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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 01-09-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
WineMaster
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Default Feels like Kindergarden

Never competed before and am considering it this year. There is 2 comps about 30 miles away and I was thinking of entering 1 of them.

How do you pick the comp to get your feet wet.
Do you recruit a team
Do you have people in charge of certain meats
Do you have 1 Chief and alot of Indians
All Freaked out

How was your first

Tell some stories

Dan
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Unread 01-09-2008, 09:40 AM   #2
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1st was a big one in KC (Cabela's, 2005). Never been to one, no clue at all what to expect, drank way too much Ketel 1, had 1 other team member and was really hung over. Ended up like 50th out of 70+, but, won 4th in the wild game category so I was hooked.

Lessons learned - Ask questions b4 you get drunk so you remember the answers, be nice and have fun. Recruit a team? No, just friends. I am in charge of cooking, someone else does presentation. I cooked with Todd from Plowboy's last year and liked having to only tend to 2 meats though.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Our first was just the wife and I. Eventually recruited helpers and now I cook solo. Of course I have a pretty easy to sue setup now.

Solo or helpers all comes down to are youy a type A control freak or do you want partners and each does theri own meat? I want control.

Minn in May is supposed to be a great contest. A little far for me so I'm just going on what I hear. You will be welcomed with open arms by all.

At the first contest I was disorganized, got no sleep at all (klose stick burner then) and was dead tired at awards. No calls but finished 9th overall out of around 40 teams so was hooked.

Just don't panic, people will lend you waht you forget. Don't get fancy KISS is the best to start. Garnish - a little lettuce base with a bit of parsley if you have time. Appearance is important but is just 1/7 of the total score.

Most important have fun and bring lots of beer and booze for the nieghbors.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
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Don't be freaked out. Everybody had to start somewhere at some point. Also, don't forget that everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time.....

I'd suggest going and hanging out at one first and perhaps wash dishes for someone or run their boxes, etc. That way you can see what to expect at a competition.

If you're just gonna "GO FOR IT" just do it! Get some of your buddies that like to hang out around the grill and drink beer, that have money.

The way you handle the team is the way you handle it. You can go either way. I find that the best dynamic with the team that I'm part of is that there's one pitmaster, he stays up all night and gets the big meats. He also does the ribs, but, that's in the morning and I do the chicken. We do presentation on all of it together.

We set it up together, clean it up together, etc. He can stay up all night, I can't. I have a pretty good eye and can come up with presentation stuff on the quick (if needed), he's been up all night.... We each have the things that we excel in and we try to use them to the best of our abilities.

Good luck!!!
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Unread 01-09-2008, 11:15 AM   #5
Sawdustguy
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We are a team of six members. We segregate our responsibilities. My wife and I do butt and ribs, my brother and his wife do brisket and chicken. My friend Gus and my nephew do all the grilling. We had no clue what we were doing in our first comp. I lurked here and got as much info as I could.
We had a great time. Because it was our 1st contest our expectations were not set very high. Becasue of that there was no stress and we had a barrel of fun. About 30 seconds after we arrived at the contest my brother and I looked at each other and agreed this is us and this was not the last the competition circuit would see of the Polocks.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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For the most part me and my Wife are the team I am the head cook and do all the cooking and 90% of the food prep she takes care of the presentation and getting things turned in on time. She also keeps me focused and on task so I don't forget something. Sometimes we have more people there who want to help but they normally just get in my way and irritate me more than help me.

You can do it by yourself but in my experience it would not be very easy or a lot of fun doing it by yourself.

As far as the two contests near you I am not much help there but I say since they are both close why don't you go to both of them. You will be hooked once you do your first one.

And as has been said many times relax have fun and don't sweat it if you forget something just ask another contestant and at least 90% of them would be more than happy to help you.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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"How do you pick the comp to get your feet wet."

I'd pick out the closest one to home, or one that you would not mind the drive to.

"Do you recruit a team"

Not unless you want to. I prefer to make all the decisions, so a helper is really all you'd need. But you need to be in charge.


"How was your first"

My first contest was in Madison, In. 2004. I was scared to death ! I wanted to do well, badly !!.. I didn't expect to win, i just didn't want to fall flat on my face. I didn't sleep well, but luckily i had my timings down from practice cooks, so nothing got far behind or ahead. i finished 16th overall.. i was thrilled !!.. biggest advice i have for you is practice all 4 meats a few times, and get a schedule together, and stick to it.

Looking back on it, I should've tried to enjoy it more and mingle more. you can learn a lot from others, and other teams are glad to help ! Just take the first few contests as learning experiences and don't expect too much, and if you get a call, live in the moment for sure. I've done 22 contests total now, and it took up to the last 8 before i really felt like i was confident in what i was doing. It's all been fun !
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Unread 01-09-2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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Me, I am gonna go solo this year. crazy huh?
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Unread 01-09-2008, 02:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster View Post
Never competed before and am considering it this year. There is 2 comps about 30 miles away and I was thinking of entering 1 of them.

How do you pick the comp to get your feet wet.
Do you recruit a team
Do you have people in charge of certain meats
Do you have 1 Chief and alot of Indians
All Freaked out

How was your first

Tell some stories

Dan
If you have TWO within 30 miles of you, you NEED to do both! What I would give for a comp that was 30 miles from me!!!! Please do them both!!!!

Given the above, do not be afraid of course, but understand you will be LEARNING for a while. This is a good thing.

As others said, YOU need to decide how to organize your team, but in my opinion, yes, you want help, and more than anything everyone needs to know their roles up front, whatever they are. Friends and Family who love to Q make a great team, at least to start with. In fact, that is pretty much the reason we compete - to have fun and hang out. The "various members own different meats" is a great way to go, in my opinion. And hey, its your first time, you can always change it up.

Our first sanctioned comp as a full team was a great experience. We had fun, learned a little, enjoyed one anothers company, and could not believe our ears when we got a 4th place ribs walk(~50 teams), 47" trophy, and cash that more than covered dinner and brews that night.
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Unread 01-09-2008, 03:19 PM   #10
tntitan
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i have done two . one in nov. and one this month with a friend next time going solo it is not in me to just help out like a dishwasher working for min wage do it on your own or with a family member that is it
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Unread 01-09-2008, 05:37 PM   #11
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I am writing a Blog about starting a BBQ team. Last season was our first competition season. Please feel free to check it out. The best advice I will offer is HAVE FUN!

http://thenewguys.blogspot.com/

be sure to start on part 1

good luck!
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Unread 01-10-2008, 06:56 AM   #12
Dale P
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I agree that if you have 2 contests that close to home, do both of them. You will have a blast. Go for it but be ready to get hooked.
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Unread 01-10-2008, 08:00 AM   #13
Ford
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Default Blog for Newbies

If this link works it's to the BBQ Forum Blog for Newbies. It's a great read for anybody considering doing their first contest. Also on the BBQ Forum is the checklist from Smokin' Guns on what to take to a contest. It's probably the best list for s first time competitor. You may need to search for it or ask somebody to post a link to it.

Looks like the link goes to the main blog page so you need to click on the right side for Guide for Newbies


http://bbqblog.com/?cat=6
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Unread 01-10-2008, 08:04 AM   #14
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Dan, like others have said, if you can do both do them. What two contests and whena re they? If you have time before the two, go check a few out help if possible.

Our first contest was last year and Char and I (hubby and Wife team) were both scared and excited. We didn't expect to win but promised each other to work hard enough not to come in D.A.L. Well I we took 3rd in chicken and ended up in the middle of the pack overall. Yes we were hooked.

Just remember to have fun, the seasoned veterans are more than willing to help you with questions and all.
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Unread 01-10-2008, 08:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
If this link works it's to the BBQ Forum Blog for Newbies. It's a great read for anybody considering doing their first contest. Also on the BBQ Forum is the checklist from Smokin' Guns on what to take to a contest. It's probably the best list for s first time competitor. You may need to search for it or ask somebody to post a link to it.

Looks like the link goes to the main blog page so you need to click on the right side for Guide for Newbies


http://bbqblog.com/?cat=6

When I click on this link, I get to the blog, the first entry reads OK. All of the following posts are littered with computer jiberish and hard to read. Does anyone else see this or is the problem on my end? I see the same thing when I go in through the link from the forum.
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