Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Boss Hog Cook Off 2010

This weekend I attended the Boss Hog Cook Off in Waynesboro, GA, the bird dog capital of the US. It is one of the best competitions I've been to. It is well organized and the volunteers make sure you are taken well care of. One of the things we noticed was it seemed like the community was really involved. Local business sponsored different parts, they had a hospitality room for volunteers and contestants and kept it stocked with water and snacks. The ladies who organized it divan awesome job.

We got off off to a later start then planned. We needed to be onsite by 3:30 Friday afternoon and left at noon. The GPS said it was a 3 hour 45 minute drive, we would be cutting it close. We arrived at 3:30 just making the cutoff time.

One of the thing this contest does is a wing contest for Friday evening. It is free to enter if you are already cooking, so we entered. They dropped off our brick of wings, they were still frozen solid, and we started the thawing process. Thankfully they pushed wing turn in time bit so we could defrost them and get them fully cooked. We turned in the prescribed number to the judges and the rest were served to the public.

We did awful in the wing category. We thought they looked and tasted great. The judges were local celebrities so we think some of them were confused on the judging scale or just didn't like spicy wings. At least we had a good snack.

We prepped our other for meats for the competition and got them cooking. This time we changed our rib and brisket recipes to others that we liked much better then the previous contest. The brisket used my home made rub and a mop recipe that I found online. The results were much better. Our brisket took fourteenth place and the ribs seventh. Our chicken, which we thought was our weakest meat, came in eleventh and our pork, which we thought was our strongest, came in twenty-somethingth

Overall we came in sixteenth which was an improvement over last time. Now we have some minor tweaks to do to improve our scores but we think we have the basic formula right.

Plan to leave earlier than needed
Cook your meat how you like it
Be organized - it makes the contest much more relaxed
Have fun with the anything but categories but focus on the four main ones

Sunday, May 2, 2010

BBQ Judging, it's tough but somebody has to do it.

This weekend I judged my first BBQ contest. It was interesting. We arrived early and waited fir the judges meeting to start at 10 am but it didn't start until. About 10:20. When it started it went fairly quick. They introduced the coordinator, the person who set up the contest and finally the mayor of Anderson, where the contest was held. After all the introductions were done the coordinator went over the rules. By this time it was 10:50 and we were to start judging at 11 because there was a sue contest too. They quickly finished up and had us go to the judging room.

I was assigned to judge the backyard category. Not bad on its own but I only got to judge chicken and ribs. Only one piece of the chicken was really good. One was rubbery and salty the others tasted like the cooks used lighter fluid and didn't let it burn off all the way. The ribs were a bit better. Three tasted really good but one of them was very tough, it could have cooked a bit longer.

It was fun and I look forward to doing it again but look forward to judging the professional teams and tasting all four of the meats.

Show up on time
Take your time and taste the food
Use the water and crackers to cleanse your palate
Talk to the other judges
Have fun

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