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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 01-17-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
The_Kapn
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Default Gas and Electric at Comps?????

First off, this thread is meant for serious and rational discussion.
I am the last person to "stir up stuff", and that is not my intent here.
I actually have a real reason to ask---believe it or not

#1. Does anyone know (for sure) the historical reason that Gas and Electric smokers are not allowed by most bodies???
I guess it started with KCBS since they appear to be the oldest.
This will probably take someone with the long association with Comp BBQ like DRBBQ or Jim Minion to answer, but thought I would ask.

#2. Does anyone know of a current "Rational" reason why Gas and Electric is not allowed in comps?????

"Gas safety" can not be a reason because we allow turkey fryers, weedburners, and all of that.

Now, I know some folks feel that gas and electric does not produce "real" BBQ.
I will accept that as their opinion, but.....
If that is true, we should not "fear" them competing.
They would only add to the "purse" available to the "real" cookers.

It seems to me that allowing gas and electric would add to the number of entrants and possibly open the door for more sponsorship options from the gas and electric smoker manufacturers, much like Kingsford is developing now.

I know it is winter and all of that.
But, I would really appreciate it if we could focus on "real" reasons and not opinions.
I know we can do this

Thanks in Advance.

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Unread 01-17-2011, 04:49 PM   #2
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I can speak a little for gas. They had a non sanctioned contest here in Iowa that was pellets vs gas. The gas had to be models like Old Hickory with an emergency shutoff. Yes, the concern was someone blowing up their propane tank or the firebox.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 05:27 PM   #3
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I believe it has someting to do with the belief that "True" BBQ is defined as meats cooked over charcoal, lump or hardwood. I tried to find something to that effect on the KCBS web site, but could not.

As far as why it is not allowed in the present...I guess see above, I think folks should be able to deep fry their ribs if they think it will give them the best tasting BBQ.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buster Dog BBQ View Post
I can speak a little for gas. They had a non sanctioned contest here in Iowa that was pellets vs gas. The gas had to be models like Old Hickory with an emergency shutoff. Yes, the concern was someone blowing up their propane tank or the firebox.
We just got fire dept inspected here in FL for contests we did. They didn't ask about the propane tanks on the front for the water heater but once you start cooking with gas it's probably going to be a little different. I understand why they want the emergency shutoff. If the Fire Dept requires a Florida inspected fire extinguisher and fire retardant tags on canopies and tents then gas cookers are going to be inspected for safety. Nothing that isn't UL rated is likely to get passed.

Electric does not have these problems so it should be legal. Of course that's just my opinion.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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safety isuues aside(i mean we're talking live fires here)
from a cooking standpoint, if pellet poopers are allowed, then, gas and electric should be as well.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 07:25 PM   #6
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The way it has been explained to me in the past is it is not the real way to make BBQ. In the begining there was fire...fire from wood and by proxy, charcoal. Now I have been told that the powers that be, we shall call them the BBQ Gods, sent forth a list of rules at the first BBQ Contests. Now, as I am a newbie to KCBS, I can only speak for the Memphis in May competition. Since the contest's inception in 1977, only wood and charcoal have been allowed. When pellets were introduced they were allowed because they are made from wood, and they smoulder and burn like wood. Honestly, there is no skill in gas and electric cooking. That is the reason I have been given for many years when asked this exact question.

You set a thermostat and it burns the same, keeps the same heat, and is very reliable...but so are many of the newer stick, pellet, and coal burners...I honestly think it is because the original MIM definitition of BBQ is "Barbeque is defined as pork meat (fresh or frozen and uncured) prepared only on a wood and/or charcoal fire, basted or not as the cook sees fit, with any non-poisonous substances and sauces as the cook believes necessary. "

and that is that

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Unread 01-17-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Hopefully someone can correct me on this but last year wasn't their a vote on allowing gas smokers which missed passing by 1 or 2 votes? When you have guys already cooking on stuff like CTO's, you might as well allow gas. But as Ford said, you need an emergency shut off. Maybe KCBS BOD is waiting till they can lure some big $$$ from a natural gas company.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 08:06 PM   #8
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Wish I knew the answers, but I've been a proponent of allowing any and all methods for a long time.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bentley View Post
I believe it has something to do with the belief that "True" BBQ is defined as meats cooked over charcoal, lump or hardwood.

I think that is it. It's been that way as far back as I know and I think it's always been this way.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rub View Post
Wish I knew the answers, but I've been a proponent of allowing any and all methods for a long time.

I agree RUB "Bring It"
Hello friends
I’m of the opinion that perhaps we are consciously trying to protect the roots of American BBQ culture. We all know the story that BBQ is America’s only original cuisine. All these BBQ “regions” and styles have evolved and developed over the years but none of these BBQ styles have developed around Gas or Electric cookers….enlighten me if I’m wrong...
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Unread 01-17-2011, 08:38 PM   #11
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Isn't that how Cookshack got their start?
An electric smoker that burned hardwood for cooking briskets?
I a man ones one electric or gas smoker, I believe he should be allowed to compete in a sanctioned contest. He probably is just starting out as a new bbq person and possibly can't afford a second smoker. She he be prohibited from a contest?
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Unread 01-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokincracker View Post
I agree RUB "Bring It"
Hello friends
I’m of the opinion that perhaps we are consciously trying to protect the roots of American BBQ culture. We all know the story that BBQ is America’s only original cuisine. All these BBQ “regions” and styles have evolved and developed over the years but none of these BBQ styles have developed around Gas or Electric cookers….enlighten me if I’m wrong...
Cool, rid of the pellet poopers too.

I mean, by your logic ................ (not by mine)
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Unread 01-17-2011, 08:54 PM   #13
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Should BBQ be a rich man's sport? Look at the price of some of these smokers.

$400+ dollars to play the game one time and knowing you are about to get beat. Give people a break.
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Unread 01-17-2011, 09:03 PM   #14
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I believe it to be (above all) a matter of tradition... That said I also believe it is the cook...not the cooker ultimately responsible for good or bad BBQ. I say let them in...let the judges decide what tastes better...

From Wikipedia...

In the United States, especially the southeastern region, barbecue (also spelled barbeque or abbreviated BBQ) refers to a technique of cooking that involves cooking meat for long periods of time at low temperatures over a wood fire; often this is called pit barbecue, and the facility for cooking it is the barbecue pit. This form of cooking adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat; barbecue sauce, while a common accompaniment, is not required for many styles.[1]
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Unread 01-17-2011, 09:06 PM   #15
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I start my stick burner with gas I guess That should ban me???
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