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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 08-04-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
Tsevg9
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Talking Taking this Plunge - First Comp

Ok guys,

I saw a sign at a local church a few weeks ago that said Kings of BBQ competition. It got me curious. I've been cooking on my drum smoker for a little under a year now and loving every minute of it. I've done a bunch of research about what goes on in competitions, but never seen one in person.

So last week, me and a buddy decided we would enter the Backyard class. The competition is next weekend (Aug 10, 2013). The categories are chicken and ribs [Never cooked chicken before, so that worries me].

Does anyone have any advice they could lay on a newbie like me? The competition is SLBS sanctioned. I assume that chicken thighs are the way to go in that category. I might have just gotten in a little over my head, but I'm excited and can't wait to have some fun!!

Thanks,
Tyler
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Unread 08-04-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
Southern Home Boy
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What comp? I'm in STL too and have cooked the Wildwood/Ballwin Bash three times and the Holy Smokers twice.

Trust me, you're NOT in over your head. You'll do great! backyard categories are the best way to start if you're not going to just dive in and do it.

SLBS judges seem to like their ribs on the softer side. So, closer to "fall off the bone" than you might cook for a KCBS comp. (In a KCBS comp, you want your rib bite to come away from the bone easily and cleanly, but only from the actual bite area. No other meat should come off the bone.)

For the chicken, I've never seen anything other than thighs score well. Bone in or bone out whichever you feel comfortable with, but either way DEFINITELY de-fat the skins before you put them back on the pieces. Rubbery skin will kill you every time.
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Unread 08-04-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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My advice is to cook some kick butt BBQ . Keep it simple and do not over think it. Just have fun and you will be welcomed by fellow BBQ competitors .
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Unread 08-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Southern home boy. Thanks for the tips. It is the Kings of Bbq at epiphany church. We've got two drum smokers ready to fire up.

As for the chicken... Man do I HATE trimming the fat. I practiced doing this yesterday for the first time... Miserable miserable miserable....
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Unread 08-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
Southern Home Boy
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I hear you. It is by far the most annoying part of a bbq competition in my opinion.

I defat the skins the night before. Keep them as cold as possible and do them in batches of no more than 3-5 at a time. If they're a little frozen, that helps too. Use a very sharp knife and "filet" the fat off the skin just like you would a trout.

It's still a PIA, but doing it this way makes it at least bearable.

You're starting with a small field. Limit of 25 teams in the competitive class and $500 for GC. Not a bad little comp. Backyard should be even smaller.

Good luck!
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Unread 08-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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Take notes on everything. Including what you take and ended up not using. Don't know if you're a drinker or not, if so wait until your final turn in and toast a job well done. Have fun and cook how you cook at home.
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Unread 08-05-2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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We did a small amateur rib comp last Saturday (took 3rd) and the guys next to us won the dang thing on their first ever competition. You should have seen how excited they were. It was really cool. Keep an open mind, learn what you can, and have fun. There are a LOT of great people at those local events. Good luck!
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Unread 08-05-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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Have a good time and don't worry about the chicken! I have been doing this for a while and chicken still kills my team on occasion!
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Unread 08-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Home Boy View Post

For the chicken, I've never seen anything other than thighs score well. Bone in or bone out whichever you feel comfortable with, but either way DEFINITELY de-fat the skins before you put them back on the pieces. Rubbery skin will kill you every time.
I competed in an amateur competition around the 4th of July, and the team that won chicken turned in legs. They looked really good.

Have fun, learn what you can from those who are willing to share, and enjoy it! You'll do great!
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