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Pickin' In The Panhandle

14th of 22 Teams

Chicken Ribs Chef's Choice
13th 16th 11th

Click pictures for details
See our BBQ Gallery for more pictures from the competition.

This was the first year for Pickin' at the Panhandle and it was not a sanctioned competition but followed the KCBS rules. They Plan to be KCBS sanctioned in 2008. This was a fun contest with huge sites. It should be even better next year.

We didn't do as well as we would have liked but since this was only our 2nd BBQ Competition we are pleased with our results and even happier about the lessons we learned. Things started down hill before we even left!

When I went to buy our chicken they didn't have any. I prefer a specific brand of organic, free range bird. I find them to be less fatty, smaller and a little taistier, and as a wize man once told me, "put your money in your bird". I had to go somewhere else & get different chicken. They weren't as uniform in size and bigger. Smaller thighs fit better in the box. --> Talk to the butcher early and make sure they will have what you want.

On the way we realized we had forgotten cutting boards, parchment paper and a thermometer for the second smoker. Luckily we found a great grocery store and where able to pick them up. Of course, later on we discovered we had also forgotten walnut oil (for the tenderloins), pillows and that we should have brought a spare set of shoes. The morning dew soaked our shoes and we spent the weekend with wet feet. --> Use the #@$! check list & prepare for the unexpected.

The pastry for the Beef Welingtons is easier to work with if it is kept frozen until you are ready to use it. I kept it frozen with dry ice. I didn't take into account the fact that at -109.3 F dry ice is much colder than my freezer. It took over an hour and a half for the pastry to thaw instead of the 40 minutes I had allowcated. You can imagine how this threw us off. --> If you are going to do someting differently try it at home first.

Since the pastry threw us behind I boxed the ribs right after turning in the chicken. Not only did I rush the box probable sacrificing appearnce points but they sat in the box for an hour. That had to impact our our tenderness scores too. The reason I rushed the ribs was because Christy had never assembled the Beef Wellingtons. At home I had always cooked the Wellingtons for 45 minutes to get them a nice golden brown. I had less than an hour to assemble eight, cook them and box them for turn in. As a result they didn't get as brown as I would have liked. --> All team members should be able to fill in if something goes wrong - this was my fault.

This is not meant as an excuse for our scores. Everthing that happened is part of the BBQ Competition experience and all of it was under our control. We were not at the top of our game and it hurt us. Oh - our camera malfunctioned too! We still had a great time and got to see and make new friends and that is what really matters.

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