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!

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