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1st comp pics w/results. Any suggestions
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Trainwreck
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Joined: 17 Aug 2007
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Location: Menomonee Falls Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 6:10 am    Post subject: 1st comp pics w/results. Any suggestions Reply with quote

These are the boxes from my first comp. I placed 28th out of 53. My shoulder placed 17th and ribs 22nd. My chicken was by far the worst as you will see. Any advice you can give me on my box presentation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Andy

Brisket 7,9,8,7,7,7


Shoulder 8,8,7,8,7,8


Ribs 7,8,7,8,8,8


Chicken 7,6,8,6,7,5
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mds2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those actually look really good. The only thing I can think to say is try to get a little more consistent color on all of the chicken, but they still look good. That and maybe a little more sauce on the ribs, but that is just my thoughts. It all looks pretty good! Good job.
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mutha chicken bbq
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK

As a newbie to this please don't take anything I say to heart because I am only trying to help. And is what I would change if I had these boxes infront of me with time to kill.

First Brisket box I would cut the slices a little thinner for the apearance factor. I personally think the the slices are a little too thick. But don't cut too thin to make the judge think that you are trying to hide something!I would also glaze to make apear to have a nicer sheen.Also I would double the lettuce to fill out the color.

Pork- I love the arangment! Again same as brisket double lettuce and glaze or sauce.

Ribs- Interesting arangment. Looks good but I don't think there is enough of a smoke ring showing for that arangment. Mabey the pic is off I don't know. Personally I think the ribs have to be consistent in size to apear that they are good. I would not want a judge to think that someone else got a nicer rib than the next guy.

Chicken- I think you should also look at uniform pieces as this looks nicer in the box than a couple of large pieces and a coouple of ok pieces. They look moist, but a few look dark!

I am going to asume that the scores listed are for apearance? as I can't really tast them and I don't have smell-a-vision yet. But those are some great scores! Again I don't mean to offend you in anyway and I am still a newb, Just what I see. But that don't mean a thing as I aint got no GC'S

YET!!!!!!!! Cool
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mutha chicken bbq
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is our brisket box from a recent comp by what I mean by glaze for apearance. I think I can find the other pics but theyt are not at hand right now! Have to do the photo bucket thing! But again I would double my lettuce next time.

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Trainwreck
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for the responces. Mutha Chicken that is exactly what I need to hear. I think the boxes got better scores then they deserved. That is why I posted them and I am looking for advice. Yea the picture does not show the somke ring at all. It deffinatley was there just a bad picture. Do most people glaze or sauce their shoulder? I just dont want to put anything on it because I think it has great flavor with out it. As far as taste my chicken was horrible. I dont know how some people gave me the scores they did. It just didnt turn out. I did farely well in the other categories but I allways seemed to have at least 1 judge that were way off from everyone else. Eathier they were the ones that knew what they were doing or not (i'm hoping they were the ones that did not). Like I said this was my first comp and I cant wait for the next one. I just want to improve. Again thanks for the help.

Last edited by Trainwreck on Tue Oct 09 07 8:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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Fish
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still say to put $20 bills in it FTW. Laughing

Didn't anyone learn from Shawshank?
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mutha chicken bbq
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trainwreck wrote:
Thank you both for the responces. Mutha Chicken that is exactly what I need to hear. I think the boxes got better scores then they deserved. That is why I posted them and I am looking for advice. Yea the picture does not show the somke ring at all. It deffinatley was there just a bad picture. Do most people glaze or sauce their shoulder? I just dont want to put anything on it because I think it has great flavor with out it. As far as taste my chicken was horrible. I dont know how some people gave me the scores they did. It just didnt turn out. I did farely well in the other categories but I allways seemed to have at least 1 judge that were way off from everyone else. Eathier they were the ones that knew what they were doing or not (i'm hoping they were the ones that did not). Like I said this was my first comp and I cant wait for the next one. I just want to improve. Again thanks for the help.


Well it took me about a 6 months to figure out it aint a meat comp! it's a bbq comp! Sauce rubs and spices all play their role in it! My first comp I placed middle of the pack with no sauces or glazes! Since, I have moved up but not enough. Now that being said ...... I also think it varies from place to place. Wish we had a place to see the winning boxes, So we could cut the learning curve down...... At least untill I start winning that is! Laughing
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Coz
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn I am sorry I shoulda took pics of the guys I was observing.I had the camera too.
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Trainwreck
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea Coz what were ya thinking. I guess I could have walked the 20 feet and looked myself though. Smile

mutha chicken bbq wrote:

Well it took me about a 6 months to figure out it aint a meat comp! it's a bbq comp! Sauce rubs and spices all play their role in it! My first comp I placed middle of the pack with no sauces or glazes! Since, I have moved up but not enough. Now that being said ...... I also think it varies from place to place. Wish we had a place to see the winning boxes, So we could cut the learning curve down...... At least untill I start winning that is! Laughing


I 100% agree with the rubs and spices. Please dont take any offence to this as I am new to the competition side of the BBQ world and I really do appreciate your feedback. Maybe its just me and I will have to learn the hard way(I tend to be a little stuburn) but I dont think BBQ has to mean sauce. I agree that ribs need sauce, chicken needs sauce, but IMO brisket and shoulder do not. I guess though its my opinion and I am not cooking for myself but I am cooking for the judges. So with that said I will try a glaze on my brisket next time but I think I will stick with just the rub on the butts a few more times. I guess the hardest thing for me is trying to transform from a backyard guy cooking the way I like the food to a competition guy cooking the way the judges like the food. I guess if it were easy to figure out what they want or like every one would go out and GC their first time out there. Thanks for the help and keep it coming.


Last edited by Trainwreck on Tue Oct 09 07 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Trainwreck
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way that brisket looks excellent. I did get a chance to try the guys Brisket with a glaze and ribs next to me. Tasting theirs deffinately let me know I have alot to work on. They happened to be the GC at the comp so it was nice to try what won.
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trainwreck wrote:
Yea Coz what were ya thinking. I guess I could have walked the 20 feet and looked myself though. Smile

mutha chicken bbq wrote:

Well it took me about a 6 months to figure out it aint a meat comp! it's a bbq comp! Sauce rubs and spices all play their role in it! My first comp I placed middle of the pack with no sauces or glazes! Since, I have moved up but not enough. Now that being said ...... I also think it varies from place to place. Wish we had a place to see the winning boxes, So we could cut the learning curve down...... At least untill I start winning that is! Laughing


I 100% agree with the rubs and spices. Please dont take any offence to this as I am new to the competition side of the BBQ world and I really do appreciate your feedback. Maybe its just me and I will have to learn the hard way(I tend to be a little stuburn) but I dont think BBQ has to mean sauce. I agree that ribs need sauce, chicken needs sauce, but IMO brisket and shoulder do not. I guess though its my opinion and I am not cooking for myself but I am cooking for the judges. So with that said I will try a glaze on my brisket next time but I think I will stick with just the rub on the butts a few more times. I guess the hardest thing for me is trying to transform from a backyard guy cooking the way I like the food to a competition guy cooking the way the judges like the food. I guess if it were easy to figure out what they want or like every one would go out and GC their first time out there. Thanks for the help and keep it coming.


you can do what you want, but after wasting time and money trying ot figure out the perfect rub and sauce for each meat I switched to a commerical product and my score sheet made up my mind. all 10.0s and 9.5s in taste on my ribs using a commerical sauce and rub. I just walked over to the team and bought some when I got there on friday. no muss no fuss...the tenderness and apperence are still up to you, but you can take taste totally out of the picture with a commerical product...sometime this week I will be posting my recipe for ribs on my website along with some pictures of the box and prep and cooking. If you want to check it out and give it a shot at home...remember you aint cooking for yourself...you're cooking for judges. The ribs I cooked this weekend tasted nothing like the ribs I cook at the house, my wife and friends agreed that while they were very different they were still very good. Just different.
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Trainwreck
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DawgPhan wrote:
Trainwreck wrote:
Yea Coz what were ya thinking. I guess I could have walked the 20 feet and looked myself though. Smile

mutha chicken bbq wrote:

Well it took me about a 6 months to figure out it aint a meat comp! it's a bbq comp! Sauce rubs and spices all play their role in it! My first comp I placed middle of the pack with no sauces or glazes! Since, I have moved up but not enough. Now that being said ...... I also think it varies from place to place. Wish we had a place to see the winning boxes, So we could cut the learning curve down...... At least untill I start winning that is! Laughing


I 100% agree with the rubs and spices. Please dont take any offence to this as I am new to the competition side of the BBQ world and I really do appreciate your feedback. Maybe its just me and I will have to learn the hard way(I tend to be a little stuburn) but I dont think BBQ has to mean sauce. I agree that ribs need sauce, chicken needs sauce, but IMO brisket and shoulder do not. I guess though its my opinion and I am not cooking for myself but I am cooking for the judges. So with that said I will try a glaze on my brisket next time but I think I will stick with just the rub on the butts a few more times. I guess the hardest thing for me is trying to transform from a backyard guy cooking the way I like the food to a competition guy cooking the way the judges like the food. I guess if it were easy to figure out what they want or like every one would go out and GC their first time out there. Thanks for the help and keep it coming.


you can do what you want, but after wasting time and money trying ot figure out the perfect rub and sauce for each meat I switched to a commerical product and my score sheet made up my mind. all 10.0s and 9.5s in taste on my ribs using a commerical sauce and rub. I just walked over to the team and bought some when I got there on friday. no muss no fuss...the tenderness and apperence are still up to you, but you can take taste totally out of the picture with a commerical product...sometime this week I will be posting my recipe for ribs on my website along with some pictures of the box and prep and cooking. If you want to check it out and give it a shot at home...remember you aint cooking for yourself...you're cooking for judges. The ribs I cooked this weekend tasted nothing like the ribs I cook at the house, my wife and friends agreed that while they were very different they were still very good. Just different.

I do not disagree with the ribs. They deffinatley need the sauce. In my opinion I think the butt should stand alone. I will try it this way a few more times and if I dont place any higher then I will sauce or glaze the butt. I will check out your website later this week. Thanks for the help
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trainwreck wrote:
DawgPhan wrote:
Trainwreck wrote:
Yea Coz what were ya thinking. I guess I could have walked the 20 feet and looked myself though. Smile

mutha chicken bbq wrote:

Well it took me about a 6 months to figure out it aint a meat comp! it's a bbq comp! Sauce rubs and spices all play their role in it! My first comp I placed middle of the pack with no sauces or glazes! Since, I have moved up but not enough. Now that being said ...... I also think it varies from place to place. Wish we had a place to see the winning boxes, So we could cut the learning curve down...... At least untill I start winning that is! Laughing


I 100% agree with the rubs and spices. Please dont take any offence to this as I am new to the competition side of the BBQ world and I really do appreciate your feedback. Maybe its just me and I will have to learn the hard way(I tend to be a little stuburn) but I dont think BBQ has to mean sauce. I agree that ribs need sauce, chicken needs sauce, but IMO brisket and shoulder do not. I guess though its my opinion and I am not cooking for myself but I am cooking for the judges. So with that said I will try a glaze on my brisket next time but I think I will stick with just the rub on the butts a few more times. I guess the hardest thing for me is trying to transform from a backyard guy cooking the way I like the food to a competition guy cooking the way the judges like the food. I guess if it were easy to figure out what they want or like every one would go out and GC their first time out there. Thanks for the help and keep it coming.


you can do what you want, but after wasting time and money trying ot figure out the perfect rub and sauce for each meat I switched to a commerical product and my score sheet made up my mind. all 10.0s and 9.5s in taste on my ribs using a commerical sauce and rub. I just walked over to the team and bought some when I got there on friday. no muss no fuss...the tenderness and apperence are still up to you, but you can take taste totally out of the picture with a commerical product...sometime this week I will be posting my recipe for ribs on my website along with some pictures of the box and prep and cooking. If you want to check it out and give it a shot at home...remember you aint cooking for yourself...you're cooking for judges. The ribs I cooked this weekend tasted nothing like the ribs I cook at the house, my wife and friends agreed that while they were very different they were still very good. Just different.

I do not disagree with the ribs. They deffinatley need the sauce. In my opinion I think the butt should stand alone. I will try it this way a few more times and if I dont place any higher then I will sauce or glaze the butt. I will check out your website later this week. Thanks for the help


enjoy doing it your way, but I would bet that 99% of teams that are getting calls are using some sort of sauce or glaze or addition to their pork after it is cooked, but before it goes into the box...same with brisket...remember that you only get 1-2 bites to impress with and you need to pack all the flavor you can into those 2 bites.
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vexter1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mutha chicken bbq wrote:
OK

As a newbie to this please don't take anything I say to heart because I am only trying to help. And is what I would change if I had these boxes infront of me with time to kill.

First Brisket box I would cut the slices a little thinner for the apearance factor. I personally think the the slices are a little too thick. But don't cut too thin to make the judge think that you are trying to hide something!I would also glaze to make apear to have a nicer sheen.Also I would double the lettuce to fill out the color.

Pork- I love the arangment! Again same as brisket double lettuce and glaze or sauce.

Ribs- Interesting arangment. Looks good but I don't think there is enough of a smoke ring showing for that arangment. Mabey the pic is off I don't know. Personally I think the ribs have to be consistent in size to apear that they are good. I would not want a judge to think that someone else got a nicer rib than the next guy.

Chicken- I think you should also look at uniform pieces as this looks nicer in the box than a couple of large pieces and a coouple of ok pieces. They look moist, but a few look dark!

I am going to asume that the scores listed are for apearance? as I can't really tast them and I don't have smell-a-vision yet. But those are some great scores! Again I don't mean to offend you in anyway and I am still a newb, Just what I see. But that don't mean a thing as I aint got no GC'S

YET!!!!!!!! Cool


I thought I'd drop my $0.2 in - so please - DO NOT TAKE OFFENSE - I'm also still learning and by no means am I any kind of expert - trust me Smile

Brisket - I'd also go a bit thinner on the cuts - but not much. The broken up pieces around it in my opinion detract from the final product. I personally prefer a box filled with uniform slices. Look at mutha's - uniformity is popping out of that box. Plus the judges get similar pieces so no one is left out at the table per se.

Pork - I don't know why but this arrangement confuses my eye - while interesting - it makes me feel like the pork is a vortex trying to suck me in or something...LOL - I don't know how to explain it - that was the best I could say it - I do like the mixture of bark and pieces thought. Box looks full - which is a good thing from what I hear.

Ribs - The first thing that popped in my mind was the lack of a good smoke ring. The other thing is look how the ribs on their edge look messy with the sauce/rub from handling - it makes for a box that looks rushed together. The idea is good - but attention to detail may have been lost in the handling. Also, try to keep pieces uniform - the short one in the front makes the box feel chintzy to me. Fill that box with the best of the best and chow down on the rest is my motto - LOL

Chicken - I don't have a leg to stand on here myself - top 3 dark ones = bad, bottom right was the best one. Arrangement looks good though.

You can see my boxes (all expet ribs - haven't found that pic yet) here:
http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10216&start=30

Like I said, I'm no expert - so take it for what it's worth - but well done on a 1st outing to place as you did - congrats and keep up the hard work - I'm doing the same!
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vexter1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trainwreck wrote:
By the way that brisket looks excellent. I did get a chance to try the guys Brisket with a glaze and ribs next to me. Tasting theirs deffinately let me know I have alot to work on. They happened to be the GC at the comp so it was nice to try what won.


isn't that always cool seeing what won and getting to try some - I LOVE that, you get an idea of what to work towards and enjoy some good Q too Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dawgfan has made an excellent point. There are only two ways to do BBQ wrong they involve a crock pot or boiling.

The boxes above just need a little refinement to pretty them up. Some have already touched on the finer points. We only get one first impression with the judges and if the meat in the box does not look appetizing, they may not expect good taste and tenderness.

Competition BBQ is a different animal all together than back-yard, catering or restaurant BBQ.

The biggest mistake that most comp teams make is having the hardheaded approach that they will win or loose with "their" sauces, rubs and marinades. The most underappreciated atribute to compeition bbq and the folks that win regularly is CONSISTENCY. That applies to appearance, taste, and tenderness.

My team is no different, we still have some that have to make the sauce, which would not be all bad but they never make the same sauce. See note above about consistency. I am the same way with some of the rubs. I used to make ours from scratch, and we did win from time-to-time, but it was more hit or miss. I now prefer to buy a rub and when used consistently the results are more favorable; the same is true for any marinades/injections.
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Trainwreck
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the problem for me is I know what you guys are saying is the right thing to do. I know I will have to sauce my shoulder. I guess I just dont understand why it has to be that way when the shoulder has the flavour with out the sauce. What type of sauce would mix well with shoulder. Is there a common one everyone uses? Or somewhere I can start. I have a good sauce for chicken and ribs and after the comp I will be changing to a glaze for the ribs, and brisket. I hope I did not offend or piss anybody off by taking a stand on this issue. Vexter thanks for the advice and it was great getting to taste what my stuff should taste like. Gives me something to shoot for. These were the first boxes I ever attempted. It is the only thing I went blind into the comp on. Looking more carefully at the ribs in the box they did not have the ring I was looking for. looking at the pictures from the comp overall I did have a good ring but only on some of my racks not all of them. Newbie mistake. This ring has helped out alot and gave me the push to enter a comp so again I thank everyone for their help support.
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you want a flavor profile to start with?

Try this.

Smoking Guns Mild and Head Country Sauce

or

Smoking Guns Hot and Blues Hog Sauce

Use one or the other on everything you turn in. Those are 2 proven combinations and you can focus on your cooking, which is really where the difference between winning and average is anyway. Cooking perfectly cooked bbq is more important than having some amazing rub. You can buy both of those sauces and rubs at hawgeyesbbq.com or what ever their website is.

Dont worry about offending anyone...probably most comp bbq cooks start out the same way, thinknig that they know something about making rubs or sauces that no one else does...that they are going to come out and beat everyone with their new amazing sauce or rub, but that just isnt the case for most folks.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09 07 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trainwreck wrote:
I guess the problem for me is I know what you guys are saying is the right thing to do. I know I will have to sauce my shoulder. I guess I just dont understand why it has to be that way when the shoulder has the flavour with out the sauce. What type of sauce would mix well with shoulder. Is there a common one everyone uses? Or somewhere I can start. I have a good sauce for chicken and ribs and after the comp I will be changing to a glaze for the ribs, and brisket. I hope I did not offend or piss anybody off by taking a stand on this issue. Vexter thanks for the advice and it was great getting to taste what my stuff should taste like. Gives me something to shoot for. These were the first boxes I ever attempted. It is the only thing I went blind into the comp on. Looking more carefully at the ribs in the box they did not have the ring I was looking for. looking at the pictures from the comp overall I did have a good ring but only on some of my racks not all of them. Newbie mistake. This ring has helped out alot and gave me the push to enter a comp so again I thank everyone for their help support.


Personally -

I think you did a great job for a first time out - we had help from some experienced competitors (OkieJay and wife) and had they not been there to teach and mentor on box turn in and presentation, I have no doubt in my mind we would have not done even close to as well as we did. I learned a lot that day and this last weekend at the AR watching The Smokedelics compete there. I wish we had some more pics posted of winning boxes so newbies such as myself could so some studying and work on it.
Quote:
I guess the problem for me is I know what you guys are saying is the right thing to do. I know I will have to sauce my shoulder. I guess I just dont understand why it has to be that way when the shoulder has the flavour with out the sauce.
That's because that's what the judges want or expect in flavor. An old saying I like - why ask why when how is a much better question Smile I don't know why either - most people like my stuff unsauced - but as you can see in the pics - we sauced. And you didn't upset me one bit - I think asking questions to learn is one of the most important parts of competition - I know everyone won't tell me any secrets - but they'll most likely guide you to your own destination with time - which is a good thing - if all of our Q was the same - competitions would be boring - right? Smile You're quite welcome to any of my advice - take it all VERY lightly - as I'm only 1 comp in myself - so I'm learning heavily - but sure having fun doing it - and I have some seriously cool mentors. Go for another comp - and if you can find someone to do so - get involved with another team that doesn't mind doing some teaching, it's amazing what one comp with great mentors will do for your thoughts around BBQ - and what to do and how to do it. Good luck and continue on!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11 07 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,I watched the turn in boxes get made from start to finish and there was a bunch of work in those boxes.But I guess thats why they win regularly.I sampled all of the meat they cooked and that really made me rethink doing my own sauces and rubs.I have talked with several teams that win regularly and most say the same thing,buy the sauce and rubs and personalize them a little.I am targeting june for my first comp.One thing about eating at 2 Fat Bikers and then going home and cooking my own just dont taste so good anymore.I ordered some rubs and sauces from Hawgeyes and have been practicing a bunch.
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