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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 01-18-2008, 11:01 AM   #1
Que'inKC
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Default My first contest

OK fellow Brothers (I guess I can say that, I know I'm still pretty new)...

I've finally talked my buddy into doing a couple contests this year and we are both soooo stoked...

My questions is....

What is the single best piece of advice you can give me? (Besides bring plenty of beer, cause I already got that one down... )
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Unread 01-18-2008, 11:04 AM   #2
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Have fun........it ain't life and death should be rule #1.

When is your first contest? Do you have time to do a full blown practice cook prior. I learned more doing that than anything else. Make sure you can do all 4 meats and get them done on time...........it doesn't matter how good it is if it never makes it to the judges.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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Thank you...I think the first one won't be until April..so we've planned on doing a couple practice cooks between now and then...
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Unread 01-18-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Que'inKC View Post
Thank you...I think the first one won't be until April..so we've planned on doing a couple practice cooks between now and then...
Cool. Good luck. I found in my first practice cook that I would mess with my chicken so much that I kept letting heat out and my other meats suffered, they were still good, but not as good as if I kept the damn door shut............and as I told my wife......"I have to get another smoker just for chicken" LOL
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Unread 01-18-2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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When you do the practice cook - take good notes including timing, weather, cooking, and food temps and what items you NEEDED to run into the house to get. If you NEEDED to get something from inside that you didn't have ready to go when you started, you'll likely need it at the comp.

At the same token, if you didn't use something you had ready to go ask yourself if you need it at a comp. It's a fine line of packing too much and not enough. Something everyone goes through about 3:00 in the afternoon as they are packing up to go.

And post pictures of what you would have turned in. Don't be afraid to practice the greens too.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 11:32 AM   #6
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I like doing my practice cooks somewhat backward... Start with only the bare necessities, and each time you go inside to get something you find you need, add it to your list. Then you know what it is you need to do what you're doing.

Have fun and don't get too nervous... guys will help you there. If you know how to cook and you have your timing down, you're set.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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Don't make a list and take "household" items. Buy plastic storage bins and keep them packed with your bbq stuff (so you've got a couple doubles of stuff, who cares. Never have to make another list). The danger being you end up eventually with an aluminum box that has wheels under it!
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:01 PM   #8
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Like Jbrink01 - try to seperate competition stuff from household. It will save from a lot of fights latter.
My 2 favortie piece of advice our

1. bring double what you think you need as far as paper towels, drinks, ice, foil and baggies.

2. Something will go wrong - you will forget something - charcoal will be wet - forgot the needle to the injector - DO NOT QUIT, just ask around everyone is willing to help out new teams.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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I agree - have fun is # 1
# 2 should be remember the morning comes early - don't drink so much that you can't function at your best.
# 3 Ask questions

Good luck!

Tom
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:12 PM   #10
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Since it looks like everyone has covered the practice cook thing. I think the biggest thing for us to to take notes at the comp of what you did time you put the meat on, sauce you used ect.. That way you can see what you want to change in the future and know if something worked or didn't work.

We didn't do this our first year of comps and are kicking ourselves becasue We would forget what we did at the last contest. Now that we have started recording everything we have a basis of what we are going to do and want to change and focus on the next time.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:21 PM   #11
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If you haven't read this thread yet it will help a lot

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=13677
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:23 PM   #12
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Go meet people, tell them you are new... relax, it's just BBQ.

When doing a practice cook... make your "turn in" times at night. No idea why I thought I needed to lose sleep for a fictional contest I was putting on. But I did.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:30 PM   #13
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The practice cooks are vital as everyone has said. be sure to take it through building the boxes. Let them set for about 20 minutes after turn in time, you will taste what the judges are tasting. Second, start cooking earlier than you think you need to. Way better to hold than not get done. As you grain experience at contest, you can fine tune your schedule.
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Unread 01-18-2008, 12:40 PM   #14
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First of all I am NOT a well seasoned pro or anything. I think I have done 5 comps in all. That being said...I can't give you a single one... so how about three:

Use a checklist (I think I got mine off of the KCBS stie) of items you are going to take and pack them well in advance in plastic tubs.

Make a timeline for your cook based on your practice runs and have it with you so you can check things off (it will keep you sane and focused)

Have fun... your first one should be all about that!!!
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Unread 01-18-2008, 01:03 PM   #15
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practice, practic, practice,....get to the comp early...relax and have fun!
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