Sunday, July 31, 2011

Racin' For The BBQ

Heat and rain! What a great combination we had this past weekend in Lee's Summit, MO at Blue Springs Lake. This was the third year for this competition and a new venue for 2011. Despite the 100 degree temperatures, humidity and rain, we had nice time and enjoyed the new venue. The organizers did a great job and the KCBS reps (Dave & Peg Rogers) were superb.

Overall, our cook went well. We dealt with the rain and even though it came down hard for about an hour, there was no strong wind or hail. The chicken came out like it always does but the skin was slightly rubbery. The ribs had great flavor and we were able to get 9 pieces into the box. We have made a few changes to our rib process and we have been pleased with the results. The pork tasted excellent but the money muscle was too overcooked to use. We were really excited about how the pork tasted. We have made a few changes to our recipe and felt like it payed off on how the prok turned out. We knew either it was a winner or the eaters would trash it. We cooked a prime brisket for this contest instead of the Waygu. It cooked well and also had a good beef flavor.

The boxes went together well. We struggled with the pork box because we had no money muscle to work with. We gave the eaters a lot pulled pork to sample and hoped that would help our cause.

At the award ceremony, we were not called in chicken and we were surprised. Afterwards, we would find out that we finished in 11th place. We actually tied with the 9th and 10th place finishers in that category but lost the tie breakers to keep us from being called. So I was a little disappointed after that first category was called.

Ribs were next. Again, they were cooked perfect and had a great flavor. Usually this is the kiss of death for us. It is one of our more inconsistent categories. Surprisingly, we were called for 6th place and that improved the mood.

We sat through the pork category and no call. I really felt we would hear our names but once again a no call. We ended up with 23rd place. I was really disappointed with the result. I felt it was a strong product. Were we knocked because there was no money muscle or too much pulled pork? Just a few questions that need to be answered to get a grip on this category.

The brisket cooked well. We decided to try a prime brisket purchased at Sam's and it did well for us. We heard our names called for 4th place and got some much needed redemption.

We ended up 9th overall out of 34 teams. Big Creek BBQ took the grand, Pork Pullin Plowboys were the reserve champs and Muchin Hogs at the Hilton finished 3rd . A super trifecta to try and overcome for sure. This was our third contest of the season and considering that we have now had two top 10 finishes in two out of three, I'll take it!

Now we have more down time until mid-September. Myron is right - we don't cook enough!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Raytown To Now

It's been awhile since the last post. Work and other commitments have been keeping me busy. However, we are competing again on 7/29/11 in Blue Springs, MO at the Racin' For The BBQ event. Sounds like 35 teams will be participating. Hopefully this 100 degree weather will break a little bit for the weekend.

We did cook the Raytown, MO contest on 6/10/11. This was a second year cooking this and it lived up to it's nickname - "Raintown." Fortunately this year it rained late Friday night until about 3am Saturday morning and didn't bother our cook.

There were 48 teams this year and we ended up 13th overall. We finished 7th in Chicken and 7th in Sausage. Ribs were 15th, Pork 21st and Brisket 17th. We were disappointed that we didn't finish in the Top 10 overall. I thought our chicken and brisket came out very well. The pork was a little over cooked. The ribs came out like they always do. We either do well or they are just average. With a few tweaks of our process, I hope that we get closer to a more consistent product.

More to come.....