BBQ Jamboree in Fredricksburg, VA 5/10 – 5/11
Another first time at the event for us. I won free entries to this event twice, once in Kansas City and at the MABA meeting so I figured it was karma. Karma can be a cruel date. This was the first event for the “Deathstar” as it was deemed; our new 10×20 and 10×10 black Ez-Up setup
It’s so nice now working under a full width 10×20 and a 10×10 canopy. No more center seams to deal with. Only down side; with all the sides on it’s really dark on the inside. Clearly some additional lighting is needed.
After pulling in and getting set up we had to deal with the local health department over the people’s choice category which was to be served onsite. Even though the health department can be overzealous at times I really enjoy doing and serving people’s choice food out of our site as it give us the opportunity to interact with the public and talk about us and our food. We as teams need to remember that part of what the public pays admission for at these events is the chance to see the BBQ teams that they see on TV or read about online. Teams need to step up a bit and help the organizers by being BBQ ambassadors not only for our selves, but to help these events continue. On to the competition.
After our 15th place finish in Naptown I wanted to take a little more time and make sure that the chicken was cut and prepped with the precision that I thought got away from us in Naptown. This extra effort was rewarded by our score dropping one point to 165.1426. Even with this drop our chicken came in 10th and we were rewarded with our first call of the day.
Our ribs had been doing pretty well but for some reason that wasn’t the case this week. In the cold light of day our ribs were probably a little overcooked. We ended up 16th with a score of 159.4286.
Still nervous from Salisbury but with a good call at Naptown we left the pork alone and were rewarded with a 7th place call and a score of 162.2858.
Once again our hopes for a big finish were dependent on a big brisket call. Due to a shipping snafu our our competition Creekstones had still not arrived so I elected to cook a CAB brisket that I’d had kicking around in the freezer since October. We changed a few things up for this event and we clearly moved in the wrong direction. 24th place with a score of 153.7142.
Our efforts rewarded us with our second top 10 finish in as many weeks with a 9th place overall and a score of 640.5712, 20 points off the pace against a tough field. But wait, what happened with people’s choice?
We had 4 butts ready to go for the people’s choice . A big thanks to Bill Petersen and Ed Clark who stopped down and pitched in to help serve the incredibly long line we developed. We had two lines running and ended up serving out 50 lbs of pork in just under 45 minutes. It all happened so fast we didn’t even punch vote cards for the first 20 minutes. When we ran out of pork we still had a line over 100 yards long!
Anyway the bottom line was that we missed winning people’s choice by less than 15 votes coming in third. At awards we discovered that the people’s choice wasn’t the usual $100 or $200 prize but $1,000!!! That’ll teach me to read the competitor’s package. Be warned for next year. We have the Beast and for $1,000 we’ll fill one side with pork butts.
Our three week marathon continued the next week at Middletown DE.