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Using the egg for small BBQ Cookoff

Charcoal MikeCharcoal Mike Posts: 223
edited 2:06AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all -[p]A local restaurant here is having their first BBQ cookoff. It's not meant for professionals (supposedly), but is meant for folks that do backyard cooking. Setup starts on a Friday night, and judging starts on Saturday around noon.[p]I have considered entering, but I have a bit of a dilemma that involves timing. I have a single large BGE. The events are:[p]Pork butt - turn in time 11:30am
Ribs - turn in time 12:00pm
Chicken - turn in time 12:30pm[p]I would love to be able to compete in all of these, but I really don't know how to pull it off using a single egg. I don't really know how to pull it off using a single cooker period, based on the short amount of time between events. To make matters worse they are asking folks to make "a little extra" to allow the public to have samples. [p]Having never done one of these - I may be missing the obvious. Since this is the restaurant's first event, they may be missing the obvious as well.....[p]Any suggestions greatly appreciated![p]- Mike

Comments

  • Lucky DuckLucky Duck Posts: 80
    Charcoal Mike,
    Hi Mike...
    Seems to me that you'll be wow-ing them just w/ D'egg being on site alone. You first endeavor? Do one thing well... And remember that this isn't a competition... Yeah Right!
    Phil

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    Charcoal Mike,
    I have never competed but it seems you put the butt on asap 6 hours before ribs put them on since you will slow and low due to the butt but if not you could crank it up to 325-350 last 3 hours and 45 minute before the chicken is due crank that puppy up to 375 and have a ball.
    Elder Ward

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Charcoal Mike,[p]I'm no comp guy either, but it seems to me that:
    1. The butt(s) will be no problem if you can set-up Friday night and they can be resting in a cooler by 9AM.[p]2. I would do BB ribs since they are a quicker cook and more managable size, and sauce them. They will have to go on before the butt comes off, so you could cook the butt on a raised grate leaving the lower one for the ribs (This way you won't have fresh meat above cooked meat). Or just move it up when you are ready for the ribs.[p]3. When the butts come off, you will still have 2 or 3 hours for the ribs to finish. You could move the ribs to the upper rack and put the chicken on the lower rack, again to keep raw chicken below cooked meat. Now the big hurdle: crisp skin. Since the Egg will be running at 250° or so for the ribs, consider bone-in skinless thighs. They are VERY flavorful, have a good presentation and cook at lower temps for 2 or 3 hours. They can be marinated, but I like them rubbed and basted with an oil or butter based mop. Here are some pics of skinless thighs. These are not giant thighs, they are on my small Egg. It may be worth a practice run on the thighs to see how you like 'em.[p]520e68e6.jpg[p]4c2f176f.jpg[p]~thirdeye~

    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Charcoal Mike,[p]Mike Stone (Eggtuary) is doing contests on one large Egg and cooking all four of the KCBS meats and doing very well. He is using turn-in times pretty close to the ones you have and I am sure can help you with your timing for this type of event. I am sure he will be along shortly.[p]Dave

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    thirdeye,
    Your missing the boat here buddy. With that kind of time management and fore thought you should be competing some where. B^)
    EW

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Elder Ward,[p]Thanks for the kind words. I got a good start at back yard barbecuing when I was a little boy.[p]I went to a BBQ contest about 30 years ago, and from the looks of the ones they show on the TV, things have changed a whole lot. There is a new KCBS event in August not too far from home, and I think they have judging prep classes. That may be a good learning experience. I need to look into the details.[p]~thirdeye~[p]

    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    Charcoal Mike,
    You can definitely do this! What's going to be critical, though, is having a good system for cooking on two levels. I use Old Dave's contraption, which has had a lot of messages posted about it here recently. I know Dave has sent details to some folks here in the past week, so he could probably email them to you pretty easily if you ask. If you already have a two-layer system, then you could probably get that to work, too.[p]What's interesting is that your turn-in times are the exact opposite of what I usually do. Thirdeye is giving you very good advice. Like he said, cook the pork butt early enough to pull before the ribs go on. Wrap it in foil twice and keep it in a cooler with blankets or towels to keep it warm. I start my ribs about 6 a.m. to have them ready for a 12:30 turn-in, so you'll want to start a little earlier, especially if you do thicker ribs. Cook your ribs on the upper level, and just put the chicken underneath when it's time for them to go on.[p]By the way, I cook thighs with the skin still on. What I've started doing recently is cooking the thighs skin side down around the edge of the lower cooking grid. This exposes them to more heat than if they were directly over my drip pan, and helps my skin get a little crisper. I only cook them skin side up during the time I'm saucing them. I noticed this approach also seems to help the moisture of the meat.[p]Email me if you want more details, or have more questions. Good luck!

  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    Whoops! I just went back and looked at Thirdeye's advice again. He suggests an overlap between the time the butt is on and the time the ribs are on. I prefer to remove the butt before starting the ribs and chicken. To me, it's just easier to get the butt (and the brisket, in my competitions) completely off the Egg before starting the ribs. Plus, the butt seems to benefit from a long rest in the cooler. It retains a lot of heat, and seems to continue breaking down and getting more tender. The butt will easily stay warm in the cooler for that many hours, as long as you put enough towels or blankets in with it to fill the cooler.[p]By the way, if you want to have plenty of food to serve the crowd, you could cook two butts. I do, and I have plenty of leftovers to serve folks who come by and ask for samples. I only do three racks of ribs, and I cut them down to about 2/3 their normal size to make them fit on the Egg, so you won't have a lot of those to hand out. For chicken, I get the 7 pound package of thighs from Sam's. If you try to get a package with a lot of little thighs, then you can have about 14 to cook. You'll probably only fit about 10 thighs around the outer edge of the lower cooking grid, so some will have to go in the middle and not get quite as crisp a skin. These never go in my turn-in box, but allow me to give out a couple more samples.[p]Again, write me if you want more details.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Eggtuary,[p]You are so right about long rests for butt and especially brisket quality. In guessing at the timeline, Mike said set up for this event wouild start Friday night. My butt cooks (7 to 8 pounds) average 14 to 16 hours, so I didn't think they would be done before 9AM.[p]I read some earlier posts about your accomplishments using a single cooker. Are you (or when are you) adding charcoal during your cook? Do you have plans for more Eggs?? Good luck on your contests.[p]~thirdeye~[p]

    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    thirdeye,
    Good point. I didn't think about him maybe having to start later on Friday. I start my butt around 4 p.m. usually. I wrap in foil for a few hours, which helps me get it done easily by 6 a.m. If he's required to start later than 4 p.m., he could either wrap in foil earlier than I do, or he could overlap his times as you suggest.[p]With Old Dave's contraption, I can only fill the fire bowl (i.e., not into the fire ring at all.) So yes, I have to add charcoal at least once. I find I can regulate temps more easily if I add a little charcoal a couple of times rather than a whole lot all at once. So I add lump when both the brisket and butt are wrapped in foil (that way, I don't have to worry about effects from any dust I might dump in.) I also add more lump when both come off, and allow a little time to burn clean before putting the ribs on.[p]I've played with the idea of adding another Egg. But right now it's kind of fun being "that guy who cooks on one little Egg." Besides, I've already spent an awful lot of money on this hobby. Right now, my wife is a very willing team member, and I don't want to sour that by putting us in more debt than we already are!

  • Eggtuary,
    Thank you (and everyone else) for the replies. I talked to them again today, and I had my times off. Right now there are just 5 competitors, so my odds are good. :-) Friday setup starts at 5pm. Turn-in on Saturday is 11:30 chicken, 12:00 ribs, 12:30 pork butt. Sounds closer to yours timing wise, and will probably work out better in the long run. I have the tools to do multiple racks, so that shouldn't be a big deal.[p]I hadn't thought about doing the chicken indirect for so long, as stupid as that may sound - I usually do it direct until done - I definitely need to do some experimenting to hit that just right and get my times down.[p]Thank you again![p]- Mike

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