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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 06-27-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
Butt Rubb'n BBQ
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Default Friday is my first GBA contest

What did you wish you had known?
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Unread 06-28-2012, 06:39 AM   #2
Lake Dogs
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Whether it is/was going to pour down raining or not.

:-)

I'll be there, judging. I'll be the short guy in the black brethren t-shirt...

Good luck!!

One thing I've seen as a judge is that a lot of people, particularly newer teams, dont know that there a difference in sanctioning bodies. Different everything. Ribs should pull from the bone cleanly with only slight resistance. This is different from KCBS's "bite through cleanly" rib. Most of the judges are also MBN and many are and/or have been MIM judges. They KNOW pork. Know this isn't KCBS. MM isn't expected. Nice if you have it, but if it's not perfect, skip it. Sauce, use the sauce cups and present your sauce(s) on the side. This gives judges choices. Choices are good. Even if we HAVE to judge it with the sauce, we get the option to decide precisely how much of that sauce. Choices = good thing. A few years back we'd only see one or two pork loins come across the table that were really good. Now it's at least half if not more. It's as tough a category as any. If you've competed in MBN, cook to those standards. GBA derived theirs from MBN and as said earlier, many/most judges are CBJ's in both.

Best of luck!!!
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Unread 06-28-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
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We never used sauce cups and did alright in GBA, maybe we could have done better with sauce on the side, but we didnt so who knows.

Cooking GBA is a ton of work, especially if you make finals. Probably more work than it should be.

There are also a lot of very solid cooks in GBA, so your pork is going to have to be top notch.
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Unread 06-28-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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Take a lot of quart and gallon zip lock bags with you. Make finals or not, you're going to have a ton of meat leftover....if you cook as though you will make finals.

They are a lot of work. You've got a helluva drive ahead of you, I hope you are leaving early Friday morning ahead of the in-bound I-75 traffic. No sense in being tied up in that mess early on before a contest.

Don't overcook your loin(s). Get creative on your box building.
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Unread 06-28-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
Lake Dogs
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+1 on not overcooking the loins. Of the ones that dont score very well, most if not all are overcooked and getting dry and/or very tough.

Early on the GBA was almost like "MBN Light", meaning the junior league of MBN. NOT NOW, not by a long stretch. I lost count of the contests I've judged, but
it's probably right at 100 by now. The last GBA contest I judged in Perry was the best field of pulled pork I've ever seen at any time, EVER. The ribs were right up
there with the best ever too. It was awesome. Telling you just how good it was, one of the best MBN pork guys out there right now is Dixie Q; they didnt make finals. Bubba Grills had recently won Memphis In May Ribs; they didnt make finals. This was a TOUGH field. I dont know what we'll see in Plains, but I'd expect to bring my A game. Guys you may not have heard of, like Gary Lanton of Holy Smokes, and Myron's kids of Jack's New South, and... DW's, and Rescue, and... these guys can cook!!!!!
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Unread 06-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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OH, different than KCBS, where KCBS will gather up enough entries to fill a table and take them straight to the table for judging. GBA doesn't do it this way. They gather all the entries, then at the end of the turn-in time they "shuffle" the boxes (in case judges were watching turn-in) and set them out on the tables. THEN they seat judges at tables, mixing experienced and lesser-experienced judges. Once seated, and all sheets numbered, names of judges put on cards, etc. THEN they finally open the clam shells. If you turn in your box in the last few seconds before the final cut, it'll still sit there from 5 to as much as 15 minutes before being opened. I'd make certain my meat was as hot as it could be, and hit the turn-in window in the last 2-4 minutes, and make sure that my product tasted pretty darned good luke-warm, AND account that BBQ firms up a little as it cools...

MBN does it this way too...

The better organized competitions keep them in coolers (ala. warmers) and then get them on tables fairly fast. I've seen a few larger ones that were a few people shy of optimal organization make this go much slower... Plains should be fairly small in comparison to some, so I expect there wont be too much delay in getting the clam shells on the tables.
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Unread 06-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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Welcome to the GBA & good luck in Plains. I will be the lead contest rep there. I'll be stopping by sometime Friday to meet you. There is a lot of good advice in the posts above. While there may not be big numbers in Plains, there will be some really good teams there. One thing you will discover is that you will meet some of the nicest folks in BBQ. come prepared to cook hard but more importantly HAVE FUN!
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Unread 06-28-2012, 01:20 PM   #8
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Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!
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