After our last competition we took a moment to regroup our thoughts and plan of attack. We agreed that since we were only missing higher spots by just a point or two, that we should go back to what was working.
I went back to the routine, as superstitious as it may be, that always seemed to work in the past. I washed my truck on my last day of work, got my pre-comp haircut on Saturday instead of Tuesday and packed everything the night before. I even had a bit of anxiety the night before, so that got me feeling good about the next day.
My checklist got marked, and even second guessed myself a little bit about whether the items actually made it into the box or not. Printed of my timeline and put it with the checklist on the table. The only thing we needed to get in the morning was ice and our chairs out of the camper.
Morning comes around and we continue our routine. We hit the road right on time and off we went. Fully loaded with ice.
……and no chairs
…….or that timeline that I printed off and placed with the checklist on the table. Even thought about putting it in the box to be safe, no need I wont forget it. Again.
^$$#*(@*&^@ (yup there were some bad words said)
Soooo the chair issue was resolved by a quick stop at Wal-Mart. You’re welcome Wal-Mart, you made money off of the Villa Grove Ag Days. The timeline issue was rectified by my backup plan of using my laptop. It’s funny when teams look at you and make comments like “You seriously use a computer?” while you are cooking on an offset.
We got to the park and were expecting to be first or second, nope. There are some overachieving teams that compete. I am starting to think they are coming in the night before to party.
Hmmmm I might have to look in to that.
Got our site set up, Leslie got her walking in and the process began. Yeah for trimming chicken.
One of the fun things about competing is the friends you make and jabbing that goes on between teams. This event’s receivers of my jabs were the team members of Smokin’ Wine-Os. Nothing like trying to throw the other guys off of their game, than by repeating false turn in times. Then making them start to believe that they didn’t know about the mandatory bratwurst category. At one point I had even made myself mess up the turn in times and I was running my timeline an hour early.
You know that one time when you had a great idea to bungee cord your paper towel roll to the canopy? PSA: When doing said idea, make sure it is tight against the canopy during windy days.
At least it made for good jokes throughout the day.
I believe we had everyone attend the good luck shot at 0900. That is everyone but one of the ladies from DB BBQ, she apparently was partaking in them the night before and may have been in recovery mode at shot time.
To be noted, I brought back the lucky 10:00 beer, as well as, the lucky turn-in beers.
Can’t hurt right? Stop judging me! Why are you yelling at me?
The day was about perfect, warm with a slight breeze and everything was cooking on schedule. The only bit of irritation was trying to foil and box entries while fighting the perfectly times periods of increased winds.
One thing I love about turn-ins is getting the hopeful opportunity to taste the other team’s entries. It’s nice to see the difference in flavors and to think at how they compare to our’s. Especially when a team kick’s our butts. One team that stood out was Midwest Smoke. Marlon is definitely making some improvements and am honestly eager to hear his name called. Everyone’s entries that we tasted were awesome this time. The judges picked a great day to come out for sure.
Chicken as usual was first up. We went back to including the breast meat if it’ good enough. As you can see we thought it was. It was tasting just like what we had been turning in to get at least 3rd place this year.
Our chicken scored a 127, much below our prior average of 130. Our appearance scores averaged an 8.8, I’d really like to get them up to at least a 9.
Ribs, the category we can’t get a call in to save our butts, were turned in looking like this.
I thought this box was amazing. Everything about it was spot on and thought for sure we were going to get a call. I was shocked to see that one judge gave it a 5.5, out of a possible 9.5, on appearance. SMH WTH? Really? Oh well his score was a low score and gets thrown out.
The time comes and the awards are ready to be announced.
Out of 11 teams we finished as follows:
4th in chicken
4th in ribs, woohoo finally got a call. I’m gonna say the lucky shots, beers and the addition of Judgement Day played a roll in this finish.
and drum roll please…………………………………………..5th overall. Hmmm well that isn’t where Leslie thought we were gonna finish.
The rep for the contest did make the announcement prior to the awards that the scores were pretty crazy because they had a majority of first time judges judging that day.
Congratulations to OINK & DOINK for their 2nd GC in a row. I told you it was going to happen and to DB BBQ on their RGC. Both of you guys kicked everyone’s butts. Awesome cook and scores. Also congrats to Sermer Stout BBQ for finishing 3rd place overall. You guys are gonna blow some judges away soon.
Next competition is August 19th. On a good note I won’t have to worry about DB BBQ as they are missing that one.