Well folks, the weekend is over and I have recovered from working and cooking enough to share how everything went. I have to say it was a beautiful weekend, weather wise, and I had a ball talking BBQ with a lot of people that have the same passion as I do for making great BBQ. The weekend really got started on Thursday when I met up with Arthur Aguirre and Al Bowman, who were teaming up to cook as a team under the banner of Baumann Meat. I met them Thursday afternoon to load in at the St Louis Home Fires BBQ Bash. I helped them unload their gear and start to set up. These guys weren't only going to cook in the competition but also going to sell their BBQ. They were hoping to sell enough to help to pay for their trip to the American Royal this weekend. They are cooking both the open and invitational; the American Royal is the Super Bowl of competition BBQ. I also unloaded my stuff, the plan is pass out samples of Mojobricks to introduce them to more folks in St Louis and make them a staple to everyone that BBQ's in St Louis.
Saturday morning I'm up early and out the door arriving at the site at 8AM and already there was a lot of smoke in the air. Teams were starting their pits and getting their meat prepped. The teams that are selling are setting up to handle the mass of people that attend this event. Last year estimates of 40,000 people attended the event and with the weather being perfect there were sure to be that many if not more this weekend. I start by talking to the teams I know. I made sure to stop by and talk to Bill and Anne Grenko of "Lock Stock and 2 Smokin Barrels" and then go around to visit all the teams and offer them a sample of Mojobricks. With about 100 teams this takes the rest of the morning and I was ready for some lunch. With no shortage of booths selling I knew I wasn't going to go hungry, but my loyalty to Art and Al means I head back to their booth for a pulled pork sandwich. Great choice; they fixed me up with a huge sandwich and even shared a beer with me.
Now the crowd was really packing in and I was getting a lot of folks wanting to learn about Mojobricks so many in fact that by 4PM I was out of samples. So my day was over and it was time to get ready to go home and start to prepare for the Dan Donnelly Back Pack Rib Contest at the Pacific Eagles club in Pacific MO. on Sunday.
Sunday morning and I'm up early and finish loading the truck. I have done enough contests now that I have loading for a contest down pretty well. Still some work but since I will only be turning in ribs I feel pretty confident about handling this contest solo. Stopped at the store and got ice and some beer and arrive at the site at a little after 8AM. Start to set up the site and and fire up the ugly drum. This contest is a little different in that included in the entry fee they supply 2 slabs of ribs. Good deal and I had picked up another slab to cook and take home for supper.
Since this wasn't a sanctioned contest I decided to change up a few things and see how they would be received. I used a different rub and sauce combo. The cook went well and I was following my set time line that has been working for me. While I was there had some friends stop by and visit. They have never been to a contest and wanted to see what it was I was so wrapped up in. They were wanting to see everything that went into cooking a contest. I had fun answering their questions and showing them what it is I do to compete in a contest.
After they left it was time to get ready for turn in. The ribs were doing nicely and I was happy with how they were turning out. I sliced the first slab and had nice ribs not so tender that it was falling off the bone but tender and had nice bite though. I used a cherry rub and I liked the flavor that it gave the ribs. Time to turn them in and see what the judges thought.
Time to hear who the winners were and they called the top 3 ; I did not hear my name. So the question was answered, the judges did not like the flavor I had in my ribs. I saw the finish list and out of 27 teams it looked like I was in the middle of the pack, at least I wasn't " Dead ass last". Had a good time and the ribs were good at supper even if the judges didn't like them.
So that was my BBQ weekend. It was full and I was tired Sunday evening and slept like a baby with the sweet smell of BBQ still in my nose.