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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 02-27-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
lkissell
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Default Competition as a Spectator

I have never competed in a BBQ competition, but I am interested in attending one as a spectator.

Can anyone tell me if spectators are welcome and if there is food available to sample?

I'm not sure if these events are more for the participants and judges so I don't want to show up at one only to find that there is nothing for me to do!

Thanks.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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you can walk around and talk to the teams,as long as it is not turn in times.we welcome people to stop by and talk and look at what we are doing
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Unread 02-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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Spectators are most certainly welcome. Most comps in KCBS are Fri-Sat events. Teams will be very busy Sat mornings from around 9:30-1:30 with turn-ins and most likely won't have a lot of time to chat. Probably the best time to visit teams is on Friday evening and after turn-in on Saturday. If you mention that you're a Brethren, you will probably be invited into the site and maybe even offered a "cold one" or two. Most 1st time spectators don't realize that the competitors aren't allowed to feed the public, with the exception of a "People's Choice" category, but our team will gladly feed Brethren, just wait 'till turn-in are over.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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I'll be competing in Pensacola this weekend then Mobile the following weekend. The only time I get a little uptight is during pork turnin from 12:40 to 1. Your welcome any time though...I'm just not real chatty right then.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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As the guys said, spectators are welcome and usually encouraged. Most competitions are tied into some sort of festival and they want folks there to spend money :)

Sampling varies by competition. Some want folks to buy food from the vendors since the organizers usually get a percentage. Also, the health department can get involved since most competitors aren't set up as vendors.

But, there is nothing preventing us from giving a sample to a friend. So, come by on Friday evening and have a beer and become a friend :)

As far as visiting on Saturday, we get very busy, but most of us can find a few minutes to say hello. Just understand if I excuse myself because I have a time sensitive task to take care of.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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Although some people touched on it, I wanted to make clear that there is often a distinction between a spectator and fellow Brethren spectators.

In general, BBQ people are incredibly friendly and would be happy to talk w/ you and explain what they're doing. The Brethren, however, are closer to an extended family. Talk to anyone flying a Brethren flag at a comp and mention that you're a Brethren and a lot of doors will open.

Bring a drink or two or maybe a bag of chips for sharing and come on down. If you make it up to NY, the Grill Scouts will have a chair waiting for you.

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Unread 02-27-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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All above comments are right on. FBA turnins go to 2. If you really want to see what happens volunteer to wash dishes for a team. As a small team we always welcome help especially if vending. Check out the FBA site and then post that you want to help.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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The Too Sauced To Pork Guide to Free chit

So you wanna come out and check out a BBQ Contest…but you know not a team

1) Become a BBQ BRETHREN
a) look at the “contest announcement” posts in the competition forum
b) strike up a conversation with the participants of that contest
c) because we are basically a family, you will probably get an invite
d) post in the “team mentoring” area offering your help as a pit monkey

2) Come out on Friday night
a) Walk around and chat people up about their pits
b) Bring a bottle of smooth moonshine (or similar liquor)…and Dixie cups
c) Bring a small cooler of your own beer
d) Offer to do some dishes
e) Offer to run or block for the team for turn ins on Saturday – ONLY after you are trusted. If the smoker is the heart, the runner is the blood carrying the life of the team (the turn in box) Teams don’t trust just anybody with this, but they will definitely take a blocker any day of the week

3) Research
a) get on the web and talk to teams on their facebook, webpages, and other social media
b) Volunteer at the contest – call the organizer and get involved
c) Take a judging class – then repeat steps 1 and 2 above.

4) Come out Saturday
a) We will be VERY busy from 9am-1:30pm. Please do not take offense if we are a little short with you, we are not trying to be rude…well most of us are not trying to be rude.
b) If you come before 9 BRING COFFEE! I will hug you. 2 sugar 1 cream
c) Like I said if you bring a thermos of coffee, we will definitely talk to you and possibly invite you back later.
d) Best time is after 1:30pm

A few Rules

1) DON’T be a salesman and try to sell yourself into my booth…BBQers have innate bullchit monitors, we see right through it. Be yourself and be honest, we are people just like you.
2) DON’T overstay your welcome…If you notice a lack of conversation on our part, that is your signal to leave without us hurting your feelings. Please don’t make us hurt your feelings, some of us are quite good at it.
3) DON’T be a Delta Bravo…(D BAG)…Teams will not stand for it, and will vote you right off the island.
4) DO…bring some beverages and offer us one…chances are we will return the favor.
5) DO…Realize that if we don’t talk to you there could be a reason. We all have jobs, family, and other hobbies that may be on our mind. We all have lives outside of BBQ, and that could be effecting us at the contest. Teams are there to compete, they are not there to entertain spectators. Many people pay to get into a contest and expect us to give them things, and to entertain them at the drop of a hat. If you get the cold shoulder don’t be hurt, just move on.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
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O.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pig Headed View Post
Spectators are most certainly welcome. Most comps in KCBS are Fri-Sat events. Teams will be very busy Sat mornings from around 9:30-1:30 with turn-ins and most likely won't have a lot of time to chat. Probably the best time to visit teams is on Friday evening and after turn-in on Saturday. If you mention that you're a Brethren, you will probably be invited into the site and maybe eveoffered a "cold one" or two. Most 1st time spectators don't realize that the competitors aren't allowed to feed the public, with the exception of a "People's Choice" category, but our team will gladly feed Brethren, just wait 'till turn-in are over.
Will you be in Middletown? If so i will def take you up on your offer, especially the brew or 2.

Anyone that is at a comp that my team is at feel free to stop by and say hi
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Unread 02-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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Yes Jon, we will most definitly be at Middletown, it's about 7 minutes from my house.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 05:20 PM   #11
GreenDrake
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Had a guy at a comp last year walk up to us and ask if we had any hot dogs for sale. Another thug looking kid thought he would test the waters and ask what we would do if he just grabbed some of our turn in meat. I mentioned he may want to check his health insurance deductible for preventable injuries.

It's always nice to talk with the public at events though. Lots of folks with sincere interest in methodologies, stories, or to talk about where we are from and vice versa. We don't usually have the samples available sign up save for a small window of time on day one when we are doing trim cooks and after turn ins, but don't be that guy that walks up, takes a sample and leaves, that's just rude. For us the ultimate kiss of death in competition is to come back later and tell us that ours was the best bbq you have ever tasted...big jinx with that, we just look at each other and cringe. But do appreciate the compliments. BBQ is a fun gig, we love to share our passion for food.
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