Well Folks the first contest of 2012 is in the books. I finished 6th out of 26 teams at the Pacific Mo. Pork Steak Cook Off. It was a beautiful day the weather was outstanding for the end of January in Missouri. Clear skies and high in the 40's. I got to the site at 9AM and started to set up, this was the first time for me to be cooking solo. Everything went smooth, the guys next to me helped me get my pop up set up.
We got our meat at 10AM and I seasoned the steaks and got my fire started, set up the kettle for a indirect cook.. This is the first time using MOJO Bricks in a contest, and was a little unsure how much to use. These bricks put out some intense smoke and I didn't want to over smoke the meat. So I added just 2 small chunks and let the fire settle in at about 275 degrees. At 11AM put the steaks on and closed the lid. At 11:30 turned the steaks and spritz the steaks with my special spritzing spray.Turned again at 12 and sprayed again. At 1PM the steaks were at 160 degrees and I foiled them with a little of the spritzing juice. Let them cook for about 45 minutes then put them in a foiled pan of my BBQ sauce. At 2PM took them out of the sauce and put back on the grill to firm up the sauce.
Now its time to build my turn in box. Earlier I built my turn in box with a lettuce base and a putting green of parsley.Pulled the steaks and cut them up, finding the most tender pieces to turn into the judges.This is when I knew I had missed on tenderness. Don't know why, just didn't get as tender as I had hoped. I tried something different this time, I took my seasoning and put into a coffee grinder and grounded it into a fine powder.I took this powder and added it to the meat just before putting in the box for a extra layer of flavor.The flavor was great so I'll do this again. Put 5 piece into the box. I only had to turn in 4 pieces, but I heard it helps to put a extra piece in the box, that way the last judge gets to pick a piece rather then be left with just the last piece.
After turn in, it was time to tear down the site. This is where I missed my team mates, after cooking all day, a little help tearing down the site makes it easier on the old man. Went in to hear the final results and cheer the winners, and even though I didn't get a call, still was happy with a 6th place finish out of 26 teams. Can't say why the tenderness wasn't like I wanted, but the flavor was spot on and I learned a little something about the seasoning to enhance the flavor profile for next time.Also the MOJO Bricks added the perfect cherry smoke to the meat.
Now who wants to help me unload the truck.