Well folks, I had to take a couple of days before I wrote about my cook in Clarksville Mo. at the Overlook Farms Luv- Luv BBQ contest. I can now take one thing off my BBQ bucket list. I won a Grand Championship. To say that excites me is a understatement. I have won categories and have gotten calls and got a few trophies and some checks,but never I have been judged the best overall Pit Master at any contest. To make this win even better I was able to do this with my wife Debbie there helping me out, makes it even more special to share the win with her.
This contest I had to cook 3 categories, chicken thighs, chicken wings, and pork ribs. I decided to cook the thighs like I did at the Route 66 contest where I finished second. If you remember I turned in skinless chicken and was sure I blew it and was surprised with my finished. So I took what I learned from my mistake and ran with it. Friday night I trimmed the thighs cutting off the knuckles and squaring them up to fit in a muffin pan. The muffin pan is a way to insure that all the thighs are same size. Start by seasoning the thighs under the skin with Draper's AP Rub. Than placing the thighs skin side down in the muffin pan in the kettle set up with a indirect fire for the first 45 minutes. Turn them over and finish cooking skin side up. After thighs reach 160 degrees place in a aluminium pan remove the skin and finish in a bath of Draper's Smokin Sauce.
Next the chicken wings. I have a Buffalo wing recipe that I cook and we like them a lot. I just didn't feel they would score that well in a contest where a lot of teams are doing the same thing. So I called Tracy at Jac's Tailgaters for a special recipe to cook something no one else in the area can match. Boy did he give me a recipe that hit it out of the park. Jac's Tailgaters is a product I'm bringing into the St Louis market place. I will share this recipe once I have some product on some shelves in the St Louis area. I will say it is a Bayou Mustard sauce with his Cajun smokin rub and finished with a Peach Glaze. WOW these were Great!!
Next Pork Ribs. I did my standard spare ribs trimmed St Louis style. I have been doing these for a while and feel its my strength. I sometime miss my time line at contest and over think them, but I guess having Debbie there and her calming effect to just trust the method that has proven to produce great ribs. I did just that and I truly believe I turned in the best ribs I have every done at a contest. They were perfect.
Turn in at this contest was a little different in that you turned in everything at the same time. So at 3 PM turned in all 3 boxes of what I really believed was some very good BBQ. After turn in not much left to do but to start loading up and wait for the results. At 5PM the judges have picked a winner,got down to the Grand Champion and I hear, "The Man, The Grill, The Magic" That's me, I clenched my fist and shout YES YES!! went up and picked up the trophy and a envelope with $500.00 and came back to my smiling wife. Lots of fellow cooks came up to shake hands and congratulate me.
So a Great day spent with my wonderful wife, and I get to take one thing off my BBQ bucket list. I'm a Happy Man.