We've been back from Holbrook a while now and realized I've not updated my blog. For shame. ;)
For those that aren't aware of where Holbrook is...it sits on I-40 on the eastern side of Arizona in the midst of the Navajo Nation, lots of red dirt, petrified trees and all sorts of vintage/funky interstate highway memorabilia kind of things.
Interstate 40 is heavily traveled and a major road of choice for semi trucks traversing this great land of ours. With that being said...the road can be pretty rough in many places. I'm pleased to tell you it is finally being replaced in long sections and is getting much better
We arrived in Holbrook before lunch, set up our site, and settled in for another contest. Last year, this was what I considered a local contest with many of the teams we often compete against. But this year there were many well known and highly successful teams from around the country. Johnny Triggs was our neighbor on one side and Left Coast Q on the other. Big Poppa Smokers and several of his Elite Teams were there including Iowa's Smokey D's and others. Smoking Hills, Little Miss BBQ, The Cowboy Way, Karnivorous, Loot & Booty, Ranch 13, Lucky 13, Sin City Smokers and more lined the streets around the haunted courthouse. Sorry, no ghost tour this year. :( At the judges meeting the KCBS reps announced they were running with the new scoring system. There are just a minor changes in weighting of scores but the information on the score sheets was quite interesting. You can see who was on the same table with you, how your box scored against the judges avg score and more.
We set about the tasks of prepping, cooking, boxing and more as usual. I thought we overcooked the chicken since the pit hit about 350 at that point. Turned out that one of the pieces was still slightly pink at the bone...bummer. It was considered undercooked and scored very poorly. We still managed a mid pack score on chicken though. I don't what happened to our pork...it wasn't spectacular like the pork in Boulder City, but I didn't consider it bad either. I am embarrassed to say it came in "Dead Ass Last". Please Lord, never let that happen again. However, we redeemed ourselves in brisket and took 3rd brisket. In that highly successful crowd of teams I was really pleased to hear our name...especially for brisket.
One little Indian boy came around by our booth looking really concerned. He came back with his mom a bit later. He was afraid we were going to cook the dog for the contest since he saw her on the logo. I have to admit that was a first to hear or even imagine. We assured him she was not going into the pit and was our mascot. We introduced Cassy to him and he went away felling much better about the whole thing.
Once again, we donated our prepared meats to the local food bank along with many other teams. There is a great need in the area that we have the honor of helping to fulfill with something we are passionate about. It's a good feeling to know that so many will benefit from it.
We finished 15th overall. I can't help to think where we could have been without the problems we encountered with chicken and pork. Congrats to all the teams, it was great to see so many of them again. Thanks to Tommy and Jennifer Duncan. They put on a top notch contest every time. Till next time...keep on smoking that meat.