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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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Old 08-15-2019, 03:24 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Michigan BBQ Fan View Post

Lastly, if it scores good, cooks will repeat it. It kinda just is what it is. KCBS trains towards a "1 bite" process. If the judges training was adjusted do you think you would see a change in outcomes and processes? If judges were told "If the brisket tastes too much like 'roast beef' don't give it more than a 7." Not sure what the answer is.
KCBS does not train towards a 1 bite process. The effects of having 24 (or more with ancillaries) means that more than 1 bite can be a chore. 1 ounce bites (which are tiny) is a pound and a half of meat during judging. You would have to cook a 32 oz steak to get the same amount of meat that you're going to eat when judging (roughly). It's one bite out of necessity.

Further, I don't think it would change anything. Judges will still prefer salty and sweet, because they're humans and on a large scale that's what humans like.

It's like chocolate cake. Make it super rich if you know people are eating a small amount. You don't want to eat the whole piece of that though. "Eating cake" can be rich, but not over the top...Same goes for BBQ.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Bill-Chicago View Post
I think the KCBS should focus on the "experience".

Forget about whether you came in DAL in any category, how was your overall experience?

Would bring in a lot more millennials.

Sure, I spent over $1,000 per contest and faced a ton of hurdles and scoring problems and politics and such, but the experience was great!

Make them feel good and they'll keep coming back!

Did you pull the trailer in with minimal effort? Give'm a trophy. Were you quiet by 11p so as not to bother other teams? Give'm a trophy. Turned in your boxes on time? Another trophy.

Focus on feelings, we need more of that in all facets of life, even BBQ!

Good points. Some of the contests are pretty "boring" as far as other stuff going on. Others do a GREAT job. What if each one felt like a mini "State Fair"?????
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:47 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Michigan BBQ Fan View Post

I understand the debate about meat and not sure what the solution is. If the top meat providers signed on as a sponsor and the meat was included in the comp fee, would that "fix" things?

It would for me.



We did a charity cook a few weeks ago (with certified KCBS judges). All of the meat used was donated by the event sponsor and no other meat was allowed on site. We all had to use the same previously frozen ribs with crazy curved bones. Some of the really competitive guys were complaining about the ribs calling them "trash."



Once I realized we were all on equal footing with the meat, the only thing left was just to follow our process and cook them.



We took 2nd in ribs out of 25 teams.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:49 PM   #34
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Donate the uneaten food to a local food bank.

I LOVE this idea and wish there was an easy "across the board" solution to it. I would think that at times the hurdles are put in place by health departments that need to protect the public from poorly prepared food. It seems unlikely that they would allow each cook to donate food without being "inspected" at every contest.

Now if the chopped meat was donated to a charity that has an approved kitchen and could re-heat it to safe temps, that might work. How great would it be to see KCBS take the lead on teaming up with a national charity that could take over the nuts and bolts end of this solution?
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:53 PM   #35
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I disagree that the top cooks are at an advantage if they are forced to cook the same quality meat as everyone else. It makes no sense to say otherwise.

Garnish is optional, yes. But judges have come to expect it. My KCBS CBJ class instructor spent 30 minutes on the types of garnish that are allowed. And it may cost only $20 per contest, but that's 20 wasted dollars, not to mention the wasted time shopping for it and using it. You know what would solve this garnish problem once and for all, guaranteed? If KCBS were to simply disallow garnish, as the SCA has. Pretty damn simple solution.

I would think cooks with at least some measure of self-respect would lament the fact that over-salted, over-spiced meat with loads of MSG has come to be the winning ticket. Malcom Reed at least once had the dignity to say that he was ashamed of the amount of salt he had to use to win an SCA contest.

Here is a WILD and CRAZY IDEA....What if KCBS created and sold...yes sold...custom turn in boxes for each meat??? It would level playing field AND generate income for the KCBS. What would it look like? How would it be constructed? I'm not sure...but it's an idea.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:57 PM   #36
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It's not going to fix things, it's just going to make entry fees go through the roof.


If you want to kill competition BBQ, just mandate master series contests be meat provided by the organizer and you'll lose a massive amount of cooks AND events overnight. Most cooks don't want it and most organizers don't want to deal with that.
Probably. One way to know is to try it out and let the system react to it. What about this idea....organizers could connect with a local meat provider and give contestants access to meat when they arrive at such a deep discount that it only makes "sense" to buy it there? Sure, others will still pay hundreds of dollars for Wagyu etc...but..others can compete at a discount rate.

Or, another CRAZY idea...what if got bonus points for using a lesser grade of beef? I know...probably impossible to implement. Just brainstorming.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:00 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Michigan BBQ Fan View Post
Probably. One way to know is to try it out and let the system react to it. What about this idea....organizers could connect with a local meat provider and give contestants access to meat when they arrive at such a deep discount that it only makes "sense" to buy it there? Sure, others will still pay hundreds of dollars for Wagyu etc...but..others can compete at a discount rate.

Or, another CRAZY idea...what if got bonus points for using a lesser grade of beef? I know...probably impossible to implement. Just brainstorming.
If sponsors are providing meat at a discount, the prize pools will be smaller, as there won't be as much cash to put back into the event.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:04 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Mike in Roseville View Post
It would for me.



We did a charity cook a few weeks ago (with certified KCBS judges). All of the meat used was donated by the event sponsor and no other meat was allowed on site. We all had to use the same previously frozen ribs with crazy curved bones. Some of the really competitive guys were complaining about the ribs calling them "trash."



Once I realized we were all on equal footing with the meat, the only thing left was just to follow our process and cook them.



We took 2nd in ribs out of 25 teams.
Imagine this...Smithfield sponsors a nationwide contest with 1 event in each state. Only KCBS members can enter. Meat is provided and it feels like a "travelling carnival" that just gets everybody excited about BBQ. The same setup rolls into town each time. One setup cost, multiple events. Meat is provided and the "King of Ribs" is crowned in each state. Now if only KCBS had someone that worked for them that had an in at Smithfield????

Maybe part of the solution is that KCBS put focus on something other than the Master Series as a way improve involvement that leads up to a full four-meat contest????
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:10 PM   #39
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^^This^^ When you boil it down it's why SCA is popular. It's not difficult to get $100 of "fun value" at an SCA event. $1000 wort of "fun value" is a higher bar.

^^^ This in a nutshell. $100 bucks, meat is picked on site, and you can have a fun afternoon cooking. You even get a free steak lunch too!
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:11 PM   #40
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If sponsors are providing meat at a discount, the prize pools will be smaller, as there won't be as much cash to put back into the event.
Are prize pools solely dependent on team entry fees...or...could the be supplemented by sponsors, suppliers etc?

A national sponsor could spend 100k and immediately add 1/2k to 1 contest in each state. That's probably 1/5th of what Treager spent to have their pellet smoker in a spot where you had to trip over it when you walked into Home Depot this summer....or what they paid Costco to do "special events". Any sponsor would then have exclusive rights to have a tent at all events and give the public an experience to have...and a place to sell their stuff.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:53 PM   #41
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If you want to kill competition BBQ, just mandate master series contests be meat provided by the organizer and you'll lose a massive amount of cooks AND events overnight. Most cooks don't want it and most organizers don't want to deal with that.
I am using this quote as an example, not to single it out. Why does every idea have to be a mandate or apply to all events? Can't we loosen up the rules just a bit for the masters series to give promoters discretion to try new things? As long as some basic parameters are followed, for me it is traditional 4 meats with KCBS judging process, then why not let the promoters decide on some of the other details?

You want to pay 10 deep at your event, do it. You want a winner take all $50K event to attract the big name teams, might as well give it a try. You want to require teams buy their meat at the local Costco because they are sponsoring the event...that works for me too. I would not want any of these mandated at all events but it also does not bother me if a promoter wants to try them at any event. If I don't like a particular requirement for an event then I won't go but I don't want the rules to be so strict that others don't have the choice. We are loosing contests so we need to try new things to see what works.

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Old 08-15-2019, 05:06 PM   #42
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@Michigan BBQ Fan...love some of those ideas!


Alright...

The "sport of competitive BBQ." We're going to call this KCBS competition a "sport." Ok...if we are operating under the premise that it is similar to other sports, then the very nature of it's current structure is hampering interest. Cost is a big part of it. A recent study found the largest decline in youth sports? Costs (especially with traveling leagues). While participant/event costs for the KCBS loom large, one or more elements should be leveled out among the competitors to spur involvement.

The current rules and judging simply isn't enough. As an old friend of mine once said: "You keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you got."

Follow me here. Other sports put measures in place to level the playing field and eliminate a "competitive advantage." Player drafts and draft order is one example. A salary cap is another one. Rules for gear being used (Antonio Brown and his helmet, no corked bats, no steroids, etc.). I'll even point out many folks beloved sport of NASCAR. NASCAR is a sport that absolutely tries to remove every element of the "competitive edge" from a race (especially from the car itself). A sport where it want's driver vs. driver or team vs. team. Can a crew make a car go faster? You bet it can. Bill Elliot and his car from the 1980's would dominate every single race today (any people would complain about him driving 20mph faster than everyone else). Today only a certain number variables can be modified on a car for a given race. It's not who has the best car. NASCAR has been molded into "who is the best driver and the best team."

So back to KCBS. What can be done?

Sponsor provided meat is one idea mentioned. A lottery for selection is another (like the SCA does). You pick two racks in the first round, two in the second.

I really like the idea of a standard box. Maybe it's compartmentalized? Maybe no garnish is allowed?

Thinking back to IROC...what if everyone had to cook on a Weber kettle or a WSM that was provided by the event? The little kids comps do that with Smokey Joes. Why not the big guys? People with 100k trailers would bitch. They might not want to do it. Fine. But I'd be willing to bet that it would draw a few more people in because they could cook on the same grill they have in their backyard or had at home growing up.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #43
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I am using this quote as an example, not to single it out. Why does every idea have to be a mandate or apply to all events? Can't we loosen up the rules just a bit for the masters series to give promoters discretion to try new things? As long as some basic parameters are followed, for me it is traditional 4 meats with KCBS judging process, then why not let the promoters decide on some of the other details?

You want to pay 10 deep at your event, do it. You want a winner take all $50K event to attract the big name teams, might as well give it a try. You want to require teams buy their meat at the local Costco because they are sponsoring the event...that works for me too. I would not want any of these mandated at all events but it also does not bother me if a promoter wants to try them at any event. If I don't like a particular requirement for an event then I won't go but I don't want the rules to be so strict that others don't have the choice. We are loosing contests so we need to try new things to see what works.

I like that...more of event specific approach. But you're right: You have to try new things to see what works.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:18 PM   #44
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I am using this quote as an example, not to single it out. Why does every idea have to be a mandate or apply to all events? Can't we loosen up the rules just a bit for the masters series to give promoters discretion to try new things? As long as some basic parameters are followed, for me it is 4 meats with KCBS judging process, then why not let the promoters decide on some of the other details?

You want to pay 10 deep at your event, do it. You want a winner take all $50K event to attract the big name teams, might as well give it a try. You want to require teams buy their meat at the local Costco because they are sponsoring the event...that works for me too. I would not want any of these mandated at all events but it also does not bother me if a promoter wants to try them at any event. If I don't like a particular requirement for an event then I won't go but I don't want the rules to be so strict that others don't have the choice. We are loosing contests so we need to try new things to see what works.
You can already do this. You just need to sanction them as competitors series. That’s what we did with the National BBQ League to allow live scoring. It’s KCBS, but doesn’t garner points/Jack Draws/Royal invites.

Standards have to be set for points contests. Otherwise events become exclusionary. For instance, it would be easy for Tim to spend his money and hold a Gateway Drum only series. Providing opportunities for teams using his smokers to point grab in a pared down field. I’m all for a Gateway Drum series (and individual events have happened. It was a blast!), but this specificity should not be allowed for a Masters series event.

Be careful what you wish for. Right now as cooks we have choices. We can cook what we want and make deals with who we want as our success level dictates. We can cook on what we want for the most part and cook out of what we want. That creates opportunity. If KCBS and/or organizers takes that initiative away by making deals with vendors our choices and opportunities go away. Do you trust KCBS to always pay that forward? I know I don’t.

I get all the animosity towards the “big teams”. You think we have some sort of advantage and that’s why we win. We didn’t fall out of the womb with sponsorships. We worked our asses off at our craft to earn them. You want to compete against and beat the best? Get busy, I spent 7 hours today looking for and trimming meat, Matt Walker has a 12 hour drive each way after spending all week preparing. Stop making excuses and work for it if you want it.

I’m on the backside of my career, new blood will jump up and take my place. I hope that new blood has the same opportunities I had to forge a career in BBQ.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:21 PM   #45
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Only the first part was directed your way egorham. The rest was general commentary on the thread!
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