Wednesday, July 22, 2009

American Bass Anglers Barbeque Cook-Off

July 17-18, 2008

Paris, TN
On any weekend if you were to take one of the most beautiful areas in Tennessee, add a great lake, 100+ Bass Boats, some of the country's top fisherman some would say you would have a perfect weekend. The only thing missing (IMHO) would be the sweet smelling smoke from 30+ smokers barbecuing. If you were near Paris Landing in Paris Tennessee this past weekend then you were sure to see many people having the perfect weekend. Over 30 Pro & Back-Yard BBQ Teams & over 100 Bass Anglers competed in the first ever American Bass Anglers Barbeque Cook-Off. Paris is the first of five to be held in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, & Arkansas. I must admit, when I heard about this combination I was a bit skeptical, but after taking a chance on the inaugural event, DoRagQ is "ALL IN"! The ABA knows how to put on a great event! Sure there were a few glitches, that is to be expected at a first year contest. The ABA got those taken care of & proceeded to put on a very cool contest. I was very impressed with the ABA and look for them to learn from the glitches & make the next stop in Kuttawa, KY even better!

The Bass Tournament was very interesting as I had never been to one. I was very impressed at the lengths the ABA & Anglers go to insure the well being of the fish. The Bass are constantly in aerated water & carefully released after weigh-in to insure the continued growth of fish in the lake. The ABA Staff was very professional & concerned that the BBQ'ers were taken care of as well. The "Icemen" were frequent, & there was always someone from the ABA asking if we needed anything. This first year event was run as well if not better than some I have participated in with more experience. Again, my DoRag is off to the ABA & Early Times!

As for the BBQ thing, we had a great time. The weather was perfect and we had many members of our BBQ Family in attendance. Team Allegro, Shadetree Cooks, The Pit Crew BBQ Team, Swiggin Pig, & Big River BBQ to name a few. We even had some family in the Backyard division with Gooby's BBQ & T's Custom Smokers there as well. It was great to see them all. For the first time in several contest all members of DoRagQ would be in attendance! Gary, Richard & I arrived, set up, & prepped meat. Several Teams had decided to cook steaks & fixins for dinner & before you knew it we had a full blown chow line forming. I don't know how we pulled it off but between Swiggin Pig, Jiggy Piggy, The Pit Crew, & Gettin Piggy With It, we fed over 30 people! Many were with the ABA & Early Times & it was great to get to know them & share some grub! I think a good time was had by all. (Thanks Joe for the gift!) The remaining night was calm by DoRag's standards. So we all turned in early & got some shut-eye.

Saturday morning we awoke to over 200 trailer lights lined up at the boat ramp! It was quite a scene watching them orchestrate launching their boats. I think they have done this a time or two. Around 5:30 AM we headed over to the pier and watched the ABA peeps do a safety inspection on the boats. A quick playing of the National Anthem & off they went! We headed back to Casa DoRag & whooped up some breakfast. The rest of the morning we spent visiting & cooking. By mid-morning most everything was going according to plan. We had one stubborn pork butt that did not want to get up to temperature, but that was the only glitch. We constructed our boxes & made all the turn-ins on time. Now all we had to do was wait it out. The awards were advertised as 5-ish so we cleaned up & packed.

Around 3PM we headed over to watch the weigh-in. I am here to tell you there was some Big-Ass Fish! I think the "Biggest Fish" was 7.4 LBS! Very cool! I can see why these guys & gals do this. Very exciting! Finally the weigh-in was over & the attention was on the BBQ. The first awards were for the Backyard Division. Our good friend Smokin T's Custom Smokers got calls in both chicken & ribs & won RGC & friends Gooby's BBQ took 2nd in chicken & 1st in ribs taking the GC! What a great finish. Congrats to all! the announcer was only calling out the top 5 in each category so it was hard to figure out where you stood. We did not get a top 5 call in chicken with Big River gettin the win followed by Jiggy Piggy in 2nd & Swiggin Pig in 4th. Ribs started out with Swiggin Pig getting a call in 5th & again Jiggy Piggy in 2nd. We thought we had good ribs & figured we were somewhere 6th to 10th. But wait! We could not believe it when we got the first place call for ribs! Holy sheep-shit Batman! Call the Chief! WOW! I am still excited! Needless to say there was some hoopin & hollerin goin on! We once tied for 1st in ribs but lost the tiebreaker so this was our first bonnified win in a category! It was great to get the win with Gary & Richard both there. They have worked hard for this & I'm glad to share it with them. Ok, back to the rest of the categories. In pork, Team Allegro got the call for 5th & Big River came in 3rd. You guessed it, Jiggy Piggy was 2nd & our Arkansas friends Delta Smoke took the win! In brisket, there were some new names. Hillbilly Hoggers, Smelly Butts BBQ, & Redneck Grillers were 5th thru 3rd. Again, Jiggy Piggy was 2nd & the win went to Barry, Mike, & Riley of Swiggin Pig! Great Job! I must admit even with a 1st in ribs I was somewhat disappointed that we had not gotten any other calls so when they gave the overall top 10 we were sure surprised to hear DoRagQ called in 4th place! We had managed a 7th in chicken, a 7th in pork, & 9th in brisket. Combined with our 1st place ribs we had a pretty good day! Congrats to Jiggy Piggy, their 4-2nds were un-stoppable & they took the GC with Redneck Grillers from Missouri taking RGC. Great location, great weather, great new association with the ABA, great people, & good friends. Hell that would have been enough for us to consider it a great weekend. To get 4 top 10's & our first ever category win, priceless!

Thanks to all our BBQ Family for the kind words, calls, & emails. They mean the world to us. Thanks to all that have given us advice & help as we continue to learn the art of BBQ. Thanks to Jack S. Rife, Jr. (my Grampo) for teaching me about BBQ & celebrating his 90th birthday on 7/14. Thanks to Gary & Richard for being great friends & the "Do" in DoRagQ! Hope we can continue to "not make anybody sick with our food"! We will be headin down to McMinnville on August 14th & 15th. Come hang out with us if your in the area. We love company but when we say you gotta git, you gotta go!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DoRagQ's Schedule!

Several DoRagQ followers have been asking where & when we will be competing. Ok, actually only one follower asked....Ok it was Richard but still it counts! Anyway here is our schedule for the remainder of 2009:

July 17-18 - Paris, TN - American Bass Anglers Barbeque Cook-Off

July 22 - Nashville, TN - Our Kid Director's Meeting

August 1 - Evansville, IN - IMI Company Truck Rodeo

August 14-15 - McMinnville, TN - Smokin' in McMinnville

August 28-29 - Nashville, TN - Music City BBQ (Tennative)

September 4-5 - College Grove, TN - Pig'n in the Grove

September 11-12 - Cookeville, TN - Cookeville Cookoff

September 18-19 - Guntersville, AL - American Bass Anglers Barbeque Cook-Off

September 25-26 - Owensboro, KY - Grillin & Chillin BBQ Contest

October 2-3 - Gallatin, TN - Smokin' on the Square

October 9-10 - Lewisburg, TN - Lewisburg Rotary Club BBQ Cook-Off

October 23-24 - Lynchburg, TN - The "Jack" (Not cookin, just hangin out)

October 30-31 - Talladega, AL - DegaQue - King of the Pit (Tennative)

Hope you can come & hang out with us as we continue to compete on the the KCBS BBQ Circut.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tennessee State Championship BBQ

June 27, 2009

Lawrenceburg, TN
Much has happened since my last contest report. Ed McMahon, Tim Krekel, Karl Malden, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, & Steve McNair have passed on leaving us to again realize that fame & fortune does not always guarantee a happy life & a peaceful death. In the end, all we leave behind are the memories & impressions that we leave on those left behind. Live every day like it may be your last. No regrets! Above all tell those you love that you do! You may not have another chance. Ok, off the soapbox..... Now for the BBQ thang!

2009 would be DoRagQ's second visit to the Tennessee State Championship BBQ in Lawrenceburg, TN. We first competed in 2007. About all I can remember was it was hotter that a Stick Burner & we did not finish well. As Richard & I headed to the contest site on Friday, we hoped the weather & our food would both be better. Gary "Nickelback" was enjoying a much needed vacation in the Carolina's & would not be making the trip. When we arrived at the contest site we were shown to our site right next to my old friend Ron Montgomery of Team Top Chick. The Top Chick gang has been on fire this year winning a Grand & placing well in several contest. Soon after getting settled Brenda & Buck of High on the Hawg arrived & settled in on the other side of the Top Chicks. We had them surrounded!

Once we all exchanged greetings & visited for a while it was time to prep the meat. No surprises there. With prep complete we met up with Joe & Voncil of Smokey Mountain Smokers, & Buck & Brenda & headed out for some lunch at a Meat & 3 I knew about called "The Taste of the Town". Great home cooked food & service. I highly recommend it if you are in the area. With our bellies full we headed back to the contest site for more visiting. Many of the top teams were in attendance, Lotta Bull, Smokers Wild, Smokin Triggers, & Swamp Boys BBQ, to mention a few. In all there were 56 pro teams. The competition was gonna be tough but then it always is. There ain't no "bottom feeding" at any KCBS contest! We decided to act like the "Big Dogs" & rent us a golf cart. Apparently Richard did not have much experience operating a golf cart as I soon found out! I don't think we injured anybody but I can't say the same for the cart!

At the last contest in Franklin, KY our neighbors Big & Twig & us decided to cook up a "Cajun-Low-Country-Boil" for our Friday night dinner. Well mostly Big & Twig provided the ingredients & the cookin skills & before you knew it, we had a feast that any Cajun would be proud of! Shrimp, andouille sausage, corn, potatoes, & onions all took a dip in the Hott Tub of Cajun Love. B&T added a great salad & some ice cold beer & it was on! We had a great time visitin, & eatin, & drinkin, & eatin, & drinkin, & drinkin, &.... well you know what I mean. A perfect 999 from all that attended. Thanks to Big & Twig for the hook up! You guys ROCK! After that great meal & a few night-caps it was time to "Hit the Hay"!

Morning came quickly & it was time to get serious. We experienced some mechanical difficulties with one of our cookers but with the help of our neighbor Buck we quickly improvised & managed to get everything cooked and in the box on time. I felt our chicken was solid, our ribs were decent, the pork was so-so, & the brisket was in the money! If you follow my blog you know we have been struggling with our pork lately. Richard had some ideas so I told him to go with it. He was totally in charge of pork. Win, lose, or draw it didn't matter as we had not been scoring well. After turn in we packed up Casa DoRag & I drove us up to the awards in the golf cart. I want to mention Carl Counce & his staff did a fantastic job putting on this event. We always had someone asking us if we needed anything, the entertainment was great, & there was lots of locals wandering around. A real festival atmosphere. Thanks to Carl, The Kiwanis Club, & Lawrencburg for a truly first class event.

Now on to the awards. Swamp Boys BBQ took 1st in chicken with South Pork in 2nd. South Pork has also been cookin great lately. Must be that new Backwoods! We must have eaten the best pieces as we finished 46th. We didn't do much better in ribs finishing 39th. JoeBeaz Blazin Butts & Wings took top honors with Smokers Wild finishing 2nd. Then it was time for pork... I looked at Richard as he was saying "there ain't no way we are getting a call in pork" & no sooner had he gotten the words out of his mouth, they called in 10th place DoRagQ! HAAAAAAAAA! I wish I had a picture of Richard's face! He could not believe it. I made him go up & get the award by himself. I tell you that made the contest! What a great moment! The "Legendary" Johnny Trigg of Smokin Triggers took the win with The Grillin Stones coming in 2nd. Big & Twig was nippin at their heels in 3rd. E.M. Azing BBQ took the win in brisket with Smokers Wild & Smokey Mountain Smokers in 2nd & 3rd. The DoRagQ Gang managed to place 9th! The overall win went to Joe & Voncil of Smokey Mountain Smokers! (Way to go Mom & Dad!) Lotta Bull finished 2nd with Smokers Wild in 3rd. South Pork, Smokin Triggers, The Grillin Stones, E.M. Azing BBQ, Big & Twig, House of Q, & good friends High on the Hawg rounded out the top ten. We managed to place 25th in a very strong field. While not our best effort we did finish better than in 2007. It was all worth seeing Richard's face when we got the call in pork!

Once again we managed to finish in the top 50% of the field. Hey we are still learning, tweaking, & experimenting. At least we are getting our name called for something other than to MOVE YOUR TRUCK! We had a great time visiting, eatin, & drinkin with our BBQ Family. I also learned that Ron of Team Top Chick keeps his secrets well as I didn't learn a thing he was doing but it was great seeing Ron, Nancy, & the rest of the Montgomery family! We have a few weeks off until our next cook. July 17-18th at Paris Landing State Park on Kentucky Lake. This is a new series put on by the American Bass Anglers in conjunction with a Bass Tournament. Sounds cool. Come by & check it out if you are in the area. I think I'm gonna let Richard cook everything. Maybe I am holding us back! Cee Ya!