Go educate yourself, before your frustrate yourself.


Here it is in mid January and as I look out the window I watch the snow slowly fall and think to myself, I’d sure like to cook something this weekend.

Normally that isn’t an issue, but man the weather isn’t necessarily cooperating. I’ll cook in just about anything, but I do also like to be comfortable if possible.

The urge to cook is only magnified by the fact that I had the opportunity to take a cooking class last weekend and I am itching to try an duplicate what I learned. I’m sure that any BBQ team that has ever asked what the should do when they started competing, has heard the answer “Take a cooking class”. I can not echo enough how much that has helped me in thinking about what I am serving to the judges. It is one thing to think that you are cooking winning BBQ, but it is also another to taste the BBQ of a team that is winning.

Last year we struggle with chicken and after tasting the instructor’s example I now know why we struggled. What I thought was a flavorful piece of chicken thigh, turned out to be a piece of cardboard in comparison.

I had always had a hard time dumping money into someone else’s pocket, but thinking about it now that’s basically what I was doing by going to comps and not coming home with money.

Looking at it from a money perspective, you can spend $600+ going to a comp and gambling what might win or spend $500 and know what is winning.

This upcoming year will hopefully bring more smiles and a few trophies.




This year has been such a roller coaster of emotions. Every year, just like the one before, starts with the same feeling as a child waiting for Christmas and ends with a bit of relief that it is over. While we don’t compete every weekend like some teams, we do try and fill every available 3rd weekend with a competition somewhere. 

Our schedule took us to through Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. This provides us with the opportunity to meet new teams and yet still manage to find friends. 

We always set out with a goal of having fun and not finishing DAL (dead ass last). We have always managed to accomplish this, except this year. Chicken gave us 2 finished that we would like to forget about. One was second to last (the DAL team got a DQ for illegal garnish) thank goodness for that. The second time it was all us. That gave a huge gut check and made it difficult to say we had a good time even though we had. 

On the other end of the spectrum we finished our season with our best overall score since we started competing. Plus we had got our name called 3 times (twice in brisket and once in pork). That was definitely the way to end the season.

We also had the privilege to work with OBR in Washington IL. This was an amazing experience.

We had officially closed our BBQ business at the end of Dec. It was putting too much unnecessary strain on the family. We figured it was best to close it on a good note and hopefully pick it up at a later date. 

As I sit here I constantly think and plan for our upcoming year. I have reloaded the KCBS recently added site more times than their servers would like, looking for closer competitions, without much success. We are hoping to go to 11 events this year and visit 7 states.