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Old 06-06-2014, 01:20 PM   #12
Lake Dogs
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Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Originally Posted by bacchus99 View Post
I've been backyard bbq'ing for awhile now and have been somewhat interested in competing. I know NOTHING about it. Where would one start? A few questions.

1. Take me thru a standard competition weekend. How much prep outside of the weekend is needed?

Pretty much like Ron. 2 weeks ahead I call my meat supplier and put in my order. The weekend before I make sure I have my detail schedule printed (LARGE so it can be seen at 3am) and my packing list ready to go. Over the next days we're prep'ing as much ahead of time as we can, and if we can, I start packing. Anything not packed by Thursday gets packed on Thursday. Also, on Thursday afternoon I go to my meat supplier and pick up the meat that I ordered. Everything packed and meat on ice. If there's chicken involved, I pull the skins and scrape them at this time. Bright and early Friday morning we're on the road...

2. Is it family oriented? Are people bringing their kids and are they running around all over?

Most, yes, but the kids stay close. There's LOTS of fire everywhere. There's always alcohol consumption. If people are afraid of what their kids see, then they dont bring the kids.

3. Are they usually one day or held over a full weekend?

Full weekend, but some want you out Saturday evening. I never cared for these. We like to stay Saturday night (while we're packing up) and head out by noon on Sunday.

4. How often do most folks compete? Every weekend or a few times a year?

Everyone is different. I know of competitors who compete 40 times a year. I know some who compete once or twice if they can. Dont discount the infrequent competitors; some know what they're doing but dont have the time nor money to do it more often.

5. How costly is it? Are meats provided as part of entry fees?

It's rare that meats are supplied, and on most of those I dont use their meats anyway... The average KCBS comp runs me about $800 when it's all said and done with. For me, the average MBN competition runs about $1,500 and I dont do whole hog... GBA just over $800.

6. A lot of travel involved?

Different for everyone. I/we dont travel more than 2.5 hours in any direction, but we have tons of competitions available to us down the road...

7. Any drama?

Always a little at every competition, but we've never been part of it, except when the kid climbed into our smoker one time trying to go to sleep...

8. Can/Do you drink frosty beverages while competing?

Only if you share.

I have raced off-road RC cars for a few years but now that I have a son its hard to get to the track. I really enjoyed the competition aspect of racing and the comradery at the track. I guess I'm curious if I'd enjoy competing in BBQ comps. Any advice would be great!

in blue above.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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