It's an honor and great experience to move on to the regionals for the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour in Albuquerque, NM. I gotta admit, it was a long drive...600 miles in one day. Sin City Smokers made the trip with us to compete.
We got there on Thursday, and were one of the first ones to get our spaces. We set up next to Sin City, R&R BBQ from Salt Lake moved in next door. Rythm-n-Que were accross the aisle. It was nice to have friends near us.
Friday, a storm came in off the mountain and we had to batton down the hatches. Several teams lost canopies. We tucked ourselves into the front of the trailer, closed the door, and stayed dry and out of the wind. Rain and hail on the metal roof was pretty cool, I like that sound. I'm glad Timm decided to build a new BBQ trailer. There was supposed to be a steak dinner Friday night but it was cancelled due to the weather.
Saturday was a gorgeous day, we had a good cook although Timm kept saying something didn't feel quite right. Maybe it was the elevation. Maybe it was being surrounded by 30 of the top teams in the west. I don't know, I thought it was great. Anyway, our meats were tasty, tender and pleasing to the eye. My goal was to hear our name once during the awards. Chicken, nope...Ribs, nope...Pork, ugh, nope...Brisket, 4th place, YIPPEE!!!!! My goal was made. Sin City got 2 top ten calls, R&R got top tens as well. We received 15th in chicken, 16th in ribs, 11th in pork, 4th in brisket.
Overall awards...the top ten teams can move onto the the Nationals in if they choose. The BBQ gods were shining upon us....we took 7th overall!!!!!!!!!! Holy Moly! Talk about a surprised look on our faces...but totally excited. And to think, we were going to pass on coming to regionals, so glad we didn't. We were floating on a glorious barbeque cloud for the next several days. Tears of joy were shed, and we couldn't keep a smile off our faces when talking about it. Congrats to all the teams, there was some really strong competition.
We gave all our meat to one of Timm's fellow Martin Harris associates working in Albuquerque. He was glad to take it off our hands and was going to take the majority of it into the crew on Monday. Nice to know it was going to be enjoyed by many. In fact, when Timm called Bob to let him know where we finished we told him he was enjoying award winning brisket. "I can't stop eating it!", he said. What a great compliment.
Here are more photos of some teams...and our brisket.
Cassy went with us and I have to say, she impressed us more and more each time she goes with us. She travels well, stays in our site, doesn't beg for food even with all that awesome smell that is surrounding everyone, and is so good in the hotel room. Oh, and Johnny Triggs likes her.
Now....we need to figure out how to fund a trip to Bentonville, Arkansas. Looks like a fundraiser barbeque or two are in our future.
Since May is National BBQ month, it only seems fitting that we'll be participating in our biggest stakes contest to date.
Round two for the southwest regionals is in Albequerque, NM this weekend. Teams that made it through round one in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah will gather to cook against each other for a purse of $20,000 and a chance to move on to the finals in Bentonville, AR in October.
I am pleased to say we are one of those teams that competed in Las Vegas and made the top 6, making us eligible to attend the regional finals. This weekend we will make the 600 mile trek to Albequerque to compete with 29 other top teams in the southwest. We're excited and nervous. We'll keep you posted on the outcome. We wish all the teams the best.
Boy, I totally missed the posting for this event. We were blessed to be able to attend this event in Mesa in March. Tommy and Jen run a class act event for sure. This was one of their dual events they are holding this year.
There was a lot going on that weekend for us, well me. I tend to over do it sometimes. There was a craft show, a wedding, and the contest. I just didn't see a way to be able to drive with Timm on Friday so I flew down that evening after completing flowers for Saturday's wedding. I really need to thank my best friend, Diane for helping out with this one. She went and set it all up for me on Saturday, picked up my stuff from the craft show and had a mini melt down so I could BBQ. I love her.
This event was tied in with Biker Week. Bands were playing most of the day and into the night...really loud bands. We were backed up to the street where most of the bikes were parked, so we got to listen to them leave about midnight. This was not our favorite part by any means.
It was the first outing for the new BBQ trailer and we were so pleased. It's efficient, roomy, and clean up and tear down is so much easier. It towed really well too.
We didn't finish as high in the standings as we'd like but we did okay, we weren't last. Saturday's awards brought us 13th overall, 17th in chicken, 18th in ribs, 14th in pork, and 7th in brisket. Sunday, we earned 20th overall, 9th in chicken, 22nd in ribs, 16 in pork, and 19th in brisket. Timm was dissapointed.
Congrats to R&R BBQ! They took RGC on Sunday! They even took 1st in chicken both days. They did well that weekend. And although Little Miss BBQ didn't back up their two recent RGCs and GC, they did well too. I think Bekke's pregnancy is a good luck charm. ;0)
Rythm & Que and Pigskin BBQ were our neighbors this time around. Both really good teams. Vince and Alexa were a hit at the awards, wearing one of the vendor's helmets. Alexa wore a raccoon with fangs and antelope antlers. Vince wore a huge buffalo fur, massive horned helmet...good thing he's a big guy.
A couple of weekends ago, we gathered at one of our local Sam's Club locations to be part of the National BBQ Tour along with 17 other teams. This was the event for Nevada. I'm pleased to say that 12 of the 18 teams were from Nevada, and 4 of them were participating in their first competition.
Along with the KCBS BBQ competition, they are running Tyson's Best Wing on the Planet contest. Originally, only 4 teams had entered, but after the cook's meeting we and a few others also signed up. I thought, what the heck, it's free to participate. That nigh, I stopped and bought some chicken wings. I tossed together some ingredients into a ziplock bag, cooked up my wings, tossed them in some additional flavoring, put them in the box and turned them in. I am pleased to say, they took 2nd place! I even got an oversized check to prove it. lol
Timm was right on top of things, keeping me on track when it comes to timing. We were blessed to have Scott with us on Saturday. Now that he's back to a normal schedule we hope to see more of him at contests. We changed up a few things...at a contest is a not a place to do that by the way...but we did, figuring we didn't have much to lose. Apparently, they were good changes because we had a first for us...we got all four meats in the top ten! Our results were as follows:
chicken - 9th
ribs - 6th
pork - 8th
brisket - 3rd
overall - 6th
WooHoo! Sixth place is good enough to move onto round two in Albequerque, NM in mid-May!!
Congrats to all the teams! Nevada made a great showing, even some new teams got a call. Sin City Smokers finished in 5th place, so two Nevada teams will be represented in round two. Congrats to Brandon of Route 66 Catering Crew for taking GC. Troy Black runs a tight ship, keeping things on schedule, making awards and cook meetings short and to the point. We appreciate that.
We had said quite some time ago that if we made top 6 we would decline the opportunity to move on to round 2...but when it really happened we were overwhelmed and excited to go. Now reality has hit us and there is so much to do and prepare before we drive the 600 miles to New Mexico. We leave in 10 short days. Wish us luck, it will be an adventure and experience for sure.