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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 01-05-2009, 01:12 PM   #1
NickelsWorth
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Default Lessons from a rookie.

As a rookie, I want to spare the other rookies out there the lesson I learned very hard after competing in a city picnic, best of chicken and ribs event.

I was stoked about this event! I would be using a rub my team mate and I developed along with a BBQ sauce recipe I have been developing for months, and on the third rendition of now, for the team. Now the rub was not rocket science, however it was from scratch and consists of some special secret ingredients, but the sauce has been a huge effort. I have been working with a 7 time World Champion BBQ competitor and winner twice, who we are fortunate to have local, revising and perfecting this sauce. Here in lies "the rub" or "how I got sauced"! And to top it all off, my team mate and I decided to compete against each other with our family as our teams, my team mate using the off-the-shelf stuff and me using our team's sauce and rub.

The lesson I want you to learn is, before you go to great efforts in making a batch of your sauce for a competition, find out who or what kind of judges will be judging the event. Not by name, but, for example, city mayor, council members, professional, certified, or "who have never done it but were day trained to suffice", etc.

If you happen to know that it will be a panel consisting of the sorts like city mayor, council members, directors of whatnot (all great people and there to have fun), then do not go to the effort of making a batch of competition sauce, save this kind of sauce for the professional events, not the city picnic or streat fair. It is a waste of a huge amount of effort in precompetition prep.

For events like city picnics, with the mayor, directors, council members judging, just go buy a bottle of your favorite, sugary, thick sauce and use it - i.e. Sweet Baby Rays like my team mate used. Maybe tweek it a bit so you can say it's yours, but don't do too much to ruin it. And also don't go to great efforts to make you special rub either; Old Bay, Johnny's, Lowrey's, or the like will do.

This is the lesson I learned the hard way. They went immediately for the sweet, home backyard variety, off-the-shelf sauce and the generic flavor of the off-the-shelf bottled spice. I placed 7 out of 7 in both categories and didn't even place in the top 5 in either category - admitting that the chicken, although moist, tender, and looking great, I had no chance in placing because it tasted too salty due to my way of seasoning, I screw that up. But the ribs, that was where I was extremely disappointed, but I was only one of two that didn't use store bought BBQ sauce....the other guy didn't place in the top three, I think he was fifth in ribs. The winners used the proven, of-the-shelf sauces.

Do your reseach and, if going to a competition at a picnic, just go to have fun and not compete as if on a professional circuit, it will be much more rewarding.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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I hope that isn't a sign of what is to come in future events!
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Unread 01-05-2009, 01:24 PM   #3
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You may want to stay away from the KCBS circuit as well.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 01:31 PM   #4
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I think we all have stories that sound about like that for our first couple of cookoffs. Nothing wrong with Sweet Baby Rays either, the judges love that! Why reinvent the wheel.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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This same problem is complained about on the professional circuit too.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 02:13 PM   #6
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So, this "7 time World champion" didn't know enough about competition BBQ to let you know that judges tend to prefer sweet sauce?
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Unread 01-05-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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"NO COMMENT" I am having a good day
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Unread 01-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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"7 time World champion" competitor - he only one twice, but don't know what his sauce was either. HEH-HEH! He actually judges a lot here in the PNW, so I thought he would be a good judge and help with this project and he was...He just didn't judge at this comp. I more than likely should use the sauce in the sauce competitions and stick with the others for the meats, if I use any sauce on the meats again. He has been a great mentor no matter the case and I really appreciate and enjoy his help. But hey, in the end it's all about what I like anyway because I eat more that I compete, and I like my sauce a great deal, along with quite a few of my friends too, so no matter I will use it for gatherings of mine when I get to eat too. MMMM.

Thanks for the comments! I like to read them all, only way to learn.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:27 PM   #9
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Brad- C'mon out and cook a PNWBA event this year! You guys were setup next to me in Chehalis in 07' and seemed to be having a good time. Save that for a Sauce Turn-In and let the Judges tear it up!
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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
So, this "7 time World champion" didn't know enough about competition BBQ to let you know that judges tend to prefer sweet sauce?
That's what I was thinking.

First rule of competition bbq,
It's the judges fault.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickelsWorth View Post
As a rookie, I want to spare the other rookies out there the lesson I learned very hard after competing in a city picnic, best of chicken and ribs event.

I was stoked about this event! I would be using a rub my team mate and I developed along with a BBQ sauce recipe I have been developing for months, and on the third rendition of now, for the team. Now the rub was not rocket science, however it was from scratch and consists of some special secret ingredients, but the sauce has been a huge effort. I have been working with a 7 time World Champion BBQ competitor and winner twice, who we are fortunate to have local, revising and perfecting this sauce. Here in lies "the rub" or "how I got sauced"! And to top it all off, my team mate and I decided to compete against each other with our family as our teams, my team mate using the off-the-shelf stuff and me using our team's sauce and rub.

The lesson I want you to learn is, before you go to great efforts in making a batch of your sauce for a competition, find out who or what kind of judges will be judging the event. Not by name, but, for example, city mayor, council members, professional, certified, or "who have never done it but were day trained to suffice", etc.

If you happen to know that it will be a panel consisting of the sorts like city mayor, council members, directors of whatnot (all great people and there to have fun), then do not go to the effort of making a batch of competition sauce, save this kind of sauce for the professional events, not the city picnic or streat fair. It is a waste of a huge amount of effort in precompetition prep.

For events like city picnics, with the mayor, directors, council members judging, just go buy a bottle of your favorite, sugary, thick sauce and use it - i.e. Sweet Baby Rays like my team mate used. Maybe tweek it a bit so you can say it's yours, but don't do too much to ruin it. And also don't go to great efforts to make you special rub either; Old Bay, Johnny's, Lowrey's, or the like will do.

This is the lesson I learned the hard way. They went immediately for the sweet, home backyard variety, off-the-shelf sauce and the generic flavor of the off-the-shelf bottled spice. I placed 7 out of 7 in both categories and didn't even place in the top 5 in either category - admitting that the chicken, although moist, tender, and looking great, I had no chance in placing because it tasted too salty due to my way of seasoning, I screw that up. But the ribs, that was where I was extremely disappointed, but I was only one of two that didn't use store bought BBQ sauce....the other guy didn't place in the top three, I think he was fifth in ribs. The winners used the proven, of-the-shelf sauces.

Do your reseach and, if going to a competition at a picnic, just go to have fun and not compete as if on a professional circuit, it will be much more rewarding.
The bottom line in competition bbq is what tastes good to the judges. In the midwest, it's sweet. If you try to turn in a taste that most of the judges don't like, don't be surprised when you don't score well.

There was a post awhile ago about a guy who was really proud of a wasabi glaze he developed for his ribs. If I remember, he was really pissed that he didn't score better in a KCBS event. He went on and on about how the judges wouldn't know a good flavor if it bit them in the you know what. Anyway, it might taste great to him and his friends, but in a KCBS contest, a wasbi glaze isn't going to do you any favors. Could this be a similar situation.

Don't know if this helps. Hope you weren't the guy with the wasabi glaze.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 10:47 PM   #12
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tell us about the sauce, maybe you will get some good input from some people here.
not proud of it, but my brother was the guy with the wasabi glaze. For the correction on didn't score well in KCBS, it was never used in KCBS, it was used at the backyard at Yardley by him and won first place. He never cooked KCBS with it. If he said he did, he is a liar!!!!:)
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Unread 01-05-2009, 10:49 PM   #13
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One more question, maybe I am not reading correctly, but what makes a good sauce if it doesn't go with meat???? Sauce is meant to compliment, soup is meant to be eating alone. Don't tell me you put clam chowder on your ribs:)!
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Unread 01-06-2009, 06:26 AM   #14
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Sounds about right. Now ya know.
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Unread 01-06-2009, 05:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
tell us about the sauce, maybe you will get some good input from some people here.
not proud of it, but my brother was the guy with the wasabi glaze. For the correction on didn't score well in KCBS, it was never used in KCBS, it was used at the backyard at Yardley by him and won first place. He never cooked KCBS with it. If he said he did, he is a liar!!!!:)
i apologize. my mistake.
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