Official eNewsletter for NBBQA Competitor Members           May 2016   

Your BBQ Is Tasty
4 Ways to Help Make It a Winning Season

Steve Carrington, Certified Master Judge, Judge of the Year 2015 and NBBQA content contributor
1.  Study the local demographics
Judges don't usually travel too far from home. If you're competing in the deep south, the judges will be more familiar with barbecue with a little sweetness; in the Carolinas, the judges will look for a little vinegar. In Texas, everything is bigger and better. I've heard many cook teams commenting "this is how we do it back home." That might be a your demographics and play to your audience.

2. Go for Quality
Start out with the highest quality of meat available. Rubs, brines and injections can only do so much until judges are only tasting the layers of flavor you created. Yes, Wagyu beef is pricey for for most competitors, but you can always a sk a fellow cook team to double up on the order to get a better price. I've never met a cook team that's not willing to help another team.

3. Presentation
It all starts with the rules governing the competition. Each event has different rules, and you best know them. One slight flaw could cost you points or even a DQ. Always fill the box. When a table captain opens the lid to present to the judges, there needs to be a wow factor. The box needs to tell the judges that this is going to be not just great, but outstanding. 

Harry Soo, head cook, Slap Yo Daddy BBQ competition team, and NBBQA content contributor
4 . Master the " Purple Cow"...HUH?
Harry Soo
If you drive by a cow pasture and see a bunch of black and white cows, no one cow will catch your eye. Imagine that the farmer paints one cow purple (with animal-safe paint, of course). That purple cow will stand out.  The key to winning a barbecue competition is to create extraordinary "ordinary" barbecue; like an ordinary cow but purple. Add something different to your already tasty BBQ that will make a judge think, "Wow! It's delicious yet different from all the delicious and perfectly cooked entries I've judged. I'm scoring it a 9 9 9!"

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