喫煙者
The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS.


Forum Portal Recipes Smoke Signals Magazine Welocme Merchandise Associations Purchase Subscription Brethren Banners
Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Competition BBQ

Notices

Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


Reply
Thread Tools
Unread 10-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
Stacks
On the road to being a farker
 
Join Date: 09-28-10
Location: Clinton, MO
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default Rookie Year - Lessons Learned

2011 was my Rookie year competing and I have to admit it was more fun than I ever could have thought. Very seldom do you get a chance to be around so many folks at once who are both as passionate about the sport as you and so willing to aid in your success.
I only competed in 2 events this first year. The first had 32 teams. I came in 4th in brisket and 10th in chicken with 15 overall. The second had 64 teams. I took 4th in pork and 25th overall. I was VERY happy with my first year and everything I learned.
I see a lot of posts from new Q'rs or wanna be teams asking the very same questions I did last year. I was hoping to add maybe a few things I learned that I never knew to ask. These are in no particular order.
1. Competing is VERY expensive. I'm a one man team so I take on all the expense (why I only did two comps). Plan the financial part out and save up for the contests. During your practice keep tabs on the financial aspects as well as the cooking. Get sponsors if you can, I haven't learned how to do that yet.
2. Plan for bad weather. Wind, rain, and cold. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
3. At the cooks meeting, let everyone know it's your first comp. I don't like to bother people especially with my stupid questions. I found out really fast it's no bother. Folks are more than willing to answer questions and help you get your feet planted.
4. Get your timing down. While I never missed a turn in, I found more often than not I was too early. I'd have my box ready 5 minutes before the turn ins started. 10 minutes is really A LOT of time if you've planned
5. If you're a one man show, either recruit help to deliver your turn in box or take the time to find the shortest route to the judges. It gets pretty hectic and saving a few steps will help a lot.
6. Remember to eat. I was so wrapped up in getting stuff packed, loaded, set up, etc on my first comp it never occured to me to plan on bringing some food. Beer yes, food no.
7. Don't read too much into your scores. I obsessed over them. How can you get 8's and 9's from 4 judges and 6's and 7's from the other two? Were the low scores from a CBJ? Were the high ones? I got a great piece of advice. "don't change a thing until the results are consistant over 3 competitions."
8. Practice, Practice, Practice. Set up your gear in the back yard and do a full comp. I do a practice in the spring and fall. Set your practice dates at least a month in advance. Mother nature is always a factor and I have a tendancy to practice under blue sky and shining stars. Play "what if." What if the power goes out? What if the water is 600 yards away? What if I get a torrental downpour and my site floods?
9. Take detailed notes during the comp. Rubs, sauces, charcoal, temps, weather, wind, times, method, etc will give you clues to what you did right and what you did wrong when the scores come in.
10. Buy a good BIG clock. My first comp I used my cell phone clock which was a bad idea when my hands became greasy.
11. While I haven't done this yet, take a judges course and judge a couple of events. This is my plan for next season before I compete again. I need to walk a mile in their shoes and I need to know what I'm trying to achieve as a cook.
12. For many teams the competition is secondary. Getting together with friends and family to party and socialize is the goal for the weekend. For many teams the competition is business. Winning is the goal, everything else is secondary. Most fall in between. You'll quickly figure out where people are coming from. Have fun and be respectful, they'll do the same for you.
13. You can never have enough coolers.
14. Don't wait til the morning of the comp to buy parsley. Two days before my first comp I went to my local grocer to get parsley. There was a ton of beautiful bunches so I decided to wait until the night before to come back and purchase. Who knew parsley was so popular? The morning of, I had to go to 4 different stores to get what I needed.

Anyway, these are some of the things I learned this last year. I hope someone will find them helpful if they decide to jump in and compete. Feel free to add any more "lesson's learned."
__________________
SAUCED HOG BBQ / KCBS CBJ #60733
Stacks is offline   Reply With Quote


1 members found this post helpful.
Unread 10-05-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
BBQchef33
Grand Poobah and Site Admin
 
BBQchef33's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08-11-03
Location: Long Island, NY
Downloads: 15
Uploads: 4
Default

great post for the new guys startig out.. I tagged it in the roadmap.

Heres something to add regarding your practice runs. Start with all your 'stuff' outside of the site... once you use it, it stays inside the site. At the end of your practice run, all the stuff still outside is not needed.. take it out of your site suypplies and put them in the JIC box(just in case) that you leave home most of the time. When i first started out, I would take the kitchen sink.... and all that clutter is not only distracting, but makes things more difficult. Lighten the load and stay organized.
__________________
Site Administrator and
Grand PooBah

CBJ with a Fuzzy Blue Hat, 18 Foot Competition Trailer, Customized Klose BYC, Custom Klose built MoAB (Mother of All Banderas) passed on to Big Dog, 1 Double Barreled Lang 84, 1 Heavily Modified Bionic Bandera, 1 Custom Super Medium Stickburning Spicewine w/stoker, 1 XL BGE, 1 Mini BGE, 1 Pit Barrel Cooker, 3 WSMs, 3 Weber Kettles, an NB Hondo, A Modified Brinkman Horizontal, DCS 48" Grill, a Broilmaster P3, a covered, pellet pooping FEC100, and our duck died. :(

News Flash:
"A mans worth is judged by the weight of his integrity "

You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy


Smoke on KC.
WWW.BBQ-BRETHREN.COM
BBQchef33 is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 10-05-2011, 02:09 PM   #3
Kenny Rogers
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 07-13-11
Location: Medical Lake, WA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Great Job Stacks! Congrats on your WONDERFUL finishes for your first year!
__________________
Chad Lindsey - Medical Lake, WA; Team - LindseyQ (Yes we're on Facebook)
Kenny Rogers is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
Just Pulin' Pork
is one Smokin' Farker

 
Join Date: 03-08-08
Location: Overland Park Kansas
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Line the table you are working off of with aluminum foil or saran wrap. Makes clean up a breeze but it does add to the expense.

Jon
Just Pulin' Pork is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from: --->
Unread 10-05-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
Kenny Rogers
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 07-13-11
Location: Medical Lake, WA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Those disposable paper cutting boards are pretty handy too!
__________________
Chad Lindsey - Medical Lake, WA; Team - LindseyQ (Yes we're on Facebook)
Kenny Rogers is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
HarleyGirl14226
Full Fledged Farker

 
HarleyGirl14226's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12-30-10
Location: Amherst, NY
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

WTG Stacks!

This was our Rookie year as well and I can't believe all of the lessons we learned the hard way. We did 6 KCBS contests - 4 of which had the added NEBS contest added to the weekend. It's hard to believe it's over already!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacks View Post
6. Remember to eat. I was so wrapped up in getting stuff packed, loaded, set up, etc on my first comp it never occured to me to plan on bringing some food. Beer yes, food no."
Don't forget to drink - and I don't mean beer and Gentleman's Jack (although that does seem to help). In our first comp. this year I found myself getting dehydrated because we were just to busy to bother with drinking water. Now we make sure to bring a case of water to every comp. and remind each other to drink it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacks View Post
13. You can never have enough coolers."
Ditto. We bought a second one after our 1st comp. - so now we have two of the GIANT coolers, plus two smaller ones we use for parsley and Misc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacks View Post
14. Don't wait til the morning of the comp to buy parsley. Two days before my first comp I went to my local grocer to get parsley. There was a ton of beautiful bunches so I decided to wait until the night before to come back and purchase. Who knew parsley was so popular? The morning of, I had to go to 4 different stores to get what I needed.
We found Restaurant Depot to have nicer parsley than our local grocery store - and way cheaper - by about half the cost.


We also found that having a standard packing list for everything that didn't stay on the trailer was helpful when packing... We also put together a detailed time schedule that we reviewed before we packed to make sure we never forgot to prep something, and that everything was prepped and put on the cookers on time. This saved us a few times...
__________________
Gail
The 5th Artery BBQ
https://www.facebook.com/The5thArteryBBQ

KCBS / NEBS / CBJ
MAK 2 Star General / Yoder YS640
2 - WSM's 22 1/2 / 3 - Weber kettle's
Backwoods Fatboy
PINK Thermapen
HarleyGirl14226 is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from: --->
Unread 10-05-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
Stoke&Smoke
Babbling Farker

 
Stoke&Smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12-18-07
Location: Western burbs of Chicago, IL
Downloads: 1
Uploads: 0
Default

That is a great write up right there, and your calls for only 2 comps are impressive!
__________________
2 Skinny Cooks Competition Team
http://2SkinnyCooks.blogspot.com
KCBS CJ/TC #17139 Member ILBBQS
Too many cookers to list
Stoke&Smoke is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
fnbish
Babbling Farker

 
fnbish's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-10-11
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Very cool and great post. We have 2 competitions left in our first year and after all is said and done for 2011 I'm hopefully going to put something similar together. I totally agree with everything you have up there.
__________________
-Jason
Shirley Fabrication Offset Awesome Pit
22.5 WSM
Backwoods G2 Party & G2 Chubby
Big Green Egg XL
Weber 18.5 Kettle
"Tenacious Q" Competition Team, Head Idiot
Follow Tenacious Q on Facebook!!
KCBS CBJ
fnbish is online now   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 05:38 PM   #9
TEAM PIG IRON
Got Wood.
 
Join Date: 09-29-11
Location: niagara falls new york
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Great post way to go! We are a rookie team too... we took an 8thhr place for pork and 1sta place chicken it is a great feeling taking that walk! Im hooked!
TEAM PIG IRON is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 08:17 PM   #10
CivilWarBBQ
is One Chatty Farker
 
CivilWarBBQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08-08-07
Location: Cartersville, GA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Very nice info for newbies.

One thing I would add to your comment about coolers - especially for one man bands like yourself: Don't buy coolers larger than about 75 quart, as you'll find them too heavy for one person to pick up when filled up with ice and food. Even though it is more expensive, better to purchase multiple smaller capacity coolers that you will be able to handle comfortably without assistance.
CivilWarBBQ is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 08:23 PM   #11
GreenDrake
is one Smokin' Farker
 
GreenDrake's Avatar
 
Join Date: 06-21-10
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Yep, I am a habitual overpacker. Only bring what you need, nothing more. You won't use what you think you need after a dry run doing the "outside the pit" run. Prevents you from tweaking your formula last minute too. Other than honey/karo or sauce. Get the methods nailed down, beat them into your brain. I have worked my chicken for the last year and a half...finally getting there with it. Ribs need work next.
__________________
PNWBA - Hayden, Idaho http://www.facebook.com/BC2BBQ
GreenDrake is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #12
Pack-A-Smokes
On the road to being a farker
 
Join Date: 09-13-11
Location: Johnson City, TN
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Pulin' Pork View Post
Line the table you are working off of with aluminum foil or saran wrap. Makes clean up a breeze but it does add to the expense.

Jon
BIG roles of butcher paper from Sam's. Tends to be cheaper and works just as well.

I was lucky enough to talk to a guy that had been in the circuit for years, but he was an overpacker. Took us a few comps to learn we did not need two or three of everything.
__________________
Todd
Lang 60DX
22.5 WSM x2
'There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you'll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment,'- Nick Saban
Pack-A-Smokes is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
CBQ
is One Chatty Farker

 
CBQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-11-09
Location: Cumberland, RI
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyGirl14226 View Post
WTG Stacks!

This was our Rookie year as well and I can't believe all of the lessons we learned the hard way.
Like the best way to walk up for calls, and how to pack and store all those trophies?

The 5th Artery had a rocking rookie year.
__________________
Chris
ZBQ Competition BBQ Team, Rhode Island
"The Most Dangerous Team in BBQ" - Jon Vallone
www.teamzbq.com

KCBS, KCBS CBJ, NEBS
CBQ is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 10-06-2011, 09:03 AM   #14
bigsapper
Take a breath!
 
Join Date: 06-09-11
Location: Plano, TX
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Great post. I'm fixin to start doing a few comps here & there. This thread has some great info.

I especially like the idea of doing a practice comp.
__________________
El Quattro Cacti Chili & BBQ Team
Large BGE
bigsapper is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 10-06-2011, 09:30 AM   #15
Stacks
On the road to being a farker
 
Join Date: 09-28-10
Location: Clinton, MO
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Rogers View Post
Those disposable paper cutting boards are pretty handy too!
I don't know if this is a lesson learned but it sure made things easier for my team of one.
While I'm at a comp I have my water, soap, and pan, but I don't do dishes. It's mainly for hand washing and knife cleaning.
My table is hard plastic, so I use a clorox spray and paper towels after each use. All my trimming is done at home the night before. My sauces and injections are in plastic water containers (back packing type) and marked for each meat and I have a seperate injector or brush for each, and I use the disposable paper cutting boards.
After using each I put them in a plastic bag and wash them when I get home after the competition. May not be for everyone, but it really helps me to have one less thing to worry about.
Thanks everyone for their input!
__________________
SAUCED HOG BBQ / KCBS CBJ #60733
Stacks is offline   Reply With Quote


Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lessons Learned from my first big cook jcpetro97 Q-talk 4 12-13-2011 02:48 PM
Lamb Lessons Learned HeSmellsLikeSmoke Q-talk 21 01-11-2010 05:43 PM
Lessons from a rookie. NickelsWorth Competition BBQ 15 01-07-2009 07:11 AM
Lessons learned last weekend BBQ Bandit Q-talk 2 07-19-2008 08:16 PM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Loading



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.0 Beta 4 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2003 -2012 © BBQ-Brethren Inc. All rights reserved. All Content and Flaming Pig Logo are registered and protected under U.S and International Copyright and Trademarks. Content Within this Website Is Property of BBQ Brethren Inc. Reproduction or alteration is strictly prohibited.