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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 04-11-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
cottonquick
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Default How many of you practice

I've been cooking with a group for several years now. We don't make a ton of events, maybe 10 a year. I hear about a lot of teams that practice between events and throughout the year. Since we never practice, I was wondering if we were the norm, or the exception to the rule?
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Unread 04-11-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
Big Ugly's BBQ
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Been practicing all winter, between cooks, trying different stuff........
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Every time I cook in the back yard, I consider it practice. I pay attention to look, feel, flavors, tenderness, temp/timing, etc.

My team actually gets together 1 or 2 times a year outside of competitions to either compete internally, (where we'll all cook our version of a meat and ask the neighbors to judge) or occasionally we'll get together for a party or something and cook/use it as practice. The internal comps we have, then set who's recipe we're going to use at the next competition. Keeps us working hard, always trying to one-up each other. Hopefully it'll make us better competitors as well.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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As gig said I try something new every time I cook. Not always a full fledged practice but keep trying different combinations of flavors and doneness.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:26 PM   #5
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We practice, but not as much as I think we should.

But, that being said, we are doing a full blown practice tomorrow and Saturday adhering to turn in times, boxes, the whole enchilada.

Everything will probably be great; then when comp time rolls around at Salisbury, I'll suddenly have a momentary lapse of reason.

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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:29 PM   #6
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It can be hard to practice with as much time as BBQ takes up, but I try and practice as much as I can. During the season it is mostly practicing/tweaking on meats that aren't working/doing well. So last year we practiced chicken and brisket a lot . If something is doing well it can be hard to make changes, but even on those categories repitition is worthwhile.

I remember last year at a backyard MBN event we actually practiced brisket for an upcoming KCBS. And I've practiced chicken at a KCBS event on the Friday we arrived to hone it in for Saturday.

Was there a reason to your question other than just wanting to see how much teams practice in general? Like do you think you need more practice and aren't doing well at the contests?
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #7
cottonquick
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Not too long ago somebody asked me how often we practiced. When I said never, they seemed pretty shocked about it, so I was curious to see how other teams do it. For example, our last event of 2012 was in Oct. I don't think we even fired up the cookers until March of this year.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonquick View Post
Not too long ago somebody asked me how often we practiced. When I said never, they seemed pretty shocked about it, so I was curious to see how other teams do it. For example, our last event of 2012 was in Oct. I don't think we even fired up the cookers until March of this year.
Yeah not everyone is into it as much as others in terms of feeling compelled to practice all the time. Some people have different goals. Some folks just want to go out and hang with their buddies/families and have a fun weekend. Some folks want to win every single time and practice a lot. So when they hear someone doesn't practice they can be shocked.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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A "wise" person once said, "Master one entry first". Then practice on the others.

I need to remember that..........

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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
cottonquick
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We are a fairly competitive bunch and like to win/do well as much as the next team. Maybe we are the Allen Iverson of BBQ .. "Practice? ... You talkin about pratice?" haha
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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Practice all year and take a lot of notes.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 04:56 PM   #12
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I've got a comp coming up on the 20th/21st and I've been practicing pretty much every weekend since Jan.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 05:58 PM   #13
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I practice more with some meats than I do with others. Chicken is a whole lot cheaper than a brisket so thats what I have been practicing.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 06:22 PM   #14
Swamp Donkeyz BBQ
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We have a comp tommorrow and I've got practice ribs on the pit now.
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Unread 04-11-2013, 06:47 PM   #15
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We are doing 6 or 8 racks of loin backs Saturday. Having a party, but it will be three different recipes and let our guests vote. Did chicken and ribs last weekend, pretty much cooking something every free weekend for practice.

I never just try to duplicate something I've done before. For the big meats, I go by memory and decide if I like the new seasoning/method better. For ribs and chicken I always cook the current comp recipe along with 1 or more different methods.
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