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Porked in the Park

A new season, a new team member, new shirts, some new tweeks and some interesting results at Pork in the Park in Salisbury MD this past weekend.

First let me welcome Dale Lucas formerly of Pigs in Blankets as the newest member of the Aporkalypse Now crew. Dale has cooked with us on several occasions in the past and I look forward to his presence on the team this year.

2012 got off to an interesting start with the Friday festivities. We were planning on entering the Anything But category but I discovered that the butcher has miss-cut our short ribs on the bias so instead of 12 nice big ribs we had 12 little medallions. We decided to cook them anyway and if we got 6 good looking ones we’d turn them in, if not we’d have dinner: We had a really nice dinner.

The 4 meat event brought few changes from last year since we didn’t want to disturb the hot hand we ended 2011 on. One change I did make was to try and even out the rib sauce as it had exhibited some extreme heat on occasions – more about that later.

Saturday came and we had a good cook. We hit all the marks and were generally happy with everything. Not ecstatic with anything but not unhappy with anything either.

The meats

Chicken was very good to us in 2011 finishing in the top three 7 out of 10 events and it didn’t disappoint us here. We scored 169.1428 points out of 180 possible which was good enough for 3rd place.

After a strong start in 2011 with a winning rib entry at this event our ribs were a little on the inconsistent side, in fact our 6th place finish in ribs cost us the Grand Championship at Raystown. This year I decided to tone the intense flavor down just a bit by using a more middle of the road sauce. I made it, I field tested it and went with it. The Pork in the Park Judges HATED it, well, hate is a strong word but in an efforts to make our ribs more middle of the road I may have taken the exceptional right out of them as we received average marks in taste and ended up with a score of 145.7138 for 81st place. It’s back to what was a consistent top 10 flavor profile in ribs for us – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Our pork entry followed our 2011 methodology despite a couple of hiccups and we were rewarded with a 168.5714, good enough for another 3rd place trophy.

Brisket is going to be a challenge this year as it’s apparent that good competition briskets are going to be hard to come by.  Despite that we earned a 161.1428 score and 13th place. I know we left points on the table  and we’ll correct that post haste.

First a small rant. I hate the new trend of organizers announcing all the results of a category except 1st place then holding the first place awards until the end. They think its suspenseful but in my opinion it’s just mean to the cooks.

Anyway after all was said and done we finished with a combined score of 644.5708 with was good enough for 4th place out of  113 teams.

This week it’s off to Edenton North Carolina for 2 full contests in one weekend (Friday / Saturday and Saturday/Sunday) we haven’t done that since the Royal and there will only be two of us so it’s going to be a marathon of will. After that, 3 weeks off (We’re skipping Naptown) and then off to Middletown Deleware.

Stop by and see us if you’re going to be in the area.





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