Hello All and thanks for wandering over to read our BBQ blog. While Derek is typically the blogger in the family I thought it might be fun for me (the Pit Mistress) to take over the blog for our competition BBQ team - Flatlander BBQ. No you haven't missed anything...we are finally competing this year and so far have done 4 competitions! Nothing like jumping in with both feet :). I thought for the inaugural blog I would catch you up on our first season on the competition BBQ circuit.
On May 7the we competed in the Rose City BBQ Cook Off at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT. Being our first competition we choose to do a one day event that was a grilling/smoking combination and not your typical KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society) competition. This would allow us to get our feet wet figuring out what types of equipment we need and if we could handle the turn-ins without messing anything up. The categories for this competition were Chef's Choice, Chicken, Sausage and Pork and our teammates were my family (Dave, Mary Pat, Emily, Jenn and Chris). Our teammates were a huge help but they quickly figured out that there is a lot of hurry up and waiting and that if it pours buckets while you are making a turn in box you use your body as a shield to keep it dry. For our entries we made Derek's BBQ chicken, Smoked Sausage, Pork Chops with a Molasses Coffee Sauce and for Chef's Choice made an amazing steak sandwich (I will post the recipe for this in another post since I need to share the love with you all). There were 18 teams which competed and our goal was not to come in dead last.....which we achieved! We placed 15th overall with a score of 537.71. The rest of our scores were as follows: Chef's Choice - 13th place and a score of 142.29, Chicken - 14th place and a score of 140.00, Sausage - 14th place and a score of 125.71, and Pork - 16th place and a score of 129.71.
For our second competition we choose the Cape Cod BBQ Championship at Peter's Pond Campground in Sandwich, MA the weekend of June 10th. For this competition we were competing in the standard KCBS categories of Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork and Brisket plus another "anything but" category where you could cook anything but the before mentioned meats. Our team members for this competition were my sisters Jenn, Kaitlyn, Emily and Chris and boy were they troopers as it was cold and rainy all weekend long and Derek and I still did not know exactly what we were doing. Jenn and Chris were amazing runners for everything we needed that weekend, Kaitlyn pitched in wherever she could and Emily is our turn in gal. For the "anything but" category we again made the Steak sandwich but did not rank in the top 10. On Sunday, we thought all of our KCBS entries tasted good and we were happy with what we have done except for our brisket (which we knew was over cooked) but still the goal was not to come in last. Boy were we surprised with how well we did! There were 35 teams competing and we scored as follows: Chicken - 5th place with a score of 158.29, Ribs - 2nd place with a score of 164.00, Pulled Pork - 11th place with a score of 153.71and Brisket - 34th place with a score of 125.71 for an over al placement of 16th! Flatlander BBQ was ecstatic and now the proud owners of a lovely chicken and pig trophy.
Our third competition was a bit of a unique experience as we were asked to compete in the Safeway National Capital BBQ Battle with Green Mountain Coffee as our sponsor. The challenge was to BBQ with coffee in all of our rubs and sauces which meant not using any of our regular "recipes". Derek's co-worker's from Green Mountain Coffee (Roger, Kristen, Tyler, Chris and Janell from Brand Connections) were our teammates and they did a great job even though they were sometimes stuck with the most unglamourous jobs of dumping dirty water, getting clean water and washing dishes. We used Brew Over Ice K-cups on all of the standard KCBS entries of Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork and Brisket in both the sauce and the rubs. The sauce was made on site using Nantucket Blend iced k-cups which was different since we usually do not make sauce on the fly. However, it tasted so good that we ended up using it on almost all the entries and even sampled it to Grilling with Rich, who is a grilling blogger in the DC area. Besides drinking a ton of coffee and making some great tasting BBQ, Derek got to meet one of the founders of the KCBS...he was thrilled when she said that she liked his sauce. Here is a run down of our entries:
Chicken: Rub featuring unbrewed iced Half n Half Iced Tea K-cups, Jalopeno Natucket BBQ Sauce and Coffee BBQ Sauce using iced Nantucket K-cups
Brisket: Rub featuring unbrewed iced Nantucket K-cups, Coffee BBQ Sauce using iced Nantucket K-cups
Ribs: Rub featuring unbrewed Sweet Southern Tea iced K-cup, Sauce - same as above
Pork Shoulder: Rub featuring unbrewed iced Nantucket K-cups, Sauce - same as above
We were pleased with all of our finished product and all we wanted was to not come in last since we were competing against some of the most well known professional BBQ competitors in the Nation! Turns out that Flatlander BBQ can hold there own! 41 teams competed and we placed 17th in pulled pork (155.43), 13th in chicken (156.00), 10th in brisket (156.57) (big improvement from the competition on Cape Cod!) and 3rd in ribs (169.71). Yes folks you read that right! This equals a 9th place finish overall (637.71) and needless to say we were thrilled.
On the way back from picking up our 3rd place trophy for the ribs, Derek was congratulated by the winningest competitor in the circuit Myron Mixon....again he was thrilled and we came home with a metal pig trophy. Since we were sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee we donated the $500 that we won for 3rd place ribs to The Boys and Girls Club of Washington DC and they posted the recipes for the entries on their blog Brewing a Better BBQ with Coffee and Tea.
For our 4th competition we went to Fryeburg, ME on the weekend of July 22nd to the Western Maine BBQ Festival. This was a first year competition and we were first year competitors so we thought it would be a good match. It was held on the Fryeburg Fairgrounds which turned out to be a great spot for a BBQ competition. There was a grilling competition on Saturday and the KCBS BBQ competition on Sunday but we choose only to compete in the BBQ competition. Our teammates for this one were Dave, Emily, Kristen, Peter, Laura and Bella and again we don't know what we would do without them all. Dave helped with logistics and prepping, Emily was the turn-in gal, Kristen and the Rinck's supplied breakfast both days and helped out wherever they were needed. While we felt really good about our competition entries (and Peter said they were the best ribs he had ever eaten) we only had a fair day overall (there were 38 teams) and scored as follows: Chicken - 31st place with a score of 142.29, Ribs - 4th place with a score of 165.14, Pulled Pork - 30th with a score of 141.71, Brisket - 19th with a score of 147.43 and 23rd overall with a score of 596.57.
Therefore.....Flatlander BBQ is nursing their bruised egos and have registered to compete at The BBQ Pit at the Norwalk Oyster Festival in Norwalk, CT on the weekend of September 10th. So stay tuned and I promise for future posts to be funnier and shorter :).