Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Best Buckin' BBQ Cookoff

April 24-25, 2009

Athens, AL

This marked DoRagQ's first experience cooking in Alabama. We had great weather, actually it was very warm on Saturday. The contest layout was good & the contest was well organized. Richard & I arrived early Friday morning and were greeted by Barry & Mike of Swiggin Pig & Voncile & Joe of Smokey Mountain Smokers. It's always great to see our BBQ Family. We found our spot, unloaded, & started meat prep. Fairly routine except we were missing "Nickelback"! Seems that Gary had a previous commitment & DoRagQ was going to have to forge on without him. During prep Buck, of High on the Hawg arrived and pulled in next to us. We gave him a hand unloading and got back to work.

We all worked up an appetite so Joe suggested we head down to the town square in Athens to a Pizza place called Village Pizza. We arrived & Joe asked to inspect the Pizza ovens & kitchen. Ok this was either going to be a good thing or trouble. I think he is doing some research for a secret project! Joe gave them a "thumbs up" on his inspection & we were cleared to check out the menu. We ordered some Cheese Stix & two kinds of wings, The Village Honey (Carolina's honey BBQ) & The Village Jerk ( Jamaican jerk style wings with a little heat and a hint of cinnamon). That gave us more time to check out the Pizza selection. We finally decided to "Build our Own" with Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Sun Dried Tomatoes, & Feta Cheese. After a round or two of beer the Cheese Stix arrived accompanied by a marinara sauce & garlic butter. Very tastee! Then the Wings arrived. The Carolina Honey wings were my favorite. Very moist and juicy with lots of flavor. I could have eaten the whole basket myself. Joe liked the Jerk the best. Both were top notch. After another brew out came the Pizza. WOW! A work of art! I forgot my phone & camera so there are no pics but it gets 9's on appearance. Now for the real test, let's see if the flavor has as much punch as the appearance. We were not disappointed. I want to go on record as saying "This was the best frickin pizza I have ever had in my entire life". I ain't playing! It ROCKED! We all gave it 9's on taste & the crust was cooked to perfection. I also noticed a 99 on their health rating. Very clean & fresh atmosphere. I hope they open one in Nashville! Pay them a visit if you are in their area. Check out their website @ You won't be disappointed! We also visited an old hardware store across the street that was very cool. It was like going back in time. Athens is a cool place. Check it out.

OK, back the the BBQ Thang. After our fun trip downtown we got back to the cook site & did some socializing. We saw Kathy & John of Wild Bunch But Burners, Bobbie, & Lee of Music City Pig Pals, Marty of Big River BBQ, Randy & Elien of Team Allegro, Wayne of Bubba's Tennessee Smokers, & the Governor himself Gary Roberts! We also met some new peeps like Justin, Carrie, & TJ of Killers Dirty Pit BBQ. Very nice young people who like to Q. Its great to see new faces getting involved. Later in the afternoon Ron Montgomery & Trent of Team Top Chick arrived with out the Chicks. BTW this contest has a large Backyard Division. I am not sure but I think around 60 Backyard Teams were there to compete. Very cool contest if you are a Back-Yarder!

The Cook's Meeting was standard stuff. Six pieces, no red lettuce, number on top, & DoRag behave! After the meeting we were treated to a catfish & hush puppy supper with all the trimmings. I think I gained 10 lbs on Friday! Friday night was pretty calm by DoRag standards. Brenda's son Jeremy & his "squeeze" (I can take you by surprise & make you realize) Amanda joined us and we settled in for the night. Later Dan of Long Dawgs drove down to visit. He just can't stand it when we are having a good time without him. The rest of the night went off without a hitch. Before we knew it morning had brought us another beautiful day of sunshine & BBQ.
Richard & I struggled through without Gary (we missed you G) and got everything sliced & diced & turned in on time. After a brief rest, we started packing & loading up Casa DoRag. The awards were being held in the Limestone County Sheriff's Rodeo Arena so we all filed in like cattle & took our place among the BS. The Backyard Awards were first. Congrats to Three Little Pigs for taking the GC. Please excuse me if I got the name wrong. The team was a father & his 3 daughters! What a great way to spend time with the kids. Congrats! It was then time for the Pro Awards! Of the 35 Teams DoRagQ finished 12th overall with a 8th in ribs & a 7th in brisket. We can't seem to get all 4 workin for us on the same day but hey we're gonna keep on trying. Congrats to Kevin of The EggseQuetive Council on his first GC & Jiggy Piggy on their strong RGC. There was ony .0002 of a point difference in their overall scores. Other notables were Swiggin Pig in 3rd & High on the Hawg 10th overall. High on the Hawg had their second consecutive 2nd place finish in Chicken. They have go it goin on! A shout out to Barry of Swiggin Pig for 1st place chicken (177.7144) a perfect score is 180! House of Q was 1st in ribs, TNT Southern BBQ placed 1st in pork & The EggseQuetive Council took the brisket category with a 177.1430. Hey and our new friends from Killer's Dirty Pit got a 10th place call is brisket! Great Job all!

Well that about covers it. We had a great time cooking BBQ & hangin with our BBQ Peeps. We plan to do it again this week in Huntsville, AL at the Rocket City BBQ Cookoff. Stop by and say "What Up Dude" if you in the area. Who knows we may have a adult beverage or two to share. Can you say "Apple Pie"! Thanks to Lou & Buck for their friendship, guidance, & help. Richard as always you are one of the DOs in DoRagQ. We will keep praying (yes I remember how) for your Father. Until next week, keep the fat side down or you'll burn your butt!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

High on the Hog, Winchester, TN

April 17-18, 2009

Winchester Park is just outside of Winchester, TN on Tims Ford Lake. This would mark the 22nd year of the High on the Hog Bar-B-Que Cook-Off & DoRagQ's 3rd time to compete. Winchester is known for a well managed contest and one of the most competitive in these parts. We have never finished well at this contest (32nd in 2007 & 46th in 2008) but it is still one of our favorites. In '07 we met now DoRagQ team member Richard Finley for the first time & in '08 we got a 3rd in Pork! So we were cautiously optimistic after our Clarksville top 5 finish. One thing I have learned from this "BBQ Thang" is that it is very humbling. One week you finish good and the next week you tank! All we can do is cook consistent and hope we get a good group of Judges who like our product. If they do or if they don't, just cook the best you can and forget about the last contest.
DoRagQ converged on Winchester on Friday afternoon and began prepping. Gary had brought his boat and was out on the lake wettin a line. Richard & I forged on and finished prep. Our good friends Lou & Buck of High on the Hog were set up next door and would be competing for the first time in 2009. Other DoRagQ friends such as Team Allegro, Scenic City Smokers, Wild Bunch Butt Burners, Team Bobby-Q, Music City Pig Pals, Gettin Piggy with It, Swiggin Pig, Team Top Chick, & ULIKA, just to name a few were all present. We did niss Jen, Dan, & Louie of Long Dawgs Blue Smoke who could not compete due to a previous obligation called WORK! We missed you guys! Gary finally returned (empty handed) with some tail of hooking a smoker in the shallows but we all discounted that as a "Fisherman's Tall Tale". LOL.... Supper was finally done (smoked pork chops & baked taters) and we were joined by Mark & Karen of BBQTV.Com and Lou & Buck. "Big" of Big & Twig joined us for some "Adult Beverages" & a stogie and we settled in for a quiet evening. Winchester is known for its bad weather during the contest and we were all crossing our fingers that we wouldn't see any this year.

Friday night was un-eventful by DoRag standards, seems all the excitement happened on Thursday. Our friend Byron of had a small mishap with his smoker while unloading ending up in Tim's Ford Lake! Luckily both Byron & the pit were not injured and with the help of a forklift the smoker was rescued! We all pitched in and ordered some Pontoons for next year.

After dinner we got some sleep and woke up to a beautiful morning. We kicked into high gear and finished cooking without any incidents. What? No Drama in Camp DoRag? Something must wrong! Maybe this would be the year? Well don't hold your breath! We placed 19th out of 47 teams! A big improvement from our last 2 visits. We finished 14th in chicken, 30th in ribs, 37th in pork, & 5th in brisket. Congrats to Lou & Buck with their 5th place overall finish! A great way to start the year. Also congrats to Wild Bunch Butt Burners & Jiggy Piggy for finishing in the top 2 spots overall. Other notables were Scenic City Smokers with a 1st in ribs, & Gettin Piggy With It finishing 8th in ribs, ULIKA 8th in pork. Great Job! At the awards Mike Davis of Lotta Bull gave a wonderful speech inducting Fred Gould into the BBQ Hall of Fame & Dan Watson gave Bad Byron an award for "Underwater BBQing".

Next week we are headed to Athens Alabama to the Best Buckin Bar-B-Q Cookoff. Be sure and stop in for a visit if you are in the area. It will be our first time competing at this contest and we are looking forward to giving it a taste of DoRagQ! Thanks Richard & Gary for being the Do in DoRagQ! Until next time....May your beer be cold & your sauce be sweet, keep the temperature down or you'll burn your meat!

Click here to view more pics of this event

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Porkin' in the Park Results

April 3-4, 2009
After a day of bad storms and several inches rain on Thursday our plans to get an early start Friday morning began with the truck & trailer stuck in the mud in the backyard! Ok, here qo...
Richard quickly remedied the situation with some "Redneck Engineering" & a tie-down, & we were back on our way to Clarksville. The day was still overcast & a bit "Nippy" but the forecast called for no more rain. We found our way to the contest site after breakfast & a quick stop to meet up with Joshua Rogers who had a "special" gift for us. Thanks JR, it was great! After picking our spot, unloading, and setting up, we got down to prepping around 10 AM. Around 12:15 PM we finally had everything prepped & in the coolers & set out for lunch. We met up with Paul Hood of & headed to Brunie's Bar & Grill for some chow. The atmosphere was Diners, Drive Inns, & Dives...more on the Dives side, but a cool place to eat, drink, & listen to music. I highly recommend Brunie's!

After lunch we had a great time seeing our BBQ Family. Joe & Voncile of Smokey Mountain Smokers, Bobbie & Lee McWright of Music City Pig Pals, Roxie & Gary of Governor's BBQ, to name a few. It was like a family reunion. We also re-connected with several teams that we don't see that often such as Smokin' Scotsmen, Doctor Porkenstein, Quau, Johnny Mitchell's Smokehouse, & Ol' Man Larry's BBQ. It was great catching up with them. Later in the afternoon, Gary showed up and DoRagQ was officially "In Da House"!

I want to thank Frazier Allen & the Downtown Kiwanis Club for a great event! We had a "Low Country Boil" courtesy Wayne of Bubba's Tennessee Smokers. That was some good eatin! Great job Wayne! At dusk, Gary fired up the outdoor fireplace and we all sat around having a great time visiting. Lou & Buck joined us and the party was on! We were about 100 yards from the Bud Lite Stage and the music the bands played was just right. After some "Apple Pie" for desert (thanks again Joshua) we called it a nite. There was some excitement at a nearby Hotel around 2 AM. Seems someone pulled the fire alarm & everyone was evacuated. We heard the sirens but I asure you that DoRagQ had nottin to do with it as we were all tucked in the bunks of Casa DoRag!

The first contest of the year is always a little different. Things don't usually flow just right, timing is off, tools & ingredients out of place, and we just don't remember what to do. We usually have to cook 3 to 4 contest before we are jelling. Thanks to the BBQ Gods we seemed to be in-sync for Porkin' in the Park. Out of 31 Teams, DoRagQ finished 9th in Chicken, 7th in Ribs, 7th in Pork, & 18th in Brisket. Placing 5th overall! Congratulations to Voncil & Joe of SMS on finishing Grand Champion. Our friends from Michigan, Smokin' Scotsmen were Reserve Grand Champions.

What a great weekend. Good contest, good music, good food, & good friends! Thank you Mark Walker of Wireless Plus & Motorola for your support. Lou & Buck thanks for your support & Gary & Richard for being the "Do" in DoRagQ! Up next, April 18th is High on the Hog in Winchester, TN. Hope we can keep it goin!

Click here to see more pictures of Porkin' in the Park!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's BBQ Time in Tennessee!

We are ready for our first contest of 2009. Porkin' in the Park will be held in downtown Clarksville, TN. Richard & I will leave out in the morning for the 45 minute drive. Gary, Jeff, Buck, & Lou will be joining us later in the day. Jeff is coming to hang out (I think he has the BBQ Bug again). Buck & Lou are coming to hang out and help wherever they can. Their contest season has not begun as of yet so we invited them to come hang with the DoRagQ Crew! We are excited to see all of our BBQ Family again. We have not seen some of them since last season. We also have a few new things to try out on the judges.

I spent last weekend and most every evening getting ready. It's almost like work! I gotta make it easier. I need a "Roadie"! Yeah, a BBQ Roadie. That would be cool. Anyone int rested should email their resume and a recent picture for consideration. Pay is low but great benefits! Hey you can party with the DoRagQ Gang. What more could you want?

I wish all my BBQ Family a "Hot Fire" & "Blue Smoke" this weekend. Gotta get some shut-eye. Tune in to the contest wrap-up on Sunday! Later Gator!