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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 01-20-2011, 08:30 AM   #1
jaxbbq
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Where did you start and why? I want to get into competition but I am wondering if it would be a good idea to attend one of the classes that are offered first.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 08:33 AM   #2
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I'd suggest you try a few before going to class. YOu will get a lot more from the classs if you know how a cotnest goes and what you do and if you already develop a process. It gives you a frame of reference to compare to the class.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 08:34 AM   #3
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We started doing it our way for the first year and then took Rod and Johnny's class and I think that was the best way we could have done it.

While I use a lot of what I learned from the class, I'm also using some of the techniques that I developed...

We needed to do it the hard way to see what we were doing wrong... Does it need to be a full season? Heck no, but a few times doing it your way before the class gives you a different perspective during the class...
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Unread 01-20-2011, 08:59 AM   #4
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+1. Competed last year in 10 comps (KCBS, SLBS & non-sanctioned) and going to Scotties class in a couple of weeks in preparation for this season. Looking forward to it.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 09:30 AM   #5
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I agree with Ford. Get a couple contest down first. Get your timing, organization, etc set and get a feel for trimming meat. Once you get a good feel for contests then take a class. Remember, some things will vary. We took Rod and Johnny's class our 3rd year and found out we had been doing about 80% of what they did already. It was the finer points and details where we missed out and a few things where we overlooked the obvious and made things harder then they were. Will your food taste as good as your instructors? Maybe. Most of the guys teaching are getting high end aged briskets and a higher quality rib that some of us either can't afford or don't have a source for. But that doesn't mean you still can't get something from Sam's and win with it. I also found that using part of their recipe and a tweak of my own I had greater success in a category.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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+1 here too. In fact, we had to re-take our first class from QN4U's Brent and Kim Walton FOUR times, because the first time we were still too green to know how much of it was going over our heads, and we kept going because every time we went we picked up something new.

The more you know, the more you understand what's being presented to you.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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Agree with the above. I think you have to experience a few comps to really get a feel for what you are learning. Plus, it gives you a better understanding of why some of it is taught the way it is and help you pick up on the little things that make the difference.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #8
Homebrewed Q
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That's the route I'm taking. Did 1 comp last year, shooting for 4-6 this year, then we'll look into a class.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
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I'd say that you need to strike when the iron is hot. If there is a class that you would like to take and it happens to come before the comp season then I'd take it. Why miss an opportunity?
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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:37 AM   #10
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What do you want to get out of it is probably the biggest question for you. If it's to go out and have fun, then don't worry about classes. If you want to go out and try to recoup monies spent, then the class route is the way to go.

Personally, my recommendation is to cook in your backyard until you can do it blindfolded. When you can do that, take a class. the money spent at a class covers basically 2 contest entry fees (at least for my class/fundraiser) and I guarantee that you will have more knowledge coming out of a comp cooking class than what you would gain by cooking in 2 contests. There is no guarantee that cooking 2 contests would not confuse you more anyway... Let's not forget that cooking a contest, part of the fear is what to expect. You gain that as well from a cooking class. You get timelines and flavor profiles. What wins at contests by some of the top comp BBQ teams out there. If by chance you hit a nice call at a contest, you can cover that cost of the class in one contest.

another route to go is by offering to wash dishes or be a runner for a team at a contest. Hook up with the guys from the FBA and they could probably set you up as well.

So in a nutshell, you have to figure out where you want to go. A comp cooking class probably takes 2-3 years off of a learning curve for a new cook.

good luck.

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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:40 AM   #11
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School...swamprb`s backyard school of bbq...followed by Paul Kirk...and soon to attend...Johnny Trigg. NEVER stop learning!
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Unread 01-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD McGee View Post
School...swamprb`s backyard school of bbq...followed by Paul Kirk...and soon to attend...Johnny Trigg. NEVER stop learning!
I'm with you there!!! Some folks tend to bag on classes (then you find out through the grapevine that they sucked until they took one themselves!!!) but I believe that learning from a master, no matter what your ability, is the key to success in any venture whether it's a hobby or a profession.

I know that in my professions we are expected to continue our education. It keeps me sharp and in conversation with others. That in turn keeps me honest about my strengths and weaknesses. I have taken several classes and I'll take as many more as I can afford. Unfortunatly I won't be able to take any this year as all my money is going into a kid friendly rig, but you can bet I'll have my eye open for next year.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 11:41 AM   #13
Rich Parker
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CSC class came first. Like Monty said the opportunity was there and I didn't want to pass it up.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 01:00 PM   #14
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We did about 10 backyard competitions and a few pro competitions and then took Swamp Boy's cooking class and it made a great difference.

I think it definitely helps to get some comps under your belt so that you know your strengths, weaknesses and areas to really focus on during the class.
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Unread 01-20-2011, 01:08 PM   #15
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Did a couple Comps Found out that I liked it Took I Smell Smokes Class Now thinking about another class
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