Originally Posted by bluzieq
My Q is really good, I'm not an inexperienced cook But am new to comps. ... Are we "in the way" at comps or do or will we be looked down on? I've spent money on smokers,banners,team logo, T-shirts but I really just want to cook and enjoy hanging out with other BBQ nuts like me.
You won't be looked down upon. BBQ people are generally friendly, except between 10AM and 1:30PM on turn in day. A lot of people will welcome guests on the prior day after the prep work is done.
You may still want to consider going the sanctioned contest route and find out how good your Q really is. The Barbecue Pitmaster judges aren't going to pop into your tent to critique what you are doing.
I think people are intimidated a lot by the "pro" contests, but there will be teams of all experience levels at most contests. It's not going to be you vs. a field of hardened professionals.