Well folks, today I think I'll talk about why some people compete in BBQ. I will tell you, it isn't for the money. There are some folks making money on the BBQ circuit, and some guys are getting well known in the BBQ circles, but most people competing are losing money. Guys like Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg,Dave Anderson, along with Chris Lilly, are doing quite well for themselves. It's not from the money they make at contests, but by winning in competitions they are able to promote their BBQ restaurants and cook books.
Myron and Johnny both have classes, and charge upwards of $700.00 for them to teach people their competition secrets.
Most of us compete for different reasons. For me it was a chance to find out if I really was any good. When I had friends and family over for my BBQ everyone would say how much they loved my BBQ. While it was nice to hear, I always wondered if they meant it or were they just being polite. I mean what are they going to say, they are eating for free and drinking my beer. Who's going to tell you that the stuff you're putting on the plate sucks? I thought my BBQ was pretty good but was it really great. I had to find out.
When you go to a contest and put your BBQ in a blind box to be judged against other Pit Masters that are just as sure as you that they are making the Best BBQ in the land. There is nothing quite as nerve racking as waiting to hear if your name is going to get called at the end of the day. I will say when you get that call and you go up to get the trophy and the check it's not the money that's putting the smile on your face,it's the fact that today, you were judged by people that didn't know you or your BBQ; they are saying that what you put on the plate was the best they had today. There is no better feeling a Pit Master can feel than to know that on this day his BBQ was the best.
Now, another thing I have found out about competing in BBQ contests is that they are some of the nicest people in the world. What really surprised me was how willing other Pit Masters are to share some of their secrets and help you become a better Pit Master. They aren't going to tell you everything they are doing, but they will help get you going in the right direction to making better competition BBQ. They are also willing to offer a beer to help on those days when you don't get your name called.
So all I can say, is for me, it's worth the money to enter and to pay for all the meat and supplies it takes to do a BBQ contest. I just want to see how I rate against the BEST.