On June 22-23, Degüello BBQ competed in the inaugural BBQ, Bands & Brews in Palmyra VA. Coming off our huge win at Swinetastic we were hoping to keep the momentum going, and for the most part we accomplished that objective. With 28 teams competing in this event, Degüello BBQ took 7th place in chicken, 4th place in ribs and 5th place in brisket. Our second three-call competition in a row was good enough for a 5th place overall. Congrats to 3Eyz for yet another GG, and I guess it was payback that Dan and Chris punked us in our home state after we scored the Chalice of Victory the week before in their home state. I’d like to thank John Atkins for running a really nice first-year competition at a great venue, and the word is going to get out that this will be the place to be the third weekend of June next year.
Here’s the contest rundown:
Chicken: 7th out of 28 (159.4286)
Our Wagshal’s chicken was good, and this week’s cook in the Backwoods Extended Party was probably a little smoother than last week in Frederick. But every week is unique, and our chicken was not the killer product of the week before. The thighs were a little bigger, and I think they would’ve benefited from another ten minutes in the Backwoods. Tenderness was good, not great but skin was right on. The larger thighs meant we had to go with fewer pieces in the box, and I felt the 7th place finish was just about right.
Ribs: 4th out of 28 (161.7144)
For a second week, I thought we cooked good ribs. This week, however, the judges agreed. Sharon did her usual awesome job picking out the right bones for the box, and she invoked an unnamed famous pitmaster when she suggested that I go with six perfect ribs instead of trying to fill the box with lesser product just to make it full. Using the Extended Party to cook chicken and ribs is allowing us to cook more racks, and I think it was the last rack I pulled that went in the box.
Pork: 18th out of 28 (149.7138)
As I said last week, we are cooking a completely new pork recipe for 2012 that I really like. The judges liked it last week too. This week? Uh, not so much. No cooking mishaps, great butts, uneventful cook, beautiful box and some real stinker scores on taste. Can’t put my finger on exactly what the judges reacted to, but I have an idea and I’m going to make some changes to one of the primary ingredients going into the pork to simplify the taste.
Brisket: 5th out of 28 (160.0002)
The only change I made to our brisket after last week’s 2nd place finish was to put it on the Fatboy earlier. But even with the earlier start time, the brisket still finished very late. Flavor was better off the smoker this week, so I didn’t have to make many adjustments at all. And after worrying all morning about finish time, when I sliced the flat I found it was actually a touch overdone. Moving forward, I really need to trust the feel of the brisket a little more and worry less about absolute internal temperature. Briskets seem to be finishing at a lower temp in the Backwoods than they were in the WSM, so that’s something I’m going to keep an eye on.
This was another successful weekend for Degüello BBQ, but there is always something to be learned. We’ll make a small adjustment on pork flavor, trust the brisket “feel” more and leave everything else alone. Next up for Degüello BBQ is a dreaded excursion north of the Mason-Dixon Line for The BBQ Skirmish in Gettysburg PA on July 13-14. As I have told every person willing to listen, my great great grandfather William Elias Rudd was captured at Little Round Top on July 2, 1863, which just happens to be 149 years ago today. I intend to improve on the Rudd family’s somewhat spotty record up north. Although William Elias had to sit out the rest of the Civil War in a POW camp in New Jersey, at least he didn’t face “humiliation by apple and cream cheese” in Pennsylvania like his great great grandson.
Backwoods, Kingsford Competition Briquettes and Wagshal’s Meats is a winning combination!
John has promised me this spot for next year
A/C worked pretty dang good
Our 4th place ribs trophy