Ok, so I don’t know how many of you folks are aware of the Competitive BBQ scene…however, the hubs and I competed in our first one this weekend! We are on Facebook and Instagram ( Smokin’ Northwest Barbecue) and you can keep up with the events and competitions we will be attending by following us there!
Anyhow, this weekend we went to The Dalles’ Gorge Hops and Hogs! Up we arose at 3:45 Saturday morning, truck and pit were already packed, just had to load the last minute items from the fridge into the cooler and off we went! When we arrived, there were just a few other teams there getting set up, so we parked the pit and unloaded and awaited the cook’s meeting.
That is where it gets interesting haha! So the rules and information had been sent out previously in an email to everyone…. apparently there were not only different interpretations of the rules, there were also some total changes and unexpected curveballs! I swear that it happens on the TV shows as a dramatic attention grabber, but it really happened to us too! With the new information and updated rules, we got working and started getting our butts in gear…everything sort of got off to a later start because of the meeting delaying things… I started trimming chicken, Stephen started the tri-tips!
Once the main meats were on the pit, we were able to relax a bit, but I was still a bit anxious about the turn in boxes. (When at these events, the judging is typically blind tasting so you have to prepare a “turn in” box…) They were supposed to hand them out at the meeting but they brought the wrong boxes so we didn’t end up getting any boxes or the lettuce until half and hour before the first turn in!!! I have NEVER built a box like that before, I have only watched Youtube videos so I was crossing my fingers they were good enough lol!
Ultimately I think they all turned out good, but the only one I really got a good picture of was the chicken box…
Pretty, huh?? Anyway, I am pretty pleased with the way they turned out and apparently the judges liked it too! The chicken is what we placed best in out of the three categories, and it was truly the one category that we had the most team effort in! I did the trimming and prep/ shaping of the chicken plus I did the boxes, and Stephen did all the rub, injection and cooking of it! All the effort and work we put into that chicken, got us 1st place in Chicken!!!
It was a great feeling to get not only a call to stage at our first competition, but a FIRST PLACE CALL!!!!! We came in as a team that no one knew about, not knowing anyone else there…many of them knew each other from last year and many were locals there and knew each other that way….we sure made ourselves known with our chicken!
Many folks loved us in People’s Choice, too, and asked if we did catering as they were hoping we would cater their weddings!! HOLY WOW! How cool is that!!! We made some great new friends in the BBQ scene and we will definitely be going back next year!!
Now we’re on to Oregon City and Forest Grove in August, and we may just go to one or two more before then as well!
If you guys missed us this year, make sure to come out next year! The Kid Zone was awesome, and FREE! The BBQ sampling was awesome and the beer was great, too! Next year will be even better!!!
Don’t forget to follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages to stay up to date on where we will be next!! Sorry this blog is a little late, but getting up that early requires an early bed time and being up for 19 hours requires big girls to nap the next day haha!!!
One more thing, remember to share a smile with someone you love this week, but also share one with a stranger too! Bring some sunshine into their life; you just never know who may need it…besides, smiles are FREE so we should share them with everyone!!