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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 09-04-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
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Default Competition BBQ Book/School

Who has the best book and/or school for learning how to compete at BBQ contests? Just seeing comps on tv it looks like there are a lot of additional steps (ie garnishing, what parts of cut to turn in, sauce or unsauced, etc...) that need to be considered.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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You can learn quite a bit here from the Brethren. That's how I got started... W're to books, I think "Low & Slow" by Wiviott is a good place to start. W/re. classes, start with a KCBS cooking class - you can find a class listing on the KCBS site.

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Old 09-04-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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I hven't read any books on competition BBQ, but there are some out there. Maybe others have a recommendation.

As far as classes, Rod Gray and Johnny Trigg did a great class. I'm not sure if they are teaching together any more, but I know that Rod is still running classes. Scottie Johnson (Cancer Sucks Chicago) also does a great class. Another great class is the one that Todd Johns (Plowboy BBQ) and David Bouska (Butcher BBQ) put together. I've picked up tips and techniques from each.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Amazon.com: Startin' the Fire (978189068914: George W. Hensler: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51siN0CYLwL.@@AMEPARAM@@51siN0CYLwL

A great book from a good guy!!
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
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I have read Startin' the Fire - and it's a great place to start.

But really, like Brewer said, this is THE place to learn about competition BBQ. Yes, even cooking methods and techniques can be had just for the asking. Just be sure to pay it back by your own participation and willingness to help others when they are coming up.

Then, besides the cooking classes, I'd recommend taking the judging contest and judging at least ten classes. (The judging class alone won't provide enough information as to what your target is.)

And finally, I'd say to jump in and do it. You will learn more by participating than you would believe. If it's a financial challenge for you, partner up with an established team, offering to help out. There's a sticky forum at the top of the Competition BBQ area called something like 'Team Mentoring' where folks get together for just such an arrangement.

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Old 09-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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1st judge a contest 2nd volunteer and help someone cook a contest. 3rd Compete in your first contest.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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+2 on starting the fire. Great read and the author is a member here. Chris hart and Andy husbands of ique also have a book coming out soon Amazon.com: Wicked Good Barbecue: Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competitions in the World (9781592334995): Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, Andrea Pyenson, Steven Raichlen: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61E9tIvatQL.@@AMEPARAM@@61E9tIvatQL
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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I don't know about a BBQ book - overall, they're good for guidelines, but a lot of the specific information they give about contests isn't always up-to-date - but that's often the nature of a book. I'd go to a contest - mainly on the Friday night before things get too "hot & heavy" and talk to a few cookers. Or see about volunteering to help with the contest itself, or with a team. We had a couple just "hang" with us this past weekend at a contest - had to move our entire site to under a shelter due to a tropical storm, so it was really nice to have a few extra hands!!

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Old 09-04-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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I enjoyed both of Adam Perry Lang's books for recipes and ideas.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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I'm in my rookie year competing and learned pretty much everything from this forum. Tons of info here and great pics of turn in boxes. Also as gmholler suggested go to a comp on Friday and ask the teams what goes down on the 2 days.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:07 PM   #11
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I am from Iowa also and can give a few more ideas for you. The Iowa BBQ Society is involved in a "spring training" held at Iowa State and has courses in several different meats.
Also Mike from Grillnout in Des Moines has classes fairly often by other competition cookers just go under events and on the right shows upcoming classes.

Last edited by Fat Freddy; 09-04-2011 at 02:10 PM.. Reason: adding more info
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:30 PM   #12
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I enjoyed Smokin' With Myron Mixon. It includes his comp recipes (at the time of writing) and I've heard that he's won a trophy or two in his time.

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Old 09-04-2011, 02:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sledneck View Post
Love that he has YAnkees in his title, being a red sox fan and all.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:19 AM   #14
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Taking a class cuts the slope of the "learning curve"! I've taken both a Troy Black class before we started cooking and a Rod Gray/Johnny Trigg class after we had cooked for a year. The first class gave us what we needed to start and the second one gave us some refinements and different views. Both were very helpful. It's pretty easy to recoup your class costs once you start to take a few walks. You can learn most of it through books but it just takes forever in my opinion. There's just no substitute for "seeing" the best do it.

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by motoeric View Post
I enjoyed Smokin' With Myron Mixon. It includes his comp recipes (at the time of writing) and I've heard that he's won a trophy or two in his time.

Mixon's book aint giving the proper recipes. We just did his comp ribs recipe in this book to the t and it turned out flavorless and undercooked. We followed every step exactly as printed just to test. I don't think he's giving away his true recipes.

For a good book for starters, look for "Competition BBQ Secrets" by Bill Anderson. Step by step for competition bbq cooks including garnish and a check list of gear for comps.
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