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Notice a couple of questions about contests, you thinking of entering?

Appearance, in KCBS, is first thing you judge, and once you score that, you can't change it after you pull it out of the box. And like Grits said, the bark is on the bottom, so show that part.

My recommendation is to take a judging class. You'll ask lots of questions and until you do a few contests, or hang out with some cooks, there will always be questions.

There are usually some pretty good folks at contests. Anytime I'm having a team, I'm happy to talk, gives me something to do.
Once we entered, I was hooked. Like Smokin says, lots of nice people who don't mind helping you figure out what you're doing.
I think the judges class is a great idea. I understand you can take a class and don't have to judge, well, you can't judge if you are competing.
I know I was exposed to some really different tastes from some of our neighbors at the contests we have entered. And there are so many different types of smokers! And the setups ranged from little canopies over backyard type smokers with lawn chairs to humongous trailers and rigs. I didn't notice the expensive set ups doing any better than the little guys.
It's really fun.

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