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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 12-13-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
mking7
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Default Wood only comps

Well, it's winter, we need something to argue about to keep us occupied....

I honestly don't compete that much (4 or 5 a year) but I cook a ton. I was reading an old thread about whether gas or electric cookers should be allowed in competition. It got me to thinking, if I was starting a sanctioning body I might make it stick burners only.....and no gurus or other thermostatic devices and no pellets. Not sure where I would draw the line but I have always thought that a decent part of being a good bbq cook is being able to build and tend a good fire for even heat and smoke density (defined as good by the cook).

To me, all these devices and cookers that don't just burn wood are making it easier. I'm all for it at home but if I was going to build a true competition I think I'd make you tend a fire. Not sure where I fall on charcoal (currently use it to start my fire/build a coal bed) but I'd be fine if it wasn't even allowed for that.

Keep it friendly, share your opinions. :)
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:45 PM   #2
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A stickburner only comp is different than a wood-only comp. KCBS comps are wood only. No gas, no electric. Charcoal is wood, pellets are wood.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:54 PM   #3
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A stickburner only comp is different than a wood-only comp. KCBS comps are wood only. No gas, no electric. Charcoal is wood, pellets are wood.
Fair enough, I meant stick only. :)
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:02 PM   #4
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Being able to tend a fire doesn't mean that you can cook good que. The good cook is the one who has mastered his tools of choice to turn out the best product he can.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:17 PM   #5
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Being able to tend a fire doesn't mean that you can cook good que. The good cook is the one who has mastered his tools of choice to turn out the best product he can.
How true. However, I suppose the reverse could be said. Being able to cook good que doesn't necessarily mean you can tend a good fire. I think the question the OP is asking is should both be required? If this is the question there will probably be as many opinions as there are.... well you know.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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So does this mean no charcoal also?
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
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Sorry just seen your answer above. Thanks for playing.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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How true. However, I suppose the reverse could be said. Being able to cook good que doesn't necessarily mean you can tend a good fire. I think the question the OP is asking is should both be required? If this is the question there will probably be as many opinions as there are.... well you know.
Yep, that's the question to debate. Again, I could totally see myself adding guru to my BGE or even getting a pellet cooker at some point. I'm not saying they're not bbq or anything like that.....I just think having to tend a fire adds a layer to it. I mean that's pretty obvious, right? Pellet cookers and gurus are marketed as making it easier. Of course you have to know how to prepare and cook your meats. Just thinking that throwing in tending the fire makes it more difficult.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I cook by myself and if I had a team I'd be a happier person. :)
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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It would be interesting and a challenge to MOST as I don't think that hardly anyone uses ALL wood (no charcoal, pellets, etc.).
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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Maybe I'm just bitter because I cook by myself and if I had a team I'd be a happier person. :)
Ah, West, TX. Birthplace of Willie Nelson. You must not be using the same stuff he smokes with or you would be a happier person Seriously, as a hypothetical, I think it is fun to discuss this issue but I doubt the rules regarding this will ever change nor do I think they should.

Obviously you could have chosen pretty much any pit you wanted based on the fact you own a J-3. For me, the fire management hits something deep inside me on a level that is hard to explain. It's a big part of why I love to que. I can remember the excitement of cooking stuff over fire and coals since my dad first took me on a camp out when was 6 years old. For others, maybe the heat source is only a means to an end.

I like the stick burners and I probably always will. Now if I were doing this as a business then that might be a different story. For me it is all about the fun and the fire tending is part of that fun.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:00 PM   #11
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If you eliminate gurus, pellets, and charcoal, you should also eliminate insulated smokers, any smoker with thicker than 1/8" steel, lights, ez-ups, chairs, beverages, and anything else that makes for a convenience. Oh, and all of the cooks that use the items just mentioned.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:02 PM   #12
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Ah, West, TX. Birthplace of Willie Nelson. You must not be using the same stuff he smokes with or you would be a happier person Seriously, as a hypothetical, I think it is fun to discuss this issue but I doubt the rules regarding this will ever change nor do I think they should.

Obviously you could have chosen pretty much any pit you wanted based on the fact you own a J-3. For me, the fire management hits something deep inside me on a level that is hard to explain. It's a big part of why I love to que. I can remember the excitement of cooking stuff over fire and coals since my dad first took me on a camp out when was 6 years old. For others, maybe the heat source is only a means to an end.

I like the stick burners and I probably always will. Now if I were doing this as a business then that might be a different story. For me it is all about the fun and the fire tending is part of that fun.
Willie was actually born in Abbott about 6 miles up the road but you are darn close.

I think you summed up my thoughts on it. Believe me it won't shock me if I have an FEC some day. I'd love to set the temp and get some sleep. Just thought it would be a good conversation.

But I'm partial to stick burning for sure. I also heat my home with a wood stove. Maybe I'll start a thread on my wood stove forum similar to this one discussing the merits of pellet stoves vs. wood stoves. :)
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:03 PM   #13
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I've seen Que joints on food channel , and travel channel , that cooked on open firepits with wood only. Virtually everything on the pit.I think it might be interesting to see A COMP per yr. that was stick-only. Jeannie's posts are frequently cooks over an open fire. We all know she turns out some incredible cooks !!!

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Old 12-13-2011, 03:06 PM   #14
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I've seen Que joints on food channel , and travel channel , that cooked on open firepits with wood only. Virtually everything on the pit.I think it might be interesting to see A COMP per yr. that was stick-only. Jeannie's posts are frequently cooks over an open fire. We all know she turns out some incredible cooks !!!

Like the episode of pitmasters where they gave them some cinder blocks and tin and said good luck. That would be fun.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #15
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Yep, that's the question to debate. Again, I could totally see myself adding guru to my BGE or even getting a pellet cooker at some point. I'm not saying they're not bbq or anything like that.....I just think having to tend a fire adds a layer to it. I mean that's pretty obvious, right? Pellet cookers and gurus are marketed as making it easier. Of course you have to know how to prepare and cook your meats. Just thinking that throwing in tending the fire makes it more difficult.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I cook by myself and if I had a team I'd be a happier person. :)
You know, it sounds like fun and I'd love to enter a contest like that. I use a homemade stickburner in KCBS comps right now, but I like that "Back to the basics, where it all began" kind of twist you're talking about.
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