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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 05-21-2012, 12:58 AM   #1
Texas Marshall
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Default Continuing Comp Mystery

Help us understand something here. When we started competing six years ago, staying up all night was a ritual, battling wind, etc, etc. Now we're seeing teams vanish after setting up their booths, only to turn up 8am ish Saturday and end up taking walks. We've even seen teams show up Saturday AM and get a call. Have these teams REALLY perfected the turbo cook, or is something else at work?

We just have a tough time believing that ANY team can turn in world class Q when you never see them cook it. Any thoughts?
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Unread 05-21-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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What type of cooker are you using? For our schedule using a Insulated Cabinet smoker with Digi-Q, we put our big meats on around 8-9pm, then it's off to bed. I wake up around 3am to foil the butts and brisket, which takes all of 15 minutes, then it's back to sleep until 6 or 7.

I was in your same position last year, staying up all night cooking on a stick burner. When I saw Bub-Ba-Q go to bed at 10pm and take Grand at the National BBQ Cup last year, I knew I had to trade out the stick burner for something else to get some sleep!
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Unread 05-21-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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I agree that there is likely some thing else going on that you're not seeing. Either because it's happening while you're trying to get in what sleep you can, and you're just missing it. Or, they have a set it and forget it smoker that allows them that convenience.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Marshall View Post
Help us understand something here. When we started competing six years ago, staying up all night was a ritual, battling wind, etc, etc. Now we're seeing teams vanish after setting up their booths, only to turn up 8am ish Saturday and end up taking walks. We've even seen teams show up Saturday AM and get a call. Have these teams REALLY perfected the turbo cook, or is something else at work?

We just have a tough time believing that ANY team can turn in world class Q when you never see them cook it. Any thoughts?
What are you implying...that they cheat? Many teams have progressed and embraced technology, sorry you have not.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 08:34 AM   #5
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What are you implying...that they cheat? Many teams have progressed and embraced technology, sorry you have not.
Don't be sorry that you haven't embraced technology, I embrace the fact that I don't use technology, old school, hands on, flying by the seat of my pants, is why I have passion for barbecue. I want to be involved in the process, instead of being a casual participant.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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What are you implying...that they cheat? Many teams have progressed and embraced technology, sorry you have not.
Faster and more automatic doesn't mean better experience. If I just wanted to sleep, I could stay home and save alot of time and $$$

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Don't be sorry that you haven't embraced technology, I embrace the fact that I don't use technology, old school, hands on, flying by the seat of my pants, is why I have passion for barbecue. I want to be involved in the process, instead of being a casual participant.
x2.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
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Faster and more automatic doesn't mean better experience. If I just wanted to sleep, I could stay home and save alot of time and $$$

x2.
I guess I could write someone a letter, but i prefer email....some find the experience in the prep and presenting and not watching a cooker cook at 3 am. That is about as much fun as watching paint dry IMO, so to many, technology makes it more fun.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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I'm not sure what Texas Marshall was looking for, but the debate over the use of technology and the type of pit is one that has been beaten to death around here it will never end as long as different types of smokers and electronic controls are allowed in competitions.

What I don't understand is why people care what the team next to them or down the row is cooking on. Each team or individual has made a decision on what cooking method and style they want to use and has chosen a smoker accordingly. If I choose to run a traditional offset, and the guy on my right is using Weber Bullets, the guy on my left is using a pellet cooker, the guy across from me is using a gravity feed cooker, the guy next to him is using an insulated cabinet, the guy at the end of the row is using an insulated firebox offset with a Guru, the guy on the other end is using some UDS, and the guy around the corner is using a firepit and a rotisserie (aka Johnny Rotisserie ), what does it matter? we all have to produce food that appeals to the judges and get it there on time. Why does anyone care how the other person does it as long as they are doing it within the rules?

Cook your style and on your pit and forget about the other guy.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 09:40 AM   #9
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I know in the few comps i've done a bunch of people just don't do the shoulders/butts due to the fact they don't wanna stay out there all night... they show up around 6 am and start putting ribs and chicken on the smoker...

also, i've heard Myron Mixon shows up early in the morning and just does hot and fast... I think he has won a comp or 2 in his day...
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Unread 05-21-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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I was at a competition one time where a drunken kid was found sleeping in a smoker....

Does that count?
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Unread 05-21-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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Wow, this thread did turn into a debate! I want to be clear on my comments above that I don't want to downgrade stick burners, as I still love to cook on the old New Braunfel's offset that we have at our lakehouse, I love having to work the fire to turn out amazing Q, but you won't ever be able to "disappear" at a competition for 4-6 hours with one, and I think you will find that 99% of the teams that retreat for the night are probably using some type of power draft system.

I agree that it doesn't matter what type of cooker someone is competing on, as every type of cooker has taken GC somewhere, and it's the person doing the cooking that is the difference!
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Unread 05-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Im not sure what your asking but i saw it this weekend, but what i saw was a team that has the timing down, cooks a lot, and knows what the judges want, they have used the equipment enough, trust the results and it shows.

I personally enjoy the talking and fun at nights, so i like to walk around, but we just got comfy in a tiny toyhauler and so far it makes the entire weekend more fun.

Its all about getting the food into the box, infinite amount of ways people can accomplish that!!

I dont look at it like im competing with other teams, its more about how i can please the judges, and what they like, not me..
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Unread 05-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Cook your style and on your pit and forget about the other guy.
respectfully, i don't undersand this statement. if curiosity as to what others were doing did not exist how would anyone ever learn a new method or improve their product. learning new stuff is an important part of this section and this site, and how would you learn if you did not ask questions and just forgot about the other guy? i don't think Texas Marshall was accusing anyone of cheating. i think the question was more about the timing of a competition cook and the hot and fast or "turbo" cook. maybe anyone who has found a way of cutting down cooking times with good results could chime in.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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I think there are two answers. Some of the folks are doing low and slow with a technology assist. Either a pellet cooker, or a cooker with a Stoker/Guru. You can put your big meats on in the evening, go to a hotel for some sleep and come back in the morning. The other answer is hot and fast cooking. Many teams won't start their cooker until the 3am-6am range. I have never seen someone roll in at 8am and start setting up though. Is this a bit of an exaggeration?

I do low and slow and use a Stoker. I put my meats on and let the cooker settle and then I can get 6-8 hours of sleep. This helps me to be focused and relaxed the morning of a contest so I can perform at my best.
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Unread 05-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by rookiedad View Post
respectfully, i don't undersand this statement. if curiosity as to what others were doing did not exist how would anyone ever learn a new method or improve their product. learning new stuff is an important part of this section and this site, and how would you learn if you did not ask questions and just forgot about the other guy? i don't think Texas Marshall was accusing anyone of cheating. i think the question was more about the timing of a competition cook and the hot and fast or "turbo" cook. maybe anyone who has found a way of cutting down cooking times with good results could chime in.
I never said that you shouldn't be curious. I agree that's a big part of learning and I learn all of the time from you guys and folks at competitions. I was specifically referring to the never ending discussions of "my pit is better than yours because xxxxx and you're pit isn't the right way to cook BBQ". There is a big difference! Learn from others, but don't slam them and their cooking method simply because they made a different choice than you (and I don't mean you specifically, but the "generic" you. :)

I also didn't say anything about cheating or that Texas Ranger was accusing anyone of cheating. I'm just not sure what his intention was in starting this thread.
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