So you've been told that there is a Barbeque coming up, and if you show up, you might be able to try some top-quality barbeque . . . Below are some things you may, or may not know about barbeque competitions. Much of the below items are dictated, not by the Barbeque Team, or Barbeque Contest for that matter, but by City, County and State Health regulations. Below are some bullet points explaining some of the ettiquette for the night before turn-in.
- There are two types of turn-ins for competition . . . the main categories for Barbeque are Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork Butt/Shoulder, and Brisket; the extra categories for turn-in (based on the competition) are Pork Steak, Chilli, Other (Anything But), and Desert. The "extra" Categories usually happen the first night, and the main categories usually happen the next day, as they are the items that take the longest care to perfect.
- All competition meat and competition ingredients are inspected prior to allowing a team to begin preparation. Unless a team gets approval by the health department, the consumption of competition items is limited to "team members" only . . . but by virtue of your invitation to the contest, you are a team member (hell, we can't eat it all ourself). But be advised, we do follow all health guidelines set forth by the city/county/state, we just don't want the hassle of selling items.
- Bring your own ice chest of what you would like to drink unless otherwise stated in the invitation. We will usually have Tea, Water, and limited amount of other non-alcoholic drinks, as well as ice . . . but we have already spent a lot on meat, so full ice chests of beer, et al, is not generally in the plans.
- While cooking/preparing, team members, may generally keep to themselves as they prepare competition items. This is not because they are not happy that you came, it is because they are in a competiton and are performing tasks to lead up to a successful goal. It can be likened to sittin' shotgun in Dale Earnhardt's car during the Daytona 500, and shoutin' "Hey Dale! Wanna beer! . . . Woooo Hooo!" It takes one's mind off of task at hand.
- WITHIN 30 MINUTES OF TURN-IN . . . the team members will get very focused, as they are having to watch the clock, prepare the turn-in plate, check-and-double-check the doneness of the competition item, determine who will do the turn-in. Their voices will become direct, as they ask "Time? . . .", "13 Minutes . . .", "Status of turn-in plate . . .", "What you think, this piece or that one . . ." This is the time that the team will completely remove themselves from any non-competition activities happening at the competition site and work as a team. Once again, it is not in an attempt to be rude, or non-hospitable, but to simply do what they came to the competition to do; please feel free to hang around, as things will get back to normal after turn-in. Once turn-in happens, the remaining competition items are available for consumption by our invited "team members."
- Each competition has a required silent time and it will be posted in the Barbeque Competition's rules. We also respect this rule, as we don't want to be a team that is disqualified due to a loud and boisterous site. We can have fun, but not over-do, as some teams occasionally do; this is out of respect for our fellow competitors.
- Based upon turn-in times for the following day, there will come a time during the night before, that we begin firing up the smokers, and putting on our competition meat for the Main categories. We will then determine who will be on what smoker watch for the night. At that point, there will be team members going to sleep, as they will be up at 2 AM to tend the smokers, while the other team members get their rest for the following day. This will generally coinside with the contest's quiet time, and we will have to remember that someone is trying to sleep mere feet from where we are visiting.
First and foremost, you have been invited to take part (though passively) in the barbeque competition since you are family, friends, and/or colleagues, and we are always happy to have you join us. We just hope to give this insight into what we are doing and what is expected of us, and give you a heads-up that while we are performing competition tasks, we will not be as available to asure that our guests are having fun. Welcome to the world of Barbeque Competition.