Monday, December 10, 2007

This is going to be fun

Now I can't wait for the bbq season to start. This blog is going to be active when it does. I love modern technology!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

How about a picture?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Test post

Just testing to see if I can post to this blog from my blackberry.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interesting Conversation

Well we're sitting here at the Nashville airport waiting for Sully from the Lunchmeat bbq team. He's hitching a ride with us to Lynchburg, the rest of his team are driving. I'm sitting here minding my own business surfing the web and the conversation turns to Glory Holes. I don't know why ? This group I'm with is a little out there but I didn't know they were that far out there ! But I guess it beats talking about the weather. We're going to go try a local bbq chain called Bar-B-Cutie. Hopefully it's glory hole free. I'll check in later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Arrrrgh the FLU

We're supposed to leave tomorrow at 6:00 am for Lynchburg Tennessee to compete in the Jack Daniels Invitational but instead of getting ready I'm lying in bed fighting the FLU. My throat is killing me but my fever has finally broke so hopefully I'm on the mend.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Royal Invitational Prep Day

We lounged around the hotel until 11:00am and then headed over to the Kemper Arena to get our site set up and our meat inspected. When I woke up I had a craving for chicken fried steak(Steve Steaks) and I put Carlotta in charge of finding someplace that had it. She hit the jackpot ! Papa Lew's Soul Delicious had some great chicken fried steak and fried okra. Carlotta and Carmen hit the Soul food buffet that included fried chicken, greens, chicken necks and other assorted goodies. On the way out we got a big hug from the restaurant owner.

We got a site big enough to park the truck on. I'm glad we did because the truck served as a barrier to one side of the site as well as the porta John. If you've never been to the Royal then you don't know how important it is to have your site blocked in on all sides and your Porta John hidden from the public. If you don't then 30,000 spectators will be using your site as a shortcut and the Porta John will last about 2 hours before the stink gets so bad you want to vacate the area.

I was impressed this year with the availability of Ice and Water, two things that have been an issue at the Royal in the past. There were so many people riding around on carts with ice asking if you needed it that it almost became annoying. The meat inspectors were also easy to contact and we were inspected and ready to go in no time.

Now it was time to trim the meat. This is something I usually drag my feet on, but I was motivated by the fact I wanted to visit with all my friends who were also at the Royal. People from sea to shining sea were in attendance and that's one of the things that makes the Royal so special. While I was busy trimming Jorge from the BBQ Brethren stopped by and gave me some great smoked sausages from his home state of Texas. After trimming the meat I had to cook some chocolate chip cookies and the sausages Jorge gave me for a party we were attending.

At 7:00pm The Slabs hosted a party for members of The BBQ Forum an internet forum where many of the top teams in the KCBS hang out and share their knowledge. It was a potluck and there was lots of great food to munch on, from bbq pizza to tasty dips and deserts. There was also an Ice Luge and a huge Margarita machine set up. The Slabs gave away door prizes that were donated from forum members and advertisers. It was a lot of fun to see old friends from the forum and to meet some new ones.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Travel to the Royal

The trip to the Royal was fairly uneventful. Charlie and Carlotta's ride to the airport never showed up so they had to drive themselves and put their jeep in the airport parking garage. They had Pat pick it up so they didn't have to pay the $48 dollars a day. At the curbside check in I dropped one of the coolers, knocked my ice coffee on my shoe and spilled 3 briskets out into the street. The Briskets were in cryovac and I had a change of socks so it wasn't really a big deal. We checked in the coolers with no problem and 5 hours later we arrived in Kansas City where our ride was waiting for is.

Steph from The Slabs took us to dinner at Los Corrals. This place has great Margaritas and Mexican food. I had the carne asada and it was excellent. It seems every time I'm around the Slabs I'm eating or cooking some kind of steak so Kyle has nicknamed me Steve Steaks. From there we went to Sams Club to buy our ribs, chicken, Jack and Tequila then picked up our trailer and dropped it off at the contest site. There were a lot of teams already set up by the time we got there but our space was a pull through so it was easy to get in. We did some visiting and I ended up drinking a little more than I planned. Man was I feeling it. We didn't get to the hotel until after 11:00 and I was wiped out.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Our Royal Results

Invitational Results:

44 Chicken
34 Ribs
2nd Pork (tied first place)
67 Brisket

20 Overall

Open Results:

283 Chicken
51 Ribs
32 Pork
71 Brisket

48 Overall

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

American Royal Time !

This is the weekend of the American Royal Barbecue competition in Kansas City MO, aka the Super Bowl of Barbecue. On Friday night we will start coking for the Invitational event that will be judged on Saturday. To qualify for this event teams had to have won a Grand Championship sometime during the year. It's a battle of Champions. Last year we got 3 top 15 calls and placed 19th overall. Our brisket tanked and took us out of contention.

On Saturday night we will cook for the open contest. Last year there were 475 teams competing in the open and we placed 4th overall ! The odds of doing that well again are against us but we're gonna give it all we have and let the cards fall where they may.

Our trailer and gear are already in Kansas City so we are all flying in for this contest. We're bringing two coolers full of meat on the plane with us (we hope). Back in 1998 we did the same thing but post 9/11 things are a little more complicated. Wish us luck folks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The agony of De Feet....

Yes de feet not defeat. We didn't win but we did respectable. 10th place out of 78 teams some of them the top teams in the country. But my feet are killing me. It was a long walk to the awards ceremony and it seemed like a longer walk back to the site.

We placed 39th in chicken...not good, 18th in ribs, 16th in away from getting a call and 19th in brisket. Like I said respectable. Would we do it again ? Ummm I don't know ask me next weekend and I'm sure the answer will be yes. We're leaving all our equipment in Kansas City and flying home and we'll be back for the Royal.

Post Turn in Head Scratch

Anyobody that's ever cooked in a barbecue competition knows about the time between the last turn in and when the awards are announced. It's a time where you talk about what you thought was good and what you thought could have been better and your always cautious about saying something was great because that will just be the curse that makes it your worse category. Every team does it. I'm at a point where I just don't know if my stuff was good or not. It's as good as it's been when I've placed really well and as bad as it's been when I've done really crappy.

Here's how I'll break down our entry's. The chicken was ok the skin wasn't quite where I wanted it but the flavor was pretty good. The ribs were dark and not the prettiest ribs we've ever produced but again I thought they tasted pretty good and the texture was decent. Pork is something we do really well in and the category I'm never satisfied with. I just don't know what good pork is...or do I ? Anyway the pork is what it is I won't make any judgements on it. The brisket was tender and moist but didn't have the best smoke ring. I know that they say the smokering doesn't count but I don't buy that. I got the chance to taste a top competitors brisket and I thought his tenderness was dead on but it was salty. Maybe judges like that, we'll see.

I'll post our results when I know them, keep your fingers crossed for us we need gas money !!


Well I've been taking a bunch of pictures but I forgot to bring the cable for the camera with me so I can't download them until I get home. Yesterday it was hot and humid here and today is cool and breezy. There are over 100 teams and many of the 'big names' in bbq are close by. The contest site is in this beutiful park next to a lake. The teams next to the lake may be getting a little more breeze then they bargained for but I'm sure it will warm up soon enough.

My butts were done a little earlier than I'd like but I'm sure they'll be fine in the Cambro. The briskets are looking good and the ribs are on the cooker. Well my bloody mary is getting warm so I gotta go. I'll check in after awards.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Uneventful flight

Other than a crying kid the trip was uneventful. No delays and no turbulance. I actually landed 5 minutes early and when I got down to the baggage claim area my bag was there waiting for me. I walked outside, gave Charlie a ring on the cellphone and heard a horn and saw flashing lights. Jumped in the truck and 14 minutes later we pulled into the Marriot parking lot with the help of our trusty Garmin GPS. I don't know how we ever got around without the GPS it just makes things so easy and enjoyable.

I'm gonna hit the sack and get a good nights sleep so we can be on top of our game tomorrow and put out the best bbq we know how.

On my way to Pine Bluff Arkansas

Yeah I know it's been awhile... But hey you know sometimes life gets in the way(that and laziness). I'm headed to Pine Bluff Arkansas to cook in the Smoke On the Water BBQ Championship. There is $50,000 in prize money and over 100 teams competing. Most if not all of the top teams in the country will be there. I'm looking forward to see how my food stacks up against theirs.

Charlie, Carlotta and Carmen left on Monday afternoon to drive the gear down and the last I heard from them they were at BB Kings in Memphis Tennessee having a grand ole time. That's less than 200 miles from the contest site so things are looking good. I have a 4:00pm flight and if the weather doesn't get in the way I will land in Little Rock around 10:00pm. We'll all get a restful nights sleep at the Marriott and head to Pine Bluff in the morning.

I have my camera and batteries and laptop and I'll do my best to keep you posted on what's going on. Wish us luck.

I Smell Smoke !!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007