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Backyard competitions are not for Backyard BBQ chefs

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    Backyard competitions are not for Backyard BBQ chefs

    I was excited to see that MN BBQ Society is raising awareness of backyard competitions. Then I read the rules: there is no way I could make all the meat they require on all of my backyard equipment. It's still a big boy game.

    There should be competitions that limit the size of the equipment and meats accordingly. That'd be real backyard BBQ.

    Just frustrated.

    I am guessing it depends on the competition. Harry Soo wins competitions all of the time using nothing more than a pair of 18" Weber Smokey Mountains.


      I guess it's all what you'd consider backyard. I just visited the Santa Anita KCBS event here in Arcadia, CA and I saw a good number of the competitors running Webers and drum barrel-style smokers exclusively. But on the other end of the spectrum there was a team that had a 10x20 booth with a huge smoker in the back that entered competitions just for fun. I asked them if they had a food truck or catered and they said no, just cooking for family outings.

      The thing that I don't like with these competitions is the box presentation and appearance portion. Yeah, you want to make it look appetizing but what's with the salad that no one even eats? I mean, how fancy can you dress something up in a styrofoam box anyway? There's nothing natural or backyard about it.


        The garnish is mainly to lift up the product for presentation. There are some comp's that use no green stuff. You just lay the meat down on the bottom and go with it.


          Just got back from my first backyard comp as an observer, learned a TON and was able to listen to the judges live critiques. Great stuff. Mostly WSM's but a couple verticals. This year I practice, next year I compete.

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            scorched_porch, I am going to be doing the same thing this year in my area which is Western Kentucky. There are several I am going to check out. If you don't mind, can you share with the rest of us some of the things you learned? Inquiring minds want to know.


              Pay attention to what the judges are saying. From what I learned - and this is probably true just about everywhere - Their palates are getting quite jaded, it takes something special to wake them up and make it pop. Everyone uses the same stuff, so be unique and throw them a curve so you stand out. Watch the heat - they complained about what I didn't think was much. Watch the smoke on chicken - Harry Soo uses none, and most of the judges say the same thing. As for equipment, keep it simple, it will make your setup much easier. Even though I didn't compete, I packed the car with everything I thought I would need if I did. If I saw something I didn't pack, I made a note of it.

              Don't drink too much - a couple teams had a little too much out of the flask and their turn in was a bit of a disaster. Keep it down to light beers or better yet, water. Enjoy yourself, these competitions are for you to learn!



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