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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 05-04-2008, 08:00 AM   #1
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Default What does a GC feel like?

I got to thinking this morning looking at some of the past contests this spring. Seams like there have been a few new teams getting GC. I've been doing comps for about 5 years and am still waiting for my turn.

Got a few questions for you GC teams.
1) What does it feel like?
2) What do you think your biggest differance was to get you that GC? (from all your other attempts)
3) How long did you cook before you got your first GC.

I thought would be fun to see some of your answers.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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1) For my first, I had to sit down for about 20 minutes.
2a) Consist process with the least amount of effort & resources possible.
2b) Quite honestly, 2007 was our best year ever by far. It was also the first year that we commercially made Yardbird Rub. Looking back at our past mixes we'd made on our own with spices from the grocery store, etc... it wasn't the same product. We now use it on everything except brisket. I gotta think that helped us since always have used Blues Hog sauce exclusively.
3) Our GC came in the 8th year of competing. I figure we had done 60-70 contests by that point.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 09:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
1) What does it feel like?
2) What do you think your biggest difference was to get you that GC? (from all your other attempts)
3) How long did you cook before you got your first GC.
1) Though I've been a GC three times now, (twice with the Belly Brothers and once while cooking with my wife) none of the victories have been in a KCBS sanctioned contest. For me, that has always been my first thought, why couldn't this one have been sanctioned. I think the longer you cook, the more familiar you become with "what it takes, placing wise" to get to the level of GC. I know at the contest that the wife and I just won, that only the top 5 placings were called. We didn't get a call in chicken or ribs, but got a 3rd call in pork and a 1st call in brisket. I lean over to the wife and said, "if we could get a descent placing in ribs and chicken, we might get reserve." When Team Q was called for reserve, my hopes were kind of deflated, I figured 3rd overall again. Jimmy Fitzsimmons (River City Smokehouse) was sitting about 6 feet away from us, and I remember him turning and looking smack dab at us.....I don't know if he had heard what I had said to my wife, or if he was thinking the pork and brisket scores was strong enough to bring us a win....but when our names were called as GC, it was more of a feeling of "no way" than "OMG, we did it."

2) First, you've got to hit your target temps for doneness to achieve the texture that you are looking for to put in the presentation box. This will vary per cook. I know what I'm looking for, it may not be the same as you. Second, I follow the advice I gave to another competitor recently about building the boxes.....clean cuts, look for good symmetry of the product in the box, stand back and take a look, and a quick spritz before you close the lid. Building a box is like artwork, the judge is going to eat with their eyes first, and if you make it look as appealing as possible, it sure doesn't hurt. Third, the biggest achievement is turning in 4 consistently good products....hitting top 10 in chicken, ribs, and pork and then tanking in brisket will not make you a GC.

3) The Belly Brothers team got both of their GCs in our second year of competing, the 1st being at the Tiger Shrine contest, the year before it became sanctioned, then followed up at the Hallsville Heritage days a month later. Last year was a very strong year for us in sanctioned contests, getting a RGC, 3rd and 4th....and we're working on the consistency part so we can get over the hump and get that sanctioned GC. The wife and I have cooked three contests, and have a 3rd, an 18th (a good example of lack of consistency, and a good example of don't go changing what you do to brisket at a major competition), and a GC.

So to sum it all up.......there are a ton of good cooks that come out to these contests....and a lot of them turn out quality product. But there comes a point where you have to learn to compete....being a competitor rather than just a cook is what will get you to that coveted grand championship. You've got to bring your "A" game every competition, because the ones cooking around you are.......when you've got guys like Great Grills, Lit and Loaded, Team Q, Trail Boss BBQ, Pork Pulling Plowboys, and I could go on and on and on.....these guys know how to compete.....they ain't there just for the party, they are there to take your money! And if you cook against a good level of competitors long enough, you'll be faced with one of three decisions.....1) I'm here for the party........2) I'm in it to win it.....3)it's time to stay home and play with the kids or the grandkids......
Me........I'm in it to win it.........
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Unread 05-04-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
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Geez........sorry for the ramble.....should have kept it short and sweet....
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Unread 05-04-2008, 10:40 AM   #5
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The first one was undescribeable!! We were on a 2 week high!! It was a moment that I will never forget. The second, although sweet, was not as emotional as the first. We cooked for 6 years before our first GC, 4 of those years were spent rotating categories so that we each had a year to cook in each of the 4 categories. If someone dropped out for any reason, anyone of us could fill in and be familiar with the category. After 4 years, who ever scored the highest in each category would cook that category from now on. Overall, teamwork, dedication and persistance is what it takes to be a winner.

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Unread 05-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkick View Post
Geez........sorry for the ramble.....should have kept it short and sweet....
Your not rambling that is some great advise! I am just glad I did not have to pay $$$$ for it! Thanks for your perspective!
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Unread 05-04-2008, 04:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
1) For my first, I had to sit down for about 20 minutes.
2a) Consist process with the least amount of effort & resources possible.
2b) Quite honestly, 2007 was our best year ever by far. It was also the first year that we commercially made Yardbird Rub. Looking back at our past mixes we'd made on our own with spices from the grocery store, etc... it wasn't the same product. We now use it on everything except brisket. I gotta think that helped us since always have used Blues Hog sauce exclusively.
3) Our GC came in the 8th year of competing. I figure we had done 60-70 contests by that point.
I want to thank you sincerely for your help at AR. So what if I may ask do use on brisket?

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff
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Unread 05-04-2008, 05:13 PM   #8
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kind of like this only better.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 07:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTSmokehouse View Post
I want to thank you sincerely for your help at AR. So what if I may ask do use on brisket?

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff
Another soon to be released Plowboys rub.
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Unread 05-04-2008, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ_Mayor View Post
I got to thinking this morning looking at some of the past contests this spring. Seams like there have been a few new teams getting GC. I've been doing comps for about 5 years and am still waiting for my turn.

Got a few questions for you GC teams.
1) What does it feel like?
2) What do you think your biggest differance was to get you that GC? (from all your other attempts)
3) How long did you cook before you got your first GC.

I thought would be fun to see some of your answers.
I think - kinda like Kick -- it varies. I've won several unsanctioned events, I've been a part of the HoDeDo machine when they have won (Box runner for the guys as a kid), But over time - that stuff has not mattered as much... the longer I cooked on the KCBS contest scene, the more I wanted a win there - amongst my mentors, idols, etc. It isn't just about getting a GC, it is about winning against all the folks I know and respect.

I would say the best GC experience I had - was this year at Pleasant Hill... I can't even explain it - I'm at a good friend's contest, able to support him. I'm cooking with another good friend, breaking in his new rig. And I am competing with a TON of friends and strong competitors. To win there with Todd... I can't even tell ya all the stuff running through my head. Mark H ( Great Grills) told me - just to breath in and out, let the emotions flow, and just take it all in. It was very emotional for me. I've had a couple reserves this year, and they feel good too -- but once you get the GC, after the high wears off ( a couple weeks later) you start trying to get to that second one!!!!

This is my 7th year cooking completely on my own. -- I would say the biggest difference is frequency of cooking.... Last year I ended up cooking 18-20 contests. I practiced all winter, and I cook during the week. Cook, cook, cook..... that is the difference. I spent the last 24 months making the cooking almost routine. Then it was just what I equate to "fine tuning"...
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Unread 05-04-2008, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
Another soon to be released Plowboys rub.
Keep me in the loop...look forward to trying it...

Yours in BBQ,

Cliff
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Unread 05-04-2008, 11:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ_Mayor View Post
I got to thinking this morning looking at some of the past contests this spring. Seams like there have been a few new teams getting GC. I've been doing comps for about 5 years and am still waiting for my turn.

Got a few questions for you GC teams.
1) What does it feel like?
2) What do you think your biggest differance was to get you that GC? (from all your other attempts)
3) How long did you cook before you got your first GC.

I thought would be fun to see some of your answers.
When I get my first GC I will let you know all three answers. So far the closest we have come is an RGC.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 07:57 AM   #13
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Thanks to everybody for the infomation and tips. It really helps.

I just get caught in a funk sometimes and wonder if I'll ever hit one. I'm really going to work at it and get this right. Be looking for me. You know I'll post if I ever get a chance to make the grand walk.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ_Mayor View Post
Thanks to everybody for the infomation and tips. It really helps.

I just get caught in a funk sometimes and wonder if I'll ever hit one. I'm really going to work at it and get this right. Be looking for me. You know I'll post if I ever get a chance to make the grand walk.
You are not alone in that feeling. Once you win your first, you'll be just as eager to win your second so that you can tell yourself that it wasn't a fluke.
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Unread 05-05-2008, 10:10 AM   #15
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Once you win your first, you'll be just as eager to win your second so that you can tell yourself that it wasn't a fluke.
Amen.
And then you want to prove that it wasn't a fluke that it wasn't a fluke. Ugh. It just keeps going...

But what a great feeling! And each is better than the last.
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