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Competition Practice - The Full Monty

May 25 - 26, 2007

BBQ Competition set up

We have cooked BBQ ribs, Chicken, Pork Butts & Brisket to the point we are "almost" satisfied with the result. We received our banner, bought some canopies & a new tent so it was time to put it all together and stage a mock BBQ competition in the back yard.

Even though I was off Wednesday & Thursday things didn't go as smoothly as planned. Other things came up that altered my schedule so when Friday got here I still had a bunch to do. I needed to cut some PVC pipes for table extensions, buy lettuce and parsley, and do some house cleaning because people were coming Friday and Saturday and trim my meat. But by Friday night I was ready.

Friday night we had a friend stop by for a few pre-competition beverages and to check out our set-up. I'm sure she liked what she saw but she did point out one potentially embarrassing oversight on my part. Duely noted and a heart felt thanks!

I waited to long to set up the tent and had to do it in the dark. Not the best idea with a new tent but it went OK. I was sleeping in the tent - Christy opted for the bed.

I wrote our BBQ competition schedule on a white board to keep us on track. I think this helped out a lot by reducing the stress of trying to remember what to do when.

BBQ Schedule Board

Things went pretty much according to plan. Saturday morning Butts and Brisket are on the left - ribs on the right.

Butts and Brisket on the left - ribs on the right

Here are the ribs and my butts. The Butts are about done and the ribs still have a ways to go.

BBQ Pork Butts BBQ Ribs

The biggest disappointment of the weekend was that we didn't take more pictures.

Saturday afternoon arrived and we had some friends serve as mock judges for our mock BBQ competition. Before starting I gave them each a copy of the Kansas City BBQ Society Judges Instructions and asked them to be honest. They were and provided some useful feed back and I will make a couple adjustments.

I was able to get everything done and boxed on time. Some things were even done to early so I'll make some adjustments there too.

Here are what the boxes looked like, sorta. They looked better in person than they do here.

BBQ Chicken turn in BBQ Ribs turn in
The chicken was moist, tender and flavorful (I used a new rub too). The pieces were a little big and weren't as uniform in size as they should have been. Still need to practice trimming. They also suffered from RSS (Rubbery Skin Syndrome). Gotta plan for that too. The ribs looked great (Not as dark as they look here). Almost like mahogany furniture. In part, to something we over heard in Salisbury at Pork in the Park. They tasted great too. Juicy, smoky, flavorful and a great smoke ring. I should have turned one rib on it's side.
BBQ Pork turn in BBQ Brisket turn in
I cooked two butts identically except I injected one with a marinade. I could tell a subtle difference and I thought the injected one was a little better. Some thought it was a little salty in places others didn't. It may have been my best butt yet. Brisket is tough, pun intended. This was the first time I injected a brisket and the first time I cooked it fat down. I will continue to inject but it will be fat up next time. Overall, the brisket looked great, and the flavor was great (I thought it was a little salty but no one else did). It was a little over done, almost to the point of being crumbly. Plus, it was dry, dry, dry! Got to work on that.

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