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Old 02-17-2010, 10:56 AM   #69
Lake Dogs
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Join Date: 07-14-09
Location: Lake Sinclair, GA

Originally Posted by charlie263 View Post
I plan on entering my first comp in April 2010 in Dothan, AL. I have always loved to barbecue, and loved watching BBQ Pitmasters. Should I just do the backyard division to get my feet wet? I'm practicing different recipes now, to narrow down to the ones I will use. I also have a 30 ft. camper, is that feasible to take to the competition? Any good pointers to an extreme newbie that loves to cook would be helpful. How much will this whole deal cost me in meat, fuel, fees, etc? thanks in advance!
We have a 32ft motorhome that we use. Most of the time we're able to
park it right there in/on the site, others it's a short walk down the street
(if you will). You'll want to contact the organizers of the cookoff for
specifics. Some have an extra $50+- for larger sites; we've always paid
for the extra room to have the RV right there...

There are pluses and minuses to doing a few backyard divisions before
going with the pros. I did one backyard, enjoyed it, then began with
the pro sanctioned cookoffs. Frankly, I learned more at my first pro
comp than anything learned in the backyard. Meaning, you'll learn more
back doing it (succeed or fail) than watching. Practice, practice, and
practice. Make the practice as close to live as you can. Set
pre-determined turn-in times for yourself; see if you can hit it, with nice
warm/hot bbq that looks appetizing. If it's a KCBS cookoff, practice with
multiple turn-ins, 30 minutes apart. If you can do this, and identify all
the tools you'll use (for packing list), you're ready for it. I suggest even
if you're not all the way ready to just jump in on the pro thing. Who
knows, you might have a good day and land in some money. I, for one,
would hate to have had a good day and not get much of the rewards...

As far as costs go, we end up spending right at $800 on KCBS. I have about
$100 of that for gasoline. The others are about the same no matter how far
you travel.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.
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