Questions on comps

Discussion in 'Upcoming/Recurring BBQ Competitions (KCBS or Other' started by bigal, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. bigal

    bigal Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I could really use some help as I've never entered or even been to a comp, and I entered the one in G.Bend, KS that is on Feb 15,16. Not look'n to win, just don't want to look like an idiot.......I can bs my way thru alot but this might be tough. [​IMG]

    CHICKEN- Do I cook whole or thighs? Pulled or parts? BBQ sauce or none? Skin or bacon? Skin on or off? I'd rather do whole or thighs wrapped in bacon as we don't care for skin and I never worry about it. I'm not good at the skin and I usually use it to patch tires [​IMG] .[​IMG]

    RIBS- I have the rub, sauce, and method down now. question is do I use sauce or dry? I like to use just a bit of sauce and they are never dripping w/sauce.

    BUTT- After pulled, can I add seasonings and a finishing sauce? I like to resmoke the pulled pork w/seasonings and a light vinegar/aj sauce, is this allowed?

    BRISKET- Plan on an 8-10# packer. Slice flat, chop & resmoke point for burnt ends(my style, anyway). How thick of slices, or does it matter? I assume too thin and they know I didn't cook long enough, too thick and I got it to tender.

    LETTUCE- What type of lettuce do you use in your turn in box? Is it warm as to not chill the meat? Would spinach be better?

    As I think of what I'll need, I just about "soil" my pants!!! The spray bottles, juices, oils, rubs, tools, cleaning supplies, etc needed ............

    I plan on doing 1 brisket, 1 butt, 2-4 spares, 2 chix or a dozen thighs or both, and plan on drink'n to the point at which I think I'm good at what I'm doing.[​IMG] (assuming I need an attitued adjustment being w/some really great q'ers.)

    Any help is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

    Thanks
     
  2. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    AL, is this a KCBS, if so go to their website and read the rules, that will awnser alot of your qustions.

    Chicken: thighs, skin on, a light sauce at the end, crispy or rubbery is not SPOSED to be considerd when judgeing, but make it crispy/bite thru.

    Ribs: you got it

    Butt: try your plan

    Brisket: i shoot for 1/8" and brush with your juices and turn in slices

    Comps are not your best eats in my opinion, the back yard stuff is much better to me, and useally won't fly at a KCBS event.

    If this is purely nonsanctioned/backyard event, then do what you do best!!!
     
  3. bigal

    bigal Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks Buzz, it is KCBS. I'll check the site out better this time, ie read the whole thing. [​IMG] I "skim" too much.

    Looks like I need to practice thighs, can't remember last time I made them. I also need ALOT of practice on skin.

    Thanks again Buzz. [​IMG]
     
  4. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Skin is hard to get down for me, i use a brine and grill them at the end.
    Rubbery skin is'nt sposed to count aginst you, but i have never seen a rubbery skin finish high, i know i don't like it.

    Good luck, any help i can be,let me know
     
  5. glued2it

    glued2it Master of the Pit

    Skin doesn't really need practice just high temps 325-350º
     
  6. bbqpitstop

    bbqpitstop Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Hey Big Al, any que contest is fun, kcbs or not.....

    My best advice from the experiences I've had,

    Chicken, definitely higher temp for crispy skin, bring a weber grill or something that will give you more direct heat and after slo smoking, crisp it up on the grill. I have a friend that has won grand champ at many of the bigger contests and one thing I've observed is he uses a whole uncut wing and while he's smoking and grilling he has it stretched out along a skewer so that all the surface areas get a nice crisp and color. Personally I choose thighs because they seem to keep the moisture the best and aren't so tempermental, but mostly because whatever cut you choose, you have to be able to fit it all in the measly 9x9 styrofoam box they give you. As for saucing, it's totally a personal preference but I can tell you that if you sauce to heavy or there is sauce pooled in the container they will deduct points. My experienced friend also tells me he adjusts his recipes according the region he's being judged in. More vinegar in the carolinas, more tomato in the midwest, etc...........and while you probably know more of what flys in Great Bend, I do know that in Kansas City, they like a heavier smoke flavor than in some regions, and that's why they are one of the only regions that charge a little more for a burnt ends sandwich.

    As for ribs, sounds like you have it down. Always remove the membrane, and cut in between the ribs so that no bone is showing on the sides.......meat on both sides scores higher. Definitely "lightly" sauced.

    As for the pulled pork, I've never heard anything from KCBS about seasoning and resmoking, I'm sure it's allowed if that's your method. Sounds like a winner.

    For the brisket, I think it's most important to slice a full cut against the grain than it is to be thick or thin. Be sure your pieces have rub showing all the way around them or the "bark" showing all the way around the slices. I've never passed in burnt ends but I wouldn't doubt in Kansas, they'll love it even more.

    As for lettuce, I was almost disqualified in my first comp for attempting to use a red tipped lettuce. Not sure if the spinach is allowed. The best turn ins I"ve seen are with a curly lettuce, the freshest you can get, and a ton of parsley bunches in between or around the meat for a "textural" effect to the whole presentation. The champs are meticulour about rinsing, cleaning and drying the lettuce prior to assembling the box, have someone help you prep the lettuce while your tending the meat if you can so that it doesn't go limp in the heat on a warm day. You can gently wrap clean lettuce in paper towels and keep it on the top of a cooler while you prep the meat too.

    While I know it's pricey, if you can at all afford it, do two of everything, so that if one cut comes out better than the other, you're not stuck passing in a "dud"..........you can always wrap the extra and drop it off to my house if you have to.

    Hope this helps and best of luck..........Keep us posted will ya?
     
  7. bbqpitstop

    bbqpitstop Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Hey Big Al, any que contest is fun, kcbs or not.....

    My best advice from the experiences I've had,

    Chicken, definitely higher temp for crispy skin, bring a weber grill or something that will give you more direct heat and after slow smoking, crisp it up on the grill. I have a friend that has won grand champ at many of the bigger contests and one thing I've observed is he uses a whole uncut wing and while he's smoking and grilling he has it stretched out along a skewer so that all the surface areas get a nice crisp and color. Personally I choose thighs because they seem to keep the moisture the best and aren't so tempermental, but mostly because whatever cut you choose, you have to be able to fit it all in the measly 9x9 styrofoam box they give you. As for saucing, it's totally a personal preference but I can tell you that if you sauce too heavy or there is sauce pooled in the container they will deduct points. My experienced friend also tells me he adjusts his recipes according the region he's being judged in. More vinegar in the carolinas, more tomato in the midwest, etc...........and while you probably know more of what flys in Great Bend, I do know that in Kansas City, they like a heavier smoke flavor than in some regions, and that's why they are one of the only regions that charge a little more for a burnt ends sandwich.

    As for ribs, sounds like you have it down. Always remove the membrane, and cut in between the ribs so that no bone is showing on the sides.......meat on both sides scores higher. Definitely "lightly" sauced.

    As for the pulled pork, I've never heard anything from KCBS about seasoning and resmoking, I'm sure it's allowed if that's your method. Sounds like a winner.

    For the brisket, I think it's most important to slice a full cut against the grain than it is to be thick or thin. Be sure your pieces have rub showing all the way around them or the "bark" showing all the way around the slices. I've never passed in burnt ends but I wouldn't doubt in Kansas, they'll love it even more.

    As for lettuce, I was almost disqualified in my first comp for attempting to use a red tipped lettuce. Not sure if the spinach is allowed. The best turn ins I"ve seen are with a curly lettuce, the freshest you can get, and a ton of parsley bunches in between or around the meat for a "textural" effect to the whole presentation. The champs are meticulour about rinsing, cleaning and drying the lettuce prior to assembling the box, have someone help you prep the lettuce while your tending the meat if you can so that it doesn't go limp in the heat on a warm day. You can gently wrap clean lettuce in paper towels and keep it on the top of a cooler while you prep the meat too.

    While I know it's pricey, if you can at all afford it, do two of everything, so that if one cut comes out better than the other, you're not stuck passing in a "dud"..........you can always wrap the extra and drop it off to my house if you have to.

    Hope this helps and best of luck..........Keep us posted will ya?
     
  8. gofish

    gofish Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey, Kool-Aid!
    Sounds like you'll have a blast.
    That sounds like good advice from bbqpitstop.
    Did you register under a team name?
    Lets see ...... how 'bout ....The BBQ Bamboozler[​IMG]

    Keep us posted and good luck
     
  9. go to the kcbs site and look for about kcbs ,find the resources page, find the rules page and Read them!
    then go to your first cook off page, read this also because it will tell you everything you should try to bring.
    from what you intend to do you should be ok.resmoking your pork is not a problem as long as you use wood or charcoal.
    you will need to set and listen to THE TAPE about the kcbs rules because you are a first time team.
    Ask for help if you need it,someone will help you.most of the people you meet at the competitions are like a big family if you need something ask someone they will help you
    don't forget use fresh green leaf lettuce and parsley the judges like that
    and it presents better in the box.
    make sure the number on the box is on top,if it is not on top they will flip the box(belive me)i know from experience.
    your turn in times are 5 min before to 5 min after the turn in time don't be late.
    belive me you will enjoy yourself. i have never had a bad experience at a
    cookoff, just a lot of fun and found a bunch of new friends.
     
  10. crewdawg52

    crewdawg52 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    BigAl, I highly recommend you get Paul Kirk's "Championship BBQing". He's won the Royal something like 6 times, won the World Championship, and so many other comps. Great book with all his ideas, past experiences, lists of what to take, what to look for when selecting meat, his receipes, etc.

    Good Luck!

    Dawg
     
  11. lone star tom

    lone star tom Newbie

    That's alot of good info. My wife and I did our first comp (hold'em and hit'em) last week. Lots of fun. Our expectations weren't that high as there were 134 teams. We ended up with 15th in chicken so we were happy. We learned alot. One of our clients, who is a 12 time grand champion, was there to give us some pointers and to drink a few beers with us. We brought all our left overs to the shop on Monday to feed the crew. THEY would have given us first place for EVERYTHING.[​IMG] Very much looking forward to the next comp (Humble Rodeo and Cookoff) on Feb 8th. Hopefully, we'll keep improving.

    www.lonestarcustompits.com
     

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