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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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Old 02-09-2018, 04:25 PM   #1
Q_Done_Right
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Question Like the idea of competition BBQ, but donít like what it actually is

First off, I mean no disrespect to any competition cooks on here; I know many teams work real hard at this craft and I admire that as well as the success they earn/deserve. Iíve even competed in a local backyard competition myself. Here is my issue with competition BBQ in general:

I donít like the food and itís not what I would consider ďgood or true BBQ.Ē Itís not how I like to cook my BBQ or the kind of BBQ I would want to order at a well respected Q joint like LA Barbecue in Austin or Hutchins in McKinney (Iíve eaten at both places in Texas by the way). Itís also not at all the kind of BBQ I would want to serve my friends and family. For example, the competition I participated in I took 56th out of 59th place in ribs. I did it for the fun of it just to see what it was really like. And while I made my ribs the same way I make them at home (I didnít care this time) everyone else was wrapping their ribs in foil with all kinds of stuff (honey, brown sugar, butter, hot sauce, etc.) for two hours at a time. Iíve made my ribs this way before but it tasted a lot more like sweet rib candy then delicious smoked ribs I couldnít stay away from. Same thing with brisket...I like to cook mine until a nice, dark flavorful bark has formed over 7-9 hours and wrap in butcher paper until finished. On the flip side, most competition briskets seem to be injected (I donít do) and only cooked for a few hours in the smoke before panned up sitting in a ton of beef broth...I liken this method to making a pot roast that steams itself silly in all that liquid. I could say similar things too about the way pork butts and chicken are made.

Maybe Iím the only one who feels this way about competition BBQ, but I wish it didnít involve this kind of end product. Iím all for who can make the most tender, juicy and best tasting meats; however, Iím curious why judging standards dictate these over the top tastes where cooks have to do all kinds of things just to stand out. Why canít good old fashioned smoked BBQ (the kind people would line up for hours to eat at a legendary Q joint) be the standard? This still means cooking ribs that donít ďfall off the boneĒ for example. I also get that there is more to it like timing, turn in boxes (appearance), etc. yet that doesnít change how I feel about the meat cooked itself.

Anyway, I would love to start my own team and get into this hardcore (Iím a BBQ nut with 4 smokers in my garage right now), but what competition BBQ actually is is holding me back. Maybe Iím missing something?

Curious if anyone else feels similarly...
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:36 PM   #2
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Comp BBQ is a completely different world than “regular” BBQ. You aren’t cooking for what YOU like but for 24 strangers who are going to take one bite of your product. These 24 strangers all have their own opinion of what is good. Had you finished top ten vs 56/59, you’d probably feel a whole lot differently. Comp BBQ ain’t for everyone and that’s okay. To each his own.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
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I'm with the OP. Competitions have morphed into what they are today, and there is no changing it. The most unfortunate part, in my opinion, is that many people that is the way to cook barbecue. They see everything you described on tv & on youtube, and feel that is how barbecue is done. Sadly, we are losing our barbecue heritage because of it...slowly, but it's coming.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:48 PM   #4
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I agree with Pappy
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:11 PM   #5
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I don’t necessarily like comp bbq, but it is what it is. Take one bite of a comp rib and then take one bite of the ribs you like to eat at home and tell me which is better. I don’t cook comp style at home for myself, friends or family. It’s the difference between a sports car and a mini van. They both have different purposes. Erichasaces drives a sweet minivan btw
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmikes View Post
I don’t necessarily like comp bbq, but it is what it is. Take one bite of a comp rib and then take one bite of the ribs you like to eat at home and tell me which is better. I don’t cook comp style at home for myself, friends or family. It’s the difference between a sports car and a mini van. They both have different purposes. Erichasaces drives a sweet minivan btw
Maybe if you cooked better your friends and family would want your comp stuff? But frankly I'm surprised your family wants to eat your food at home, because from what I hear, you are AT BEST the third best pitmaster in your family.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:56 PM   #7
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Great, go kick rocks then.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy Q View Post
Comp BBQ is a completely different world than ďregularĒ BBQ. You arenít cooking for what YOU like but for 24 strangers who are going to take one bite of your product. These 24 strangers all have their own opinion of what is good. Had you finished top ten vs 56/59, youíd probably feel a whole lot differently. Comp BBQ ainít for everyone and thatís okay. To each his own.
I hear you, but the problem Iím having is I donít like what those ď24 strangersĒ happen to think is good BBQ. How a lot of that is the benchmark standard for winning trophies and money makes little sense to me. But that is just it...competition BBQ is an entirely different world from traditional BBQ as the guy said. And he is also right that itís not for everyone...which is why Iíve not pursued it since. BBQ Pitmasters didnít help.

I wish there was a competition circuit that could pit ďregularĒ pit masters against one another with judges who arenít looking for that one crazy bite that nobody who knows real BBQ would ever associate it with it.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Done_Right View Post
I wish there was a competition circuit that could pit ďregularĒ pit masters against one another with judges who arenít looking for that one crazy bite that nobody who knows real BBQ would ever associate it with it.
Come down to Texas and cook IBCA. They literally pull judges off the streets. Anyone can judge ibca - young, old, whoever. There are Dozens of guys like you that think their over smoked and under seasoned meat is better than "that comp trash", and they come out and let random judges decide. I keep hearing this crap about "real people" looking "real bbq", but for some reason the trash comp bbq even wins those contests.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Done_Right View Post
I wish there was a competition circuit that could pit ďregularĒ pit masters against one another with judges who arenít looking for that one crazy bite that nobody who knows real BBQ would ever associate it with it.
There is. Is called 'Backyard" or the rib comp at the local church down the road.

Competition BBQ is focused to best meet the criteria of the sanctioning body. There are literally millions of people that can make your "real BBQ" you describe every weekend in their backyard, but probably only about 50 teams in the US that can consistently hit all the marks to place well in the competition world.

Take a step back. Go take a judging class, or take a cook class. If you have an open mind you will appreciate the effort and skill involved.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q_Done_Right View Post

I wish there was a competition circuit that could pit ďregularĒ pit masters against one another with judges who arenít looking for that one crazy bite that nobody who knows real BBQ would ever associate it with it.
I'm sorry, but you are way out of line.

Judges score everything on their own merit, if you could cook awesome BBQ you would win. Poor cooks always come up with excuses on why their BBQ isn't judged well.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:43 PM   #12
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Everyone has a right to their opinion I definitely see both sides of it but I will say it has gotten much harder for beginners to start up competing right away then it use to be
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:09 PM   #13
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Ask a stupid question and get a stupid answer.

The answer is potato.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:21 PM   #14
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Comp BBQ is not what you cook in a restaurant, or in your back yard. It is indeed a entirely different animal. Restaurant BBQ is meat that is held for a long time, is generally made with lesser grades of meat, and is made for the masses using little to no smoke and seasoning. Your backyard, restaurant, and comp BBQ all have their own devotees, and if you are not able to present anything aside from your interpretation of "true BBQ" the way you like it, then this game is not for you.

What you are missing is the other aspects of comp BBQ besides the meat. Its the BBQ family you will gain. Its travelling to places you've never been before. Its meeting some dam fine people from all across the country who share your same passion. Its the weekly challenge of yourself to do better than last week. Its attaining your own goals. It is more than just meat. I would rather be out on the road, having crazy adventures, eating Wagyu brisket slices, cooked all night by a brisket master (my partner) fresh off the cutting board, than being in my backyard or at a restaurant eating someone else's interpretation of "true BBQ."

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Old 02-10-2018, 03:29 AM   #15
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Google “strange competitions” and see what you find........not all events of “skill” are meant to be understood by everyone. And that is ok. You don’t have to get it.
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