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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 09-14-2011, 07:14 PM   #1
RedRyderBBQ
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Default First Comp experience

hi all,

just wanted to tell you about my first competition experience at the roots n' blues n' bbq this past weekend. I had a blast! I met a great group of bbq'ers; guys from ripple q, serious q, and plowboys. great group of guys that made me feel welcome and allowed me to pick their brain. Also had the opportunity to taste each of jeff's (ripple q) categories and have him try mine. Also tried serious q's brisket which was great.

Team red ryder scored 46th overall, which is a bit far from my goal, but what can you do first time out. Highlights were we scored 25th in chicken. this is funny because i thought it would be out worst. At the last second, i made the decision to remove the skins as they were still rubbery and served them skinless. But was happy with our score and wonder what we could have gotten with the skins! Another highlight was we got a perfect score by one judge on pork. I use a homemade sauce called hogen' sauce on pork that is really sweet and i think complements the pork well. As jeff at ripple q said, its kind of a love it or hate it sauce which explains the scores.

One problem i had was with brisket. Now i admit the slices weren't flavor packed but they were cooked correctly and sliced relatively uniform. However our scores in brisket were: 777.877.668.868.665.756.... two 5's? from two different judges? i didn't understand how i could get two 8's and two 5's on the same piece of meat. I took a judging class with the st. louis bbq society so this may be different but if we marked a 5, we had to write why. Is that also true of KCBS? if so do i have access to that?

My overall scores were:

Chicken: 888. 888. 998. 799. 888
Ribs: 866. 877.877. 998. 777.988
Pork: 889. 999. 877. 778. 788. 979
Brisket: 777. 877. 668. 868. 665. 756

Also here are pictures of the turn in boxes. Critiques are always welcome!










Thank you to all i met and who helped me, i had a great time and can't wait to do it all again!
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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Photos aside, all those boxes look like solid boxes too me. Less green and more meat is all I could say.

Actually, looking further WAY more meat And you were right to take the chicken skin off.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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Wow -- thanks. I'm inspired! Good job!
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Unread 09-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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Congrats on your first comp!
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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All looks great. We just did our 5th competition in our first year out and you will only get better. We are still learning so much each time out. Keep on practicing, which is what we do. At first it didn't seem like cooking the same chicken/butt/ribs/brisket over and over would make it better, but it does.

Advice that I got on my first few boxes that I'll share as I see some of the same in yours (again keep in mind I am new to comps as well) is to try to keep the cuts of ribs and brisket smooth/clean. A few of them look to have some "bumps" along the cut. Also watch the smudges of sauce on your front rib and front piece brisket.

Brisket has been our toughest category like a lot of folks. Scores can definitely vary from one judge to another on brisket for us. This last weekend we added burnt ends to the box and I think it helped overall with our flavor since our flats always seem to lack flavor and are a little dry.

Thanks for sharing. You'll probably get better advice from some more experience guys too. As long as you practice you'll keep getting better.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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congrats on getting a comp under your belt. I am doing my 1st next weekend (By Myslef with no Help). I am in for a uphill battle I think.
Food and boxes look good... congrats again
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Unread 09-15-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
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My wife and another team member's wife do our boxes and all I do is choose which cuts go in the box and how I want them arranged. I have had a few epiphanies when the cuts are a litte of that have paid off.
All that being said, I have found boxes that I can fill full of meat and still add enough green to make it look nice have done the best. Last comp I though our ribs looked like crap, but we put 9 in the box with a nice frame and got 2nd. Same thing the last time we got 2nd in Ribs. So my best advice it to fill that box full to the point where you can still get some nice garnish in there. If you notice, your chicken and pork got the better apperance scores and they are also the fullest boxes.
The only thing I can say about the brisket is that it looks like some sauce is kind of splotchy.
I, like you, wish we could get comment cards on anything below a 6. Really I would like one on anything below a 7. The last bad comment card I got was on ribs last year in Gaffney, SC. Had a judge score me 966. Said they were too spicy. Funny thing is I placed 2nd out of 30-somthing teams. His/her score was tossed.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 07:05 AM   #8
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It was nice meeting you Matt. Is was fantastic to see a MIZZOU college student enter the comp!
BTW Red Ryder cooked everything on one 22 WSM!
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Unread 09-15-2011, 08:01 AM   #9
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sorry i did not make it by to say hi. glad you had a good time and hope i am able to look you up if we end up at the same contest in the future. keith
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Unread 09-15-2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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Congrats on the jump to KCBS...which SLBS contests have you done? is it worth it? I'm thinking about entering SLBS contests before going KCBS too. Right now, I'm doing extremely well in unsanctioned/backyard events, so I could use a little more competition. Are you doing any more contests soon?

Great job on the turn in boxes. I think all the advise above will help you get even better...good luck.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rip View Post
It was nice meeting you Matt. Is was fantastic to see a MIZZOU college student enter the comp!
BTW Red Ryder cooked everything on one 22 WSM!
Holy Crap! I have a WSM too and I would find that impossible to do. I would put the brisket near the water pan and the pork butt, ribs and chicken would go on the top rack...but that is a tight fit, I like to use at least 2 racks of ribs. Were they all on at the same time?
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Unread 09-15-2011, 05:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King View Post
Congrats on the jump to KCBS...which SLBS contests have you done? is it worth it? I'm thinking about entering SLBS contests before going KCBS too. Right now, I'm doing extremely well in unsanctioned/backyard events, so I could use a little more competition. Are you doing any more contests soon?

Great job on the turn in boxes. I think all the advise above will help you get even better...good luck.
I haven't done any slbs events, I just did a judging class through them to get a better idea of what the judges were looking for. I would say you don't have to do slbs events before kcbs. I would just jump in. Sounds like you are ready for it.

Not sure about any events in the future. Definitely the roots n blues next year. Entry fees and all other comp expenses are hard on a college student... But I would really like to be a judge in the upcoming wildwood bash in a couple weeks.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 05:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King View Post
Holy Crap! I have a WSM too and I would find that impossible to do. I would put the brisket near the water pan and the pork butt, ribs and chicken would go on the top rack...but that is a tight fit, I like to use at least 2 racks of ribs. Were they all on at the same time?
I had it timed well. It wasn't preferrable but it was what I had. So i cooked two shoulder on the top rack and two briskets on bottom. Then at about 7am foiled them and stacked them all on top of each other on the bottom rack and put 3 slabs of ribs on top. Then at 10 moved the pork and brisket to a holding cooler with towels and put the ribs on the bottom and chicken on top. Looking back I would have brought up a kettle to do chicken on. But the rest wasn't too bad.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rip View Post
It was nice meeting you Matt. Is was fantastic to see a MIZZOU college student enter the comp!
BTW Red Ryder cooked everything on one 22 WSM!
Thanks Jeff. Hopefully see you back next year. Maybe we'll be neighbors again!
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Unread 09-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRyderBBQ View Post
I had it timed well. It wasn't preferrable but it was what I had. So i cooked two shoulder on the top rack and two briskets on bottom. Then at about 7am foiled them and stacked them all on top of each other on the bottom rack and put 3 slabs of ribs on top. Then at 10 moved the pork and brisket to a holding cooler with towels and put the ribs on the bottom and chicken on top. Looking back I would have brought up a kettle to do chicken on. But the rest wasn't too bad.
good space management. i do about the same ecpect just one brisket. i do use a cheap brinkmans for chicken. see at rootsnblues next year. keith
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