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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 10-09-2011, 05:26 AM   #1
Wandering around with a bag of matchlight, looking for a match.
Join Date: 09-09-11
Location: Tampa, FL
Default Is Heating Fire Bricks with Gas Legal?

I like to line my firebox with firebricks to act as a heat sink. The problem is it takes longer to get the smoker up to temp. I came up with the idea of pre-heating the bricks on a gas grill and that takes the pit temp up to 275 in about 10 minutes. My question is if this is legal for KCBS or other sanctioned competitions.

Looking at the rules it says that propane is permitted as a fire starter provided that the meat is not on the cooking device. It sounds like this would be OK.

From the 2001 KCBS rules:

6) Fires shall be of wood, wood pellets or charcoal. Gas and electric heat sources shall not be permitted for cooking or holding. Propane or electric is permitted as fire starters, provided that the competition meat is not in/on the cooking device. Electrical accessories such as spits, augers, or forced draft are permitted. No open pits or holes are permitted, except at the election of the contest organizer. Fires shall not be built on the ground
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:55 AM   #2
Mister Bob
Babbling Farker

Join Date: 06-15-09
Location: Scituate, RI

It's fine as long as the bricks are in the firebox before the food is in the cooker. No different than using a weed burner to get things started.
Mister Bob, Pitmaster - Smokestack Lightning, Bad Ass Barbecue. KCBS CBJ #31759 - IMBAS Certified MOINK Baller
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:34 AM   #3
Smoke'n Ice
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 05-08-09
Location: Plano, TX

Why not just use a weed burner to get them up to temp in the firebox. There are no rules about heat source that apply as long as the meat is not on the cooker.

As an example, suppose your fire died in the middle of the night and the pit got cold. You can remove the meat to a cooler, reheat the pit and get a fire going with a weed burner, and then return the meat to the cooker. This scenario has occurred more than once with no problems.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
Quintessential Chatty Farker

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Join Date: 11-12-06
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Ditto what Smoke'n Ice ^^^^^ said. If the comp meat isn't in the pit you're good.
Dave Compton
KCBS MasterCBJ # 22569
Member of the 100+ Contest Club
Judge Number 6 competition BBQ team

Possibly the only judge ever to get an award from a bunch of cooks

UDS 075 UCB WSM and a bunch of other stuff.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:18 AM   #5
somebody shut me the fark up.
Jeff_in_KC's Avatar
Join Date: 01-04-05
Location: Pleasant Hill, MO

Yep, you're good... but I agree with Smoke'n Ice - just spend $30 for a week burner propane torch and heat them up while still in your cooker. WAY too much effort the way you're talking of doing it.
KCBS Member #14287
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