Welcome!


This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pellet Grills??

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Pellet Grills??

    Hello All

    I have never done a competition as they're not really my thing, but I was having a chat with a buddy about them and was curious to get some thoughts from The Pit on a topic that I found interesting.

    It seems like not long ago many comps didn't allow the use of pellet grills/smokers whereas now many of them do. To me, it would make sense that there would be no fuel-assisting devices of any kind allowed in a comp. This would include pellet smokers, fans etc. My thinking behind that is I always thought keeping a clean consistent fire is something that's not easy to master and those who can do it, especially over an all-day cook, would have a well-deserved advantage. Anyone can set a pellet smoker to 250 and let it do its thing.

    My friend was completely on the other side. His logic is you could have a 100 different people making, say, a brisket in their pellet grills and you would still have some briskets come out way better than others. You still have to establish a good bark, flavor profile, tenderness, cooked to the correct temp etc so they're fair game.

    I mean........clearly I'm right (haha). I still say you have to master all of the items listed above when not using fuel-assisting technology while still managing a good fire, weather elements etc and that should be part of the comp/challenge. That said, I see his point.

    If this topic has already been covered my apologies. Also this isn't a knock on anyone who uses these items, be it in comp or backyard. Just something I found interesting as technology is advancing so quickly. Thoughts?

    #2
    For me it is how far do you go to truly say it's true BBQ? If using charcoal, should you make your own? Is using a bag of KBB cheating? Can you even use a cooker, or should you only be allowed to dig a pit in the ground? Even pellet rigs require knowing your cooker. They are not truly set and forget IMO. They also don't produce as much smoke flavor in general.

    I'd say the cooker shouldn't matter as there is a whole lot of factors not pertaining to cookers that matter more. Selection of the meat, preparation pre and post cook etc.

    Comment


    • MBMorgan
      MBMorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Bingo!

    • MTurney
      MTurney commented
      Editing a comment
      That's fair but I would say making your own charcoal or only being allowed to dig a pit in the ground is different than using fuel-controlling technology. IE if you can produce a comp-winning product by digging a hole in the ground then that's fair game. An apparatus that controls the temp of fuel being used in said hole in the ground, not fair game in a comp imo. If you can make your own charcoal, great. You use store-bought, great. How either coals are controlled is the original question.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      This is spot on. I've found that if you know what you are doing, you can turn out great BBQ on a really crappy cooker. You just need to manage the cook more.

    #3
    I believe CandySueQ might disagree with you. As president of the KCBS and also an award winning national champion she has seen and done it all, and she mainly uses pellets. What matters most is the food you create, not on how you produce the heat and smoke to cook it.

    Comment


    • MTurney
      MTurney commented
      Editing a comment
      I welcome disagreement. Again, this is not a knock on anyone's technique or talent. I guess I would just respectfully disagree with the "it's not how you produce the heat and smoke to cook it." For example, I would say the same if someone hauled an oven to a comp since an oven has temp-controlling technology. Clearly I'm in the "wrong" on this since it's all being allowed which is fine. I just think controlling your fuel manually is an artform and can make a big difference.

    #4
    Covid-19 put end to my plan to lean to be a BBQ Competition Judge. I figured what better way to find out what the best BBQ should be. But the truth is "the best bbq is the bbq you like".

    Harry Soo has a tube video in CaveMan bbq comp. Amazing Ribs has wonderful information on bbq history.

    In my opinion, the more automation the less control and a different skill set is needed. Therefore, should automated grills and smokers be allowed in competition or disallowed? Simply put yes.

    Comment


    • MTurney
      MTurney commented
      Editing a comment
      Totally agree. That's what I've always found interesting about comps as a whole. Does the winner of a comp have the "best" food or the food that the judges like the best? I would say the latter simply because judges are people and people have different tastes. And I'm a big fan of Soo's. He seems to do a lot for his community via his cooking and he truly enjoys doing it. The world needs more people like that!

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      This is a good point, and something I've seen in beer competitions as well. The judging is ENTIRELY subjective to what the judge likes, and also his or her understanding of the rules and category they are judging. I've seen beers that got a score of 30/50 in one competition get 47/50 and best of show in another competition. The beer was the same - the judges were not.

    #5
    The best part of grilling up is PBR in my cup!

    Comment


    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep. And the best part of waking up...

    #6
    BBQ competition is about the sauce. Why else would someone tell Aaron Franklin to Sauce a brisket.

    Comment


    • MTurney
      MTurney commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't even get me started on the sauce lololol

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Ketchup anyone?

    #7
    I think technology is already a part of comps (not that I have attended any, but thanks to AR, I read about them which makes me an expert, right?). Look at some of those rigs these guys use - multiple vents, water pan positions, grate positions - all of that is a result of tech IMHO. So I don't have a problem with people using pellet grills. Heck, they should be at a disadvantage because they have to use some other means to amp up the smoke flavor.

    Comment


      #8
      I guess for me I don't agree with purests on just about anything. Hell, even the subject line of this post would have Meathead "correct" it to "Pellet Cookers??" as he doesn't consider them grills. That is even on the purest side to me and he criticizes purests himself. If you like something a particular way, then enjoy.

      Comment


      • MTurney
        MTurney commented
        Editing a comment
        I guess I don’t consider myself a purest. A purist would look down on pellet cookers which I certainly don’t. For comps they remove certain elements/challenges that I would think would be important.

      • Rod
        Rod commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the grammar lesson!

      • Rod
        Rod commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the spelling lesson!

      #9
      I've competed with offsets, ceramics, pellet poopers, you name it. I've lost a bunch more than I placed. We were judged on our product, not the manner with which we produced it. In the end, we had to know how to cook our food to beat the competition. I can tell you, we worked just as hard as the guy using an offset, things can still go wrong on a pellet device or a BBQ guru. I see no issue with a pellet cooker, heck I've been stomped by guys cooking in UDS that were a fraction of $'s than our pellet cookers. I wanted to know their secrets!
      Last edited by au4stree; January 14, 2021, 11:52 AM. Reason: spelling

      Comment


        #10
        Isn't this just two people's opinion? Opinion's are not really right or wrong. Pellet smokers are not allowed in KCBS competitions, but they may be allowed in others. You have a good point and so does your friend. Bottom line, if someone wants to compete, find an event that allows what you want to cook on, not complain what they don't allow you to cook on.

        Comment


        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          Pellet grills do not use an electric heat source, the heat is 100% from a wood burning fire. The heat from that fire is circulated by fans and pellets delivered via auger.

        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          glitchy I stand corrected once again. I always thought that pellet smokers were heated electrically and that the wood pellets were a gimmick to infuse some smoke on the meat. Thanks for the clarification.

        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          TripleB, the igniter is electric, but it turns off once the fire is lit.

        #11
        I've eaten brisket cooked for competitions and by the same chefs (cookers?) when preparing them for themselves. The latter is superior. Competition cooking requires flavors to "pop" and stand out with one bite. That's not wat I enjoy, especially compared with something I am going to eat with friends and family.

        All that said I am convinced any of us can do better than all but *maybe* the best restaurants. I have spent hours picking out a brisket. Restaurants cook the whole truckload they get in delivered. I can spend more time trimming, prepping and administering to a brisket than any restaurant can afford to do. I'd hate to think what I would do if I had to cook 20 briskets every day. I'm sure my quality wouldn't go up!

        But you can have the competition BBQ. I'm sure it is worth going to for the atmosphere but I'll take home cooking or even a great restaurant for superior Q.

        Just my $0.02

        Comment


        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          I respect your $0.02, but disagree. Good competition BBQ is gonna blow out of the water whatever good BBQ is made at home. Again, the active word is "good". You can get average BBQ at a competition. However, with that being said, I'm just from So. Cal where grilling is called Que and not the great BBQ state of Texas where everybody makes great BBQ.
          Last edited by TripleB; January 14, 2021, 05:33 PM.

        • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
          Editing a comment
          TripleB comp BBQ is over the top IMO, you get an amazing bite or maybe even an entire rib, but the average person isn't eating a whole rack. Non-comp BBQ you could eat a whole rack or at least 1/2 of one.. at least that's how I understand it.

        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          ItsAllGoneToTheDogs good point. I was not looking at it from eating at a comp or non-comp. just the overall quality. I’m a judge and the judges get the best BBQ at a comp. again, good point.

        #12
        TripleB Do you compete in competitions? I don't so I'm purely asking all of this out of curiosity as I've heard drama over pellet grills in competitions before and heard claims of people using them. I've never competed nor been to an event to witness what's going down. So, please if you have more information share. Google says the American Royal is a KCBS event, which an outsider would expect being the largest BBQ competition in the world and located in KC.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes I’ve competed and am a KCBS judge. Never been invited to compete at the AR, nor judged. I looked at the AR website and did not see any info on KCBS, so I assumed it was a stand alone organization.

          I’ve judged 35 events and don’t remember ever seeing a pellet grill. But I wasn’t looking for one. I have a Jambo offset and I go around after the comp to talk to Jambo owners and pick their brains on how to start their fires, type of wood, cooking temps, lessons learned, etc.

        • TripleB
          TripleB commented
          Editing a comment
          In comps I’ve been to, probably 50% or more of the smokers used are WSMs. Not uncommon to see a team use 4-6 WSMs in a row. One for each category meat and then the others for cooking meat to sell at the comp.

        • glitchy
          glitchy commented
          Editing a comment
          TripleB That’s interesting that WSMs are so popular.

        #13
        I have not and probably never will enter a BBQ competition but will tell you me and my Camp Chef Pro pellet smoker are number 1 in my neighbor hood with help from my Weber 22

        Comment

      Announcement

      Collapse
      No announcement yet.
      Working...
      X
      false
      0
      Guest
      500
      ["pitmaster-my-membership","login","join-pitmaster","lostpw","reset-password","special-offers","help","nojs","meat-ups","gifts","authaau-alpha","ebooklogin-start","alpha","start"]
      false
      false
      {"count":0,"link":"/forum/announcements/","debug":""}
      Yes
      Rubs Promo