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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 07-21-2004, 06:14 PM   #1
BrooklynQ
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Default What I learned at the LI Grill Kings Barbecue Contest

I was only observing at the contest. I was there trying to learn everything I could. I do plan on cooking next year and here's what I learned. This is really a note to myself for the future. And everything is only my untested opinion.

First and most important -- Remeber You can win this thing. (Such hutzpah! - but you gotta go in with the right attitude or why bother.)

Creature Comforts.
1. Provide shade. Lots of it.
2. Provide seating - somewhere to lay down.
3. Provide comfortable work surfaces.
4. Create a private workspace for when the pressure is on and you want to work without the prying eyes of someone like myself.
5. Bring music that you like and relaxes you.
6. Water, water and more water. Water to drink, water to wash your equipment and hands.
7. Mosquito netting to keep bugs off food. But the bugs were kept at bay by all the smoke.
8. Decorations. Make the space fun.
9. If you have electricity - provide a fan so you have somewhere to cool off.
10. Provide something for the kids to do. Better yet, tell friends and family to arrive later in the day after food has been submitted.
11. A large clock to keep track of the time.
12. Don't drink till all the Q is with the judges.

Food and Equipment:
1. Sinks and buckets. Be prepared to wash everything. A LOT. Wash you, your work surfaces, tools, equipment etc.
2. Cutting boards. Remember Paul Kirk's suggestions of counter-tops from sinks.
3. Duplicate equipment. Don't loose time looking for things.
4. Organized equipment. Setup somewhere to keep everything handy and readily available.
5. Work surfaces. Think about how the Jakes or Zakes had raised the tables so that you didn't have to bend over to work.
6. Lighting.
7. Gloves and closed shoes for manipulating fire and hot food.
8. Extra presentation stuff and garnish.
9. Bring a first aid kit and drugs. Aspirin is a good thing.
10. Bring a fire extinguisher.
11. Get your food ready for finishing early. Give yourself time to setup the presentation.
12. Don't get your food in as the first entries. Maybe get them in first. There was a rib entry that I didn't think was very good, but was one of the first presented and won. (It wasn't Phil and Gregs!) But I remember my judging class. The judges were toughest on the first entries they sampled.
13. Make your own sauce. Maybe - Maybe not. I saw a lot of prepackaged sauces! No one I spoke with used the sauce that they submitted for the best sauce contest as the sauce on their meat. Interesting.
14. Buy the nutemps. Almost everyone was using them.
15. Bring a garbage pail and garbage bags.

Attitude
1. Cook for myself, not for the judges.
2. Keep a sense of humor.
3. Give everyone certain roles on the team. Don't wind up arguing about stupid **** at the last minute.
4. KNOW the rules. One guy asked me to look at his ribs before they went in. He had big bunch of basil on top of them. Basil is against the rules and he would have lost points on appearence.
5. Take a deep breath and take a last look at the food before you close up the package. It's a lot like the last look in the coffin before you close it up. Just like saying goodbye to a dead friend, it's in God's hands now.
6. Prepare extra food for the masses that everyone in the neighborhood feeds. Have someone available to feed them. Listen to them. Because I could move from cook to cook, I got to taste a lot of the food before it went up. I knew some of the winners long before they did. However, don't listent to the other CONTESTANTS.
7. Don't worry about the food too much. You've cooked enough Q to allow your instincts to direct you.
8. Have fun.
9. Don't be a chicken **** - just do it!
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Unread 07-21-2004, 06:44 PM   #2
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I copied and printed this to add to my "Homework Folder".

Thanks man!

peace
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Unread 07-21-2004, 08:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the sanity checklist!!

A lot of your lists look like the one's I've started drafting -- most of what you say is common sense and of course common sense becomes very uncommon during times of stress.

Thanks. I'll be printing this and double checking with my lists too!!
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Unread 07-21-2004, 08:39 PM   #4
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Just thinking, but where can I find out about the location of local BBQ contests in SoCal? I have tried searing the net, but I must not have figured the correct string.
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Unread 07-21-2004, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFLittle
Thanks for the sanity checklist!!

A lot of your lists look like the one's I've started drafting -- most of what you say is common sense and of course common sense becomes very uncommon during times of stress.

Thanks. I'll be printing this and double checking with my lists too!!
Me too--
That was a quality post and much appreciated!
TIM
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Unread 07-21-2004, 09:03 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. It was just notes for myself. Some of the things are there I never thought about. I never thought about shoes, until I saw hot coals pourt out of the side of a smoker onto some poor guy's foot as he was pulling his butt off the grill.

That didn't come out right.
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Unread 07-21-2004, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemn62
Just thinking, but where can I find out about the location of local BBQ contests in SoCal? I have tried searing the net, but I must not have figured the correct string.
check out http://www.kcbs.us
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Unread 07-21-2004, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Just thinking, but where can I find out about the location of local BBQ contests in SoCal? I have tried searing the net, but I must not have figured the correct string.

Icemn, Start with the KCBS site and go from there. If there are other sanctioning bodies in your area try their sites too.
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Unread 07-22-2004, 07:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
That didn't come out right.
Yeah, it did! That's exactly what a brother says!! :D
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Unread 07-22-2004, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcquer
Quote:
Just thinking, but where can I find out about the location of local BBQ contests in SoCal? I have tried searing the net, but I must not have figured the correct string.

Icemn, Start with the KCBS site and go from there. If there are other sanctioning bodies in your area try their sites too.

I advise starting at the state level and working up -- for example:

The California Barbecue Association!

http://www.cbbqa.com/

Just a though! :D
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Unread 07-22-2004, 07:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcquer
Quote:
Just thinking, but where can I find out about the location of local BBQ contests in SoCal? I have tried searing the net, but I must not have figured the correct string.

Icemn, Start with the KCBS site and go from there. If there are other sanctioning bodies in your area try their sites too.
Also, look up the local stuff.

Try searching variations of:
California Barbecue Society
California Barbecue Association
Southwest...
Pacific Southwest ...

I know for a fact there is a PNW Pacific Northwest association. They post results all the time in my KCBS Bullsheet.
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Unread 07-22-2004, 11:46 PM   #12
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Thanks for the lead to the proper sites. I may join the Cali BBQ Assoc. They will be having a contest where the family goes camping. I may go up there for that if I am free, it is my Brother's B-Day, but what the hell, I can take him and give him a GREAT BBQ lunch.
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Unread 07-23-2004, 06:21 AM   #13
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BrooklynQ,

Thanks, even though I may not use the list it helps me understand what is going on behind the “curtain” of the contest.

Trout
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Unread 07-23-2004, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
I may join the Cali BBQ Assoc.
It's always a good idea to join the state Asscociation (assuming they have their act together) - I just joined Florida's (FBA) and the Southern Brethren will have a team at the FBA cook off October 1-2. The wife and I are going to the Fun Cook on Labor Day weekend and will get judge certified (FBA) and attend the seminar on cook off team cooking.

So, yeah, join the CA organization. :D
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Unread 07-23-2004, 05:43 PM   #15
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Phil and Greg - How about a post about what you guys learned as competetors? I know I want to know.

Mr. Breakstone, And Eddie - and anyone else who was there. Let's hear your stories too. What did you learn? What was it like? Don't be bashful.
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