Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nice Showing at Falls Church Competition

The boys from Smoke Dreams BBQ participated in the Tinner Hill Barbecue Competition in Falls Church, Virginia, on June 11, 2011. This was our first competition of the year, and one that netted us 1st place in Chicken and 2nd place in Pork Ribs. This was a pretty respectable performance for our first outing of the season.

This level of success almost wasn't possible. In fact, the whole event was put in jeopardy when the 2000 Chevy Venture driven by Goofus died on the highway. Specifically, the serpentine belt on the BBQ Wagon snapped right in the middle of rush hour traffic in Interstate 66 just a few miles from Falls Church.

Thankfully, the car was able to limp along to the competition site. The team unloaded the gear and then the Goofus arranged for a tow with barely a hiccup in the plan. (Special thanks to Mrs. Goofus for bring the repaired vehicle back the following day.)

We were big winners in the Chicken and Pork categories. Our BBQ chicken thighs were moist, not overcooked, and perfectly sauced - 1st place! We made 4 racks of delicious spare ribs that were tender yet not cooked so much that they fell off the bone. A good balance of flavor and tenderness scored us 2nd place.


We cooked one 15½-lb. brisket and another than came in at 12½ lbs. We used Luke's 22.5" WSM for the job, and that thing ran for more than 15 hours on one load of Kingsford.  It was still going strong when we had to pack up our cook site, so we were obligated to shut it down by dumping the hot coals in an ash can.

Anyway, the whole brisket was on for about 12 hours and then the point was removed, re-seasoned, and smoked for an additional 2 hours. The team smoked up three 8-lb. pork butts on our Big Daddy Smoker for about 9 hours. The meat was tender and had some really tasty bark.  Sadly, neither of these meats cracked the top 3 in their respective categories.


We had a great time at the event (as evidenced by the photos). There was good music, plenty of cold beer, and – best of all – remarkable camaraderie among the team. It was the classic "work hard, play hard" approach, and it yielded many dividends... including a super cool trophy and nifty medal.

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