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First Competition, I'm Committed

 
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mrcustomsteel
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
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Location: Bilings, still a Texan, MT

PostPosted: Thu May 04 06 12:52 am    Post subject: First Competition, I'm Committed Reply with quote

Or maybe I should be committed. I sent my money in for my first competition, the Rhode Island State Championship, 20-21 May in Warwick, RI.

I have been reading a lot and have a mentor to set up next to. I would really appreciate any advice from you competition veterans. I hope to have fun, learn a lot and try not to embarrass myself.
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D. Tillery
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Thu May 04 06 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

umm...try not to embrass yourself...

I woud imagine as long as you dont do anything outrageously stupid you should be alright...as far as winning, what type of comp is it?

is it a kcbs or a MIM or just something else? I would study the rules and regs and make sure that you know exactly what you can and cant do because rest assured that everyone else will know that..

oh and practice atleast 1 doing everything you are going to do at the comp..


I am entering in a sauce comp, but it is just a little backyard kinda comp...maybe looking for more serious sauce comp later on this summer...
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mrcustomsteel
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Location: Bilings, still a Texan, MT

PostPosted: Thu May 04 06 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a KCBS competition and a certified state championship. I've read the rules and I've been practicing.

It's halfway across the state from me (about 10 miles) so at least it is close to home in case I forget stuff. The Saturday is four grilled categories, open garnish. Sunday is the four KCBS categories. I've decided to skip the ribs my first time out.

The guy who's mentoring my first comp is going to come by and check out my rig and give me some tips. Anything y'all can add would be great.
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D. Tillery
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3970010
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 04 06 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats very cool. I get to do my first competition in June. I am still waiting on my pit (May 19th). I am very excited. This is just a way for my family to have a good time. Let us know how you do. If you do something silly please let me know so that I dont do it as well!!!!
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Thu May 04 06 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:
It is a KCBS competition and a certified state championship. I've read the rules and I've been practicing.

It's halfway across the state from me (about 10 miles) so at least it is close to home in case I forget stuff. The Saturday is four grilled categories, open garnish. Sunday is the four KCBS categories. I've decided to skip the ribs my first time out.

The guy who's mentoring my first comp is going to come by and check out my rig and give me some tips. Anything y'all can add would be great.


alright, I am not going to give any more tips right now..... Embarassed
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Thu May 04 06 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:
I've decided to skip the ribs my first time out.



I'd go ahead and compete in all 4 categories. If you did real well overall and missed a category, you wouldn't be in the running for any of the overall money.

Besides, ribs should be the easiest to do, it's the other stuff that's hard to score at.

As far as forgetting something, 10 miles is too far if you forget something near turnin time.

I always suggest that you do a dry run at home, exactly like a contest. Start Friday and work on the turnin times on Saturday (normal KCBS times in the rules).

Take notes about what you forgot.

Check out the competition forum, there's a good thread where I explained the points. Taste is the most important, then Tenderness then appearance.
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angrydogtattoo
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Joined: 15 Jul 2005
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Location: southeastern Ohio

PostPosted: Fri May 05 06 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never cooked in one, but my wife and I are KCBS judges, bottom line have fun.

My advise would be to make a list of everything you need, then set up and lay everything out, get used to having things in a certain order that way if you find yourself close on time, you are not scrambling to find things.

Pace yourself, expect the weather to play a part, plan ahead, you will do great.
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boxertrio
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PostPosted: Fri May 05 06 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

uhh....I forgot to bring a lighter to my first comp Embarassed .....got a lot of good tips from the other guys around me, everyone was very friendly. Take breakfast food,if its overnight, we fix eggs and bacon in a skillet that we set on the fire box. Take a lot of water as well as beer. We also forgot to bring a light for out booth at night.
These were some of my first screw ups......learn from others mistakes and all that......Have fun
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Fri May 05 06 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lights and breakfast food! I'm trying to rig up a tent for my BBQ trailer in case it rains and for some shade.

Okie, Time is getting short but I hope to do a dry run next week. I don't think I need to worry about being in the money my first time out. Some advice I read said not to try and do every category in your first competition. I'm leaning towards not doing ribs for a few reasons like I've never done them and they are expensive.

Tkanks all and please keep it comming.
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Fri May 05 06 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:
Some advice I read said not to try and do every category in your first competition. I'm leaning towards not doing ribs for a few reasons like I've never done them and they are expensive.

Tkanks all and please keep it comming.


Understand. My reasoning is you're already paying for 4 categories with your entry fee, but if ribs aren't your best I understand.

Just a thought. If you're going to compete, and you're already spending a bunch just to get to that point, another $25 for ribs isn't that much more given you're already there.

My advice to all new competitors is practice all four before you go, work out your timing in advance, and enter all four. I taught a guy on site at Perkins last year who hadn't even cooked a butt before. Guess which category he placed in Smile

Best of luck, if you need any tips, just ask.

Here is a link to Smokin Guns Checklist. I started with this and redid one for my own, but this is a perfect start.

http://www.smokingunsbbq.com/contest_check_list.htm
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Doc1680
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Joined: 17 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SmokinOkie wrote:
mrcustomsteel wrote:
Some advice I read said not to try and do every category in your first competition. I'm leaning towards not doing ribs for a few reasons like I've never done them and they are expensive.

Tkanks all and please keep it comming.


Understand. My reasoning is you're already paying for 4 categories with your entry fee, but if ribs aren't your best I understand.

Just a thought. If you're going to compete, and you're already spending a bunch just to get to that point, another $25 for ribs isn't that much more given you're already there.

My advice to all new competitors is practice all four before you go, work out your timing in advance, and enter all four. I taught a guy on site at Perkins last year who hadn't even cooked a butt before. Guess which category he placed in Smile

Best of luck, if you need any tips, just ask.

Here is a link to Smokin Guns Checklist. I started with this and redid one for my own, but this is a perfect start.

http://www.smokingunsbbq.com/contest_check_list.htm




I've only done one comp so far. We went into it not quite understanding the rules and we didn't do a brisket. That ended up costing us point in the overall. Not that it would have helped alot. I'm with Smokin Okie. You've paid a heft entry fee. You're already buying meat. And don't forget. Even though having fun is most important for us new guys. It is a competition Get all the points you can.

Just my 2 cents
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah if I did a comp I would certainly do everything, even though I have no idea how I would do chicken...the other 3 I could manage, but chicken is beyond me right now...

anyone want to give some ideas for the chicken part?

do you pull/shred the chicken? does the chicken have to be smoked? Do you serve up 6 thighs? what do you do?
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I guess I should reread all the rib posts on here and jump right in.

What should I look for when purchasing ribs for a KCBS event? I hope I can get them at Wal-Fart. How long can I keep them in the fridge betw/ purchase and cooking?

How bad could they be?
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D. Tillery
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:
OK I guess I should reread all the rib posts on here and jump right in.

What should I look for when purchasing ribs for a KCBS event? I hope I can get them at Wal-Fart. How long can I keep them in the fridge betw/ purchase and cooking?

How bad could they be?


ribs arent terribly difficult...just remember to remove the membrane, rub em down with your dry rub...then cook em for however long they take...use foil/dont use foil and sauce/dont sauce...

main thing would be cooking them till they bend at a nice little angle without breaking too much...
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roxy
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Joined: 29 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion is this for what its worth.

If you have never smoked ribs you really shouldnt try to learn how to do em at a competition. You do need to practice them a lot before hand and I dont think a comp is the place for that.

As for buying ribs, you need to find a butcher and get them untrimmed and do the work yourself, slip him a few green backs to allow you to select the best from a case or two. You dont want to be buying second rate ribs to enter in a comp. Whats that old saying... Garbage in, garbage out. You want to buy the best meat you can.

Heres another saying... You cant turn a sows ear into a silk purse.

Your in a competition, dont cut corners. It will cost you at the judges table.

Though I have never competed, I would enter what I was comfortable cooking and concentrate my efforts to score well in those catagories and leave the winning to the veterans.

Dont bit off more than you can chew your first time out.

You are doing this for fun right..??

I wish you the best of luck.
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Tony
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well put from a Man who knows how to Cook! Wink

Best Regards, Tony Very Happy
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Tony
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David... Did You get Your new Smoker Yet Question

Best Regards, Tony Very Happy
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roxy, Thanks for the input. I turn sows ears into silk purses for a living but I know what you mean.

I'll price ribs at a butcher but since I can't imagine being in the money my first competition I may just buy them at Sam's. I'm going to do a dry run next week. There are some good rib recipes on here so I'm sure my ribs will be OK. I've had my smoker for 15+ years so I know it well. My wife bought me a Maverick for my B-day, which should help. The timing of the turn-ins is what scares me.

Any more tips are appreciated.
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Doc1680
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PostPosted: Sat May 06 06 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel

Roxy's right. You're not going to become a rib master over night, so take these next two weeks to mainly get your timing down. Don't try to get your time down to the minute. I would suggest taking your finishing time and adding an hour for the comp. Better to have stuff done and waiting than rushing around at the last second. That's not fun.

Oh...Good Luck.


Dawg,

I found out at judging class that you can present chicken pulled, so that would be done better with a whole chicken or halves. If not doing pulled I suggest using pieces. There's no cutting involved and that helps with presentation. As for cooking I woud say to smoke it to about 10* before your favorite chicken temp then crank up the heat for the last 10* to crisp up the skin. Most judges know what smoking chicken does to the skin, but you'll still want to try to give them something edible if possible.
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Sun May 07 06 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'm soaking all this in. I'm going to Wal-Fart Monday to get some practice ribs.
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