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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 08-12-2008, 09:03 PM   #1
JD McGee
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Default Competition Edge...

Well...here we go! Time to get my chit in one sock for our first solo comp. I'm lookin' for an edge...something that will stand out amongst the pack. Up till now I've stuck with the commercial rubs and sauces or those out of the popular BBQ books.

I'm afraid if I deviate too much from the "norm"...it'll freak out the judges taste buds... I know that what I've been cookin' in my back yard for friends and family is a lot different than comp cookin' for that "one bite" burst of flavor.

I don't expect to receive any trade secrets...but a little nudge in the right direction would be nice. Thanks Ron for the tip..."mum"...
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Unread 08-12-2008, 09:20 PM   #2
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if your friends and family like what you are cooking why are you changing for an contest

KISS - keep it simpel stuipid

use that for your base (what you are cooking for frends)

do two or three contest and see the what happens

then after that change only one thng for two or three contest and see what happens

KEEP NOTES KEEP NOTES

this will get the ship in the right direction

it will take time

york
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Unread 08-12-2008, 09:34 PM   #3
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Default Agreed

Cook what you cook, enjoy what you cook, and most important share the excitement. All else doesn't really matter at the end of the day.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #4
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they like it sweet, I tried exotic sauces and went back to the basics and it made a he!! of a difference.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #5
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OK, here's a tip:

When making injections and marinades, be aware that they usually won't taste particularly good if when you sample them before cooking. It takes very bold flavors to leave an impression after many hours of smoking; practically all of it will go up the smokestack or into the drip pan. The little bit that stays behind needs to be potent enough to do the job, so a good marinade/injection typically tastes much too strong out of the mixing bowl.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 10:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sticks-n-chicks View Post
Cook what you cook, enjoy what you cook, and most important share the excitement. All else doesn't really matter at the end of the day.

very well said. If you are passionate about what you are doing, just like in anything, it will show. You can just tell when someone put alot of time and effort into their que. Even if it isn't particularly earth shattering or even good, you can just tell. One thing I would add is don't get caught up in your neighbors, their cookers, and what they are doing. I will often show up at a competition, having prepared up to months in advance, and it can get overwhelming when a guy pulls up with a HUGE rig, all this professional looking stuff and a swagger to end all swaggers. Don't buy into it. The person you are competing against most is yourself. If you put out the best possible JD Mcgee BBQ, you'll walk away with something. Strive for that, not to beat or hang with anyone else. Good luck.
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Unread 08-12-2008, 10:42 PM   #7
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Great advice all...thank you! Guess I'll just dance with the lady I brought with me. I've always been an "all natural" kind of guy...in my rubs, spices, sauces, etc. I try not to get caught up in the latest and greatest this, that, or the other. I always seem to return to the classics.

As far as seeking an "edge" is concerned I'm looking for that little extra "something" that will set my food apart from the pack. My own "signature"...if you will. Perhaps it will just come with time and experience, a tip or trick from one of the Brethren, or not at all...
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Unread 08-12-2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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Mr. Natural




Just go with what you know. Enter the Ribeye cookoff, appetizers and dessert categories as well, and just have fun! I'm gonna need you focused next season!
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Unread 08-13-2008, 05:35 AM   #9
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commercial rubs and sauces?? I wouldnt even know where to begin with that. Have always made my own, even make my own chili powders for the rubs. Dried garlic, onions, etc. I did dumb down my homemade sauce with AJ and honey so I could glaze instead of sauce. I expected to finish dead last but ended up OK. Stay true to your self and your Q!
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Unread 08-13-2008, 06:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD McGee View Post
Great advice all...thank you! Guess I'll just dance with the lady I brought with me. I've always been an "all natural" kind of guy...in my rubs, spices, sauces, etc. I try not to get caught up in the latest and greatest this, that, or the other. I always seem to return to the classics.

As far as seeking an "edge" is concerned I'm looking for that little extra "something" that will set my food apart from the pack. My own "signature"...if you will. Perhaps it will just come with time and experience, a tip or trick from one of the Brethren, or not at all...
Like most have said stick with what you know and like....perhaps just kick it up a notch and add a bit more of what you already use. Most important...remember to have fun!!! Best of luck to you and your wife!!
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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:10 AM   #11
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What everybody else said plus this little tip.
Stay focused on your product, times,temps,sauces,rubs,turn-ins.... Don't let the other teams pull ya off your game.
And always have fun.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:17 AM   #12
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Taste your food before you put it in the box. Sometimes a little salt goes a long way.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
What, in your opinion, do you think sets apart the consistantly top winning teams (such as Jack's Old South, Chris Lilly, Mad Mamma, Dr BBQ!, etc.) from the rest of the pack? I suppose years of experience would be a big one...Thanks for all of your input this week and thanks Chris for arranging this!
Quote:
Hi Erich,
There's no doubt that the folks you mentioned have a great natural ability to cook, and taste food. But I really think it's all the little details that sets these cooks apart. They don't ever say "That'll be good enough". They go the extra mile in every little detail. I know a guy that drives 45 minutes each way to get the best parsley.
New cooks are all looking for the secret ingredient. There is none. Hard work and an insane competitive spirit are what those folks have.
I took this to heart from the Virtual Bullet forum (this is a question from someone from the forum and the answer is from DR. BBQ). My scores have improved since putting more effort into the details...all the detials.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:32 AM   #14
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1. Focus
2. don't change anything at a contest. stick to the game plan
3. are you there to do well, or are you there to party ?
4. salt if needed
5. Focus
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Unread 08-13-2008, 08:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeeBBQ View Post
Taste your food before you put it in the box. Sometimes a little salt goes a long way.
Great tip! Also, when you practice, put your food into a box and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes and then taste it. That will be much closer to what the judges will taste than when you taste it fresh out of the cooker.
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