Want to competed in a PNWBA sanctioned event? Here's a brief run down on what is required in order to compete as well as suggestions.
When it's your first cook, you may be tempted to only cook one or two of the meat categories. Since you're there, plan on cooking all the meat categories, even if you do not think you may have a strong finish in one or more of the categories. This can be critical in events that have reached enough teams to become a qualifier for two of the most prestigious BBQ events in the US - "The Jack Daniels Invitational" and the "American Royal" . In order to remain a qualifier, a minimum number of entries for all 4 meat categories must be turned in on time. So if they are at the exact minimum, your lack of turn-in for a category would cause the event to no longer be a qualifier that would affect all teams who competed in the event.
Make sure you have all the required items checked, double-checked, packed, then triple checked before heading to the event.
When at the Event
While you may be competing against other teams, you'll find that there is a great camaraderie among the cooks. We all want everyone to do well and to walk up to the podium to get recognition for doing well during the event.
To help in your success, try to find a neighboring cook who can answer questions you might have. Be polite and aware that they may a prep process or materials that they prefer others to not see as well as they may be busy at that time.
There will be a meeting between the head judges and teams after the team inspections. Be sure to find out where and when. Plan to stay after the meeting to go over rules with the head judges and get questions answered. At the meeting, the head judges will go over the event, turn in times and location, locations for garbage, ash and grey water and such. At the conclusion of the meeting, the head judges will hand out boxes used for turn-ins and bar codes that are used to identify the boxes turned in as being from your team.
As it's your first event, pay close attention to the times that each meat category must be turned in. Be sure to turn in the CORRECT meat for the turn in window. Nothing hurts more than accidentally turning in Ribs when it should have been Chicken (It's happened to the experienced cooks too). We suggest timing how long it takes to walk from your cook site to the turn-in table, allowing for the fact that the public may be walking around, becoming unintentional obstacles.