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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 05-28-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
Coldholler
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Question NC BBQ regs

Does NC allow the use of propane?
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Unread 05-28-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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I believe the NC Pork Council does.

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Unread 05-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldholler View Post
Does NC allow the use of propane?

Not sure what you are asking?

I would venture to guess there are places in NC that use propane.

If you are refering to something like a KCBS BBQ Competition in NC, the answer is no.

I am not sure if NC has a BBQ Association or Socity. If you are asking about whether there is one, and if so, do they run contests and do they allow using propane in said contest, someone else will have to weigh in regarding that.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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99% of people cooking whole hogs in North Carolina Pork Council events do use propane.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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As indicated above, the North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC) allows ANY heat source for cooking the whole pig to be judged on the grill and blind box after the grill judging is complete (as appropriate - not all NCPC competitions have blind box judging). The NCPC sanctions about 25-30 competitions throughout the year and they allow propane.

The North Carolina Barbecue Society (NCBS) only sanctions one contest annually (currently; however, Jim Early (president and founder) is planning more contests in the future) - in Cary, NC - the "Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival". This contest allows wood and charcoal only.

There is one Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) contest annually in Charlotte. MBN allows only wood and charcoal.

There are 10-15 KCBS contests in NC annually - and of course, KCBS allows only wood and charcoal.

There are numerous "unsanctioned" contests held in NC annually. Each contest sets their own rules on fuel so you would have to check with each contest for their fuel rules.

I hope this helps your understanding of NC barbecue competitions and the different sanctioning bodies and allowable fuel.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 06:11 AM   #6
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The Pork Council "allows" all, but will grade you down if you do not use propane. I found that out the hard way. And yes, I was told that by a NCPC judge at the event. Wish I could have gotten my entry fee back at that moment...
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Unread 05-29-2012, 08:33 AM   #7
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Why in the world would they grade you down for choice of fuel source?
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Unread 05-29-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbrad View Post
The Pork Council "allows" all, but will grade you down if you do not use propane. I found that out the hard way. And yes, I was told that by a NCPC judge at the event. Wish I could have gotten my entry fee back at that moment...
I don't know who that NCPC judge was, but that is DEFINITELY NOT the case!!! I am a NCPC CBJ and there is NO WHERE in ANY of the rules or guidance to back that statement up!

If you can tell me who the judge was that made that statement I'd GREATLY appreciate it so that he can be reported to the NCPC office! There is NO room for judges who take it upon themselves to make statements like that!!! What he might have said is that you put yourself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane as usually smoke will darken the pig and color is one of the judging criteria, but to say that he grades down because of using fuel other than propane is downright WRONG!

In what contest did you compete?
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Unread 05-29-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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I was at one contest last year when I heard a group of NCPC judges say, "Oh, another charcoal cooker, we know he isn't winning" as they walked into the site. Decided then I would never cooking in a NCPC contest.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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I've only judged one NCPC contest where the cook used wood/charcoal and his pig was much darker than all the other pigs that were cooked on propane (Durham in 2010). Since the color of the pig is one of the 5 major categories to judge it would be extremely difficult for a wood/charcoal cooker to win; HOWEVER, that statement should NEVER be verbalized by ANY judge!!!

Myron Mixon cooked a pig for the NCPC contest in Edenton (in conjunction with the KCBS contest) last year and was way back in the standings for the grill part, as he cooked it on wood/charcoal and it looked pretty black. He won the blind box part of the NCPC competition but definitely NOT the grill part!
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:19 AM   #11
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bbq.tom,

Could you clarify the NCPC's color definition for judging purposes? I have only entered a few fun NCPC judged contests (ECU Pigskin Pigout) where "yellow pigs" dominated (it's my personal term for propane cooked pigs due to the finished color of most hogs I have cooked or seen cooked. It's not meant to be a jab at propane cookers).

Also, has the no injection rule I have heard of become part of the rules with NCPC or was this an original rule?

Thanks!

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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #12
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They were not saying it's an "automatic" markdown, they were saying that only gas wins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
What he might have said is that you put yourself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane as usually smoke will darken the pig and color is one of the judging criteria, but to say that he grades down because of using fuel other than propane is downright WRONG!
Put myself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane? Does it say that in the rules or guidance? I would have liked to known that before I paid my entry fee rather than when I showed up for the event.

I was told by more than one judge at the most recent event. It started out at the cooks meeting with the statement "cooks who cook in KCBS or MIM don't succeed in NCPC events". He even told me that Myron Mixon cook one NCPC event and did not do well. After the meeting was over I asked why. I was told that my cooker (stickburner) was not what wins at NCPC events. NCPC wants crispy skin, and that comes from cooking with gas. They want it not smokey. So I wrapped my pig 5 hours into the cook to protect the color. I jacked up the heat at the end to crisp the skin.

After the event, a judge came back to talk to me. He suggested a brand of gas cooker that most were winning with in NCPC contests.

Heck, while you've asked, we were told at the cooks meeting that injecting, rubs and basting were not legal. But I had read in the online rules that it was legal. "North Carolina barbecue is defined by the NC Pork Council as chopped/sliced pork meat seasoned as the cook believes necessary for best taste." We argued, but were shot down. That was the second time that I have been to a NCPC event and something was changed.

Now, I like rub. I like injecting. I like a smokey flavor. I don't think skin crispiness should be judged as heavy as the meat. I was told that judges bend the pig back and want to hear the crispy skin cracking. And if that's what NCPC judges are trained for, then so be it. But (as you said) my cooker puts me at a disadvantage because it's not gas. It cooks great BBQ, but it's not gas. And I'm at a "disadvantage" because of that.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Market Hunter View Post
bbq.tom,

Could you clarify the NCPC's color definition for judging purposes? I have only entered a few fun NCPC judged contests (ECU Pigskin Pigout) where "yellow pigs" dominated (it's my personal term for propane cooked pigs due to the finished color of most hogs I have cooked or seen cooked. It's not meant to be a jab at propane cookers).

Also, has the no injection rule I have heard of become part of the rules with NCPC or was this an original rule?

Thanks!

Jerry
Hey Jerry,

Concerning the color, "Browness" is the actual term that is on the NCPC judging form and under the heading it asks: "Is meat golden brown, dark, or burned?" On the judge's DVD it indicates that the meat should be a golden "chestnut" color. 'Yellow' pigs are just as bad as black pigs as far as color is concerned IMHO. Properly cooked pigs on propane cookers will achieve a golden color (NOT yellow!) and the skin will be crisp. This is EXTREMELY difficult to accomplish (I know, as I also cook in NCPC comps). If you try to impart smoke flavor through a firebox or wood-chip brick it usually turns the pig dark/black.



While I'm on here I need to add one additional "sanctioning" body in NC - the "Southern Barbecue Network" (SBN). This year (2012) there is only one SBN sanctioned contest in NC - "The Spruce Pine BBQ Championship & Bluegrass Festival" held in Spruce Pine, NC July 20-21. According to their rules you can use propane or other fuel sources:

6. COOKING FUELS - Approved cooking media include wood, charcoal, or
wood pellets, gas (propane or butane), and electricity; these are acceptable for SBN contest cooking process.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbrad View Post
They were not saying it's an "automatic" markdown, they were saying that only gas wins.

Put myself at a disadvantage by cooking with something other than propane? Does it say that in the rules or guidance? I would have liked to known that before I paid my entry fee rather than when I showed up for the event.

I was told by more than one judge at the most recent event. It started out at the cooks meeting with the statement "cooks who cook in KCBS or MIM don't succeed in NCPC events". He even told me that Myron Mixon cook one NCPC event and did not do well. After the meeting was over I asked why. I was told that my cooker (stickburner) was not what wins at NCPC events. NCPC wants crispy skin, and that comes from cooking with gas. They want it not smokey. So I wrapped my pig 5 hours into the cook to protect the color. I jacked up the heat at the end to crisp the skin.

After the event, a judge came back to talk to me. He suggested a brand of gas cooker that most were winning with in NCPC contests.

Heck, while you've asked, we were told at the cooks meeting that injecting, rubs and basting were not legal. But I had read in the online rules that it was legal. "North Carolina barbecue is defined by the NC Pork Council as chopped/sliced pork meat seasoned as the cook believes necessary for best taste." We argued, but were shot down. That was the second time that I have been to a NCPC event and something was changed.

Now, I like rub. I like injecting. I like a smokey flavor. I don't think skin crispiness should be judged as heavy as the meat. I was told that judges bend the pig back and want to hear the crispy skin cracking. And if that's what NCPC judges are trained for, then so be it. But (as you said) my cooker puts me at a disadvantage because it's not gas. It cooks great BBQ, but it's not gas. And I'm at a "disadvantage" because of that.
Different sanctioning organizations have differing criterion for what the judges are looking for in competition barbecue. Prior to entering any competition it is advisable to know and understand what the judges are looking for. That is precisely why so many KCBS cooks take the CBJ training, not to become judges, but to understand what the judges are looking for. If the style of barbecue you like is not what normally wins a contest in a particular organization's competitions, then it might be an idea to look for a sanctioned contest where the organization's criteria is more along the lines of what you like to cook. Just a thought.

Concerning the NCPC rub/injection rule, that was new to 2011. To my knowledge, they have still not listed that on their website.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 11:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
Concerning the NCPC rub/injection rule, that was new to 2011. To my knowledge, they have still not listed that on their website.
Thanks for the clarification on that rule. No, it's not on the website. I went there to check the rules, but they were not posted. There was a problem at the comp when 2 sets of rules were presented. That's probably what happened.
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