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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 03-16-2010, 11:15 AM   #1
CrackerJack from KC
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Default Does beginners luck exist in BBQ Contests???

So I am thinking about doing my 1st competition, but it doesn't really seem worth it to spend all the money if I don't really have a chance to win.

I know I cook really good Brisket and Pork, I could learn a thing or two on Ribs and have a lot to learn on cookin Chicken thighs.

So my question is, does anybody have any good beginners luck stories about doing well at their 1st ever BBQ Contest?
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Unread 03-16-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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I have seen a guy win a GC in his first contest and I have seen first year teams like Big T's tear it up their first year. I think you make your own luck by how much time, detail and dedication you want to spend at that contest. If you want to show up and drink all night with your buddies, probably won't fare to well. If you show up and do your very best, pay attention, etc you might surprise yourself.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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You never know unless you try! I would not enter into a contest (first time) and have the goal to win. My goal would be to learn as much as I can. Learn about how a contest is run, learn from my neighbors and most important..... have fun!!!!
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Unread 03-16-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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What he said... There really is no luck, but just because you're competing in your first
or second competition that you can't do well. We had a walk in ribs on our first comp,
walked in everything our 2nd and RGC'd, then third comp was bottom 1/3rd in
everything... Not DAL, but very close to the bottom. I will tell you, we learned more from that 3rd comp than we ever did from the others.

Give it a try. Be prepared. Practice. Take a look at pics for turn-in boxes (as you
wouldn't ordinarily do this at home). I think you'll have fun. Oh, that's the big key:
HAVE FUN.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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We never would have entered our first contest if we were concerned about winning right away. Our goal was to do our best, but also learn as much as we could. Definitely learned the value of appearance scores when we lost a tie-breaker for a call in brisket .

If you can make it to Osage City 4/9-10, feel free to look us up and hang out.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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I am doing my first competition this year as well. I am going into it exactly as these guys have said; expecting to finish DAL!!! :) Then if I do, I won't be so surprised, and anything better than that is just icing on the cake!!!

Good luck with your competition!!


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Unread 03-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #7
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Yes, first time contestants can and do perform well.

Plus, you have to start some time.

(We walked with a 4th place ribs call in our first sanctioned contest, about 50 teams. We were satisfied with that.)
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Unread 03-16-2010, 12:47 PM   #8
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My first comp was an IBCA comp Sept. 2009. I had a goal of not coming in DAL. I knew I would learn alot and meet some really cool people. Both of those happened and I ended up placing 6th in Ribs and 8th in Chicken.

Maybe you might want to start off with a smaller competition to see how you fare. You will definitely learn more and more every time you compete. I have my 5th comp. this weekend and know there is still much more to learn. Good luck!!
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Unread 03-16-2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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Our first comp we walked with a 2nd in Ribs and 1st in Pork and RGC. Our second we comp we finished 24 of 25. next comp 1st in Brisket and another RGC. You will never know until you try.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 12:59 PM   #10
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You never know if you don't try. We did our first one last year and practiced for 4-6 months before hand. We took 12th overall out of 80 teams and got a call for 9th in chicken. So, make sure to do some full set up practices and have a lot of fun.

I met a lot of people on here last year including the guys from Border War and there always willing to help. Don't be afraid to ask questions and just enjoy your friends and family!
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Unread 03-16-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
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Rob, thanks for the offer, but I am cooking Q for close to 200 people that following weekend at church, and we are doing a lot of our planning and shopping that weekend.

The contest I am looking at is


18th ANNUAL LAURIE HILLBILLY BAR-B-Q COOK-OFF
AUG. 6th & 7th, 2010

$7225.00 IN CASH PRIZES+TROPHIES & RIBBONS
LAKE OF THE OZARKS REGION STATE CHAMPIONSHIP COOK-OFF
KCBS SANCTIONED

My parents live about 2 miles from there, so I would have easy access to anything I might have forgotten, plus a soft bed if I chose to sleep that night. About 75 teams competed last year, and I think a fellow Bretheren came home with the grand prize last year.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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Our first contest out Parrothead and I finished

1st in chicken
1st in rib
3 rd in brisket
5th in pork

what sucked was it was unsanctioned and the organizer took HIGHEST individual score as the overall winner instead of cumulative. So a team with a single high pork score was considered GC. If it was KCBS we would have walked with GC and invites.








that just proved to us anyone has a shot on any given day. But doing that the well first time out, we really got bit by the bug. We did well in the following 3 (kcbs)contests with 3 3rd place(overall) finishes in a row. That year, we did a total of 5 contests and finished top 5 in all of them.


My theory is that we ALL know how to cook BBQ when we enter a contest. But the real challenge and learning curve comes with learning how to compete.. how to produce your "A" product, in a 10 minute window. The term 'its done when its done', does not apply in a contest. Competition BBQ is all about hitting that bullseye at 12:00 12:30, 1:00, and 1:30.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 01:32 PM   #13
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You'll always be a beginner if you never enter !!!
Cook with Love and Love to Cook, it will show up in your finished product.
awards are just a really nice bonus !
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Unread 03-16-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
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We took first place in Ribs in Rochester last year (Ribfest, non KCBS) for our first ever competition...It happens

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackerJack from KC View Post
So I am thinking about doing my 1st competition, but it doesn't really seem worth it to spend all the money if I don't really have a chance to win.

I know I cook really good Brisket and Pork, I could learn a thing or two on Ribs and have a lot to learn on cookin Chicken thighs.

So my question is, does anybody have any good beginners luck stories about doing well at their 1st ever BBQ Contest?
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Unread 03-16-2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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Take your time to learn as much as you can about competition style bbq, ask questions, visit contests, and perhaps take a class. Your hard work and preparation will pay off. Beginner or not, luck is a part of the equation, that is just a reality of the subjective aspect of of this sport. However, when it comes down to it, the cream will rise to the top. If you have what it takes--what the judges are looking for--yours will rise too.
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