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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 07-10-2005, 12:17 PM   #46
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Lesson learned. Don't experiment at a competition
I think Mary mentioned that once before also. Great job nonetheless Greg.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 12:52 PM   #47
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Lesson learned. Don't experiment at a competition
I think Mary mentioned that once before also. Great job nonetheless Greg.
A lesson is never truly learned until you learn it first hand.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 03:31 PM   #48
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My run down.

We got there just a little bit after 9 a.m. on Friday. Good choice in my opinion to get there as early as they will allow. We were able to liesurely set up our kitchen (which takes quite a bit of time with the amount of crap that we hauled along). We had 2 trailers and 2 trucks full of crap. First time out, no one wants to forget anything. THe chuckwagon actually has stuff that we had no intention of using, but I was not going to unpack it before we left. Bob's new portable kitchen was a dream. We had hat and cold running water.

After set up, the only thing that we needed to get done quick was to get the chicken brined. So now, it is 11:00 and we have nothing that needs to be done. We get to meet our neighbors as they pull in, watch the cool pits as they all drive past our row of WSM's, shoot the **** with whoever walks by, and basically just putz around the entire day. We made some sandwiches around noon and decided to start prepping some meat. The cool part is that you can spend some quality time rubbing butts and then just relax for awhile and shoot the **** and then decide to prep the briskits, etc. Butts and briskits are prepped and in the cooler by 2, with a tentative appointment for the cookers at 10ish. We took turns walking around the area, checking out the other campsites and trailers, and talking with the other competitors.

There was a guy a couple of sites down, that had all kinds of questions. Val, I think was his name. Very nice guy, just getting into BBQ. He made a team with his son, and his son in law I believe called the frontyard cookers. There were at least three sites on our side of him that adopted him and helped him out as much as we could. We pointed him to the site, I hope he finds his way here. I also hope that he did not get discouraged and keeps practicing and makes it next year also.

Cooks meeting roles around at 8:00. I make it there, go through the motions and get back to camp. While I was gone, there was a reporter there from the Rockford paper. Rockford is the biggest town for at least a couple of counties in any direction. Bob and Ron said he was coming back to get some pictures of us gitting on og the "grills", as he called them, going. So we got a chimney fo coals going, and he showed up right on Q and snapped a bunch of pictures of Bob getting a WSM fired up. He took Bob's name and asked a few questions. I think maybe the brethren will get a mention there, but I got distracted right around that point as a high school buddy of mine showed up right then that I had told about the competition. We caught up on each other's lives over the past year for a little while, and we decided to get the ribs mostly prepped. We had them 85% prepped and in the cooler by 10:00, Good feeling. Butts and briskits go on, and I say "who wants piza". I had brought along everything for easy pizzas on the weber. Boboli crusts and a mess of fixins. We all made up our own pies, put them in and voila, we all had personal pizzas. They were excellent. My buddy left around 11:30. By this time, the WSMs were running along pefectly at 220ish. We decide to all try and get some sleep. Ron went to his car near the potties and the dice game. Bob and I had cots that we drug out. Because of the temperatures that we had been having we didn't think that we would be cold, but we were.

At 1:30 I still was not asleep. I checked the WSMs and one had fallen a little low. I stirred the coals and opened the vents a little. It climbed right back up and settled in. I wrapped myself up in a tarp, got back on the cot and felt warm finally. Went to sleep almost instantly.

Sun up. I wake up at 5:30. Cool, 4 full hours of sleep. Better than I thought I was going to get. Looked over at a probe that was on the table. 57 degrees it said. Went over to the WSMs. One says 203, the other says 199. Out-stinking-standing! Bob gets up about 10 minutes later. Bob was wrapped up in all the clothes and aprons that he could find lying around. Ron gets back to camp about the same time. I tell them that I just wrapped up in the tarp and was nice and toasty. All of a sudden, both camps from either side of us said, "we know, we could hear you every time you turned over".

We wander around camp trying to find someone with some coffee. I was going to bring coffee singles, but forgot. Ron ended up driving to Casey's and getting us coffee. We fire up another WSM, finish prepping ribs and throw them on. We go to the judges tent where they have biscuits and gravy for everybody along with more coffee. Back to our site to chow. I start watching the clock and we start messing with the chicken some more before we put it in. Other WSM fired up. It is about this time that I realise we will be very busy for the next 6 or so hours.

I ask Ron to volunteer to be the garnish and box guy. He graciously takes the job. He sets into washing and sorting lettuce and parsley while Bob and I pretty much tend pits and work on meat. From here on out, anything more than a few minutes in a chair to catch your breath and relax your feet, was a rarity. About this time my parents showed up. They had stopped by for a little while the day before also. I asked my dad about a month ago if he could stop by on Saturday nice and fresh to help with cleanup and tear down. He and my mom jumped at the chance and had a great time to boot.

From this point on, we actually ran like a well oiled machine for the most part. My mom sat out of our way and let the men go at it. My dad and I cook at the family reunion every year and are used to cooking a bunch of different things all at the same time and staying out of each other's way. Bob and I team up to cook for big groups all the time and work great together as well. Rob did excellent with the garnish and the boxes and pitched in wherever else he could between all of that. Did I mention that it was 90 with no clouds no trees and little wind? Everytime I went to take another box for turn in, I swear that they kept moving the tent further away each time.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I remembered to throw the fatties on only 2 minutes after the pre-determined time that we had set. We took a few minutes the day before and wrote down the times that we wanted everythin to go into the WSMs. I think we did pretty good with that. I hope we still have that sheet to look back on, because stuff came out pretty much dead on.

Timing. Chicken came out dry, not from overcooking, but from my wanting to experiment. Ribs were perfect. I pulled one slab, cut in a couple of bones, and they sliced perfect without falling apart. I took a bite and it came off clean from the bone with out falling apart. Perfect. At home or the restaurant I usually make them fall of the bone. Pork spent an hour in the cooler and pulled perfectly. The briskit did not spend any cooler time, mostly because I wasn't worried about doing very well with it. It sliced perfectly at a pencil thickness without falling apart and stretched before snapping just like we were shown at the judging class. It was very juicy. The fatty? Well it is hard to screw up. 3 hours in the right range, and it is perfect. One flip at an hour and a half.

Taste. Chicken was dry. I made some fantastic chicken during the week, and was very satisfied with it. Until a phone call from a friend. Not that the advice was bad. It is just hard to get the gist of it over the phone, and I was not in the mood to do any more cooking to experiment before the contest. I did not expect good results from the chicken when I turned it in. Ribs. I loved them, everyone in the kitchen loved them, everybody walking buy loved them. I was very proud of them. You get comments from people that say food is good, but people are generally kind. You can tell the difference between someone being kind and someone genuanly loving what they are eating. I could tell this difference between the chicken and the ribs. Pork. I am not sure what went wrong, but when it was pulled it tasted like ..... nothing. None of the rub whatsoever was there. I have a decent idea of what happened, but will experiment to prove it. I doctored the best I could with some sauce, vinegar and lawry's. turned it in and knew it would not do any good. Briskit. Turned out exactly like it dis at home, but, by this time I realise that home cookin' don't mean ****, and everything has to be a few notches higher. I throw my select slices on the weber kettle with some glaze and go back to the cutting board. Taste the briskit again, then give everything on the cutting board a lite dusting of lawry's. Way better. I go back to the weber kettle and lightly dust those slices. I never tasted the final product that went in, but didn't have high hopes for it. The fatty. What can I say, it's a maple fatty. They are perfect all the time.

The results. Sausage was first as it was not a KCBS thingy. I wasn't sure what would happen here since a simple fatty might just not be the type of thing they were thinking of in this category. Fourth place. Cool! 100 dollars, even cooler! Chicken. I knew this wouldn't do good, and I was right. Ribs. I had high expectaions, but did not get called. 17th out of 63 teams. pork. I did not ecpext anything and was again right. Briskit. I did not expect anything. Afterall, briskit is the hardest thing to do good, right? 6th place. Very happy about this.

Reflections. After remembering that this is a state championship and there were at least 20 teams there that almost do this for a living, I did alright for my first time out. Ribs, no problem with 17th when you have to stop and think that ribs is one thing that everybody really strives for, especially with all of the pros there from all over the place. Afterwards, I geuss I remember that the rub was a bit thick on them and will cut that back a little bit. chicken and butt. Figure out the problems and get them back to where I like them. I know that if I don't like it and turn it in, it will bomb. Briskit. Continue on the same path without changing much.

Things I learned and other ponderances.

20 x 20 is way to small of a site. I knew this ahead of time, but dealt with it.

3 man team for sure. I don't see how 2 people can do this and keep their heads straight.

Another person. Either an additional or the 3rd person to show up the second day nice and fresh. THat or send the 3rd person to a hotel early for a good nights sleep. A fresh body taking care of the little things like cleaning table, doing dishes, fetching water is invaluable. If you have a chance for this fresh body, do it.

Water. Lots of drinking water. I like the 12 ouncers for this, because you finish it while it is cold. Bigger ones you set down and forget, and 10 minutes later it is hot.

Don't have high expectations your first time out. You have no bar set. I have now set my bar and if I can raise it a little bit each time I will be happy.

KCBS events, especially state championship events have a completely different level of people cooking than some backyard competition.

Don't let Bob put his tongue on top of your tongue.

Don't drink like a fish. I knew this already. I probably had three mixed drinks the whole evening on Friday. I saw other teams that were drinking a lot and had a hard time getting going in the morning.

If you have not tried it, then go out and try it. You will not regret it. It is a blast.

Extra turn in items. Nobody around us was turning in any extras. We did theem all. The one guy even said, we learned some time ago, that unless you consistantly do good on the main 4, do not take your attention away from them with other turn ins. I think they are wrong. My fatty did not take away anything from the other stuff, and got me back a small portion of my outlay. The beans and the dessert were done before Saturday, and did not take anything away either. Plus they were fun, and Ron's cheesecake was excellent. Sorry, Bob. I don't like beans, so did not try them.

There is probably more, but this has to be the longest post I have ever made in my life. I'll give you guys a break.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 04:17 PM   #49
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Greg--fantastic report.
Felt like we were there with you

How did you "present" your fattie?
"Inquiring minds..." and all of that

Thanks,
TIM
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Unread 07-10-2005, 06:33 PM   #50
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Another person. Either an additional or the 3rd person to show up the second day nice and fresh. THat or send the 3rd person to a hotel early for a good nights sleep. A fresh body taking care of the little things like cleaning table, doing dishes, fetching water is invaluable. If you have a chance for this fresh body, do it.
Ah.....thus the title "pitbitch"

Quote:
KCBS events, especially state championship events have a completely different level of people cooking than some backyard competition.
Amen to that...........

Quote:
If you have not tried it, then go out and try it. You will not regret it. It is a blast.
BBQ people are some of the best people in the world...you'll find most will give you tips and suggestions.

Excellent report Greg! Sorry if I bugged you by calling....jump back in there and give it another go soon! See you in 2 weeks? or maybe Sept 9th and 10th?
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Unread 07-10-2005, 06:48 PM   #51
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Where did Bob's beans place?

I loved them

Congrats guys!
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Unread 07-10-2005, 07:13 PM   #52
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Quote:
Quote:

KCBS events, especially state championship events have a completely different level of people cooking than some backyard competition.

Amen to that...........
Quote:

If you have not tried it, then go out and try it. You will not regret it. It is a blast.

BBQ people are some of the best people in the world...you'll find most will give you tips and suggestions.
Could not agree more.
There are actually folks that make a very good living on the circuit.
And, that is because they are damn good at what they do

Even regional circuits have awesome superstars (Mike and Kevin ignore this--swelled head Mod ).
Chad and I just wish that they and the KCBS SuperStars would take a week off and give us a shot
Sure am glad we don't have to face Sir Jim in the NorthWest--we have enough headaches for now

The reality is that Competetive BBQ is getting big--really huge.
With bigness comes the $$$, the talent, FoodTV, and all the other media publicity.
Gonna get even more competetive in the next couple of years--

I just wish I could pack the Judges tent with my neighbors.......

And, AMEN, to "great folks".
Nothing but good experiences with the other teams

Folks should just go "do it" if they are curious! Cost ya a few hundred $$ to a grand and well worth it for a "once in a lifetime" experience!
You will be "hooked"--especially if ya "walk"--guaranteeeeeed
You will look at your MasterCard balance and your 401K/IRA with a totally new perspective....

I am so proud of Greg and the guys placing as they did at Shannon--Great effort :)

TIM
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Unread 07-10-2005, 09:10 PM   #53
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Great report Greg. I can't wait till we meet up at grill kings.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 09:44 PM   #54
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How did you "present" your fattie?
Pictures to come.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 09:46 PM   #55
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Sorry if I bugged you by calling
No prob at all. I was glad to get the encouragement from you. Don't ever be afraid to call. Except for the crucial turn in times that you already know about.

Seriously, it was great to hear from you throughout.
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Unread 07-10-2005, 10:36 PM   #56
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One other thought.

Mike and Theresa lake run a pretty damned cool competition. I know that they are not the official organizers, but they are the braun behind it. What a clean operation they run. Grade A number 1. If you guys ever find your way here, thanks bunches!
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Unread 07-11-2005, 09:01 AM   #57
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Nice report Greg. And Good Job! As you said, now you know what you want to do the next time.
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Unread 07-11-2005, 10:43 AM   #58
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Thanks for the excellent report. Reading this gets my competitive juices flowing. I have got to get into one of these someday.
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Unread 07-11-2005, 10:44 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Neil
Thanks for the excellent report. Reading this gets my competitive juices flowing. I have got to get into one of these someday.
He says with a crown of ribs on his head.
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Unread 07-11-2005, 11:16 AM   #60
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Greg,

Great report, I didn't have to worry about the 90deg or the sun. BTW congtats
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