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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 10-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #1
Wager
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Default Comp site setup...

For those that don't have trailers or RVs that they live out of at the comps, how do you setup your site? We've got two 10X10 tents and a bunch of tables and chairs but it seems like we just have way too much junk laying around all over the place. 6 or 7 coolers, storage boxes, miscelanous junk.

How many tables do you typically setup? One for prep and one or more for other stuff?

How do you store all of your various supplies? do you bring some shelves or have some sort of storage setup that keeps things organized?

How many coolers do you typically have? 1 for comp meats and 1, 2, 3 or more of other food and beverages?

We've only done two competition cooks but it seems like we bring our entire house with us to these things. We've gone through the list of stuff to see what we didn't use but it seems like we used just about everything we took so maybe it is just an organization issue. What do you guys do to organize what you bring?
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Unread 10-16-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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Watching with anticipation. We have the same issue. Thinking about buying a big shelf of bins and shrink wrapping it to transport. Someone has the key to this.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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We're a small time comp team, only doing a couple a year. I get all of our gear in a Chevy Venture mini-van and a 5x8 trailer.

We set up three tables, 2 6 footers and an 8 footer. We have 2 canopies; a straight legged one that covers the food prep area and another for storage/sitting area. We do bring a large shelving system that's on wheels which holds our charcoal, bus tubs, storage containers, etc... The shelving unit gets wrapped with a heavy duty tarp for transport and remains partially covered at the comp to protect from weather and sticky fingers. EDIT: Just read Chad's post. We also have a table system for a three bay wash tub set up and a place for a beverage cooler to hold out hot water.

We do have a lot of coolers. One for comp meat, one for finished turn-in boxes, a couple for our beverages/food, resting coolers etc... These get stacked or stored out of the way under tables. Not everything is under the canopies either.

Some of the storage bins that hold lights, extension cords, tools get stacked out of the way of the work area.

Hope there's something useful there for ya.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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When Tim and I started we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving. We did refine that even before we started using the RVs and cook trailer:
1 table for wash rack, 1 table for food prep and such, we had one small card table for the coffee pot and a place to put our personal "stuff". We had two EZ-up type tents and sometimes only put one up. We finally got down to 2-3 coolers. One for transporting the meat too the contest and used after prepping to keep stuff cool. This one usually went home with me with my leftovers. Tim usually brought a couple of smaller coolers with our personal food and drink. He and I love a beer but we never drank until after the 2PM turnin on Saturday and we did not try to throw a party either. Our cooking stuff was in Rubbermaid totes and I usually had about 3 and Tim would bring a couple. We'd try to store them under the prep and cleanup tables and stack the coolers neatly.
Neatness of the site is a challenge if you don't have a trailer or an RV to keep your personal stuff out of the way.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
JerryA
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I've done 12 comps so far and this last weekend I probably brought half the stuff (or less) than what I had my first comp. That is the main thing you have to figure out, how to minimize your processes because it becomes a pain to have to pack, unpack, wash/clean. I now have just a 50qt cooler for meats and a small cooler for my sauces, injections, drinks. The big stuff is not a big deal to take, I take 4-5 tables, and 1 to 3 canopies depending on whether I'm having friends/family come, but the big stuff is easy to load and unload. It's the stuff like containers, dishes, cutlery, cutting boards, cooling racks, sauce pans, mops, brushes etc. ect. that can become a pain. If you didn't use it, don't take it the next time, and even if you did use it, see if there's a way to do without it.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 08:53 AM   #6
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We bring too much stuff too. Seems to be the norm. Anyway, we have two 10x10's and sometimes set up just one. 2 - 6 foot tables for prep, on leg extensions and with a shelf below for holding supplies, and a 4 foot table for the sanitation station. All our equipment goes into marked plastic containers of various sizes. The smaller ones go on the shelf below the tables, larger ones on the ground below the shelf. One chair per person on the team. Guests need to bring their own. Biggest thing is to keep washing the dishes and various other tools and to put them back into the appropriate container. Keeps things neat and tools are readily found when needed. You need what you need for coolers. It is the miscellaneous junk you need to control.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #7
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Guido, his son and I (BBQ Mafia) have done a few events over the last 2 years. We travel in two Envoys. His Lang gets attached to his Envoy and we fill both cars up with stuff. We have gotten better and we find we bring less and less to each event. The main things we pack:

1) 3 6' folding tables and 1 4' folding table. 4' one is used as a cleaning station for the 3 bins. We use another 2 tables for prep only and the other one we use to store our stuff so its within arms reach.

2) Chairs - 2 folding chairs so we can work at the tables, and 3 anti gravity chairs for sleeping

3) EZ ups - we have 2 10x10 ez ups

4) Shelves: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/s...price_sort%7C0 - we have 3 of those and stack them on 1 folding table so we can get to all of our tools, rubs, glazes, sauces, snack foods, etc

5) I personally keep a lot of my rubs, misc tools like foil, pans, thermometers, etc all in small plastic boxes, which then go into larger storage totes: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/s...price_sort%7C0 - this step may be overkill, but makes it easy to pack up when I go home, store my comp gear in my basement and pack my car easier. I slide 2-3 of these boxes in, some tables, and I am ready to go. If everything was loose it would be harder to track and pack everything.

6) coolers and cambro - we usually have a cambro + 1 medium size cooler for all comp meats, then 1 larger cooler for all personal food, beverages, etc.

7) misc stuff like water coolers to help transport water to/from water stations, power supply, etc all vary based on the event and what they supply or dont supply.

As far as set up, that varies on the size of the spot we have, weather, etc. Usually the two 10x10 ez ups go front to back to cover 10x20, and the open 10x20 is used for the Lang.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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We started with two Eggs in a van. It was quite full. Two 3x5 folding tables, a tent, 1 EZup, coolers for drinks, meat/sauce, and one for holding meat plus tubs to keep various supplies in. I've always had the crates for transporting the Eggs that I flip over and they hold the wash tubs.




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Unread 10-16-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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Checklists and pre-packing my truck before my first comp were the keys to deciding what I would take and what I had to leave behind. I only have a small truck and no trailer to use for now, and this has made me travel as light as possible. I take two small cookers (An 18" WSM and a 22" Performer, which gives me another table and storage too), three Rubbermaid tubs for utensils, rubs and misc. stuff, and three small coolers. I plan to replace two of the coolers with one larger cooler, around a 70 qt. and I will still take a smaller cooler for food, sauces, etc. I have three tables, and I will only take two from now on to save space. Since I cook by myself, I don't have to worry about making room for someone else's stuff.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin' D View Post
We bring too much stuff too. Seems to be the norm. Anyway, we have two 10x10's and sometimes set up just one. 2 - 6 foot tables for prep, on leg extensions and with a shelf below for holding supplies, and a 4 foot table for the sanitation station. All our equipment goes into marked plastic containers of various sizes. The smaller ones go on the shelf below the tables, larger ones on the ground below the shelf. One chair per person on the team. Guests need to bring their own. Biggest thing is to keep washing the dishes and various other tools and to put them back into the appropriate container. Keeps things neat and tools are readily found when needed. You need what you need for coolers. It is the miscellaneous junk you need to control.
We have almost the same set-up, but started out with way too much stuff. Our team took inventory AFTER the comps to see what needed to be left home. Stuff like: extra rubs, spatulas, knives, tongs, exension cords, chairs. We had double and triple of this stuff in bins. That string of lights in the bottom of the bin you haven't used in months? -gone Stuff like that adds up.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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We now have a checklist that guides what we really need and do as much slimming down as we can. We easily bring only half as much stuff as when we started.

We have 1 12x12 popup. We use 2 6ft tables, one that holds three bus tubs for wash rinse sani and one to work on. In addition we have a folding 'kitchen' from Cabellas that we pop up and that holds all our stuff. We take 3 18"in wsms. All the gear we need to cook with is stored in two cambro units that come along. Other than that its 3 chairs, 3 cots, 2 coolers (beer/meat) and one small rubbermaid tub that contains lights, dishtowels, trashbags, disposables, fire extinguisher. We get it all there in a 5x8 trailer and a Colorado pickup bed.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 10:05 AM   #12
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This is our first year of competing, each comp this year we have found more things to leave at home and ways to pack tighter. All of our parsley goes into the 5 gal igloo that becomes our hand washing station. The two five gallon buckets for water get packed with head lettuce. We are now making most of our injections and sauces at home and putting in quart jars, eliminating the need to pack all the individual ingredients. The next comp we are also going to premix our spices and put in pint size jars. The pots, pans. knives, utensils and the rest of the ingredients go into the wash tubs for transport.
We do take 3 canopies, two 10 by 10's tied together with walls for our cook area, and one 10 by 10 to provide shade over the pit. Three tables, all with leg extenders. One for prep, one to hold wash tubs and one for upfront. Two fold up comfy chairs and two popup chairs for the kids. Two coolers, one large enough to hold all of the comp meat, and the other for beverages. For sleeping we use air mattresses and sleeping bags. We are able to pack the canopies, wood charcoal and the 18" WSM on the pit trailer but still need two vehicles, one blazer and the wifey's car. Next year we are hoping to get EVERYTHING into the blazer(including the two kids).

Thanks for posting this, the new ideas so far are awesome!!
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Unread 10-16-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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I feel we do it about as simply as we can. About the only thing that changes is an additional cooler if we have more than 3 people. I used to worry about forgetting stuff and at one time had a dedicated checklist which I don't anymore. But since there is always a grocery store close I don't worry about forgetting paper towels, brown sugar, and stuff that I can easily buy. I do write out a small checklist to not forget meat and sauces I can't get at the store, but it is pretty small.

How many tables do you typically setup? One for prep and one or more for other stuff?
-I have 2 tables on leg extenders that are our prep and box making tables. We do have a 3rd lower table that is used to put misc stuff on or the cambro to get it elevated and easier access.
How do you store all of your various supplies? do you bring some shelves or have some sort of storage setup that keeps things organized?

-I have 2 small plastic bins for spices & food prep items like knives and cooking tools. Then 2 other plastic bins, which one is for wood and the other is for tools, fire extinguisher, light, torch, etc.
How many coolers do you typically have? 1 for comp meats and 1, 2, 3 or more of other food and beverages?

-I use 3 when it is just 2 or 3 people. One is for meat, one is for drinks, and the 3rd is solely for parsley and lettuce and then to hold the parsley boxes over night. A 4th cooler comes into play if we have 4+ people because then we need a water cooler and a separate beer cooler .

Here are my 2 boxes for knives, spices and some misc stuff. Not very large. I do have some duplicate tools items, but they are not large items.


Here is our setup a few weeks ago. Had 2 people at this one (technically I was there alone on Friday). But this is 2 canopies with the 3 coolers and 2 prep bins and it is pretty minimal, but has everything I need. Doesn't looked cramped.


Here is the back of the site with the wood bin, tool bin and cookers.


And here is the setup condensed into 1 canopy when we just had 2 people. So it works with one canopy too.
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Unread 10-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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Lots of great ideas above from guys who have been through the same thing.

Dave (Chad) above spoke about our first couple of years and the massive trimming down we did.
In addition, I set up 2 tubs with "spare" stuff. Things like about a mile of electrical cord, extra hoses and spay nozzles, a spare coffee pot (most important stuff), a few critical utensils, and stuff you would really need "only if"..... Also, extra paper towels, foil, and some expendables, just in case.
These tubs were never unpacked and were left in the tow vehicle unless needed, which was only once or twice-- and that was to lend to other teams.
Really helped reduce the clutter and the packing challenges.

Just keep at it--you will figure it all out!!!

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Unread 10-16-2012, 11:29 AM   #15
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Thank you everyone very much for all of the replies. This is really helping out, especially the pics.
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