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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 07-26-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
CarolinaQue
is Blowin Smoke!
 
Join Date: 06-23-07
Location: North Berwick, ME
Default Things Learned.....

Just thought I'd start a thread that those that are new to competition BBQ could check out to speed up their learning curve a bit with out giving away secret techniques or recipes.

I'll start by saying after this weekend that I learned and was reminded the hard way that you need to stay flexible with the weather. Holding your turn in meat in a cambro or dry cooler may not be the correct approach when it's pushing 100* ambiant air temp. Alternating start times may be necessary to over come this challenge.

Any one else care to share a few tidbits of advice?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
Lake Dogs
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Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If you're depending on power, the odds are great that you'll lose power for about an hour at the one time when you needed it most. Print lists (in LARGE type so you can read them at 3am when everything is blurry) vs. leaving them on your computer. Computers break. Networks go down. Batteries fail.

Have alternatives / extras. If you have all your sauce in 1 container, that will be the container that the squirrel finds most desirable at 2am when you aren't looking. If possible, have 2 of everything.

PLAN PLAN PLAN, and in that plan have sleep time scheduled. Even a 2 hour nap is better than nothing when you're trying to carefully slice barbecue and not cut your finger off...

Bring lots of crisp $20 bills; judges like them. <JOKE>
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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:36 AM   #3
CarolinaQue
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$20??? That's all it takes down there in Georgia???!!!

Good advice LD!!!
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
Podge
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30 minutes is the difference between 40th and 1st.
Never underestimate the smallest detail.
Trust your gut.
Temperature control fans are not set-it-and-forget-it. Neither are pellet cookers. Practice. After you cooked a truck load of meat, cook another one.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:24 PM   #5
chambersuac
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
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Thanks, as a new competitor, all help and advice is appreciated.
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And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. [Acts 20:32 KJV]
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
Bigmista
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Err on the side of caution where time is concerned. Better to be finished early and have to hold your meat than to try to rush it and end up turning in undercooked meat. A long rest won't kill you and sometimes it helps!
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
Fatback Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podge View Post
Trust your gut.
No doubt.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
chambersuac
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Hey Bigmista, if you really wanna help, send me some of your sauce :)

See...I even said your name! ;)
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:38 PM   #9
Lake Dogs
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I see this a LOT, particularly on the 2nd trip: Don't over-think it. Dont try to guess what judges like or dont like. Cook what you cook well. Mind you, pay attention to details, but dont keep 2nd guessing yourself and changing things. Do what you know; do what you've practiced. Make adjustments at home, not in the competition.
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Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #10
INmitch
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If Podge comes by befor turnins & is mad at himself cause he overcooked his brisket. Don't get nervous & undercook yours. Cause He'll pull a top five and.......I....well mine sucked & got 20th.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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Stay away from the booze if you plan to compete. We have an ex member of my team that had to learn this the hard way. If you are going to cook, cook, if you are going to drink, don't cook.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:30 PM   #12
boogiesnap
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do not, i repeat, do not, try and buck the horse.

no mater how good you think your mustard sauce is, or your vinegar sauce, or how tasty your wings are or whatever, DON'T DO IT.

you might hit a table that likes it OK, but ya ain't gonna win, and ya ain't gonna get consistent scores. other than somewhat low.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:51 PM   #13
Muzzlebrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy View Post
Stay away from the booze if you plan to compete. We have an ex member of my team that had to learn this the hard way. If you are going to cook, cook, if you are going to drink, don't cook.
you've obviously never seen the Habitual Smokers Road Show or Andy's one eyed chicken..........
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:14 PM   #14
riblette
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Practice timing. For at least a cook or two simulate the entire process using real turn-in times. While you're at, practice in "field conditions" as well. prepare, and cook everything without going back in to the house our garage or whatever to retrieve or prep anything. We even set up the EZ-UPs in the back yard and do everything the same as if it were a comp.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:25 PM   #15
INmitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muzzlebrake View Post
you've obviously never seen the Habitual Smokers Road Show or Andy's one eyed chicken..........
Or Fowl Butt Bbq. But if ya watch real close I'm in the background laughing with my teamates..........but not drinking. We as a whole are the biggest bunch of boozers in the country. It all depends What your going for! If you want to be consitant & be serious about winning then somebody needs to stay sober. If not have at it! I've done it both ways and both ways are equally fun. I only know of one 'Extreamly' good team that parties all night n still kicks a$$.
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