Friday, February 8, 2013

First contest of 2013...Havasu AZ

This is was our third year to compete at Lake Havasu's BBQ, Music and Brews contest.  This was also the third year we feel it kicked our butts.  :0(  Every year the weather has beat us down, and this year was no rained for more than 24 hours.  Fortunately, it wasn't a hard rain and there was no horrible winds to contend with (like last year) but everything was so wet, the canopies were leaking a bit, the grass was soaked, and clothes were wet.
I seriously had high hopes of redeeming our placement status from the last two years.  We had a good cook, meats turned out awesome with some great flavor profiles.  They were tender and full of flavor.  The boxes looked great too.  So I don't get it!  Why does this place kick our butt?

Here's my theory....the day before almost any large contest there is a judges class.  There are a bunch of BBQ loving people that want to be part of the whole thing...maybe they just want to eat free BBQ...maybe they are part of teams trying to figure out what judges are looking for (we did that).  Anyway, this makes KCBS look good because they now have 100% certified BBQ judges for the event.  But, I've realized that these folks often compare entries to each other, or worse...their own 'cue...none of which is supposed to be done.  Each entry is supposed to be judged on it's own merit. This results in scores that I don't believe are accurate, causing teams to have scores that are not really reflective of their product, and ending up in standings that leave teams dazed and confused.
With that said, the promoters Skip and Cheryl put their heart, soul, and energy into this contest.  The location is great.  We were on the grass again, spaces are level, and we had plenty of space. We love to see many of our BBQ friends from Arizona and beyond.
Little Miss BBQ's own 9th month old Vivian is a doll.  I got to spend some great quality time with her after turn-ins on Saturday.  Smokin' Goathead's were neighbors once again, along with Brandon with Route 66 Catering Crew, IAB30 was our neighbor right behind us too.  This year Jason and Kim were Satisfied Hogs got to be on the same row as several of the other Nevada teams, we really enjoy their friendship.
It was great to have Scott come down to cook with us.  It's nice to have family around.  With all the rain, we didn't have mom and dad come down to sell people's choice samples. Good thing too, the crowds were almost we brought it all home with us.
While we were really pleased with our turn-ins and we had an overall score of 630.2852, we finished at the 55th position (we tied with Smokin' Goatheads).  In fact, all the Nevada teams finished in the bottom half of the 84 teams that competed.  Congrats to Loot-n-Booty BBQ for their first Grand Champion.  They been getting really close and finally hit it.
Cassy found a new place to claim as her own.  She is really great about staying under the canopy, but with all the rain and wetness, we put her bed under the burner and the pit...she likes it there...nice and warm, and dry.  She can see everything going on as well.

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