Headin out to Edenton yeahhhhh, brother
We decided to triple up this year and cook the double contest in Edenton, NC the week after Salisbury. After a strong start we were looking for a little redemption and were curious how our food would fair in the South.
Dale and I headed out to Edenton (yeah,,, brother) on Thursday as to not miss the Seafood dinner put on by the organizer and to get a little jump on prep for the 1st event. This is a very nice contest in a picturesque town right on the water. We setup, went to dinner and headed off to our accommodation for the night.
Friday came, and the contest was under way. We prepped and headed out in search of dinner and some rest before the early morning call. We found a great little local place – the Waterman’s grill; Great food and atmosphere, in fact so good we went back Saturday night. Don’t miss this if you’re in Edenton.
Saturday came and we had a pretty good cook. We still weren’t real happy with the ribs, and the chicken was a little on the large side.
We were coming off 5 top three calls in the last 5 events so we though the chicken was spot on. The judges disagreed as we ended up 11th with a 163.4284. It’s interesting how very small changes yield big swings in scores.
After our disappointing finish in Salisbury I went back to my original flavor profile. We cooked and once again we were disappointed with the overall texture and coloration of the ribs. A score of a 158.8568 resulted in 15th place.
Pork was our only bright spot and our only call – 7th place with a score of 161.7142.
After difficulty procuring briskets in March we secured a large supply of decent sized briskets in time for this trip. We had a good brisket cook but it fell a little short at the judge’s table as we only managed a 162.8570 which came in at 11th.
Anyway after all was said and done we finished with a combined score of 646.8564 with was good enough for 8th place out of 33 teams, our worst showing since July of last year.
On to Sunday after a furious prep Saturday after awards. The rain abated and it looked like Sunday was going to be a better day. Since we were back to back in the same location with a number of judges sure to return for day 2 I was determined to make some adjustments .
I went with a different box arrangement and some seasoning changes for chicken looking for improvement but when we tasted it our faces fell. It was terrible. So terrible Dale threw the rest of it out while I walked the box. At this point we knew we were just cooking for categories but this is why the judges eat the food. We were stunned with a score of 172.0000 and a 2nd place chicken award.
This time I went completely off the rails deciding to use a technique that I had thought about but never actually tried. The ribs came out picture perfect but we were still disappointed with the texture. I decided then that we would be switching rib brands after this event. All in all it was an improvement resulting in a 4th place call with a score of 166.8568
We did a rub change to the pork and basically turned in the same box as Saturday. The results were a slip to 12th pork with a 160.5714
We did’nt change our brisket cook at all and finished close to the same spot with a 162.8572 resulting in an 8th place call.
With all the changes we only moved up one spot overall to 7th with a combined score of 662.2854. While our overall placement only changed a little. we were only 12 points off the leader pace on Sunday vs the 30 we were off on Saturday.
After finding another jewel of a restaurant right under the Rt 17 overpass we heading back home on Monday, tired but wiser.