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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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Old 08-28-2013, 06:25 AM   #1
chrisr
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I have been getting ready for my first competition coming up in September . I've been doing mock runs at home and having trouble with my turn in times. Sometimes my briskets and pork butts stall to long and I end up going over my turn in time. I know if this happens in competition I'm out. I was thinking about starting hours sooner so I know my food will be ready and just let my butt and brisket rest in a cooler for a couple of hours. Is that what you guys would do? Also what size brisket and pork butt do you recommend? Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:39 AM   #2
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Yes. I plan on the cook ending 2 hours ahead of time. Frankly, I've never had them vary more than an hour in either direction...

Whether at home or competing, I like big butts, I cannot lie. 9# is probably the average.

Briskets, I use whole packers, usually in the 15 to just under 20# range.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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I shoot for the big meats to come off around 10AM, vent then wrap or into the cambro
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
chrisr
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Hey lake dogs how long does it take you to smoke a 9 lb butt and 15lb brisket? What temps are you running at?
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:29 AM   #5
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We always plan to finish our big meats at least 2 hours before turn in. We cook whole packers, average of 12 pounds, and 9 to 10 pound butts.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackman View Post
I shoot for the big meats to come off around 10AM, vent then wrap or into the cambro
Same here.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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Yup...shoot for 10am and rest in a cooler or cambro
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
Hey lake dogs how long does it take you to smoke a 9 lb butt and 15lb brisket? What temps are you running at?
My smoker likes to settle in at 260, give or take 10 degrees. I cook everything there, butts, briskets, ribs, etc. Not chicken, because that'll get you rubbery skin every time, but that's another story...

Cooked fat cap down, I foil both right at the 4.5 hour mark. Still; fat cap down. Both cook for 9 to 9.5 hours. If we're fast on the foil and the smoker isn't open long; its usually more like 9 hours. If open longer, more like 9.5 hours. Rarely does it dither much more than 15 minutes...

I then relocate them to a cooler (used as a warmer). They'll continue to cook. Oh, I pull briskets first. The reason is that everything will continue to cook in the warmer; the brisket can get over-cooked in a big way...

If I'm playing the Money Muscle game with butts I remove them on temperature, not time, and they still cook wrapped up. I remove them at 180, because they continue to cook... In this case, I cook 4 butts; 2 for MM's, 2 for pulled pork. Sliced (or cubed) pork doesn't play well here in the deep south. I'm not sure how it does it other areas, but not here..
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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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What type of smoker do you have? I'm cooking on a Oklahoma Joe offset smoker.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #10
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I competed in my first KCBS comp this last weekend and I was so worried about my big meats not finishing in time for turn. I started my Brisket at 10pm and my Butts at 12:00am ran at 235 on my yoder. Both were finished at around 7:30-8:00 so now I know I can wait a bit longer to get em goin. A lot of the more experienced teams waited a lot longer to put their stuff on than me but they have it all timed out perfectly for how long they want things to rest prior to turn in. I am usually impatient at home when it comes to letting my larger meats rest... but after 4 hours of resting in a cooler my Brisket was still where I wanted it to be (even a little over because I kept it on a little long and it somewhat continues to cook once holding it to rest). As a first timer I would suggest just start earlier than you would think you need to. Everyone kept reminding me it would be fine resting not to worry. Knowing its done is a lot less stressful then dealing with a stall right before turn in. Good luck!
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
What type of smoker do you have? I'm cooking on a Oklahoma Joe offset smoker.

I use an early version of a Lang 84; reverse flow offset. I dont list/post the times I put these on because the I compete in different sanctioning bodies and the turn-in times and the level of detail needed at box-build and presentation time varies greatly among them.
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Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #12
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I try to get my butts and briskets done a couple hours ahead as well. You can hold them 3-4 hours easy enough. One comp I actually had a brisket cook way fast. Actually everything except my chicken cooked way fast that day and I still have no idea why. Anyways, I held that brisket for 7 hours and it got a top 10 call.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #13
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Big meats generally benefit from several hours holding time. Move your timeline back and de-stress!
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