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BBQ Brethren Team Mentoring *On Topic Only* From the Backyard to the American Royal... thats our motto. Here is a place for those interested in Competition BBQ, but not yet ready to venture out alone can hook up and help out our veteran teams to see what its like on "The Dark Side". More instructions inside.


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Unread 10-16-2011, 03:17 AM   #1
wet hog
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My wife and I are wanting to try our hand at compitition, we have visited several competions. I have been smokin for several years and just finished my new offset reverse flow cooker. need to learn the ins and outs of compitition, from site prep to making boxes. If there is anyone needs some help or is willing to take on this task in GA. just let me know.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
Lake Dogs
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Good morning wet hog, and welcome.

Starting off, and knowing that you would rather have some success rather than be DAL, I suggest first is to understand scoring and different sanctioning bodies. In Douglasville you'll probably find more KCBS competitions within a reasonable driving distance than say some of the others that you'll find, like MBN, GBA, FBA, etc.

So, read up on KCBS judging and scoring. Take a look at presentation boxes. You can find lots here and plenty more on bbqcritic.com. That'll help with appearance. Know that the next piece is tenderness. Tough, chewey, gristly, or mushy will get you destroyed in points. As far as taste goes; know that you dont want to alienate any potential judge. It only takes 2 of the 6 to not care for your Q to have you in trouble. So, you want flavor, but not too much of any one thing. Balance. Not too smoky, nor too salty, nor too peppery/spicy, etc.

Then, IMHO, practice a time or two using set turn-in times, and build your boxes. Timing, and getting your barbecue in the box HOT, is the next thing to learn. You can do this at home and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Once you have this down pretty good, jump in. There's nothing quite like it, and frankly even participating as an extra on a team doesn't really give you the experience or knowledge you'll learn from entering the competition yourself.

I've seen others sign up early on in unsanctioned competitions or in the backyard category of sanctioned comps. I've never been a fan of that approach, because to me it's more just wasting your money and effort because there's very little to win. I'd rather you jump in to a sanctioned comp (so say Pro; but there are very few barbecue competitors who earn their sole income from competitions) and just go for it. You'll learn more by far than you would an unsanctioned competition.
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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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Unread 10-16-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
CivilWarBBQ
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In Georgia, there are two pork-only sanctioning bodies: MBN and GBA. If you want to do other meats, you're looking at KCBS and FBA. KCBS has the most events in our state, and many of these are qualifiers for the Georgia BBQ Championship. Step one if you are interested in KCBS is joining the organization - then you'll receive the "Bullsheet", a monthly magazine with lots of helpful information.

We give inexpensive classes designed for backyarders looking to move up to Pro BBQ. You can PM me for more details. If you're not interested in attending a class, consider picking up the book "Starting the Fire" which is primer on starting up a new BBQ team.

Good Luck and welcome to the world of Pro BBQ!

-GF

Gowan Fenley
Johnny Mitchell's Smokehouse Championship Cooking Team, LLC
Euharlee, GA
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Unread 10-17-2011, 08:19 PM   #4
fnbish
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We kind of just jumped in this year. Did a few backyard competitions tied to MBN and the same for a backyard tied to a KCBS. They were nice because they cost less than the pro and you get about the same experience. The prize money isn't as large, but we were looking at it more from a "just getting experience" perspective. Oh and also to have a crap load of fun. That actually was the main objective, but then the competitive nature kicks in and we wanted to do better. Then we did 3 Pro KCBS and have progressively gotten better with a few calls here and there and also doing better in the overall rankings each time.

We pretty much learned everything from this forum and a few other websites and youtube has some videos on competition too. I'm not sure how much help I would really be since I'm a rookie, but feel free to message me. I can give more of the "rookie perspective" for whatever that is worth .
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Unread 10-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #5
hogzgonewild
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We are right next door to you in Villa Rica, and just competed in our first competition last weekend, so not sure how much help we will be, but this is what we did when we were starting to think about it.

Go to http://www.bbqbug.com/forums and search for the "Award Winning...." Threads. They have one for each meat category, and it takes you on a step by step process of how to prepare and cook the 4 competition meats. Use them as a guide and do a few practice runs at home, practice making boxes, and put pictures of everything up on this forum and ask for advise. These guys are always willing to help where they can.

Feel free to PM me with any questions you may have, and hopefully we will see yall at a future contest.
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Unread 10-18-2011, 07:22 PM   #6
wet hog
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Thanks for all the kind words and incoragement, there have been some great posts here, please keep the info coming
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Unread 10-24-2011, 09:32 AM   #7
AUBBQ
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Hey Wet Hog – This is a great forum to learn from. Just don’t be afraid to post and ask as many questions as you need to. As Lake Dogs has already mentioned, first thing – review and know the rules of the contest. 2nd I would practice all categories on a specified timeline for whatever sanctioning body you’re competing in. Also practice with the same amount of meat you’re going to cook at the contest. I’d recommend this for several reasons. Be sure you have your timing down if you need to have your larger cuts off before ribs or chix go on and to be sure you know how your cooker responds to being loaded down. Nothing worse than fighting temps all day because you’re not used to having that much meat on the cooker. And don’t forget the most important thing…..Go out and make new friends and have fun!
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