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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.


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Unread 09-30-2013, 11:28 AM   #46
Kave Dweller
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I hate drinking alone, so why would ya try?
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Unread 09-30-2013, 01:39 PM   #47
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Personally do it 6 to 7 times a year with a stickburner. With that being said, if I was to ever really get into this hobby and start pushing 12 to 20 comps a year, I feel like I would need to move on to a cabinet style cooker (Pitmaker, Backwoods, Stumps, etc), just to be able to get more sleep. As far as pit size to comfortable be able to cook comps, mine has a 23 x 48 lower grate and a 20 x 48 upper grate, plenty of cook surface for the comp meats.
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Unread 09-30-2013, 02:19 PM   #48
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Absolutely. A good friend of mine competes by himself in probably 20 KCBS comps a year. He was less than three points out of RGC in a comp this weekend, all four categories in the top 10. He makes it look easy to compete by yourself but he's been competing by himself for several years.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #49
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Go for it...make sure you get your stuff done early and hold. I keep a grill going and one smoker crank the heat after 10, to be able to flash things..Get your boxes preped the night before, get your sauces heating up around 10 also. I set up on butchers paper and when I get back from a turn in, clear the area and put fresh paper down, area cleans instanly
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Unread 10-01-2013, 05:34 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBellyBBQ View Post
Go for it...make sure you get your stuff done early and hold. I keep a grill going and one smoker crank the heat after 10, to be able to flash things..Get your boxes preped the night before, get your sauces heating up around 10 also. I set up on butchers paper and when I get back from a turn in, clear the area and put fresh paper down, area cleans instanly
Butcher Paper? Nice! Is it shiggin if I steal that idea?
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Unread 10-01-2013, 10:23 AM   #51
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I've been cooking solo for the past year now. My wife will come out and give me a hand here and there but I have also done many comps by myself - I'll roll in with my truck packed with my smoker, pop-up tent, and tables. It helps to be relatively close to turn in when you are by yourself!
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Unread 10-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty250 View Post
I've been cooking solo for the past year now. My wife will come out and give me a hand here and there but I have also done many comps by myself - I'll roll in with my truck packed with my smoker, pop-up tent, and tables. It helps to be relatively close to turn in when you are by yourself!
Smitty makes a great point about being close to turn in. Most organizers will put you close if you tell them you are a 1 man team and ask to be put close to turn in.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:03 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBellyBBQ View Post
Go for it...make sure you get your stuff done early and hold. I keep a grill going and one smoker crank the heat after 10, to be able to flash things..Get your boxes preped the night before, get your sauces heating up around 10 also. I set up on butchers paper and when I get back from a turn in, clear the area and put fresh paper down, area cleans instanly


Thanks! This is great info!!

How do you "hold" the meat so it doesn't overcook or otherwise go down in quality? A Cambro? Warming Box?
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:07 PM   #54
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So one other question related to this topic: suppose I had my heart set on getting a stickburner but also want to be cognizant of the fact that sleep gets harder as a result - does getting an offset or reverse-flow cooker with insulated firebox and/or chamber make a difference?

Since this would also be actively used at home and I live near Chicago (cold winters!) would this kind of setup help a bit with the sleep issue?
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:08 PM   #55
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I've done almost all of my competitions alone. This year was the first year I ever cooked with a team. I didn't know what to do with myself. I kept thinking, "Oh..sh!t.... I've got to...no.. wait... I don't. Someone else has got that covered."

You can definitely cook alone. You DO need a cooker you don't have to tend a lot, (I use two UDSs) and you DEFINITELY have to have your timeline planned out, (my timeline is broken down into five minute increments from 11:30 until 1:30) and you have to have gear that you can manage by yourself, (I have a 10X20 ez up that I can't use if I'm setting up by myself. But I CAN use two 10X10s).

It is a lot of work and you have to move. But if your cooker(s) is/are good, you can even get some sleep.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 09:00 PM   #56
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My stick burner needs attention every 30 to 45 minutes so that leaves time for cat naps and that would be about it.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 01:31 AM   #57
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I use my backwoods fat boy, put in 10 or 11pm I can put 3 butts and two briskets in there, grab sleep till 3 am ck fire..then sleep till 6 am...done around 8 or 9.
I fire the southern pride with lump and split wood at 6 am , the fan that runs the gas runs to fan the wood, (propane removed) and pit runs normallly 235 to 300, using the regular controller.sweet spot is 260..if I open the wood pit door I can go up to 400
ribs go in at 6
butts or brisket out and held in blankets, 1 hour then moved to cambro or empty ice chest
butts or brisket back in hot oven to bark up, in/ out 30 minutes or previous turn in..
butcher papper in several areas to keep clean and when I am vending unused comp gets wrapped in foil and back in oven to hold till after turn in to prep to sell..
once you get your timing down but get your stuff done early as something goes aray...meat stall, rain...you name it and it happens..
but if you can get someone just to help with little things..however I am a grumpy old fart and they just cant anticipate your moves and always seem to be standing where I am going!!
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Unread 10-02-2013, 11:29 AM   #58
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I've done ok by myself this past season (my first competing). My wife has been around a couple times and aside from turn in box building she does absolutely nothing. Turn in boxes are a huge deal, sure but there are times where I have an hour or two with little/nothing to do and could handle building boxes in that time if she weren't there.

It's a lot of work, and there will be times you wish you had an extra pair of hands (to open/close lids, hand paper towels, etc), but it's absolutely do-able.

I'd suggest you do a practice run in the backyard. Do all four, make boxes, have deadline turn in times, etc. Do it entirely by yourself.

You'll either realize you can't/don't want to do it alone, or you'll realize that it's totally easy - it just needs to have steps dialed in with some practice and foresight so you go smoothly.
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