Thursday, June 10, 2010

Red, White, Blue & BBQ Topeka KS 5/28 & 5/29

This was the first year Topeka has had a contest in about 5 years. Jon is from Topeka so he suggested that we cook it. Will, his son Zach and Jon headed out Friday morning and got to T-Town around 12:00. It was hot and for a first year contest the organizers did a pretty good job getting all 38 teams in. We got set up and Jon's dad and his dog "Rosco" came out to spend the afternoon and that was pretty cool.

I will go ahead and say, this contest was a complete freaking disaster for Sticks-N-Chicks. If you wanted something to go wrong it did. Here is the list of crap that happened to us!

1) When hanging the team flag we hung it upside down!
2) Ran out of Rib Rub for the ribs Saturday.
3) We had $100 worth of briskets spoil on us Thursday the day before the contest.
4) Our chicken was spoiled when we opened it Friday night to prep it.
5) Forgot our pork injection in Kansas City.
6) Neighbors next to us where noisy as hell partying all night.
7) Jon burned his leg Saturday morning.
8) Generator was turned off the Friday night 2 times by the neighbors, not sure why.
9) Thought the temp on the smoker, cooking ribs was off by 15 degrees. Jacked up temp to make up time and overcooked the ribs.
10) When we wrapped our pork the our wrap broke and the pretty much over all the liquid spilled all over the table.
11) Last but not least we almost managed to kill us all by putting the smoker to close to the trailer Friday night. The smoke started pouring into the trailer when we went to bed! Zach woke us up telling us that smoke was pouring into the trailer, and yes it was. We moved the smoker :)!

Saturday morning we were pretty much over all the crap that happened Friday. We started working on our chicken turn in and the chicken was salty as hell. We scrambled and decided the only thing could do was turn it in skinless, because the skin was what held all the salt. Chicken finished 25th. Ribs were a disaster and we knew it, they finished 35th. Pork was the first meat we pulled off that was decent, but it finished 25th. At this point we were like WTF. We had brisket left to turn in and we thought it was pretty decent.

Sitting at awards, they called the top 10 for all categories. We got to 3rd place in brisket and Will looked at Zach and shook his head, all of us heard who got 2nd, and Zach looked at his dad and said, "there is always first and that was a first place brisket," the next call made was Sticks-N-Chicks for 1st place brisket! Unfreaking believable!

This contest was very well run. We were dumbfounded on the brisket call and to top that we missed a perfect score, which is a 180, 6 tenths of a point! That was incredible and it shows you never give up on any category regardless of what happens. We learned a lot from this contest and trust me we will make sure we learned from our mistakes!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Platte City BBQ Cook-Off Platte City, MO May 7th and 8th 2010

This is going to be a quick post because there really was not anything too exciting that happened at this contest, and I need to get caught up with the blog :)! There were 47 teams competing and other then it being windy it was a great contest. We got to witness a good friend, Jeff Stith (Big Creek BBQ) along with his wife and daughter, win there first ever GC. That was pretty cool to see and these guys have been on a tear this year.

This is a very well run contest and the the resort is one of the best sites to hold a contest, we will definatley be back next year. Overall we finished 23rd, Chicken we finished 46th, Ribs we finished 40th, Pork we finished 6th, and brisket we finished 10th.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sugar Creek MO 4-23 and 4-24


Our next contest is in Sugar Creek MO. This is another 1st for Sticks-N-Chicks and we were excited to be there. Will dropped the trailer on Thursday afternoon and both Matt and myself got a phone call on his way home, stating how frustrated he was with this contest already. I was like, "dude we have not even cooked it". Turns out there is a limited amount of space and it was a very tight fit getting the trailer dropped in our spot. I will admit I was concerned for what the weekend would bring after hearing that. Will went out Friday morning and since Matt and I do not have the luxery of having 10,000 hours of PTO days, we had to work and come out in the afternoon.

The concern Friday was the weather. This is the start of Tornado season in the midwest and we were in a decent risk of a tornado outbreak. Thankfully someone was looking out for all the contestants at this contest. We dodged a huge bullet and for whatever reason we were spared the sever weather. We did get rain but nothing severe.

The highlite of the weekend was, a very dear friend of ours and many in the BBQ community, decided to come out not only Friday but again Saturday and hang out with us. "Snail" is the "Godfather of BBQ." Snail has cooked BBQ before all of us were born. He is the manufacturer of the "Trash Cans" we cook on, and his knowledge of BBQ is unreal. From a personal stand point he makes me think outside the lines when it comes to cooking BBQ. The hours Will, myself, and Matt have spent with Snail are irresplacable. He truly is a blast to hang out with and to sit and not only cook BBQ but hear his stories are beyond words. Snail thank you for all your insight and hours you have spent with us helping us in our journey.


Overall we finished 16th out of 52 teams. Chicken killed us again, 39th overall. Ribs we finished 7th, Pork 16th, Brisket 19th and Sausage we finished 7th.

This was an awesome contest overall. Spending time with Snail was a treat and finishing the way we did was awesome. We have ideas on chicken that are in the works and we will debut that in 2 weeks, May 7th and 8th in Platte City MO.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pleasant Hill MO April 2,3 2010

Our 2nd contest of the year was in Pleasant Hill MO. This is the first time we have competed at this contest, but from its reputation its a contest we had to cook. Jeff Stith and Stan Cook are some of the best organizers in KCBS and let me tell you these guys do one hell of a job putting on a contest. We took the trailer out on Thursday night to get it out there early. Friday, Will picked me up and we were out there by 9:30. We got everything set up by 11:00 and then out of no where, we had a storm blow through. It was somewhat breezy for a while but we survived. It rained a lot throughout the day but it finally cleared late in the day.


All the rain left a lot of mud. As I write this, I wish I would have taken a picture, of the amount of dirt we had in the trailer. Will said he swept and mopped the floor 2 times to get it clean. We got to cooking around midnight Friday night. Went to bed and got up early Saturday morning to get the briskets started. Like North KC we were on schedule and we were happy that things were going as planned.

We got everything turned in on time and we were pretty happy with the what we turned in., unfortunatley the judges had a diffrent opinion.

Overall we finished 23rd out of 65 teams. 41st in Chicken, 44th in Ribs (We learned a valuable mistake we mad that Matt will keep to himself LOL), 15th in pork and 15th in Brisket.

Our next contest is 4-23-10and 4-24-10 in Sugar Creek MO

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

NKC March 12th and 13th 2010

Hey I know we are late getting this posted but better late then never IMO! We survived the winter and cooked a ton of food in practice sessions and Will was even kind enough to buy us a new toy, a trailer that is big enough to live in. we had 1 practice cook out of it and it was really nice. Everything organized and really allowed us to concentrate on cooking without having to worry about the weather.

NKC was start of a new season for Stick-N-Chicks BBQ team in 2010. As usual the contest was fun but very cold. It is always hit and miss when it comes to this contest. Weather wise you never know what you are going to get. The selling point of this contest in my opinion is its is the first one in KC and tons of teams are anxious to get cooking from a long winter.

This year was no diffrent then last other then the amount of teams exploded from 78 last year to 108 this year. My personal opinion is the reality show "BBQ Pitmasters" shown on TLC had alot to do with it. It was fun the to see the growth of the sport.

Our cook was good and we were lucky enough to have good friend of ours, who as I write this has become a "Master BBQ Judge" (you get to be a master judge after having judged 30 competitions). He hung out all weekend with us and it was fun to get an opinion from someone who knows what to look for when it comes to BBQ. For this contest we finally hit all of our marks. we went in with a plan to follow our cook schedule and we did a good job doing that. The overall results showed in that too.

Although we did not get any calls we finished strong. Overall we finished 19th out of 108. Chicken was 27th, Ribs were 20th, Brisket was 37th (All of us thought we got robbed on brisket, we did think it was one of the best we have cooked), Pork was 36th overall.

All in all a good cook for the start of the year. Our next contest is Pleasant Hill MO on April 2nd and 3rd 2010.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

American Royal Oct 1-4 2009

The American Royal. The Super Bowl of BBQ. This is the biggest contest of the year and it's the one every competitive team strives for. It brings teams from all over the country. From California to Maine, and from Washington to Florida. To me this is the beauty of this contest, it brings the best of the best from all over the country. This contest is set up in 2 parts. The first contest is the Invitational. This is held Friday into Saturday. The teams that cook the invitational, are the teams that have won Grand Championships at any contests deemed a "State Championship"in the 2008-2009 season. This year I believe there were 129 competing. Our team was not competing in the Invitational, but we were out there Friday watching these guys cook and hanging out with other teams.

This years winner of the Invitational was This is an awesome and well deserved win for these guys. Todd Johns the head cook for this team is one of the most well respected guys in bbq. Very open and willing to share ideas and will help any team that has a question about bbq.

Friday night of this contest is known more for the party then the Invitational. In my opinion that is too bad because there are so many stories to tell other then the 30,000 people coming out to get drunk and hang out at parties. The simple fact you have teams like Rics Rightous Ribs from San Jose California, who won the Califonia State Championship to qualify for the American Royal. Ric was able to get in touch with the BBQ community and borrow gear from BBQ teams in Iowa and in and around KC. The generosity of these folks allowed his team to come to KC and compete in the Royal. To compete in BBQ is not cheap. To get your gear, that you are used to cooking on, and driving across the country in order to cook is not going to happen very often. It is way to expensive and takes way to much time away from family and work to do it.

Saturday brought a day that we actually did a little cooking. We decided that we would compete in the vegetable category, the baked beans category, the open sides category and the potato category. We have competed in desserts and sides before but not all of them in 1 contest. It was a lot of fun and it was a little hectic. One of the special moments for me ever in cooking BBQ was getting my daughter Madison to finally cook in a BBQ contest. She wanted to cook the dessert category in my opinion she did one hell of a job. She cooked an Oreo Truffle. The presentation was incredible but for whatever reason the judges did not agree. It was very special for me to have her cook along side us and I really hope she continues.

Sunday brought the second half of the bbq contest. This was the Open contest and this contest only brought, I believe 473 teams. Yes 473, thus this is reason why this is the Superbowl of BBQ. Overall we finished 229. Chicken we finished 292, Ribs 120, Pork 294 and Brisket 241 and our highlite was finishing 45th in Sausage!

Our neighbors right behind us, Boondoggle BBQ won the Open. Bobby and Don are brothers, that have been competing about 4 years. It was one hell of an experience seeing these guys win the Open. Could not have happened to 2 nicer guys. There BBQ lives have changed. They are an automatic entry to the Jack Daniels Invitational in 2010, automatic entry to the American Royal Invitational 2010 and the American Royal Open in 2010. To me the beast conversation I had was on Saturday morning. I was out walking around drinking coffee and stopped by Bobby and Don's site to say hi. I asked Bobby if we we were supposed to hang our "Kingford's Charcoal Signs" in public view. Bobby looked at me and said, "I have no idea why the hell Don even signed us up for that challenge. In hate Kingsford and do no even use it". The kicker of that conversation is this..................

Bobby and Don won $12,500 for Grand Champion of the American Royal Open. By signing up for the "Kingsford Challenge," Kingsford just doubled their prize $$$$$$. They walked out of there with a mere $25,000 for cooking on a charcoal they do not even use!

Thanks for following us this season and for coming out to the contests. We will be cooking a lot in the off season and tweaking recipes. We made a lot of progress this season and have a ways to go to get where we want to be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shawnee Great Grillers State Championship

September 25 & 26 2009

Well I am way late on getting this written but the last 2 weeks have been crazy busy with BBQ, building decks, soccer and getting ready for the American Royal. So with that I promise to keep this short. Nothing crazy or exciting happened at this competition except for the fact we cooked against 108 other teams and this is one of the strongest fields of cooks we will cook against year in and year out. The popularity of this contest comes from the people that run it. It is very well run and is one of my favorites.

Overall we finished here is how we finished.

Overall 21st out of 106

Chicken 52 out of 106

Ribs 6th out of 106

Pork 77th out of 106

Brisket 18th out of 106

Our next contest is the open contest at the American Royal Oct 1-4 2009.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WOW!!!! What a diffrence a year makes!

Shawnee Cross Points BBQ, Shawnee KS 9-11& 9-12

What another great weekend cooking BBQ. This contest actually has a lot of irony attached to it on 2 parts. The first part has to do with the weather. Last year, at about 4:00 in the afternoon, the local weather service broke in and interrupted every talk show on TV. Turns out a weird weather weather pattern had developed over NE Kansas and tornadoes were building fast. Over the next several hours tornadoes, heavy rain and high winds blasted NE Kansas. A tornado touched down about 1.5 miles due west of the church. For September this is very rare. Usually its hot and dry at this time of year, so an outbreak of tornadoes is kind of freaky.

The second irony of this contest is when I met "Sticks-N-Chicks". This was Will's first contest. After seeing a post on the and read how this was his first contest and how he and his dad did 8 practice cooks in Will's driveway and how he was stoked for his first contest. I had already planned on going out there, just to see how this contest was set up and say hi to some friends, when I decided that I had to stop by and say hi. I did stop by and hung out with Will and his dad and a basically the rest is history.

As I have written before, with every contest there always brings something that as a competitor you just say "WOW. Our neighbors just to our south was a team out of Carthage Missouri. Caveman Cuisine BBQ Team. They have one of the coolest set up I have seen,a log cabin on wheels. Chad is a super nice guy and we have competed against him at several contests. I noticed early Saturday morning that his "Cabin on wheels" looked a little tilted. Turns out he had a flat tire. Not only do you have all the food you need to cook and get turned in on time but you have a flat tire to deal with. By mid morning they had the tire off and later when I went and asked if they need help with anything, he said his father in law was working on getting a tire.

It also turns out that on the way up to KC, his transmission on his pick up overheated and they had to wait 2 hours for it to cool down. Chad was about 30 miles from the contest site but he could not go any further until it cooled down. With all this "Captain Caveman BBQ" team finished with a 4th place finish overall. My hat is off to them for this finish. This is the stuff that make teams loose there minds at contests.

Overall it was a succesful weekend for "Sticks-N-Chicks". We finished 19th overall with a 23rd place finish in chicken, 20th in Ribs, 4th in Pork, and 27th in Brisket.

This week we are off to cook at

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hey Dorothy are we in Kansas any more?

Paola Kansas August 28th and 29th 2009.

The title is a legit title to this Blog entry. The weather that last few weeks has been incredible for this time of year. Hopefully we do not pay for it this winter!

This was the first time Sticks N Chicks BBQ competed at Paola, but what an exprience. Located on the town square of Paola Kansas about 30 minutes south of Kanas City. This is an annual event that brings there town to a halt. It's the 20th annual Paola Roots and Blues festival and this town knows how to put on a party. The festival is an annual event that brings some of the biggest names to play Blues music, and perform on the massive stage they have set up. It's a small town feel with a rock star atmosphere. Over the last couple of years they have brought John Lee Hooker, Kenny Wayne Sheppard and this year they brought in Marc Broussard and The Robert Cray Band. Friday night we ventured up and watched Marc Broussard, and I will say, never seeing him or knowing who he is, that man can play guitar. Fun to watch and as I type this I still can not believe how many people where in the town square hanging out. Should have taken a picture!

One of the things that I always take in at a contest is where we have to set up our camp in relation to where we turn in our bbq. The set up for us at this contest, was somewhat of a hike. We were, I think 3-4 blocks away from turn in. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND, trust me it will make sense later. In the picture to the left, if you click on it and blow it up you will see the blue canopy in the distance. That is the roof of the stage. 50' this side of it was the entrance to where we went in to turn our stuff in. The walk from the entrance was about to the middle of the square.

Mike and Karen were kind enough to bring there RV down for us to stay in and again it never fails, we had a TON of people stop by and ask what are you guys cooking in, and we tell them trash cans. They look at the RV and look at the cans and shake there heads. I will admit I do think its funny. Thank you Mike and Karen for letting us stay in your RV, I will speak for all of us, it is a treat.

Saturday morning we woke up around 5:30am to get briskets and the pork butts rubbed down. Now real quick I have to paint a picture. You can see the banners hanging and please take note of the spot between the BBQ Brethern sign and the Budweiser banner, there is a small opening between the two. At 5:45am, mind you I am a little tired, maybe a little hungover, and basically not awake, I am working on the the pork butts and all of a sudden out of nowhere this dude pops in between the signs and says " Whats up"! Scared the hell out of me. He started telling me his life story and I basically tried to ignore his drunk ass and finally he left. Man he scared the crap of me! So 10 minutes goes by and what do you know the Paola PD stop by our camp looking for a white male, black ball cap and gray tee shirt. Guess what, it's the man that made me poop my pants. I told them that I saw him but did not know where he went. Turns out the drunkard started knocking on peoples doors at 6am and running off. Not sure if they caught him hope they did.

The morning moves along really nice. Remember we are cooking at high heat in a short period of time and keeping track of "when we turn or it will burn" we have to have several timers in place to keep track of what gets turned and what gets flipped.

The fun part of the morning always comes right before your first turn in. I get nervous becasue this is the time you have to pay attention to what you are doing. You want it to be a well oiled machine but any hicups and your have to know how to recover. So this beautiful morning things get a little crazy. We ran into a space issue because we decided to this contest on only 3 cans and no Fast Eddy! So chicken needs to get on and we cook chicken in lets say, X number of minutes. Well we are about 10 minutes behind and when we should have put them on. Matt our chicken Biatch is concerned, as am I.

Take note of the clocks above because the chicken is still on the UDS. Do these guys look concerned? There not. I am that's why I am taking pictures!

Chicken turn in at this and most contests takes place between 11:55 and 12:05. Well as you can see our chicken is still cooking. One thing to remember is chicken has to be cooked to 165 degrees or you will get sick. We got the chicken up to temp and we were ready to turn it in. Please take note that earlier in this blog I mentioned where our camp was, well we had to run to get it turned in. We made it but barely.

Overall this contest was a blast but as with any contest we learned a ton. Overall we finished 29th out of 63. Chicken we finished 10th and this call was AWESOME! We were not in the $$$ but we did get a call. Ribs we finished 27th out of 63 teams. Pork we finished 55th (Guess what we are trying a new recipe the next contest). Finally we finished 41st in brisket.

Our next contest is September 11th and 12th.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to Back baby!

Olathe 2009

This past weekend we competed in the Olathe Kansas Wheels "N" Squeels contest. This was a first time event for the organizers and can I say they hit a home run with this contest. I can not put into words how organized this contest was. These people acted like they have run this contest for the last 100 years. The contest was held at the Olathe Bible Church in Olathe Kansas. They had 48 teams competing and they seriosuly had room for 500 teams. The church is located on a huge piece of property and come to find out, the reason nothing was bulit on the majority of this land is because of gas lines that run under ground. Sounds like a great place to have a BBQ contest doesn't it :)

We all arrived Friday and it was hot. Friday night after we got everything ready for the competition we hung out with family and friends. The highlight of the weekend was being able to stay in Mike 40' RV. That thing is a beauty and it turns alot of heads when people see us staying in that but cooking on trash cans. Trust me several people asked what the hell we were doing!

Got up early saturday morning to start cooking and everything got put on in time. One of the traditions with BBQ contests is a good luck shot that is hosted by a team. The shot is usually "Gentlemens Jack" and it is usually done at 9:22 or 11:00. Why these times I do not know, but taking a shot of whiskey at that time of day is ROUGH! One of my good friends, Jerod Caton with was kind enough to host this one. One thing that can happen that is sometimes uncontrolled is another team will pop in with more shots and guess what you better take them because as they always say, "its good luck" This happened to us witrh Paul from the ! The ironic thing is Paul was Grand Champion of this contest so maybe there is karma that will be coming our way :). By the way if you get a chance take a look at the Pickled Pigs website. It is incredible the amount of info he has on there.

After all the shots were done we were a little pressed for time with the chicken. Gee go figure! Thankfully cooking chicken on the trash cans can be easy. We have cooked chicken in as little as 27 minutes. This chicken was cooked more to tempt then time and it turned out pretty good. Olathe 2009

The awards were at 3:00 PM and it was HOT! Temperature was close to 100 and thankfully the wind kept the temps managable. I think the highlite of the contest was after the awards presentation. Earlier saturday morning they had a chinook helicopter flew in for the public to tour. After the awards the organizers wanted to add a "Grand Finally" to this contest by having the chinook take off before everyone left the contest. This was freaking amazing. They took off and not only did they blow over an outhouse but they ruined a perfectly good KU EZ Up. You can see it before it blew over in the picture above.I will admit I felt bad for the team that lost that tent but when I saw it had the dirty bird on it I was like oh well! I do hope the organizers made it right for that team. As I walked by there camp and saw the damage I heard one of the guys from that camp say "this was an awesome contest until now," as he looked at the damage done by the chinook taking off. I have admit I had to agree with him.

We are off for the next 2 weeks and our next stop will be Paola Kansas August 28th and 29th.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nothing is level in Laurie MO

Laurie Missouri, located in the heart of the Lake of the Ozarks was the next stop on our BBQ trail. Will and Christy had planned a family vacation for the same week as this BBQ contest so it only seemed perfect that we head down and meet them in Laurie for this contest. The contest his held in the camping ground for the city of Laurie. It is not level by any means. I wish I would have taken pictures to show how much some of the 5th wheels, trailers etc, were raised of the ground. Some of them when I saw them, I thought if support gives way we could have a disaster on my hands.

With Will and his family already down there, that left me, Matt and Mike to come down at the end of the week. Matt went down Thursday night and Mike came down with his family of Friday morning. I unfortunatley had to work and came down friday evening.

Friday night was spent hanging with friends and celebrating Andy Groneman's ( ). Andy and his wife Kim threw a huge shrimp boil and it was pretty damn good food. After the party we went back to our camp and just hung out talking to neighbors and then it was off to get some sleep for an early morning wake up call.

We got up and got the UDS'S (Ugly drum Smokers) up and running and up to temp in about 15 minutes. That's one of the beauties of cooking on the trash cans, they get hot and up to temp in a very short period of time. We got the butts and brisket seasoned and on the cans. Now this is were the fun begins. Cooking on cans in my opinion is alot of fun because there is no margin for error. You have to pay attention to what you are doing, if you don't you run the risk of turn that butt, brisket, chicken and ribs into a brand new door stop. You have to constantly run timers and spin and turn the meat to keep it from burning. We finally got the butts and brisket to the desired color we wanted and now it was time to wrap them and stick them in the Fast Eddy ( for them to finish cooking. After there in the FE we focused our attention to chicken and ribs.

Everything got done in a timely manner. We were not up against the clock in any of our categories which was good because we had a Kids Q competiton taht we needed to help with. Kids Q to me is always a highlite of any contest. Its were the kids get to compete agains themselves and with the help of there parents get to cook whatever the category the contest pics and cook something up and get it turned in. Most of the time the contests have the kids cook hamburgers or hotdogs and sometimes they really throw it to the kids and make them cook chicken. Any team that says they like chicken is LIEING! Chicken is a hard category and to have the kids cook it is always a treat because they have no idea how hard it is to cook chicken. Anyways for this contest they had the choice of cooking hamburgers or hotdogs. We had cooking in our camp Will's daughter Kennedy, Matts son Andrew and daughter Hannah and Mike son Sammy. All the kids had 1 hour to cook and they had to get there stuff turned in no later then 10:05 am saturday morning. All the kids got there finshed product turned in on time and now Christy (Will's wife) could turn her attention to the dessert she was maiing for the open category. She got the dessert finished and turned in and now we had to wait for the awards to see how everyone did.

All of us felt good about everything we turned in. Nothing was out of line and we actually had what we call a "good problem." A "good problem" is when you cook 2 diffrent recipies for the same type of meat and you have no idea which one to turn in. This happened with our ribs. Mike cooked 3 racks with his recipe and Matt cooked 3 racks with his recipe. We all tasted and debated for a few minutes and then we finally came to a decision on which ribs we were turning in.

Overall we finished 18th out of 77 teams. Chicken we finished 24th out of 77. Ribs we finished 16th out of 77. Pork we finished 25th out of 77 and brisket we finished 29th out of 77. The highlite of the awards came when Will's daughter Kennedy finsihed 2nd overall in the Kids Q with her burger. The next highlite came with Christy (Will's) wife finishing 6th in the Open category. She turned in a ewie goowie brownie. The neat thing with her presentation was with each pice of brownie she gave the judges there was a little cup of milk for each judge to wash there brownie down with.

Looking back this contest, to me puts into perspective what BBQ is all about. Its about hanging with family, hanging out with friends and meeting new friends and cooking good BBQ. Our next contest is this weekend in Olathe Kansas,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Basswoods Resort / Platte City BBQ

What a great place for a comp. Great facilities, this on is going on the schedule for next year. Great time hanging around with Chris, Kirby, Andy and Todd...
8th place in Pork 19th overall...time to work on the brisket.

Friday, May 1, 2009

VFW - Overland Park

We competed in the VFW BBQ comp a few weeks back, the first comp of the year. Great Comp and even better company... thanks guys for helping out and making this a blast and great way to start off the season.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Story

Our Story,
Well where to start, 2 years ago I had the pleasure of my next door neighbors Chris and Dan of “Brew – n- BBQ” who let me hang out, help out and ask a ton of questions at Paola. They get the blame for my addiction….The long night and the warm smoke had me. I came home with huge expectations of Qing but had no idea where to start and wasn’t quite sure if I was up to the task both in lack of sleep of competing and learning how to cook well! For a little background I have 4 kids a boy 11, and 3 girls 7, 5, 3 all of which play soccer. That being said we don’t travel much and I needed to get my but off the couch on weekends and wanted to meet some new friends.
Fast forward to last year and the purchase of my bullet it was love at first cook. After several brisket, ribs and pork I wanted more…I needed more… I started looking at different cookers and started to set some $$$ aside (soon to learn I needed more $$$$) helped out at Lenexa and Paola and was on my way to happiness. At Lenexa this year I was walking around and came across a banner from a company I used to work for Light Bulbs Etc. I poked my head and found my old boss and family friend, he asked what I was up to and I mentioned that I wanted to compete and he said the most beautiful words “ I will sponsor you at a few events”.
So I started looking at pits and talking with people to see what I could learn, first lesson there is lots of money to be spent on a smoker! I managed to get my father involved who is my best friend and needed another hobby. I looked at tank smoker and all sorts of smokers and was introduced to the BBQ Brethren through a friend in VT who said it was a great resource…he was understating it! Did some searching and came across Diamond Plat Pits (the chrome stacks had me at hello) On the phone I went and bugged the hell out of Travis about options and changes and tweaks and he took every call and every email and every question. 9 weeks ago I purchased a Diamond Plate Pit – 60 Series from Travis (great guy in all aspects). I drove down with my Dad to pick it up and we both hoped it was half what we had seen on the website and through pictures. My reassurance cam from the other owners that I met on the brethren site. As we waited in a Wal-Mart parking lot he came around the bend and it was more than I expected. We hooked it up, talked with Travis a little while and headed back to KC. We got home at 11:00pm and I headed up to the car wash to spray it out and bring home for the burn in, I could hardly sleep.
Woke up and gave it good 4-5 hour burn in around 400 with oak, apple and cherry. The next day on went the meat. I cooked and I cooked and I cooked..Practice Practice Practice. Every weekend, in fact I have cooked on this smoker 8 out of the last 9 weeks. I started on boxes and boxes and boxes all in an effort to be prepared for my first contest. I thought it would be fun to try the “Royal” but soon found out I would be nuts to do that first. After some persuasion I decided I would compete in 3 this year; Cross Points, Shawnee and Desoto. As the contest neared I practiced at night with “turn in times” and grabbing neighbors as judges. I took a judges class to better understand what “they” were looking for. Posted pictures for opinions (thank you by the way, your feedback helped a lot). I had my Monday morning Q wrap up with my VT Q-brother I made list after list after list of stuff I needed or something I saw another team had and what they used and what they felt you “needed” again more $$$.
The first comp… I was told I wouldn’t be able to sleep (you were right John) the week finally arrived. It was Christmas and I could hardly wait, but mid way through the week my Father who is my primary helper had to leave town for some tests and I was going solo. My wife found a sitter so she could try and help on Friday night with boxes (she did a great job) and then on Saturday to help with Turn ins. Here comes the rain…starting on Thursday it began to rain. I took off Friday and began loading up in a nice steady rain. Arrived at Cross Points around 1:00pm and checked in and asked to be by the “Judges tent” and started to setup shop and hung my BBQ Brethren Banner. More rain, finally got setup and changed clothes (time 1) prepped my meat and was pleased to see several of the brethren come by and introduce themselves. Man, great people. My neighbors Brew-n-BBQ were there as well and come by multiple times and asked if I needed anything, bought some ice for me and were there for any questions I had. More rain, about 5:30 tornado sirens went off, wind picked up and for the next hour we had torrential downpours followed by tornado sirens follow by torrential downpours. About 7 o’clock a huge blast of wind came through and it was all I could do to hold on to my canopy. Changed clothes again….One canopy folded in on itself but the rest held. As soon as the weather was over two teams came over and asked if I needed any help and one team told me to tie off onto his truck (Thank You to Mark for that). The weather calmed down and I had dinner and prepped my boxes. More rain about 10:00pm and wind. I was totally worried about my smoker, I had practice but not in weather like this. Usually it take 30-45 minutes to get my smoker up to temp…10:30 125 degrees…11:00 125 Degree…..12:00 125 Degrees I was going nuts all I could think was great here I am and I can’t get my smoker up to temp, I got really down called my wife and told that I sure knew how to pick hobies and was ready to jump off a cliff. She calmed me down and told me not to worry it will get to temp and just relax. I got off the phone and said the hell with it, crawled into the back of my Tahoe and crashed for and hour. Clothes change number 3 woke up about an hour later and holy smoke it was at 225, there was hope. I go to grab my gauges and what do you know they are all wet and won’t power up. So out of three gauges which I have lived and died by during practice I had 1. So on went the meat. Everything went smooth but during the wind my WSM I use for chicken fell over and I didn’t realize until morning after I had overcooked and burned the skin to my pans that my therm was broken and stuck on 275 but was actually 375. Luckily there were some salvageable pieces so I put them on the smoker and went about my morning. Around 6:00 am my Dad shows up, turns out his test were cancelled due to the hurricane so he came back up. Man was that a relief. As the morning went along I noticed my meat was cooking fast…too fast��so I did the stupidest thing I could have done. Rather than letting it cook and putting in a cooler I backed down the temp of my smoker. Seemed like a good idea but was not. As the time went on I noticed my temps were not moving so I cranked up the heat. Everything went rather smoothly. And I was stressed but not freaking out. So I jacked the heat up which overcooked the ribs, I had my therm in 1 pork and 1 brisket. Pork turned out very good, Brisket did not, the 1 brisket I had the therm is was 10-15 degrees lower than the other 2 (way overcooked) and the one that was the right temp tasted horrible.
Over all I finished 12th out of 27 teams and I got a call for my pork 10th place. I was beside myself with how it felt to here “Sticks-n-Chicks” called.
I had 3 goals for this outing
- Turn in on time all 4 meats
- Do not get DQ’d
- Don’t look like and Ass or a complete rookie
I really feel all three were met and I was happy with that but to finish in the middle of the pack with good teams… that ROCKED!

Thanks to everyone who helped and now it’s on to Shawnee.

Side note – I am cooking for our church today, and started to unload and set up at home like I did when I practiced and realize..DUH… I can go back to prepping in the house and not the driveway… (Thought you might get a laugh out of that.
Hope to see more brethren and the ones I have met soon.