Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 NJ State BBQ Championship Recap

Pigheaded BBQ had a great time at the 14th Annual NJ State BBQ Championship. This is one of the few 3 day competitions and we treat it like a mini vacation. We booked a room at a hotel right across the street from the BBQ venue. What a luxury to be able to just cross the street and have a nice hot shower or a quick nap, not to mention take a dip in the pool if you like. We also enjoyed some pretty nice weather over the three days. We did have a couple of quick showers, but nothing of consequence.

We arrived early Friday morning and were signed in, before the usual 10:00AM time. We wasted no time to start setting up our site and by noon, we just chilled the rest of the day ‘till the 7:00PM cooks meeting. At the cooks meeting, we found out that the Iron Chef ingredient was bluefish this year. While many of the teams had let it be known that they would like the secret ingredient to be seafood, I doubt if bluefish was the first choice of anyone. Ron v2.0 immediately began planning his entry and he and Mike wasted no time heading out to the grocery to pick up some additional items. Some of us spent Friday night at the hotel, while others manned the site for the night.

Saturday morning brought a brief bout of sprinkles, but no big deal. After taking most of the morning off, we stared prepping our Iron Chef, Sauce and Dessert entries, the first of which had a 3:00PM turn in time. The bbq meats were trimmed, injected and or rubbed later that day for the Sunday turn ins. Late Saturday night saw the pork and briskets put on the pit before settling in for the night.

Sunday morning brought the high humidity and it turned out to be a very warm day. Ribs and chicken hit the pits in the morning and the usual turns in times were met with no problems. It was all in the judges hands now and after enjoying a celebratory libation, we starting cleaning up and putting away our equipment whilst waiting for the awards ceremony at 4:30. It was pretty hot out by that time and we walked the 4 blocks to the stage where the awards were to be announced.

The Iron Chef, Sauce and Dessert categories were announced and we didn’t hear our named called. Next up were the BBQ entries and chicken was the first announced. They started at 10th place and we didn’t hear Pigheaded BBQ until they called 1st place. Wow, that was an exciting start for us. We finished 2nd in chicken last year and this year we won that category. Next up was ribs and we again heard Pigheaded BBQ, this time for a 3rd place finish. Not a bad way to start, but alas we didn’t hear our names called again for either pork or brisket. Now on to the top 10 overall and we heard Pigheaded BBQ for 7th place overall out of 66 teams. Not too bad, in fact it was the second year in a row that we finished 7th overall. The bright side was our good friends Finn’s Finest were announced Grand Champions, their first time wining overall. We all yelled and congratulated them because even though we’re all competing against each other, BBQ teams are like a big family and we support each other. Congrats Ferg, Megan and crew for your great cook.

As usual, it was great seeing our BBQ friends, family and old acquaintances and thank you all for your support. Next up for us is New Holland, PA the last weekend of August then Tracey’s Landing and Laurel, MD the first two weeks of September. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hello.