Wind and competition from a judge's view

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Okie Sawbones
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Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:26 am

I judged over in Eastern Washington this past weekend. Pretty much everything up here is PNWBA (Pacific NW BBQ Assoc.) affiliated, with a rare KCBS event. From what I've read, when we get to Texas everything there is pretty much IBCA, LSBS, or TGCBCA. Yes, no?

It was calm Friday night after a squall blew through. It stayed calm until around 10 am Saturday, then someone switched on the wind machine. Flags were straight out and flapping in the wind. From looking at the teams after the judging was over, most were using offsets or WSMs.

Anyway, they started delivering the entries at 11 am -- Pork Butt. Pretty much all of the entries were good, with a few standouts. Noon -- Brisket. Most of the brisket was tasty as well, with a few overcooked or undercooked a bit. At 1 pm -- chicken. Most of the chicken was not up to par, with rubbery skin and doneness issues. Only one entry that I judged was spot on. At 2 pm -- ribs. Again, not up to par, and there were doneness issues. There was only one rib that I would have taken a second bite from. At 3 pm we had a special category -- Tri-tip. No comment. :shock:

Unless you are using an upright or a ceramic, I guess wind affects the comp teams as much as it affects us backyard warriors. I'm just curious how many of you comp teams carry an offset, ceramic or upright, and Weber with you to handle all situations?
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby TexasPyro » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:21 pm

Welcome to Texas Okie!

Wind here has been an issue nearly every weekend Ive cooked this year. I run a large offset that runs just fine if the firebox is pointed into the wind. However, last weekend I was stuck in a spot that forced me to run with the stack into the wind and had some minor drafting issues, it wasn't terrible, but definitely noticeable. I cook my chicken on a 22.5" Weber and have never noticed wind affecting it much.

In east Texas you'll have less wind to deal with due to all of the trees. You get out west and its windy every single day.

You are correct in your sanctioning assessment, just about everything up in North and Central Texas is IBCA or LSBS, you'll see the occasional KCBS and others spread in there throughout the year.

Next year I's definitely put the Edgewood comp on your to do list, its a fun well run event.

Blake
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby Boots » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:03 pm

I've had very good luck with Tri Tip but would not smoke it, part of the sirloin structure as I understand it and really works better seared like a steak or perhaps roasted open pit, West Texas style. Mine came out real edible after a quick hard sear and then a low/slow roast, total about 30 minutes, to medium / medium rare inside.
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Okie Sawbones
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:18 pm

Boots wrote:I've had very good luck with Tri Tip but would not smoke it, part of the sirloin structure as I understand it and really works better seared like a steak or perhaps roasted open pit, West Texas style. Mine came out real edible after a quick hard sear and then a low/slow roast, total about 30 minutes, to medium / medium rare inside.


Pretty much agree, Boots. I like to use a Santa Maria rub, sear on a 600* grill, then cook in my smoker at 275-300* until the internal temp reaches 125*, then wrap in foil and rest for 20-30 minutes. It will come on up to 130-135. I slice across the grain and serve medium-rare.

Okie's Santa Maria Rub

4 parts of medium grind black pepper
4 parts kosher salt
1 part granulated garlic
1 part granulated onion
1 part chipotle pepper (optional)
1/2 part allspice (optional)
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby Okie Sawbones » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:38 pm

TexasPyro wrote:Welcome to Texas Okie!

Wind here has been an issue nearly every weekend Ive cooked this year. I run a large offset that runs just fine if the firebox is pointed into the wind. However, last weekend I was stuck in a spot that forced me to run with the stack into the wind and had some minor drafting issues, it wasn't terrible, but definitely noticeable. I cook my chicken on a 22.5" Weber and have never noticed wind affecting it much.

In east Texas you'll have less wind to deal with due to all of the trees. You get out west and its windy every single day.

You are correct in your sanctioning assessment, just about everything up in North and Central Texas is IBCA or LSBS, you'll see the occasional KCBS and others spread in there throughout the year.

Next year I's definitely put the Edgewood comp on your to do list, its a fun well run event.

Blake


Thanks for the reply, Blake. I don't want to stir up anything, so please folks, no flammers. but I want to know how you competition folks feel about the use of Joe Blow from the street judging your entries. As you know, there are eaters and there are judges. Granted, a good judge does NOT have to be certified, and just because you are certified does NOT make you a good judge, but at least certification gives a common ground on which to base judges qualifications.

I'm used to how it is done in the Pacific NW, where every judge is certified. I am NOT casting stones at Texas judging. I just believe that if I spent entry money, travel money, meat expense money, and hours of sleep to compete in a contest, I would like competent judges. I would not appreciate some people who just want to come out to eat judging my food. How do comp teams feel about that?
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby limey » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:26 pm

Hey Okie, only time I had issues with winds was with the Cops for Kids cookooff last year. Winds started from the south then a northern blew in and it dipped the temps into the 40's along with the rain, My WSM struggled the last part of the cookoff and I had issues with all 3 meats and barely beat the window for chicken. As far as judging goes everyone is used to cooking for the locals, you just have different flavor profiles, mesquite south of Austin, North of Austin its not mesquite. East Texas is different as well. You see alot of judges that are female cook sweet, male judges lil heat. Only thing I do not like about the judging is when they allow beer at the judging tables, it just kills the taste buds in my opinion. Been this way for a long time.
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby Okie Sawbones » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:37 pm

limey wrote:Hey Okie, only time I had issues with winds was with the Cops for Kids cookooff last year. Winds started from the south then a northern blew in and it dipped the temps into the 40's along with the rain, My WSM struggled the last part of the cookoff and I had issues with all 3 meats and barely beat the window for chicken. As far as judging goes everyone is used to cooking for the locals, you just have different flavor profiles, mesquite south of Austin, North of Austin its not mesquite. East Texas is different as well. You see alot of judges that are female cook sweet, male judges lil heat. Only thing I do not like about the judging is when they allow beer at the judging tables, it just kills the taste buds in my opinion. Been this way for a long time.


Beer at the judging tables? :shock: :shock: We are only allowed bottled water and crackers here.
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby FR8 Train » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:54 pm

Tell those guys up north to make brisket (largest hunk of meat) the last turn in. As far as wind goes if you have an EZ up tent you can put walls on it and put the walls in between your pit and wind....just make sure you secure it good as they can become wind sails in the wrong hands. :shock:
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby JMoney7269 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:31 pm

Welcome to tx man! Really depends on how well your pit is designed. Magnum sniper and Bbq vault doesn't care what the weather is like. I have cooked on it 35 degrees, windy and raining and she cooked like a dream. Also cooked in absolute still conditions and wind blowing in opposite direction of the firebox. Pitmaker products have a really strong draw hence why owners usually cook hott and fast. My uds, that's a different story, windy I have to close the exhaust to 1/4 open and run it as a forced draft system to hold in the heat. After owning a insulated pit, I will never go back
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby Okie Sawbones » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:44 pm

Not to Texas yet, but I'm getting there as fast as I can. :D
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby DATsBBQ » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:18 pm

If the wind changes directions (and here it often does) and happens to be aimed the intake vent of my primo, it acts like a blower and it'll add 100° fast. Solution? I place ash bucket in front of the vent to diffuse the wind. Works every time.
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby jtilk » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:40 pm

I've had an insulated reverse flow and I now currently cook on a vault... Only time I've ever had issues with wind that effected my cook was before I had the baffle raised on the RV. Just wasnt drafting the way it should... raised it up 2-3 inches and the problem was solved.
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Re: Wind and competition from a judge's view

Postby allend23 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:19 pm

The only wind issues I have is when I wrap my ribs lol. It can be the calmest day on record but the second I pull out some foil it signals the wind to gust 30+
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