Event prep help

Discussion in 'Events' started by grindstaff3, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. alright everyone, my dad and i and our better halves are going to enter into a small time contest in approx 1 year. it's pretty local stuff maybe 20 contestants or so. anyways, we have never done a contest. we know how to cook some good ribs, chicken, brisket, and sides but that's about it. we have a white top tent, 2 chargrillers, 2 weber kettles, and a lot of heart. what will we need to make this successful and how should we prepare. like i said we have no idea what we are doing aside from the smoking part. any help would be very appreciated thank you.
  2. cbucher

    cbucher Meat Mopper

    Me and a friend are fixing to do the same thing. I don't really know what to expect for sure either. I am fortunate enough to have a few contests in a drivable distance that I plan on going to. I figure if I see it as it happens then maybe that will help.
  3. I just don't know what utensils we will need and how to clean everything. I guess just the whole process maybe that's the fun in it i don't know, but i want to win and i think a green horn is probably not going to take home a trophy. i just didn't know how the process goes and some do's and don'ts
  4. justsmoke2

    justsmoke2 Smoking Fanatic

    practice practice practice. Attend some events and talk with other contestants there. Some will give you great pointers. Probably your main concern will be in timing and knowing your equipment.
  5. grind...I too am competing first time..THIS weekend in NJ. I went to a comp. last weekend and 'researched'... as well as tasting and putting back a few Blue Moons!!

    EVERYONE was helpful. Avoid 11:45am - 1:30am as those are the 'turn in' times. Hit the KCBS website for 'ficcial contest rules. There are SEVERAL things you WILL need to know... ie. presentation/turn in. No red tip lettuce, no 'pooling' of sauce, etc...

    If possible, take a KCBS JUDGING course. They should be in your area.

    Check out this FIRST TIME COMPETITOR site... Liz Lumpkin.


    SMOKE IT UP!!!
  6. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Although I have yet to cook in a BBQ cook off, I have cooked in my share of Dutch Oven cook-offs. Every one of them required at least one person if not the whole team to have food handler permits. Most health departments require that the cards be on your person or displayed so they can be seen-usually on a bulletin board or display board.

    Most events require a three sink system (wash, rinse and sanatize) for washing utensils, cutting boards, etc. as well has having a seperate hand washing station.

    I use the rubbermaid brand wash dish pans three for the "kitchen" and one for the hand washing area. I take along plenty of water along with my single burner Camp Chef stove and 20 quart stock pot to have hot water when needed.

    As others have mentioned, check out a few cook-offs and do your research. Remember too, what works for some folks may not work out for you so practice-lots!

    Good luck!
  7. Wow, sounds like it's a lot more difficult than just going out there and doin some cooking. I guess you gotta start somewhere. seems like there is alot of down time. i mean once your meat is on there really isn't anything to do. your not entertaining people like at the house.

    What goes in the three buckets for dishes? also can you use already made products i.e. sauce if needed. i guess i have a year to perfect it but just in case i needed something that i knew was good? is that kind of an easy way out though?
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another handy thing- PLENTY of paper towels. And sanitizing wipes... they come in a plastic pull-out type container. Great for surface cleaning.
  9. gooose53

    gooose53 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    The best advice has already been given....go to a comp and talk, talk and talk. Take notes as to how they are setup. Before my first comp I went to two others and chatted with some of the competitors. Most times they are very helpful. It's also good if you know someone who has done this before to go along with you. As Dutch mentioned, the health department will most likely visit your site. If you don't have everything the way they want they might just ask you to make some changes....some have not been so easy to work with and will disqualify you right then and there. You've got a year.....visit, talk, practice and take notes!
  10. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What organization is sanctioning the event?

    KCBS, NEBS, IBCA, FBA?.............once we know that specific questions will be easy to answer. Everything from turn in times, to the amount of meat in the box, will depend on who is running it.
  11. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your in the biggest comp state there is...
    Go to a couple this year and watch, surf the forums and soak up the knowledge that is out there, take a class and come back in 9 months and ask more questions....you'll forget everything you learn today by then! [​IMG]
  12. i don't know who is sanctioning it. the website is http://www.summersizzle.net

    It's just a local one. nothing too big. I won't be doing an interview on the food network by any means. well i guess i need to get my tablet and pencil and just go eat some bbq at some comps huh.
  13. bertjo44

    bertjo44 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Grind,

    I am going to piggy back off your thread if you don't mind. My cousin and I are in the same boat. One year til planned competition. We have been working on a team name and a list of supplies. We attended and assisted in a comp last weekend and got some good ideas but have a long way to go. Good luck to you and I know we'll need the same. The practice run is a great idea, I also want to start a table of times and temps with each type of meat, fat content, weather and meat weight to have a good idea of how long. Of course I have a decent idea now but that may be handy. I was wondering if when you start your brisket, say you are cooking three to choose from for the judging, should you space them out by say, 30 mins so you are more likely to have one done at the ideal time. All suggestions welcome.
  14. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I wouldn't bother personally, but if that is your game plan, I sure won't be the one to tell you not to. [​IMG] Seems like the way it usually works is the one you put on last will be the first one done. LOL
    Generally at a contest, briskets and butts get done with plenty of lead time and then held in a cooler, cambro or whatever. You don't want to cut it too close and then get a stubborn one.

    For all the meats, give yourself a little more time than you think you need, even on stuff that don't take that long, like chicken and ribs...........don't know how many times you hear "I didn't leave enough time" from people on their first time or two out.

    Good luck.
  15. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    By what I could tell, it looks like it is not sanctioned by any of the organizations that I have heard of (doesn't mean much [​IMG] ) And noticed that they have a link to submit your name to be a judge.......with that, my cooking strategy would be to overcook the ribs to fall off the bone. That seems to be what wins these things since the general public has been lead to believe that this is what makes a good rib. I would probably use what ever sauce is popular locally also..........if they just have people off the street as judges, they we will be looking for something they are familiar with.

    Just my two cents...........and I would question if it is worth that. LOL

    Good luck........make sure your stuff is done and turned in ontime and hope for the best. If you win GREAT.......if you don't, you can say the judges are morons. LOL
  16. well that is some pretty good advice. the problem is that is how my ribs have been turning out. i use the 3-2-1 method and even shorten the 2 and the 1 and the ribs are so tender the bone just pulls right out. don't get me wrong they taste good i just want to toughen them up a little. any ideas. also is it good to do a practice run over night since that is how i would be cooking anyways in a competition?
  17. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Practice run is always a good idea IMO. You need to find out what time you have to turn in the meats and back up your times from there. If you are only doing ribs and the turn in isn't til noon then there wouldn't be much reason to sit out overnight. [​IMG]

    I would recommend taking everything you think you need outside and try not to go into the house for anything cook related. Make a list of what you used (and what you forgot) and keep that for the contest. Slice them, box them, everything outside.......did you remember to bring a cutting board out? Got a way to clean up the mess? You get the idea.
  18. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What temps do you cook at? How much in any liquid do you add (if any)when they go in the foil? Are the ribs you are using packaged with any kind of "solution added" or just straight up ribs?

    Try making a rack with no foil...........that maybe just what you are looking for.
  19. my temps are usually around 215* to 230* depending and i don't add any liquid at foil time. the ribs are prepackaged though i don't know if in a liquid or not. in regards to the contest prep. i'm sure it is but i want to ask. can i cook ribs, brisket, pork butt, and dutch's beans for my side all in one chargriller. i am concerned about the quantities of all of them for a contest, don't know how much of everything to cook. i have a weber kettle i can use also. the sponsers give you meat to cook for the public (that's probably a whole nother beer there though)
  20. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hmmm........odd that they are falling apart on you based on that. You might try longer time on the front side (closer to 4 than 3 on the 321) and keep reducing the 2 time until you get where you want. FWIW I generally go 3.5 - 1.5 - 20minutes to get them like I want them. Good luck, keep tinkering with it and you will get it.

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