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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 06-25-2013, 09:00 AM   #1
PekingPorker
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Default Upcoming first competition and they moved me into the Pro Division

So I finally decided to take the plunge and try my hand at the competitive world of bbq. I entered the Backyard division of the Atlanta BBQ Festival (KCBS event in September). The event organizers called me and apologized that the Backyard had filled up, but offered to let me compete in the pro division. I decided to give it a shot.

My main concern is brisket for two reasons, cost and inconsistency. I am pretty confident in all the other categories, and if I were in the backyard division, this could be a stress free environment. Going against the big boys in the pro division has me stressed. My brisket has always been hit or miss, and the one I cooked last weekend was a total miss. So my question is this, should I not worry about brisket and really focus on what I am good at? I don't have the smoker space to cook multiple briskets at comp. I'm cooking on a Lang 36 and a XL BGE.

I really just wanted to experience the competition environment and hopefully make some new friends that have the same passion for bbq as me.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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I would do it. Anything can happen any weekend. Plus great chance that field of big boys has a good 1/2 who this might be their first to second comp.

Plus at the end of the day from what I have seen people are competitive but they are competitive with themselves.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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Just do it. Don't fret too much about it and just go have fun.

You can hold a brisket in a cooler/Cambro for several hours, as well as pork butts. I believe if you time things correctly, you can have more than enough room on those cookers.

Do a practice run through before you go...build boxes, follow the timelines, etc. Take pictures of the boxes at your practice. You will notice things in the pictures that you just don't see when staring at it.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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Cook all 4 meats. Shoot me a PM and I can give you some pointers on brisket. Set your goals like this... 1) Have fun, 2) learn as much as possible, 3) Have more fun!...
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:11 AM   #5
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Don't stress it, use it as a learning environment. In our first KCBS contest, we placed a 3rd in Brisket, having only cooked it in one other sanctioned event (FBA). And believe me, we can't cook brisket. If you're OK with the other 3 categories, give it a shot and don't worry about the "big boys."
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I definitely plan on cooking Brisket, I just don't think I will worry about it and baby it as much as I will my other meats. More than anything I just want to experience the environment and meet some good folks!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:23 AM   #7
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Have fun! If you aren't confident in the brisket and have limited space, just cook 1. Cooking lots of stuff in the hope that some of it might be good isn't a good strategy. It creates a lot more stuff for you to keep track of, and overloading the cookers makes it more likely none of it will be good.

Inject the brisket with FAB B Lite, Kosmos, or Butchers. Use half the amount that they tell you to on the package. When it hits 150, wrap it. Start checking at 180 degrees...when a probe slides in to the flat without resistance, it's done. That could be between 180 and 205 degrees, depending on your cooker and the level of fat in the brisket. Cube the point, slice the flat, and good luck.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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Where in ATL are you?

Do a practice brisket and I'll come over and give you a score!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #9
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I am trying to start a new rule and you could be the first to follow it. When you enter a pro contest for the first time...you should supply the beer to the backyard teams :)

Have fun and stop by and say hi. I will be competing at that comp in the backyard contest. The backyard turn ins for that contest are so early it's kind of a weird cook. The pro side is normal times.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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We had a good time at the Atlanta event last year. This year we are cooking Winder which is the same weekend. I'm in the boat of suggesting that you just cook 1 brisket and keep it simple. Cook till 150-160, then wrap and start checking for tenderness around 195ish. I try and get mine off the cooker and resting about 3hrs before brisket turn in, which is nice because you aren't having to check it for doneness while the madness of turn-ins is happening.

I actually work directly across the highway from where the competition is in Atlantic Station. If you have any competition questions feel free to shoot me a message!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Buy the best grade of brisket you can find and just get one. I know you can find prime and waygu in Atlanta. Good Luck!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 11:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PekingPorker View Post
So I finally decided to take the plunge and try my hand at the competitive world of bbq. I entered the Backyard division of the Atlanta BBQ Festival (KCBS event in September). The event organizers called me and apologized that the Backyard had filled up, but offered to let me compete in the pro division. I decided to give it a shot.

My main concern is brisket for two reasons, cost and inconsistency. I am pretty confident in all the other categories, and if I were in the backyard division, this could be a stress free environment. Going against the big boys in the pro division has me stressed. My brisket has always been hit or miss, and the one I cooked last weekend was a total miss. So my question is this, should I not worry about brisket and really focus on what I am good at? I don't have the smoker space to cook multiple briskets at comp. I'm cooking on a Lang 36 and a XL BGE.

I really just wanted to experience the competition environment and hopefully make some new friends that have the same passion for bbq as me.
Hey there, congrats on taking the plunge! I just did my first ever comp at the Safeway BBQ Battle in DC against some heavyweights in BBQ, it was a blast. Don't worry about it and just enjoy yourself having a great time!

BTW, at the comp I cooked my second ever brisket, lol! It was not great, but 10 people apparently did worse. One word of advice, do a test cook of all meats with your comp timeline, as I am sure others in this thread will also suggest.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Sue View Post
Buy the best grade of brisket you can find and just get one. I know you can find prime and waygu in Atlanta. Good Luck!
Waygu definitely, but if you know of a place in Atlanta that has Prime for a decent price please let me know . I've been to a lot of butcher shops and they say they can't order it even though they carry other prime beef. I'm happy with the CAB i've been using though, but always wanted to try prime.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Buds BBQ View Post
Where in ATL are you?

Do a practice brisket and I'll come over and give you a score!
I'm in Dunwoody. I may have to take you up on that!
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Unread 06-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenfro12 View Post
I am trying to start a new rule and you could be the first to follow it. When you enter a pro contest for the first time...you should supply the beer to the backyard teams :)

Have fun and stop by and say hi. I will be competing at that comp in the backyard contest. The backyard turn ins for that contest are so early it's kind of a weird cook. The pro side is normal times.
Ha! Remember I'm actually on a Backyard team's budget! I definitely will come introduce myself and have a beer with ya once turn ins are finished!
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