Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sam Club BBQ Tour Regional...Las Vegas

We made it through to the second round (regional event) in Las Vegas...a mere 20 miles from home. It was a crazy windy, cold, and rain threatening event.  The wind was so bad that no one was allowed to put up canopies. This made it difficult for many teams, and a boost for U-Haul truck rentals.  In fact, they didn't even put up sides on the judges tent.  It was up because it's weighed down with 55 gallon drums filled with water.  
Timm forgot his coat so he had a rough night.   
Crystal came out after setting up a wedding, and back out again in the morning.  
Our site...not looking like much of a site without a tent to ground it.  
Young BBQ dude, Adam Difloe came out and gave us a hand, braved the cold, and was a great help.  At only 17 years old, he might just be one of the youngest pitmaster's around...he and his mom make up Stoked to Smoke, another Vegas team. 

We fought the wind and weather that effected the pit temps and meat.  Large meats did not want to come up to temp and were taking up to 2+ hours longer than normal to cook.  We didn't use our usual brand of chicken and that cost us I think.  The skin shrunk up to look like small squares that laid on top of the thighs.  Amy (Got Smoke BBQ) told me that it was packed in water and that's why the skin shrunk so much.  We felt like we had a good turn in box of ribs.  The money muscle sliced really well on the pork, and the first brisket was pretty good.  

Overall, we finished 18th with a 661.6688 so we won't be moving on to Bentonville in September.  That was a higher score than the Salt Lake event but scores were higher overall at this one. We placed 22nd in chicken, 19th in ribs, 11th in pork, and 14th in brisket at this contest.  

Big thanks to John Mull's Meats for sponsoring us once again...we sure appreciate them.  We had so hoped to make a good showing for them.  Guess that day is still coming...let's pray it's in Boulder City next month.  

Almost half the teams were doing a double header by heading out to Mesquite to compete in Smokin' in Mesquite to compete Saturday and Sunday.  We wish them all the best along with the other teams  competing there.  
Congrats to Rhythm-n-Que for claiming GC and Slap Yo Daddy BBQ for RGC.  Best of luck to all the teams that are moving on to finals. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sam's Club-Salt Lake City...better than expected

I gotta admit, I was excited about jumping back into the BBQ contest world but it's been since July 2013 since we competed in a full 4 meat contest.  We've cooked quite a bit but we haven't really practiced for competition.  Last month we competed in two rib only contests...doing well in one and tanking the other.  
We loaded up the trailer, picked up our meat, packed personal stuff and hit the road.  We traveled to Cedar City Thursday evening to spend the night instead of getting up a O'dark thirty and driving 450 miles.  This worked well and I think we'll do it again.  It was nice to not be so tired come Saturday at turn in time.  
We set up the Trailhound camp and settled in. Satisfied Hogs were next to us.  This time they brought Dutchess...the weiner dog.  What a cutie pie she is...can't believe I didn't get a picture of her.  
Squat & Gobble were on the next aisle...such great folks 
R&R (our first mentors) hosted an IMBBQA dinner Friday night at their site.  
We have a check list, we checked it, we forgot stuff...important stuff...ingredients for ribs, chicken, and brisket.  Yes, this was definitely the first full contest of the year.  I improvised and whipped up an injection for the pork with what we had available.  Ribs and brisket just didn't their ingredients.  

I thought my chicken was pretty good, I was pleased with the trimming, thought it looked and tasted good, we didn't forget any stuff for it so I thought it might be our best category.  Judges didn't think so...finished with a 20th placement.  
No call in ribs, finished 24th...apparently we need to work on ribs at the moment.  
We weren't expecting to hear our name in pork; after all, we forgot the injection.  There's a new rule for pork this year.  You can remove the money muscle from the butt so what the heck, let's give that a try.  It sliced better this time around I think, maybe a bit dark though.  Overall, I thought the box looked good.  We're thankful the judges liked it and we took 2nd place!  Now to remember what I put in the impromptu injection.  lol
Last but not least...brisket.  The first one we sliced didn't have the flavor we were hoping for.  Thankfully, the second one was on point and flavorful.  For the last couple of years, brisket has been our strong meat...and this year is starting off that way...2nd place call!  
By the grace of God we managed to place 6th overall.  I'm not sure we cooked well enough but I'm not a judge to make that final decision.  Thankfully, we are moving on to the next round...regionals in Las Vegas!  Congrats to R&R for walking in all four categories and placing 1st for GC.  We also want to congratulate Satisfied Hogs for their 3rd place walk for ribs.  They have been on a roll in the last 4 events in that category.  
Here are a few more photos to share from the event.  
Kim and Jason (Satisifed Hogs) 
One of the R&R boys 
Half Baked Hippies...what a wild looking set up! 
Mack (Got Smoke) working hard. 
Timm cutting ribs to see which ones we like best. 
Thanks to Troy Black, Sam's Club and all their sponsors, and to our new meat sponsor, John Mull's Meats and the Road Kill Grill.