Rosenberg Masonic Lodge 881 14th Annual Texas State Championship Cook Off Experience

It has been sometime since my last post and doing some catch up.  I can say this cook-off again tested the limits of your human endurance and your cook abilities as well as testing your equipment to the fullest under adverse conditions.  This is not so much about the cook process but more about the BBQ competition experience and everything else!  I think for the vast majority of bbq’er this will apply.  This will probably be a point of laughter for the ones that had RVs and fancy pants trailers!

Weather conditions:  Raining, 15-25 MPH winds, and High 50 to low 60s degree temperature.

Equipment: Tent with side panels, trailer with pit, generator, ice chest etc, and F150 truck

At this point, I had learned my lessons from the Championship Cook-off at Bosque Bottoms that had 33 degree weather!!  I had wrapped my pit with insulation which extended refueling times as well as pit temp stability!  However, this time we had 15-25 MPH winds and rain!!  Amazingly enough my pit held up as well as the temps!  This turned out not to be the issue!  Pit held up just fine with the insulation despite the rain and strong winds!!

Roughing it:  Man, this was a smaller venue and I thought this was going to be a simple drive in and drive out competition.  WRONG!!  I had previewed the weather forecast and knew it was going to be cold but boy!  I didnt know about the rain and the wind.  I set up my tent and usual set up cot, chair, heater, bluetooth, etc. You know the creatue comforts 🙂

I spent the night fighting the wind as it was so strong it almost blew over my tent and raining so hard it was flooding the space I was in!!  We literally were walking on water!  Luckily, I put the truck bed down and had a place to hide my generator during the rains!  I at least had power.  While I was dealing with my living conditions, I also had to deal with my cooking!   Can I say that I didnt feel I gave the cooking as much attention as it was trying to keep my tent from flying away!! 

Despite all of what Mother Nature threw at us, the camaraderie of the BBQ Cook-off was still fantastic and I would do it again.  I had a good time hanging out with like minded people and who I call friends!  We will have stories to tell

Lesson Learned:  Planning!  I now believe that Planning is a key aspect of the BBQ competition and will update some of my previous post based on this experience.  It is not just the cook you have to worry about but also everything else!!

Let me know what you think below and comment?!

2018 Alvin Music Festival Experience

It was my first time competing in a cookoff.  I’ve been to several and provided minimal help, but this was my first time being judged. It’s a humbling proposition for anyone. It’s one thing to cook for friends or family but these are strangers and their sole purpose is to be hypercritical of your offering. Truthfully, I’ve been nervous for the last couple of weeks. I know I was prepared. I’ve probably smoked more than 15 chickens so far in 2018.

My flavors were good. I was able to control my temps on my Weber Smokey Mountain and I had my timing down. I am confident in cooking a chicken. However, there’s still that little voice in the back of your mind that’s asking,

“What if they hate it? What if I finish dead last?”

Saturday morning was a bit of a whirlwind. I like to brine for two hours. Chicken doesn’t need more than an hour to brine but two hours seems to loosen up the tendons a little more for me and imparts a little more flavor. I keep my brine very simple, which is a common theme for me. Some people like using buttermilk to add some acidity. I use water. Some folks use a number of spices in their brine. I don’t. Don’t think it needs it. Once the brine is ready, I spatchcocked the chickens. I like to be rid of the back and breast bones. Makes for a cleaner presentation.

Nothing left to do but the cook. The coals are ready. I dry off the chicken, spray down with EVOO and add my rub. It’s a very simple rub. I like to start skin side down to hopefully crisp up the skin while the coals are at their hottest. I also rotate the grills 180 degrees after an hour to hopefully impart a more even cook throughout the chicken. I was a degree or two from my optimal temp as it approached the deadline, so I flashed it nearest the coals for several minutes.

We made the turn-in time with a minute or two to spare. The adrenaline was off the charts!

It looked great presentation wise. Perfect golden and reddish hues on the skin. Now, we’re waiting. And waiting. The announcement was seven hours after we turned in our chicken. When I heard we earned 5th place, I couldn’t believe it. Honestly, I thought someone was pulling my leg. Validation. The hard work had paid off.

Everyone realizes these competitions are entirely subjective. People’s taste buds differ. However, this was fun. I’m excited to do it again. I only hope I can perform as well, or fingers crossed, better than I did this time.

5th place out of 151 teams!  2 places from the money rounds!

Josh G – is one of my best friends and finally took the leap to compete! Josh wrote the above article to share his BBQ competition experiences.  I loved the camaraderie and good times hanging!   Thank goodness he did!  Really showed that his chicken was excellante!

Keep on Q’ing

BBQ Kings!

Hello BBQ Aficionados!

Welcome to the grandeur of BBQ!!  The Pinoy Pitmasters love BBQ.  We believe in the 3 Ps of BBQ.

 

The 3 Ps of competition BBQ are

PRACTICE * PALATE * PLEASURE

We believe that PRACTICE is the the basis for perfect PALATE.  Friends and family is what makes BBQ PLEASURE!!