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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 02-03-2012, 12:14 PM   #1
mr dirts bbq
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Default discouraging, lol

i gotta say, i was fully planning on competing this spring/summer in northeast, i went and signed up with KCBS and NEBS, printed out schedules and planned my weekends out. Been que'ing every weekend practicing, doing my homework, refining my skills etc. after seeing pics of bbq (appearance) and reading about what to do and not to do, what judges are looking for im a little discouraged and thinking maybe skipping this year. I will go to a few and see what i can learn and pick up from competitions, and seriously thinking of going to a BBQ school to see what i can learn before i jump in head first.
If anything else this forum has opened my eyes to how much thought and practice goes into comp bbq, and i feel if i went ahead and did some comps this year it wouldve been a waste of time and money, for this i thank all of you. I never expected to be the next pit master on TLC or win anything better than maybe 20th this year, but after a week of read these posts and seeing pron here, i think i should go back to practice more. Im pretty sure my que is good ( i was positive it was good before the brethren schooled me) but i know now there is definitely room for improvement. there was a thread i saw the other day about what not to turn in, and the pics of what not to turn in looked fine to me, but i guess the judges are looking for picture perfect. all my years in culinary arts school, winning 2 comps there and a scholorship to CIA in hyde park ny, cooking in the navy couldve never prepared me for what is expected in BBQ competitions. Im very glad that i signed up here and didnt start competing with any expectations of getting better than last place. ok rant over, lol thanks again to all of you!
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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I for one say jump in and do it. I waited for a while till I thought I was ready, and I wasn't. Yes I get disappointed at times, but then I really look at where I finished.

I have steady improved in each one. I always learn something new and the people in the circuit really do want you to do well and are helpful.

As for the judges, it all depends on what table you land on. I say go for it!
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Do a couple comps this year to see what it is about. It isn't wasted money if you learn something. Then take a class to learn what you need to do to improve from this year.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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the first few will always be "wasted money", no matter what year you start. the lessons learned in the field of battle are ones you can only learn there.

just jump in and have fun. see how you do. THEN you know what needs to be done to win.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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Man, you have a very solid foundation to start comps with. SIGN UP! The only way you will be able to improve is to get out there. More practice at this point isn't going to do what 2 comps will do for your food. Get out there, share your food with other teams, and readjust.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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PM Sent.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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Taking a judging class might be a good investment of time too.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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It sounds to me like you're the perfect candidate to take a KCBS judging class then go judge a competition or two. As much as pictures on the web help, there's nothing like experiencing it first-hand to see what comes across the tables. That picture has a smell and a taste. You'll see stuff that doesn't score well and you'll then know why, and you'll see barbecue that sets your eyes a-glow, and you'll know why.

Then, get in there. There's nothing quite like that first competition. It's like losing your virginity (really). You'll learn things you never knew that you didnt' know.

And, have fun.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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I haven't done any comps (yet), but from what I've heard from people that have. They all say you won't learn what judges want untill you do it. Plus, if you do what everyone else is doing then you'll have to beat them at their game. You could find a new trick, recipe, or technique that the judges haven't seen but may end up liking better.

I'm another year or two from competing (need money to buy a big enough pit to get started), but I plan on hitting the ground running once I get there.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #10
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thank you all for you all for your input, cack ill build you one cheap! lol
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Unread 02-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #11
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Hey Mr. Dirt -
Don't be afraid. I never thought I would be good enough to compete, and entered my first comp just to see how good my Q was. Went in with three goals: 1) Don't miss any turnins. 2) Don't get DQ'd on any entries. 3) No DALs. I did that and got two calls.
I didn't earn my money back, but I made some very good friends, and there is no way to put a dollar amount on that.
Like Lionel, I have gotten better with every comp, even winning brisket at a comp last year. No GC's or RGC's...yet...but it will happen someday.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
Hey Mr. Dirt -
Don't be afraid. I never thought I would be good enough to compete, and entered my first comp just to see how good my Q was. Went in with three goals: 1) Don't miss any turnins. 2) Don't get DQ'd on any entries. 3) No DALs. I did that and got two calls.
I didn't earn my money back, but I made some very good friends, and there is no way to put a dollar amount on that.
Like Lionel, I have gotten better with every comp, even winning brisket at a comp last year. No GC's or RGC's...yet...but it will happen someday.
What are DAL's ???


To the OP I am in the same boat a year ago there was this guy posting photos of his meat at another website i hang out at he referred me here and 1 year and 11 cookers later, I'm in your boat I wanna try comp cooking but I don't wanna fail..

I have signed up for a local KCBS judging class it runs 85 or 90 bucks and then you'll be a member of the KCBS. I figured it would atleast give me a place to start.

Come on jump in feet first.. My motto is.. GO BIG OR GO HOME...and

GOOD LUCK!
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Unread 02-03-2012, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parruthead View Post
To the OP I am in the same boat a year ago there was this guy posting photos of his meat at another website i hang out at he referred me here and 1 year and 11 cookers later, I'm in your boat I wanna try comp cooking but I don't wanna fail..
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." Theodore Roosevelt

I received my first DAL in a category last year (DAL=Dead Ass Last). Yea it sucked. But I knew what happened, and I learned from it.

Last year was the first year I got any calls. Got a call in brisket, pork and ribs. You live and learn. You will never get better until you jump out there and get where your feet wet.

I was lucky last year, we had Dizzy Pig set up beside us at Hogfest. He tasted ours and told us what we needed to improve on. We tasted his. He won RGC.

We haven't made a RGC or GC yet, but we hope to soon. I am doing a complete practice tonight. Trying out a few new things I have learned over the off season to see how I like it.

Biggest thing I was told by a few different teams: Don't change anything for a few comps, because it could just be the table you landed on. When you do change don't do wholesale changes. Change small and go from there. Sometimes its just a small tweak you need.
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Unread 02-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
Taking a judging class might be a good investment of time too.
What he said.

A professional cooking class can run you into the hundreds of dollars. I took a judging class with the FL BBQ Association for $60 (or thereabouts.) You learn a whole lot about what the judges like!
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Unread 02-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #15
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I jumped in last year after reading tons on this forum and getting info anywhere else I could grab it. It does seem overwhelming in terms of what information is out there. There isn't much better experience and learning than jumping in and just doing it. I cannot begin to define what you personally consider a "waste of time and money", but just jumping in was worth every single penny to me. Granted if you are going full bore with expensive cookers, buying the priciest meats and going full pro at each event then yes it can be "expensive" (but I would need to know what you define as expensive as well).

I guess if you are expecting fame and fortune initially and anything less is a failure you may never take the jump. I still want to take a cooking class as well, but we did pretty good last year with some calls and all we learned from was on this forum and talking with all the great teams out there. I also became a KCBS judge and judged last year and plan on judging more this year. I learned a bunch in the class and even more from actually judging and seeing/tasting what other teams are doing. The class is like $75, but then the eating after is FREE! From my tiny semi-rookie (2012 being my 2nd year) knowledge it seems there many ways to win/do well at competitions. So I say sign up and get out there. You do know these things are an ungodly amount of fun too right ?
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