Competition 101 – BigMista

FourqWelcome to Competition 101 vol. 1!

Bigmista is a caterer in the LA area, and has a passion for barbecue.  He’s been active online for some time with his own blog, The Survival Gourmet, and on forums such as the BBQ-Brethren.  Bigmista and three other bloggers recently formed the Four Q BBQ team.  Not only did they compete in their first competition last weekend, but they took 5th in ribs, their first time out!

Bigmista has offered to give some advice to teams that are thinking about competing, in the first entry in what I’m going to call Competition 101, which will be a series of posts from different people giving tips and advice for teams and cooks in hopes of getting them into the fray and enjoying competition barbecue.


Note:  All photos are courtesy of BigMista, taken at the BBQ’n at the Autry Barbecue Championship and Festival, April 7-8, 2006

Three Tips for beginning BBQ CompetitorsRibbox

My BBQ team, Four-Q,
just finished our first competition and it was awesome! We had such a great
time and met lots of great people. I can’t wait until we compete again and I am
sure that we will be much better prepared. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a
short list of things that every new BBQ team needs to know.

  1. Don’t bring so much stuff!!

We had way more stuff than we need
or could have possibly used. We had so much food that we spent a lot of our
time feeding our neighbors. And because we had so much food, we had way too
many coolers. That made it hard to find what we needed when we needed it. Don’t
worry about forgetting something. BBQ people are great and outside of a piece
of meat, if you need something, they will lend it to you.

  1. Cook Extra meat.

I know this one from experience. We
cooked two briskets an ended up burning the sugar on one of them and it was
ruined. Luckily we had cooked another one and it came out good. Cook at least 2
briskets, 2 pork butts, 3 racks of ribs and 20 pieces of chicken. That way you
can choose the best of the best!

  1. Take care of yourself.

A BBQ competition is a fun event
but it is also a lot of work. Make sure you take care of yourself. Drink lots
of water. Use sun screen. And most importantly, sit down and relax. Get off of
your feet. If your legs and back are bothering you from standing too long, the
fun can get sucked right out.Ribready

I hope this bit of information will make your contest
experience a little more enjoyable!

Now get out there and compete!


The Survival Gourmet

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. This site is great i like this particular post also, this should help in getting people interested in comps, or at least getting them to go to one and see first hand what they are about. Keep it up Curt this is great.

  2. Ed, BigMista is a great guy, with a lot of passion for barbecue… He also has a great site going. He and his wife both participate on the BBQ-Brethren site.

  3. Curt,
    i was wondering when you goo to comp. how much meat do you take to cook just for the comp. BigMista says to bring “at least 2 briskets, 2 pork butts, 3 racks of ribs and 20 pieces of chicken.” is this about ave. with all or does it vary?

  4. Curt,

    Thanks for all of the great info you have here. I come back often just to read and/or reread some of the information. And the competition 101 is super. Letting other teams have some input on their experiences is also tremendous.

    Bill (mrgrumoy)

  5. Bill,

    Neither my teammate or I are competition experts; all I can do is relay info I get. I think it’s a help to hear from others, both experienced and inexperienced. One of the goals we have as a team is to promote barbecue. One way is to get others to talk about their experiences; another is to have new people help out our team at comps… they get their feet wet, and we get much needed and appreciated help. Barbecue is a great world of people and food… the more the merrier!

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