I ran across a question today on a discussion board fasking about what types of equipment is needed to begin cooking bbq with intentions of competing. I've listed them before, but since bbq season is upon us, I wanted to share them again.
These expenses can be minimized with careful planning, but starting with a limited budget, can be challenging. We spent about $1,400 on the equipment and supplies before we even bought the meat for our first contest. We also helped another cooking team for a few competitions to learn what supplies were absolutely necessary and which ones we could live without. Can it be done for less money? Maybe. It depends on how many "creature" comforts you need from the "nice to have" list.
Some “must have” items you will need:
Heavy duty oven BBQ mitts/gloves
Some “nice to have” items:
Hot water heater
You'll also need to decide how much meat to purchase, where to find the meat you'll be using, whether buy whole briskets or flats, whether you will cook breasts, thighs, or drumsticks, whether you prefer shoulders or butts and, lastly, spare ribs or baby back/loin backs.
All of these questions have pro's and con's. That's where your personal preferences, experiences, budget and what type of cooker you'll be using will come into play. And of course, answers to these questions will depend on what you think will win consistently.
Before we decided to begin competing we visited some contests and helped another team to get an idea of the commitment involved. We were able to haul of these items in the back of our Ford F-150 with some careful and creative packing.