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Southern California is a hot bed of BBQ! That’s right – I said Southern California! Several of the top teams in the nation (KCBS Ranking) are located in California.  Southern California has also significantly increased the number of KCBS sanctioned events over the past few years – some events are so important in the points race that teams are traveling from Texas, Iowa, and beyond. All of this is great news for the sport of BBQ but in order for any sport to survive and thrive, new teams must start up to keep the pool competitive and help the sport grow. Sometimes, a new team or interested people will come to a competition to see what it’s all about. It can be very intimidating to see big trailers and expensive rigs that some teams compete with. The smaller teams are usually not involved with People’s Choice (selling samples of BBQ) and may not be in the forefront and can get lost behind the fancy trailers that attract all the attention. This may be enough to cause some people to think that they can’t compete in this arena without similar equipment. They couldn’t be further from the truth! Several of the top teams compete with small Backyard setups and often take Grand Champion in the process.

One of the primary goals of the SoCal Meatup groups is share this knowledge and experience. Ultimately, this will culminate into holding a few backyard competitions which helps start up teams gain competition experience and confidence before they jump into sanctioned events. One of the coolest ideas that we came up with is the judging aspect of the backyard events. We plan on turning in the boxes blind (to the judges) but the teams will know their box number. The judges will then provide live comments and feedback to the crowd of teams not knowing who’s box they are judging. The instant feedback from KCBS Certified Judges will be invaluable and decrease the trial and error learning curve of the teams. There isn’t too many places you can get this kind of honest feedback from actual judges that typically judge the sanctioned events. This is a huge advantage if your still fine tuning your cooking skills.

The group plans on meeting once per month somewhere in Southern California (event hosts wanted!) to discuss a variety of topics including:

* Products – taste test different injections or fuel / wood types

* Promote – various sauces or products

* Mentor – a chance to meet BBQ Team members and arrange to help out or be a part of a team

* Discuss – how to make our sport better and provide some feedback to KCBS and CBBQA

* Support – local charities or non-profit organizations through BBQ