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Unread 08-14-2013, 10:34 PM   #10
marubozo
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If people you cook for already love your food, and this is just a small non-sanctioned event that will likely be judged by run of the mill locals, then just cook them like you always cook them. Don't mess with something that you know pleases you and others.

I was in the same boat for my first backyard comp. I got all worked up about trying to do stuff I've never done before, try new techniques, and all of that. In the end I just went out there and cooked everything I always cook and stuff people always seemed to like. Came home with a few trophies and a few hundred bucks heavier in the wallet. And since I was cooking stuff I've done a hundred times before, the stress level was very low.

So just go out there and give it a go and put out your best product that you already know is good. Since you're not talking about a sanctioned event with certified judges looking for a very specific style and product, as long as it tastes good and is pretty tender, you will likely do great.
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