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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 07-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
BasicPatrick
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Default Seeking Advice: Back to Back to Back to Back

We are going to cook Troy (NY), then Wakefield (RI), then Harpoon (VT) and finally Fryeburg (ME). all in a row.

If any of the wise old competition vets or even not so wise irresponsible youth care to share any tips or advice for a first timer going back to back (never mind 4 in a row); I am all ears.

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 07-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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In 2009 we did 5 of 6 weekends in the fall.

Rest and sleep anytime and anywhere you can
Shop smartly and stock up as best you can predict.

For us, the "fun" was gone about week 3 or 4.

But, others do it all the time---my hat is off to them.

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Unread 07-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
Rub
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Do it all the time solo. Don't get sucked in to partying every weekend, buy supplies in bulk, keep things clean as you go. No biggie
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Unread 07-03-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
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I think our longest stint was 7 weeks out of 9.
You know how you have a cook schedule and checklist? Well, have a prep schedule and checklist too, and stick to it.
The first time you think you're going to die, the second you KNOW you're going to die, by the third week you're getting into the swing of it and after the fourth you've got your rhythm and you get screwed up if you stay home!
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Unread 07-03-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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We've only had one run with about 4 contests in a row. I would keep one bin for all the items that are consumable and immediately replace them when you get back. Make sauces and rubs in bulk for all the contests before your first one. There isn't much to do about trimming meat but it's amazing how quickly you can trim your meats after doing it for 3 weeks in a row. I found the 3rd and 4th contest were easy compared to the first two. Like Alexa said, you fall into a rhythm.
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Unread 07-03-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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We do back to backs regularly now. As long as you are organized and don't plan on partying the whole time you will be fine. Keep all your stuff as clean as possible to minimize the work you have to do when you get home. Rest all day Sunday. I did 4 full competition cooks (full practice cook overnight, catered competition spread, and then two comps) in a row and thought I would be ready for a weekend off. Truth be told I felt lost that first weekend without cooking.
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Unread 07-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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Just did 4 in 20 odd days. Keep hydrated properly, organized and take copius notes. If you are going to kill yourself take advantage of the qualitative research that can be done.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 12:01 AM   #8
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Patrick,

We just came off of a 5 week in a row run. Here is the results.
Memphis 50 Teams 15th overall
Mayetta, KS 47 Teams 35th Overall
Chandler, OK 32 Teams 11th Overall
Okemah, OK 21 Teams 8th Overall
Girard, KS 28 Teams 7th Overall

All of these contests has had multi GC Teams and plenty of this years top 10 TOY Teams there competing .

I have a Checklist copied from Diva's Website and modified to fit what I Need to Have.
I prep and pack my sauces, injections, and rubs early in the week to have it done.
I buy and Trim my meet early in the week and VacNSeal to keep it fresh so I'm not rushed on Friday after I'm there.
I visit and shoot the Breeze until about 7-8 PM and then I go to my rig and concentrate.
I have a timeline for cooking and checking etc that I tweak every week in advance if I'm tweaking my cooks. and Adjust onsite if Weather dictates.
I get the cookers loaded and my rig serviced and ready on Thursday and plan on arriving as early Friday as I can to be setup and not rushed and stressed.

If you look at week 2 you will see I essentially bombed. I cooked the same quality and method as the first but I didn't feel good, (Disc in Back is Jacked) and I didn't pay attention to the lack of Humidity and everything cooked faster and dryer than It should have and I didn't pay attention and embarrassed myself in front of teams that I really admire and respect.

If you see me at a comp with my iPad its because I'm going over my notes and re-reading something on the web that I think Helps me.

After that you can see we started to climb because I planned, Rested, and Paid attention to the process in real time.
Of Course, don't forget that consistant quality of raw meats are also a must.

I'm going long but I've had some great mentors, Butcher, Cancer Sucks Chicago, Team Enoserve, Little Pig Town, JP Custom Smoke, Grauers Hog Wash, Quau, and Hogs on the Sauce, whom I have enjoyed some good visits with and they all have been upfront when I asked questions or advice. I read and search topics on this forum daily as well.

We're having a great time for this being our first year to do this with any seriousness. The most comps we did previously were two last year and one a year the previous two years before (Local Contest).
I called KCBS and after 10 Comps this year we are ranked 123rd in a field of 3,600
teams according to KCBS. What I just outlined is the only thing I can attribute to our meager success.

I know we are friends on Facebook so you know I'm being truthful about this because of my FB Posts.

Good Luck.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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We keep a shopping list on the wall so as you run out/short of things it goes on the list. Saves taking inventory later.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balls Casten View Post
We keep a shopping list on the wall so as you run out/short of things it goes on the list. Saves taking inventory later.
My wife is laughing as I read this to her. She runs the inside of our motorhome and before that the truck camper. We ALWAYS have a notepad and a running list of what we run out of or need. That notepad's duties now include the BBQ trailer.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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Thanks to all and please keep the comments coming. I am sure other brothers will read this in the future.
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32' Fleetwood Bounder (Motorhome).
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Unread 07-04-2012, 11:45 AM   #12
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Last year I did 5 in a row by myself and even though by the last one i was ready to quit it was a blast. Stick with your schedule and you will be fine.

You will probably score better cooking every weekend too because you will be in the groove. I would do it again if the wife would allow it.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 12:37 PM   #13
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Repetition. If you come by my cook site it looks like there's crap laying everywhere. But if you by the next week or next month all that crap will be in the same exact place. I had to back off the comps this year. Only about one a month. It's got me all screwed up! Like others have said, you get in a groove and your scores will show it.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasicPatrick View Post
We are going to cook Troy (NY), then Wakefield (RI), then Harpoon (VT) and finally Fryeburg (ME). all in a row.
We are judging Troy, then cooking the same events you are, and then adding on Eliot, ME and the Medford, NY on the end.

I think you will find it's not as bad as it sounds. Doing back-to-back I find is EASIER. You get into a regular routine. I am now thinking I should have cooked Troy or Lake Placid instead of having 3 weeks off between Old Orchard and Wakefield.

Cook the contest, clean the smoker, refresh the consumables, off to the next one.
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Unread 07-04-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
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You'll get into a rhythm. For whatever reason late August and September are stacked with competitions around here and we do 6 in a row each year. I have a schedule that I follow each week and stick to it.
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