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-   -   Request for Advice for our First Competition (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63413)

cgwaite 06-11-2009 11:00 AM

Request for Advice for our First Competition
 
A fellow Brethren and I have an opportunity to enter our first "real" BBQ competition, which is to occur on July 17, 2009 at the College Football Hall of Fame here in South Bend, IN. The contest is KCBS sanctioned, but the only area is ribs. The Rib cook-off is part of the festivities surrounding the 2009 Enshrinement Event.

I've read thru most of the postings in the competition area and have gotten many good bits of advice. The thread "Your worst box ever" was especially enlightening, although there were quite a few boxes that looked pretty good to me. Guess that just shows what a noob I am at competition level BBQ. I know there will be many curveballs and challenges for us to deal with at this event. What I would really like is any tidbits of advice that you seasoned competitors may wish to share with someone preparing to compete in their first competition.

Since we will also be cooking as part of the Professional Catering group (we have just started working with a local pub), we expect to have two or three UDS cookers going, to supply food for the attendees of the event. We are still in the planning phase, but I think that pulled pork sandwiches would probably work the best. Of course, we may do some MOINK balls, ABTs and a Fattie or two. Depends upon how much cash we have to spend.

I will post the information on the event in a separate thread, in case anyone else is interested.

Thanks, in advance, for all your suggestions and advice.

timzcardz 06-11-2009 11:07 AM

I would say just go to have fun and expecting to come in last, and it will probably turn out better than anticpated.

Everything else is just details.

Divemaster 06-11-2009 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timzcardz (Post 948065)
I would say just go to have fun and expecting to come in last, and it will probably turn out better than anticpated.

Everything else is just details.

What ^^^^ said... Having fun and not being to 'full of your self' is the big things!

crd26a 06-11-2009 11:46 AM

How many attendees are you expecting? Are you going to be required to feed anyone that walks up and wants food? Have you worked out the cost / logistics? Also, how many will be assisting you? If you're feeding at turn in times, you need more hands to deal with the crowds while you're prepping your turn in items.

early mornin' smokin' 06-11-2009 11:49 AM

so its a kcbs sanctioned rib only contest? My advice, cook as many racks as you can, try out a couple different things, and go and have a good time!!

thillin 06-11-2009 11:51 AM

The less stuff you take, the less to load at the end...

cgwaite 06-11-2009 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crd26a (Post 948118)
How many attendees are you expecting? Are you going to be required to feed anyone that walks up and wants food? Have you worked out the cost / logistics? Also, how many will be assisting you? If you're feeding at turn in times, you need more hands to deal with the crowds while you're prepping your turn in items.

Since we are entering as a Professional Catering team, we can cook for the crowd and would be allowed to sell items. We don't have to give anything away, but could if we so chose.

Because of this fact, I was thinking that pulled pork sandwiches would be an easy way to handle this. We might do some ribs as well, but that all depends upon how much cash we have left over after the fees are paid. As for extra hands to deal with the crowd, that's a good point. I think I could recruit a couple of friends to help with that area.

Thanks!

crd26a 06-11-2009 12:31 PM

I'm not trying to be a buzzkill, but think through if you want to enter the catering portion, especially if you don't have any idea on how many people you're expecting and / or not used to doing it.

I'll use Plowboy as an example. I read in his post from last week he took RGC at The World Pork Expo cookoff last weekend, and in one of his posts, they catered / served 2300 over three days, sold rub, plus competed in all four categories. I have no clue how he pulled it off.

Now as the College Football Hall of Fame induction is a big event, let's say you get 500 people across your booth (probably less, but just sayin....) If you serve 4oz's of pulled pork per person, you're talking about 250 lbs of uncooked pork you need to fire, or around 32 butts. 6 oz's and youre at 375 lbs or 48 butts, 8 ozs 500 lbs or 64 butts. Its a lot of work, plus a lot of labor to pull it off.

I'd recommend for your first comp to just go and compete, watch the vendors, then make the call if you want to try and actually do it.

Dr_KY 06-11-2009 01:01 PM

Make money and have fun doing so.
I don't know of any advice other than the above that will help you enjoy the day...besides vodka.

cgwaite 06-11-2009 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crd26a (Post 948166)
I'm not trying to be a buzzkill, but think through if you want to enter the catering portion, especially if you don't have any idea on how many people you're expecting and / or not used to doing it.

I'll use Plowboy as an example. I read in his post from last week he took RGC at The World Pork Expo cookoff last weekend, and in one of his posts, they catered / served 2300 over three days, sold rub, plus competed in all four categories. I have no clue how he pulled it off.

Now as the College Football Hall of Fame induction is a big event, let's say you get 500 people across your booth (probably less, but just sayin....) If you serve 4oz's of pulled pork per person, you're talking about 250 lbs of uncooked pork you need to fire, or around 32 butts. 6 oz's and youre at 375 lbs or 48 butts, 8 ozs 500 lbs or 64 butts. Its a lot of work, plus a lot of labor to pull it off.

I'd recommend for your first comp to just go and compete, watch the vendors, then make the call if you want to try and actually do it.


Thanks for laying things out in easy to understand terms. You are right, that is a whole lot of work and a whole lot of pork butt. I will discuss this at length with my partner to see what his thoughts are on the subject. We want to give a good impression, and the margin for failure here could be greater than we need to risk.

BTW, it's not a buzzkill, it's called recognizing reality! Thanks again.

cgwaite 06-11-2009 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr_KY (Post 948185)
Make money and have fun doing so.
I don't know of any advice other than the above that will help you enjoy the day...besides vodka.

Thanks Dr K.Y. Vodka => Good! :razz:

Dr_KY 06-11-2009 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crd26a (Post 948166)

I'll use Plowboy as an example. I read in his post from last week he took RGC at The World Pork Expo cookoff last weekend, and in one of his posts, they catered / served 2300 over three days, sold rub, plus competed in all four categories. I have no clue how he pulled it off.

We don't know what's in his rubs or Big Mistas brisket but they make it look like second nature. I would imagine it was hard work but it's all about what you put in to get out. :icon_cool

KC_Bobby 06-11-2009 01:23 PM

Is your purpose for participating in this activity to:
1) compete
2) have fun
3) experience and learn
4) make money

cgwaite 06-11-2009 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KC_Bobby (Post 948206)
Is your purpose for participating in this activity to:
1) compete
2) have fun
3) experience and learn
4) make money


I would say that this list sums up why I want to participate in the event. That is the priority I would put on my expectations.

First and foremost, competing with others to make the best looking and tasting BBQ is what it's really all about. I need to find out if I am as good as I think I am (Actually I am sure that I am not).

Second, if you aren't having fun, you should not be doing it!

Third, without doing it, you can't fully understand the experience and you won't learn the things you need to learn.

Fourth, if you are able to get a little return on your investment, all the better. Getting paid to do something you love is great. However, I view this more as a investment in advertising than a way to make quick money. I have yet to hear of anyone making their fortune on the BBQ Competition circuit.

KC_Bobby 06-11-2009 02:59 PM

I was thinking, choose one of the four as your primary reason.

If you are going to primarily compete with hopes of getting some calls or seriously learning, you may not want to vend - not your first time.


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