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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Better Barbecue: Day #11 in the series

The dates of our first bbq contest of the year, the weekend of May 20-21, are approaching quickly. The inaugural Bodacious Blues and Barbecue Festival sponsored by Red Gold was one our favorite contests last year. With several of the first year kinks worked out, I'm sure this year's event will be even better.

To prepare for the event I'm going to spend next weekend cooking a "simulated" contest in my backyard beginning with my arrival home from work next Friday afternoon. I'll simulate site set-up, meat preparation, cooking all four meat categories, turn-in box presentation and adhere to the contest timeline closely.

I think it's important to give it at least one run through before the first contest of the year to make sure all equipment is in working order, the needed supplies are packed, and if there are things missing from our stash of barbecue contest supplies, we'll have plenty of time to get them before the first event.

This week I placed a few orders from by favorite bbq sauce suppliers and picked up some other "secret" items here and there.

Simulating a bbq contest is an absolute must for 1st time competitors. In fact, before my first event I cooked several "events" in my back-yard to figure out the desire timeline I would need at the actual contest.

I take notes during all my practice cooks, but these simulated events are very important to gauge the accuracy of my assumptions and gain confidence as we embark on another exciting summer of competitive bbq cooking. They also help me knock the figurative cob webs out of the way before we travel to the first event.

If you're in Carmel, IN three weekends from now, be sure to stop by and say hello. We'll be set-up in the parking lot behind the City Hall.

To read the previous post in this series, click here

1 comment:

Curt said...

Brian,

Last year, Carmel was our first ever comp, to compete or even visit. We were lucky to pick one that was small but went off well, and had good weather! We can't wait for this year.

I have to second your thoughts on doing practice cooks. If we hadn't done at least one dry run, we would have been completely unprepared. As it was, we were only partly unprepared!