Saturday, August 25, 2007

Amazin, Blazin. Barbecue Cookoff, Lebanon, TN

August 16-18, 2007
Amazin’ Blazin’ BBQ Cookoff Lebanon, TN

The 11th annual cookoff held in conjunction with the Wilson county Fair would be DoRagQ’s first as a competitor. I had attended as a spectator for the last several years and we were looking forward to participating. The Tennessee heat had been in the 100’s for several days in a row and Thursday was not going to be any different. Richard & I arrived mid-afternoon to begin setting up camp. Our neighbors, Chic N Bones were kind enough to offer us the use of their air conditioned camper for the night as they were not staying on site Thursday night. They did however, advice us of their intentions to make full use of the facility on Friday night! Evening came but the heat stayed near 100 as we attended the early arrival dinner hosted by the contest organizers. Many of the top teams such as, Lotta Bull, J Mack Cookers,, Team Allegro, & the ABS Cooking Team were in attendance as well as Ray Lampe (Dr. BBQ). Richard & I mingled and enjoyed the food & conversation. Most ate and retreated to the comfort of their air conditioned motorhomes or trailers. Richard and I were left to drink cold beer sitting in front of a fan blowing hot air dreaming of the day when we too will have those comforts. I guess this is what many call “paying your dues”! The heat seemed to wear us out so we adjourned to the Chic N Bones camper for the night. The AC was kickin out some cool air. I actually got cold and had to find a blanket!

After a good nights rest, Richard whipped up some breakfast and we waited for the Meat Inspectors. Gary called and was picking up some last minute supplies before makin the 30 mile trip. Once the meat was inspected, we proceeded to prep. We had done most of the preparation earlier in the week, all that was left was adding the rubs and injecting. Once completed, we decided to make a run to get a four sided tent and try to rig up and AC to keep us cool. Long story short, it wasn’t worth the trouble. So we finally settled down and tried to keep cool for the afternoon.

Our normal MO (method of operation) is to cook ABT’s, baked potatoes, corn, & pork chops on Friday night. No reason to change a good thing so we fired up the pit and commenced cooking. We invited Chick N Bones to join us in return for the cool crib Thursday night. Robert Bowen arrived from Birmingham just as dinner was served. The rest of the evening was spent talking about BBQ and taking in the sights. The sounds of the rides at the fair & the smell of cotton candy seemed to make us forget that it was still in the high 90’s. Gary started making the turn in boxes with some occasional help for us.

We had decided to use Richards rig again to cook on so we fired up the Big Green Egg and started smoking the butts. The chicken, ribs, & briskets would go on the big smoker. Friday evening’s temperature finally was bearable after midnight and we did manage to get a few hours of comfortable sleep. Saturday morning arrived and we were treated to a hearty breakfast by the contest organizers. Then it was time to get down to business. Dan Watson of Long Dawgs Blue Smoke arrived right before we began to construct our chicken box. For the next two hours we cut, pulled, sliced, & sauced until we had finally turned in all of our entries.

Out thoughts during turn in were as follows:

Chicken – We thought it was the best we had cooked this year.
Ribs – Gary said it was the worst we had cooked all year.
Pork- We were pretty happy with and thought it would finish high.
Brisket – Not happy with the slicing, but the taste was there. Again we thought it was the best brisket we had cooked all year.

After breaking down and packing up camp in 100+ weather, we all were ready to get this over with! Here’s our results:

Chicken – 23rd out of 60 with a score of 162.2852
Ribs – 59th out of 60 with a score of 135.9996
Pork – 36th out of 60 with a score of 153.7140
Brisket – 27th out of 60 with a score of 154.8572
Overall – 44th out of 60 with a score of 606.8560

Top 10 Overall
GC J Mack Cookers (Well deserved, Congradulations)
RGC Smokin Triggers (Always tough)
3rd Rock River BBQ
4th BBQrs Delight
5th Late Night Whiskey Smokers (what a cool name)
6th Blindogs Outlaw BBQ Gang
7th The ABS Cooking Team (Great job, Bobbie & Lee)
8th Big Pigs BBQ Co.
10th Rubmasters (way to go Dan)

Closing thoughts:
We were right on chicken & ribs, our best scores this year. Gary was right on the ribs, the worst we have ever done. We aren’t sure what happened to the pork. We are encouraged in the chicken & brisket department. We know we can cook good ribs & pork cause we have. The trick is doing it all at the same time. All we can do is learn from our mistakes, and get ‘em next time. We had a great time (except for the heat) and we look forward to next year. Thanks to Robert, Dan, Richard, & Gary for helping me do something that I truly love to do. i could not do it with out your help! Check out our photos at our Flickr site. See the link at the top right of the page.

Gary Silvey's 3rd Annual BBQ, Clarksville, TN

Grand Champion - Governor's BBQ
Reserve GC - Team Allegro
17 Teams
Chicken - 13th
Ribs - 9th
Pork - 9th
Brisket - 13th
Overall - 11th

AT&T Championship BBQ Cookoff, Lawrenceburg, TN

Grand Champion - Lotta Bull BBQ
Reserve GC - Bill & The Dixie Chicks
56 Teams
Chicken - 42nd
Ribs - 29th
Pork - 38th
Brisket - 37th
Overall - 41st