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Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's a Fun Time in BBQ

Well folks this time of year is a fun time in BBQ in St Louis, MO, and I'm having a ball. You see when the weather gets cool it is time for the St. Louis Home Fires BBQ Bash. This year the Bash is next weekend, Sept 29 /30. The bash is the biggest BBQ event and contest of the year here in St Louis with upwards of 100 teams competing. There are teams that work all year on preparation for this event. They may only compete in this one event but they spent the summer in the backyard trying different recipes and techinques all with the goal of winning "THE BASH." Other teams will spend their time entering contests in the spring and summer getting feed back from judges and adjusting their cooks all in trying to win "THE BASH." Then there teams that treat this as a fun time to get together and have fun with family and friends enjoy the event, win or lose. They just want to have fun at "THE BASH."

It is also the time of year that the Grillin' Fools have their "Grillin' Fools Backyard Bash." This is the 3rd year for this event and many backyard pit masters look forward to this event. This event is aimed at the true backyard pit master only small grills allowed no big trailer pits can be used. All aimed at staying true to the backyard cook. The other plus is all the enter fees go to the Wounded Warriors fund.

Then there's the Pacific, MO, Eagles  Rib Challenge. This is a yearly contest event that benefits the Backpack program in Pacific. This ensures that every child in Pacific that needs a backpack for school gets one. The event was started by Dan Donnelly and is held along with the Pork Steak contest in Feb. and has continued to grow, this year having 30 teams competing.

So yesterday was the kick off for me. The Grillin' Fools contest was held and I was there not as pit master but to visit the teams I know and passing out samples of Mojobricks . It was a great time visiting with pit masters just having fun and supporting a  great event and raising funds for the Wounded Warriors. By the way the Grand Championship went to Bill Grenko of " Lock, Stock and 2 Smokin Barrels" a user of Mojobricks. Also 1st place in Ribs went to Big Al Bowman of  "Canadian Bakin" fame and also a user of Mojobricks.

So next weekend I will be at the St Louis Home Fires BBQ Bash and I will be working the event passing out  some samples of Mojobricks, talking to the teams and trying to learn any secrets that might help me in my quest to be a better pit master. Then on Sunday I will be at the Pacific Eagles Rib cook off cooking some ribs and supporting  the Backpack program.

I'm having a lot of fun in BBQ right now and hope if you get a chance you will attend one or all of these events. If you aren't in the St Louis area, I'll bet there is a BBQ event close to you that is supporting a charity in your area that you could attend. You will get some great BBQ and maybe learn a trick that will make you a better pit master and support a worthy charity.

 So come on out. The sweet smell of BBQ is in the air.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Is BBQ a Sport?

Well folks, today I'm going to go on a little rant and give my opinion about whether BBQ is a sport or not. Those of you that know me aren't surprised that I have a opinion and I'm willing to share it with you. I'm not shy about sharing my opinions, sometimes to my detriment. So here's my opinion about some calling competitive BBQ a sport. It's Not!!

Come on people, look at my picture. Do I look like an athlete? Of course not, I'm an overweight 60 year old man that likes to cook BBQ. Competitive BBQ is an activity that is enjoyed by people of all ages, genders and abilities. That may be what makes competitive BBQ so great. You don't have to be a athlete to be in  competitive BBQ.  The only thing you need is the guts to go out and cook BBQ and have a independent group of people judge your product. You can be a man ,woman, young or old. You can have  thousands of dollars in a trailer pit or a homemade ugly drum smoker and you can still be part of competitive BBQ.

So there you have my opinion, Competitive BBQ is not a sport. It's an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone.  So if you ever wanted find out how your BBQ stacks up against others that have the same passion for good BBQ, don't think you need to start working out. All you need to do is practice on the grill, learn a few simple rules and get out there and turn your food in to be judged. It is addictive and you will meet some really great folks that are willing to share their knowledge and help you along the way. I found that since I started competing I have become a better pit master and my food is better.

So come on out, the smoke is fine and there's always room for another pit.

Monday, September 10, 2012

BBQ for Charity

Well folks, sometimes you BBQ for fun and sometimes you BBQ in competition. Well this past weekend I helped with a BBQ for charity. I truly have to say it was one of my most satisfying experiences. You see I really like it when you see a group of people coming together to raise funds to help people that need help. The St Louis BBQ Society is a group of people whose goal is to promote BBQ in St Louis Mo. They are doing a great job at that with sanctioning BBQ contests and training judges so the playing field is as level as possible for all competitors.

But they also expand their purpose by raising funds and donating to charities in the area. What a great day Saturday was; the weather was perfect! I arrived at the site to help set up and there were already 6 to 8 people there and working. I knew a few and after a few quick introductions to the ones I didn't know everyone went to work. Frank, with "A PIGS WORST NIGHTMARE", was the leader of this group and everyone followed  his lead doing what was necessary to get set up and start cooking. Soon the pits were in place and the fires were started. Next  the meat was prepared; the chicken cut up and seasoned. Once that was completed  a group got started seasoning the baby back ribs and pork steaks. It wasn't long until the sweet smell of smoke was in the air. Frank had the pork butts for pulled pork ready because he had started them Friday night. A couple of guys started pulling them  for the pulled pork sandwiches.What was really nice to see is when you get around cooks and especially competitive cooks together, egos could be a problem. Not here; everyone just went to work and worked to make sure we were going to produce some good BBQ that would represent the St Louis BBQ Society well. That I truly believe we did.

Soon there were cars pulling up and folks ordering; we made some deliveries to those that preordered. I'm not sure how much was raised, but it looked like a good fund raiser was in the works. I wasn't able to stay until the end, I had a family commitment., but you can be sure I'll be at the next one helping where I'm needed and hoping that it means someone in need is going to benefit. I love to cook BBQ just the thought that doing what I love to do could help someone makes it a little more fun.