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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 01-21-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
grill 'em all
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 09-17-10
Location: Houston,Ms.
Default Tips needed for 1st comp

I've been a backyard chef for the last 10 yrs of my life.My best friend & I have decided to give the "Dont Be Cruel" BBQ comp a try.Since Tupelo is a short drive we figure theres nothin but time & entry fees to lose.The worst that can happen is we eat good & down a few cold ones.While we are entering to have a good time,I would like to gain some inside knowledge about the ins & outs of a comp.Any thing you guys have learned over the years yall wouldnt mind sharing would be a big help..KCBS rules I believe.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 03-18-09
Location: sikeston mo 63801

Above ALL ELSE ....... Have FuN!!!!
Tim Sills, Owner, MuleTuf Smokers, MuleTuf Manufacturing., Smelly Butts BBQ Team
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: 12-18-07
Location: Western burbs of Chicago, IL

Read "Starting the fire" by George Hensler (I think that's spelled right)
Attend a judge class, and read some of the stickies in the comp section for starters. Start with KC queers guide
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:00 PM   #4
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 06-11-08
Location: Ames, Iowa

Make a plan well ahead of time including every detail, and I mean EVERY detail, of your cook from prep through turnins. Write it down and distribute it to every member of your team. Follow it religiously throughout the cook. Take extra care to make your boxes pretty and fill em up with your best meat available.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:10 PM   #5
Take a breath!
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Join Date: 12-09-04
Location: Utica, MI

Use this checklist provided by Smoking Guns BBQ. You may not need everything on the list but it will help you not forget the important stuff.

And remember, according to Myron Mixon, you can't win the party on Friday night and then win the contest on Saturday. Have fun and have a good cook.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:28 PM   #6
Hawg Father of Seoul
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 09-14-10
Location: Rogers, AR

Don't get TOO drunk on Friday night. Some of these guys are pros (AKA Habitual Smokers) and can BBQ drunker than heck, but YOU can not at your first comp.

Save getting real drunk till Saturday. Drunk is better than hung over any day.

Our first comp (only done 4 now) we could not find up. Took two years for our second one. Our goal was to finish in the top half and we did that.

Yeah, realistic goals are good too.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:44 PM   #7
rib runners
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 08-04-09
Location: martinsville, indiana


A little over done meat is better than under done.

Your timing of the entries is all important. Try to not get behind on your process.
You will get more confortable every time you do one.

Good Luck, Ron
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
is One Chatty Farker

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Join Date: 07-07-09
Location: Newark, OH

Start practicing, get your timing down cooking the meats.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 02-21-12
Location: Fenton, MO

Take a camper and cook lots of food between now and then
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 12-12-10
Location: Maple Shade, N.J.

If possible do a full practice on a competition time line with your full setup in your yard. Cook all the meats, and make boxes and do turn ins on your sanctioning bodies timeline.
Have one person be the recorder, make a packing list, supply list, cooking times, and take pictures of your boxes and setup. Most of all have fun.
Paul (Shady Crew BBQ Team)
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:46 AM   #11
is One Chatty Farker
Join Date: 09-25-06
Location: Elk Creek, Ky.

Have a good game plan, practice what you plan to do on contest day. Enjoy what you're doing.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 02-20-08
Location: Charlotte, NC

I think the best tip I got from the members here before I started was to do a full practice cook at home. Everything from setup to breakdown. Shoot for the typical turn-in times just as you will for the comp and document the entire cook to ensure you know what time you did everything so that you can then build a plan for the real comp cook. This will allow you to make adjustments to your cook schedule in case things are over or undercooked. You will also want to do your turn in boxes. Go get some boxes, I get mine from a local restuarant that we eat in alot, and build your boxes so that you can see how long that will take and how it will figure into your schedule as well. Also, keep a list of everything you go into the house for, this becomes your packing list. Above all else, have a good time and heed the warnings of too much booze on friday night. You're going to be tired on Saturday and having a hangover on top of that will just make the day suck.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #13
grill 'em all
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 09-17-10
Location: Houston,Ms.

my local grocer doesnt stock parsley that I will need for building there a suitable substitute I can use?

Also I am planning on using 2 UDS's in the comp.I'll only be entering chicken,pulled pork & ribs as I not very happy with my brisket.I have the parts to put another drum together if needed & enough time to get it seasoned.I can get an easy 12 hrs cooking time on either of the 2 drums I have.

I see a lot of pros(on TV) use chicken thighs.I mainly cook bone in breasts & wings at home.Do yall think the judges will dislike any chicken turn ins that arent thighs?

Another yardbird question:
I am fond of Mr.Trumps Death Dust.It hits my taste buds just right(HOT).
would it be to risky to use said dust at the comp? I could easily light a judge with sensitive taste buds mouth on fire.worth the risk?

I view this comp as gaining experince.Its just like going to the casino,would love to win but not disappointed if I dont.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
Full Draw BBQ
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Join Date: 03-22-11
Location: Frisco, TX

I would go into the comp with a basic goal: Get all 4 categories turned in ON time.

From there you can start to improve and change your timing and strategy. At your first comp the times come fast, I mean REALLY fast. Just trying to get everything out of the camper and to the table is an issue. Looking at basic turn in boxes online, and having a plan going into each 30 minute segment will help. Figure out what your rough times are from the time your meat hits the pit, until it's ready to be boxed (including rest times), and work backwards to what time you need to start cooking. There is no such thing as being TOO organized.

and most important........have fun!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:44 AM   #15
Full Fledged Farker
Join Date: 01-03-12
Location: Glen Allen, VA

If it is a kcbs event you should also do brisket. Even if you are not happy with it, you need a score in it to be eligible for grand and reserve.

As for your first contest practice at least once, write down the times that you need to each step in your cook, make a packing list, realize before you even go that you are probably going to forget something, pack foil and duct tape, together you can use them for almost anything. Finally have fun and get to know the cooks around you.

Rex's Red Hot BBQ

KCBS & MABA Member
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