London KY 2014, pt. 2

Ok so where was I?

That’s right the ambulance transported the gentleman to the hospital.

So after they load up, I head back to the motorhome and apologize for the sudden departure and get my turn in boxes.

My son tells my maybe we’ll get some good karma from helping him out. I said to him that’s not why we did it, but if we get some I’m not turning it down.

I am now a bit behind and rushing to get caught up, the cook’s meeting was at 7 pm with dinner immediately following.

During the cook’s meeting, I get informed by the EMS crew that the patient was left at the hospital with a pulse and speaking. This made the hair on my arms stand straight up and win or lose made the comp worth it.

The dinner that we had was probably one of the best so far. We sat down with a plateful of food and dessert. If you went back hungry it was your own fault.

That night we got the fire going and things went pretty smooth. The rain was nowhere to be found on RADAR and the temp was perfect. I had purchased a new thermometer to help monitor the temps while inside and it proved to be valuable. Around 4:30 in the morning I hit my snooze on my phone. At 4:45 the thermometer signaled that the temp had dropped. That got my butt out of bed. So I through a couple more logs on and back to sleep I went.

Once the ribs were ready to go on, the rain had started and the temperatures started to fall. With that so did the ease of running the cooker. I had to finally put a couple extra logs in to bring the temp up, unfortunately it brought it up too much.

300* is where is sat at. This is not where I want to cook at, some teams do, but it hurts my timeline and I have to make adjustments on the fly.

Needless to say the ribs started to overcook and the chicken cooked fast also. So I had to pull each of them early and hold them in the Cambro. I gambled on whether to put the ribs back in to set the sauce and potentially make them too tender or serve them up with a wetter sauce and preserve the tenderness. I opted for the first choice.

Come time for turn ins we had mixed thoughts.

I thought chicken was our best chance at getting a call. Tenderness seemed right on and plenty of flavor.

Ribs I gambled and lost. I struggled to find a slab that I could slice a knife through without pull all of the meat off of the bone. Luckily I found enough to turn in a box. Flavor was good but overdone.

Pork wasn’t to my liking at all. Not sure what happened with it. I actually threw away the leftover because I couldn’t stomach it.

Brisket was ok. I thought the tenderness was good and the flavor was nice. Not one of my better ones by far.

So after it was over we struggled to find the energy/motivation to pack everything up and get ready for the awards. Somehow during the process of unhooking the hose I managed to cut my thumb. Who seriously gets hurt disconnecting the hose? I guess it wouldn’t have been a comp without me getting injured.

As we packed up we listened and watched as teams fought to get out of their spots. It had pretty much rained for 9 hours straight and there was standing water everywhere around us. I didn’t even want to think about how I was going to get out.

As anyone should know, low and slow is the way to go. That includes driving in the mud. I made slow and steady forward progress, at least until I hit the gravel. The road had just enough of a lip to stop me in my tracks and in the mud. I manage to back up about 6 inches and give it a tad more gas. After spinning for a little bit my tires finally gripped some gravel and we found “dry” ground.

We walk into the awards area and find a spot at the top of the bleachers. I figured we’d be nice and let all the teams that were going to get calls have the close seats. As we sit there my son asks “Dad can I go up and get the trophy if we get one?” (sound familiar?).

Little did he know that was the plan all along, IF we can get a call.

I think I forgot to mention that about half the teams there, so approximately +/- 21 teams, are championship teams.

We both agreed that chicken was probably our best chance at a call.

As the winners were announced the final team in chicken was called and it wasn’t us. That was a bit of a let down. My hopes of giving my son a chance to enjoy walking up in front of all these awesome teams and get an award have dwindled.

Ribs was the next category to get called, there was no way we had a shot at this. We knew our tenderness was blown and to make a mistake in this field of competitors was like stumbling while running from a lion. You were done. Gilly’s BBQ went up to claim his 6th place award and as I was congratulating him I hear “3rd place ribs goes to 82’s BBQ Crew”. I may have over cheered a bit, but man that felt good to hear that.

My son walked with a proud stride and a smile on his face. With both of us in shock we gave each other a fist bump.

We didn’t get any other calls, but what we did get was all we needed. If you believe in a higher power, whatever that may be, then you understand what probably happened. If you have questioned the existence of a higher power, then you may now have proof of it. If you don’t believe in it, then I am just one helluva lucky guys that found himself at the perfect time & under a nearly perfect scenario.

Either way because of whatever you believe that was the best comp to date.

Before I finish let me just add a few interesting facts:

I hate changing my plans/itinerary at the last minute, but talked myself into getting a tire fixed before I left. Which could lead you to believe that I avoided a blowout.

I, for the first time ever, asked to be placed next to a team (Gilly’s BBQ). I was initially told it wasn’t possible but then told they could put me across from him. This put me next door to the spot where the guy collapsed.

I was at my spot when he collapsed and not wandering around looking for a meat inspector or socializing.

Everyone did what people should do when someone stops breathing. Yell for help, call 911 and do high quality CPR.

Please if you haven’t already take a CPR class. If you are a business or organization, buy an AED and put it in a highly visible spot.

OK with that said here is how we did out of 42 teams:

Chicken 19th with a new high score of 167.4172

Ribs 3rd with a new high score of 174.8688 (we lost a tiebreaker)

Pork 20th with a score of 165.6800

Brisket 27th with a score of 159.4172

Overall 15th with a new high score of 667.3832



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