Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 NJBBQ Championship (Wildwood)

Pigheaded BBQ competed at the New Jersey BBQ Championship this past weekend, July 8-10.
This is always a family favorite because it’s a three day competition and we generally get a couple of hotel rooms and stay an extra night, giving everyone a little holiday. Friday was a nice sunny day and Norma started on her dessert category but as night fell so did the rain. It was a heavy drenching rain and I saw at least 2 canopies end up in the dumpster. That’s never a good thing and thankfully our new 10x20 canopy survived and held up very well giving not only our team some shelter, but a few neighboring team members as well. During the rain, the cook’s meeting was held and the Iron Chef ingredient was divulged and passed out. This year’s ingredient was a whole frozen turkey in the 11-12 pound range. I called for some helping hands and a family friend, Bill Kerns arrived to carry back the turkey while I brought back the turn in boxes, containers, cups and ID necklaces. As I stepped out of the firehouse, I saw a river flowing in the street that ran the whole 4 blocks back to the competition site. There was no getting around the deep puddles, so we just muddled through them. There was no keeping the boxes or anything else dry, so I had to wipe them all off once I got back to our site. The rain only lasted a couple of hours and the rest of the night was very nice weather wise. We tossed around a few ideas for the Iron Chef category, some of them being Thanksgiving fatties, turkey poppers, turkey tacos and a few others. Ron v2.0 & Brian who would be cooking the category promised to kick around more ideas during the night. We settled in for the night, knowing the next two days would be long ones.

Saturday was a gorgeous weather day and we were ready to get cooking. Norma finished her dessert, Mike and I experimented with a new sauce and v2.0 and Brian started on their turkey & sausage sliders with cranberry BBQ sauce. They trimmed the turkey, and used some of my rib trimmings and some breakfast sausage and ground the turkey meat. The cook and the turn ins went smoothly and prep work for Sunday’s cook got underway. After the prep work, a little socializing and resting was called for and we wiled away the rest of Saturday. As midnight approached, we shifted into gear and started putting on the big meats. Everything went according to plan and we settled in for another night at the site.

Sunday was another beautiful day and we went about the usual chores of getting ribs and chicken ready to go on the smoker. We were pleased with the results of the cook and our turn in boxes and could only wait ‘till the awards ceremony to find out who we did. We started cleaning up and did some packing up then headed down to the stage to hear the results. We didn’t hear our name in the ancillary categories (Iron Chef, Dessert & Sauce) and hoped the rest of the awards wouldn’t follow suit. Chicken was the first of the BBQ meats and Pigheaded BBQ was called for 2nd place. That was very nice and we received a nice plaque for that. Ribs, Pork and Brisket came and went and we didn’t hear our name called for any of them. We were a little disappointed and they only called the top two for overall. When we got our score sheet we saw that Pigheaded BBQ finished 7th overall out of 66 teams. That was an improvement over our 10th place finish last year and we were happy with that. Our finishes are as follows:

Iron Chef -32nd, Dessert – 18th, Sauce-44th, Chicken-2nd, Ribs-11th, Pork- 42nd, Brisket-21st. 7th Overall.