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County Fair BBQ Comp... Help Needed !!!! New Plan

JckDanls 07

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
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Joined Sep 10, 2011
OK.. so the results are in...

I lit the pellets (pecan and cherry mixed) in the a-maz-n tray... put the tray down in the bottom of the weber kettle and let it smoke while I trimmed the tri tip (which were fairly small.. 2 -3lbs maybe)... Put the meat in the kettle @ 9:15... Our turn in time was @ 4:25... so my plan was to let it cold smoke until about 2 o'clock and then put it on indirect heat...

Welp... about 20 minutes in I see no smoke coming out of the vent on the kettle... The pellets went out... relit them.. put it back in... about 30 minutes.. again.. no smoke... WTF ... relit again and this time I took the charcoal grate out and set the tray right on/over top of the air vents ... 30 minutes later.. no smoke again... I couldn't keep them lit to save my life.. so I put 2 lit briquettes in the tray on top of the pellets... this time they kept going but in turn also raised the heat some in the kettle... Which I was ok with as it will help in bringing the temp of meat up really slow..

So about 1:30 I took the meat off and injected our STUFF... Got the kettle fired up and it was way too hot (300+) to put the meat on... closed vents down and let it get down to about 260... couldn't wait any longer as time was starting to get away from me... Put meat on and IT came up pretty quick... Took it off at 125` IT... Tented with foil while I lit a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal to pour in the Weber Smokey Joe for searing... Took IT up to 135+ish and pulled... rested for 20 minutes then sliced... Slicing went good (across the grain in both directions of the grain)...

I thought it turned out really well as far as tenderness is concerned ... The taste.. well.. it wasn't good enough (according to judges) to place in the top 3... My partner does the marinade/injection and was talking to some lady (retired chef) in his neighborhood... She told him to use rosemary... welp.. He got a little heavy handed on it .. IMO ...

As a side note.. you wouldn't believe some of the appetizers that got passed around (a public voting comp as well)...

All in All.. we had a blast and ate WAY TO MUCH food...

Sorry for such a long post ...


Legendary Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 26, 2019
Sounds like a good time and you got some experience to boot. A little rosemary goes a long way. A good way to incorporate rosemary is during the slicing portion. I like to put a little garlic olive oil on the cutting board then add some chopped rosemary, thyme and red pepper flakes. Rest your tri tip on top of that then slice. Can toss the beef in the goodness on the board. And it looks pretty for the final presentation

Not a tri tip but some pics to show what I'm talking about


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 10, 2021
Sounds like a good time win either way. Got to cook some good food and eat some, what's bad there?


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Aug 3, 2015
Sounds like fun! I had a blast on my first go at contest too, and some experience!


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 29, 2020
Experience gained for sure. I've never done a comp but would love to try it once for the knowledge and experience!


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