Sunday, May 31, 2009

BBQ Blues and Cruise, Taylorville, Illinois

Taylorville is history! It was a very vice competition! The facilities were clean and water and electric was very convenient. The staff were very attentive. It seemed to me that every time that i went to throw something in the trash that the cans were empty.

For our dinner on Friday night we made Moink Loaf (one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground pork and a packet of onion soup mix)

The weather was pretty good. We had some storms roll by on Friday night but we stayed dry.

We weren't as lucky on Saturday, however. It rained for about 90 minutes but stopped before turn ins. Then the sun came out and the afternoon was beautiful.

Amy debuted her new pig slippers this weekend :)

The field for this competition was actually pretty strong. 6 of the 30 teams were in the top 40 in the KCBS Team Of the Year last year. Besides the local heavy hitters like Cancer Sucks Chicago, Dr. Porkenstein, Tyford BBQ (formerly Ulcer Acres) and Quau, we had some very good teams from all around the country. The "celebrity" team was Mike Davis and Lotta Bull BBQ and he was joined by Let's Kick Some Ash and Florida Skin and Bones. Rolling Smoke BBQ came over from Ohio and did very well!

We ended up with 3rd place brisket and 7th overall. I thought that our chicken and ribs were some of the best that we have cooked but the judges didn't agree .

Here are the top 10's. Complete results are at the KCBS site.

Grand Champion: Lotta Bull BBQ
Reserve Champion: Let's Kick Some Ash

1 Lotta Bull BBQ
2 Let's Kick Some Ash
3 Rolling Smoke BBQ
4 Twyford BBQ
5 Smokey Joel/Cubby Bear
6 Florida Skin & Bones
7 Captain Ron's Brew-n-que
8 Quau
9 Smokin' T's

1 Big Chief BBQ
2 Smokey Joel/Cubby Bear
3 It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere
4 One2BBQ
5 Twyford BBQ
6 Let's Kick Some Ash
7 Rolling Smoke BBQ
8 Florida Skin & Bones
9 Quau
10 Lotta Bull BBQ

1 Twyford BBQ
2 Rolling Smoke BBQ
3 Lotta Bull BBQ
4 Let's Kick Some Ash
5 Black Kettle Cooks
6 Smokey Joel/Cubby Bear
7 Dr. Porkenstein
8 Glory Bound
9 Road Warriors
10 Smokin' T's

1 Lotta Bull BBQ
2 Black Kettle Cooks
4 Wild Hogs BBQ
5 Florida Skin & Bones
6 Smokin' T's
7 It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere
8 Twyford BBQ
9 Gilly's Barnstormin' BBQ
10 Rolling Smoke BBQ

1 Boar Cephus
2 Lotta Bull BBQ
3 Captain Ron's Brew-n-que
4 Let's Kick Some Ash
5 Quau
6 Florida Skin & Bones
7 Wild Hogs BBQ
8 Smokin' T's
9 Rolling Smoke BBQ
10 Lion Bout the Q

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Red, White and BBQ, Westmont, IL

The 2009 Red, White and BBQ in Westmont, IL is history. This year's competition grew from 35 teams in 2008 to 45 teams! The venue also changed a little bit. The competition was still held at Ty Warner Park in Westmont, but because of the addition of a carnival the BBQ teams were moved to the east side of the park. The space was a little tight and some spaces were split between asphalt and grass, but it all worked out. The weather was great this year! Saturday was warm and sunny with a some threatening clouds in the late afternoon but no rain. Sunday was comfortable and sunny.

Our goal going into this competition was to finish in the top 10 at a minimum. Of course we always want to win, but since it was our first competition of the year we were being a little more realistic :). We ended up with 5th place in chicken and 1oth place over all. So we met our goal. We weren't nappy with our finish in ribs, however. We were pretty far down the pack and we really don't know why. We heard from two other teams that they had received comment cards from the judges complaining about a lighter fluid taste to their ribs but neither of these teams used lighter fluid. Both of these teams finished higher than our ribs. I can't figure out how our ribs could have scored lower than ribs that the judges thought tasted like lighter fluid! Oh well... It is what it is and we'll see what the judges think this coming weekend in Taylorville, IL!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

2009 Competition Schedule

Here are the first few events of the 2009 season.

Red, White and BBQ, Westmont, Il – May 23 and 24
Main Street BBQ, Blues and Cruise, Taylorsville, IL – May 29 & 30
Flat Branch BBQ in the Park, Mowequa , IL – June 5 & 6
Elk Grove Rotary Ribfest, Elk Grove Village, IL – June 19 & 20
Illinois State BBQ Championship, Shannon, IL – July 10 & 11

A Google search on the event name will usually get you more info including the exact location.

For all of these events, the first evening is the best time to socialize since we usually don't start cooking until 8 or 9. We're usually on site by noon and have everything set up by 2:00 or so. We do some trimming and seasoning of the meat during that afternoon and usually build our turn in boxes that evening, but we also have time to sit and have a beer and talk. On the second day we start turning in meat to the judges at noon and we'll be done with turn ins by 1:30. During that time we'll have some food to sample but we'll also be very busy. A lot of the other teams also give out samples during this time as well, so if you want to try the different team's food this is a good time, but please remember that all of the teams are very busy and probably wont have time to answer question. Visitors are welcome at any time but will be running around like nuts from about 11:00 on the second day until 1:30 so please don't be offended if we don't have time to sit and talk. After 1:30 we'll be cleaning up and waiting for the awards ceremony. Everyone is always welcome to help with the cleanup and pack up :) We're usually done packing by the time the awards are announced and back on the road shortly after they are over (usually by 5:00pm).

There will be more competitions throughout the summer and early fall and I'll update the schedule as we get closer to those events. I think the only other event in the Chicago area is in October at Lambs Farm in Libertyville.