Q: Dr. BBQ,
I’m retired and have been barbecuing (meaning smoking) for 40 some years. I think that it would be fun to hit the barbecue cook-off circuit and compete. What are the pros and cons of this?
A: Hi Kevin,
This is a great question to start my first column at Fiery-Foods and BBQ. You see, I have been cooking in BBQ contests for over 20 years. It has gone from being my hobby to my obsession and now it is part of my career. I have made life-long friends on the cook-off circuit and continue to do so. There is no finer group of folks. The best way to get started is to find a cook-off in your area and go visit. The best day to visit with the teams is Friday. The judging usually commences around noon on Saturday and runs until mid afternoon. They will be very busy and focused during that time. They will be packing up and leaving shortly after the awards, which are usually in the late afternoon. It”s kind of an old tradition to have the cook-off at these times but it”s not very public friendly. As the sport grows, hopefully that will change. The cooks, judges, and volunteers will all be glad to help you learn about competition BBQ. Sometimes there are even BBQ classes to help you get the hang of it. It”s a little different than cooking dinner. Timing and dealing with the elements are key. I happen to know that www.fiery-foods.com will be adding a BBQ cook-off schedule very soon so watch for it and a cook-off in your area. They are all over the country.