing processes as would be used in an actual comp.Also to keep things affordable they will use all of the meat cooked instead of just the best portions so it is not the same level of product as you should get in a true judging situation, however, it should still be good. If you take the class you should have the opportunity to meet some teams and make the acquaintance of other Que folks from your area. On the other hand good equipment will give you years of good food. Whatever you choose I'm sure will bring you enjoyment.

BenRias 04-14-2014 08:42 PM

Wow! Thanks for all the great input everyone!

You have all definitely convinced me that I would not be stunting my progress nor missing out on "too much" by skipping the judging classes at this time.

With the hardest part of the decision made, I now need to decide between a second kettle, some good thermometers, and my most desired option (after some killer homemade links this weekend) a good quality sausage stuffer.

I've done Italian sausage, brats, breakfast sausage, hot links, and straight up smoked sausages. I've used both the Kitchen Aid attachment, and (no lies) a pastry bag! I think it's time to streamline the stuffing process with a good stuffer.

Thanks once again for all your help! I will share what I end up with soon. :thumb:

Fwismoker 04-14-2014 08:57 PM


Originally Posted by Bludawg (Post 2880959)
Build a UDS!

Close build a mini WSM, it'll be your best and most versatile cooker.

Vasconia pot- $20
Smokey Joe Gold- $35
Expanded steel for basket-$10
Misc hardware- $10
Extra cooking grate- optional-$16
w/ extra grate.$91

Rusty Kettle 04-14-2014 09:06 PM

Could always build an ugly drum smoker. They are cheap and have huge capacity for cooking. I have heard they are good. I don't have one but there are tons of people who love them. Just saying it would really bring you a lot more space. Plus you might have money left over for meat.

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