Amateur or professional barbecuing?
When you decide to take up barbecuing as a hobby, you probably don’t even think about competitions at first. You just want to cook something outside, alone or with your family or friends. Once you get the hang of it, you might feel the need the test your knowledge and abilities at some point. You may even want to compete with others who are into BBQ as much as you are. But do you know where and how to start? If not, don’t worry, just keep reading!
- Previous research
The first step is to gather as much information as possible. Get familiar with the competition’s rule book in great details: keep in mind that breaking the rules will probably end your participation in the race, and you will leave the venue with some pretty bad memories. The rule book should not be the only literature you read though. Visit your local library and find some books about BBQ competitions (if you don’t find any, just ask the librarian). Do some online research about the topic, you will be surprised how many useful links you can find, from articles to videos. Another good idea is to find online barbecuing communities: blogs and forums, where you can discuss any BBQ related issues with people with the same interest.
- BBQ day and night!
Once you’re done with step one, you can continue with step two (or perhaps you can do these two steps simultaneously). The best way of preparing for your competition is to go through the race step by step. Cook the same dish that you are planning to do at the completion day, in the exact same sequence. This way you will get some routine by the contest, which is especially important for those who are preparing for their very first competition. A good advice here: try to concentrate on one kind of dish, and improve your skills of making this meal, instead of trying to be good at everything (which is impossible anyway).
- Make a detailed plan for the trip
This might seem like an unnecessary kind of advice, but it is not. Being well prepared reduces the risk of something unexpected to happen, which reduces the stress you have to face with. If you need to travel out of town for the contest, plan your car trip (or train, bus, plane trip) in detail. In the case the venue is more than just a few hours from your home, you will also need some accommodation. Search for nearby housing in time, since other out-of-towners will do the same, and if you don’t act in time, you will risk not having a room where you can survive the night.
- Check your equipment beforehand
At this point, you already know that without proper equipment, failing would be granted. Make a detailed list of everything you will need, and check every item before leaving for the race. Of course, you have to make sure that you only bring what is really necessary in order to reduce chaos.