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My first Competition

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I've been smoking at home for years and everyone complimented me on the food I served however I did my first competition this weekend and was looking for some advice.

I competed in the Athens Classic Center BBQ contest in Athens GA.  I just want some clarification if i can get it.  Well here is my experience

1.  This competition was a bit disorganized and clumsy, though it was their second year hosting.

2. The cooking space was very small and if I had a pull behind smoker I would have been out of luck in the space dept.

 

On to the help

1.  Is it common on the competition circuit to sauce all meats turned in.  I normally don't sauce anything and let the meat do the talking.  To me saucing a meat to turn in means you're being judged on meat and sauce and that doesn't seem right to me.

2.  Is it normal for pro teams to be competing in peoples choice events?

3.  For chicken is it better to do thighs rather than a whole chicken and serve breast meat, I noticed my team was the only team that did so.

 

Thanks for any help and info everyone.

 

Jason

post #2 of 4

I sure would like to see some replies on this post.  I am in the same boat and have my first amateur competition in two weeks.

post #3 of 4
I have only done a couple of comps but I will try to answer. I also was able to ask a lot of competitors some questions from comps I attended before competing myself.

1. From what I have seen\heard most competitors turn in with sauce.

2. Depends on the competition. The ones I have been to were pro only and only one had a peoples choice. I have heard of others though where everyone could compete in peoples choice.

3. Most of the competitors I know do the same pieces for turn in, usually thighs. It helps the turn in box look nice and uniform.

I am still a novice though so definitely seek more opinons if you can.
post #4 of 4

congrats burns on stepping into the competition world. Its a fun environment and you will learn a lot. I will add in my $.02 one what I have noticed and what judges had told me when I asked.

 

1. Most all meat turned in is sauced. I have done a few boxes with half sauced half with a jimmy j's finishing sauce and took 2nd place with it. Sauce will help keep the meat moist while it is waiting to be judged as well. Don't load it up just give it a small brush stroke so it doesn't over power the meat flavor

 

2. I have been to comps that have peoples choice for pro only, am only, and a mix of both. It will always vary

 

3. I am going to second BBQBrett on this one. Thighs are popular because they are juicier and you can cut them all to the same size. Judges are looking for a uniform box and thighs will help you achieve that. This doesn't mean you cant do other cuts as well. There was a team next to me in an April comp that did 4 legs in a box and it looked beautiful. They took home 3rd place. I have also seen boxes with boneless thighs sliced and laid down the middle with either pulled or chopped down the sides. At my comp last weekend I cut thighs really small and did two vertical rows of three down the center. I then put 3 lollipop drummies down each side for a total of 12 pieces. My lowest score in appearance was an 8 with the rest a 9. I would say play around with it if you plan on doing more comps. Go to the store and buy you a few clamshells to practice with.

 

Good Luck

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