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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 04-13-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
Astralman
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Default Breaking in Competition BBQ

I'm new to bbq-in' and I would like to compete in the BBQ competitions. What should I do first, bbq first with my neighbors, perfect my techniques on my own grill or just dive in pits first?

I love bbq everything, chicken, pork ribs, fish but I would like to compete at the different places.

Love to hear from you.
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Unread 04-13-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astralman View Post
I'm new to bbq-in' and I would like to compete in the BBQ competitions. What should I do first, bbq first with my neighbors, perfect my techniques on my own grill or just dive in pits first?
Practice on your friends & neighbors first...

Get the timing down by doing a practice comp with the same turn in times as a real comp...

Find a team that is already competing and offer to 'Pit B!tch'...

The best part is that all of these can be done at the same time!
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Unread 04-13-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
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You ought to practice before you compete. This typically means your neighbors and friends become guinea pigs. You'll also need your own equiptment (pit).

When I first started competing, I didn't have sufficient equiptment so I simply competed in chicken and ribs. Nobody says you have to do all the categories at every event (most do, but it's not required).
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Unread 04-13-2009, 08:44 AM   #4
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I'd take a look at the sticky: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=13677

And then peruse the earlier threads in the Competition forum. Everybody started out with lots of ??? and a lot of them have been redacted in the earlier posts.

Practice is good but nothing compares with actually doing a comp. You might want to visit a couple of contests and see if you can "assist" another team to get a feel for what's involved.

Good luck!
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Unread 04-13-2009, 08:51 AM   #5
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My advice to anyone wanting to get into competition BBQ is to first go take a KCBS judging class and judge a few contests. At each contest, identify the experienced judges at your dable, and between categories, open a dialog with the other judges at about which entries scored highly and why. For me, that eliminated a lot of the guess work and gave me a solid understanding of exactly what I was shooting for in my own cooking. Good luck!
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Unread 04-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NelsonC View Post
My advice to anyone wanting to get into competition BBQ is to first go take a KCBS judging class and judge a few contests. At each contest, identify the experienced judges at your dable, and between categories, open a dialog with the other judges at about which entries scored highly and why. For me, that eliminated a lot of the guess work and gave me a solid understanding of exactly what I was shooting for in my own cooking. Good luck!

I could not agree more. I learned more from judging that really anything else. I have found my neighbors are just happy to be eating BBQ and they think everythink i make tastes great. But by being a judge you can a real feel for what flavors score well.
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Unread 04-13-2009, 09:33 AM   #7
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My advice if you have the money, DIVE IN, THE WATER's GREAT!! :). While you are waiting to go to your first comp, you should get an idea of the world of a difference between home-cooked bbq and competition bbq. For that, I would take a look at the stickey threads in this forum at the top the competition forum page, titled roadmap to the competition. It will give you a good starting point to start practicing. I would also second most of everything else that has been said already. Good luck!
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Unread 04-13-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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Dive in!
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Unread 04-13-2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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My team just dove in with no prior contest experience. Actually, one of us had judged before, and I suppose that's a good first step.

My bit of advice is learn what target you're supposed to hit: what flavor profile you're supposed to be using (e.g. the teriyaki sauce that your friends all rave about, or your personal favorite Carolina vinegar / mustard sauce is going to get you dead ass last in a sanctioned contest).

And like Divemaster said, practice cooking on a contest timeline. Do a few overnight cooks and know how your cooker (and you) react. Know what times and temps to cook each meat so they're done perfectly at the official turn in time.
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Unread 04-13-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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Default Breaking In Competition BBQ Responses

Thanks for all of your suggestions. You gave me really good advice. I think judging is a good idea. I think I'll look into that. At the same time, I could set up a neighborhood testing group. I'm going to competitions also. I never thought about the flavors that pleases the judges. I'll look into that also. What flavors do you think I should avoid? I know that some flavors I absoluting hate on bbq-ed meat. Again, thanks for the advise. I'm review so earlier posting also.

Thanks again...I'll be reviewing more comments. Happy Q'in'
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Unread 04-13-2009, 12:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonC View Post
My advice to anyone wanting to get into competition BBQ is to first go take a KCBS judging class and judge a few contests. At each contest, identify the experienced judges at your dable, and between categories, open a dialog with the other judges at about which entries scored highly and why. For me, that eliminated a lot of the guess work and gave me a solid understanding of exactly what I was shooting for in my own cooking. Good luck!

Thank you for this bit of advice. Judging is an excellent way to break into contest. I would learn alot from judging. You're right, it would eliminate the guess work. Thanks again...
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Unread 04-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
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Practice, Practice, Practice. Then Practice as if you were at a comp and start Friday afternoon as you would arrive and cook through the night using the turn in times of a comp. Find someone close by who you can turn the boxes in as you would at a comp. It's opens your eyes to some of what you would expect. Also cook out of your garage...meaning get everything you think you will need to cook and then anytime you go inside for something WRITE IT DOWN and that way you will have what you need when you really need it at the comp.

Good luck, you are going to meet some great people and really have a lot of fun
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Unread 04-13-2009, 01:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astralman View Post
Thank you for this bit of advice. Judging is an excellent way to break into contest. I would learn alot from judging. You're right, it would eliminate the guess work. Thanks again...
Yes. Judging is a great idea. Because your friends and neighbors will always think your BBQ is the best stuff they've ever tasted (sort of a running joke amongst my friends and me).
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Unread 04-13-2009, 01:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Salt View Post
My team just dove in with no prior contest experience. Actually, one of us had judged before, and I suppose that's a good first step.

My bit of advice is learn what target you're supposed to hit: what flavor profile you're supposed to be using (e.g. the teriyaki sauce that your friends all rave about, or your personal favorite Carolina vinegar / mustard sauce is going to get you dead ass last in a sanctioned contest).

And like Divemaster said, practice cooking on a contest timeline. Do a few overnight cooks and know how your cooker (and you) react. Know what times and temps to cook each meat so they're done perfectly at the official turn in time.
The thing about flavor is to try your meat 'cooler' than you would serve to a guest... Remember that the meat is going into a clam shell and sit for up to 10 minutes... If your looking at KCBS, it's going to more than likely have cold parsley & lettuce in there too...

Food can have a completely different flavor hot compared to cold....
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Unread 04-13-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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Again thank you. I never thought about the wait time during judging. So the flavor has to be good cool. I get bbq from the restaurants. Some places I've been to doesn't taste good cool. The flavor of the sauce seem to fall away with time.

I'm learning a lot from all of you. Especially cookin' as you would at competition. I'll stay tuned in to all of the responses.
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