Hello Dr. BBQ,
I want to start off by saying I am a huge fan of yours! I love your first book “Big Time BBQ,” and enjoy watching you on the BBQ circuit when the competitions are on TV. I recently (over the last year and a half) have really gotten into BBQ/smoking and would really like to get into competing. There are five local competitions each year in the Northwest where I live and I was thinking of starting there. I have a Charbroil Silver Smoker, two Weber performers, and an 18 ½-inch Weber. So I don’t exactly have pro equipment but I’m hoping it will get me started. The Weber kettle grills like a rock, but I am having trouble with the Silver Smoker. I am a broker in the natural-food industry so I always have access to good natural meat, mainly turkey and chicken but have hookups through other beef and pork companies also. Anyways now I’m rambling…I was just wondering what you’re advice for starting out competitions would be. Thank You,
Thanks for the nice words. My best advice is to just jump in. Sign up for a cookoff and go. You’ll learn more in one weekend than you’ll learn in years of reading about it. The other teams will help you out with everything. Once you do one or two a lot of stuff you hear will make more sense. Of course I’d also suggest my books and surfing the Net. There’s plenty of good info out there but none of it compares to cooking a contest. I’d also suggest hooking up with my buddy Jim Minion and the WBBQA (www.wbbqa.com). They do free seminars from time to time in the PNW area. Have fun!