It’s hard to believe that we are four plus months into 2013 . It seems like no time since the end of our 2012 season and all the excitement. But here we are a few weeks into the fourth season for Degüello BBQ, and I am finally honoring my promise to do a season recap.
I won’t dwell too much on the finer details of 2012, other than to say we had a successful season. On the plus side, we won our second and third career Grand Championships. The Swinetastic GC was huge in more ways than one. Not only was the Chalice of Victory huge in size, the payout from that comp basically funded the rest of our season.
In September, we won our second GC at the inaugural Smokin’ on the Track Cook Off in Shenandoah, VA. It was awesome actually being set up on the track’s infield. I will leave out the result of the “illegal lap” I took in the truck on Thursday night. No damage to the track, but I can’t say the same for the content of my truck bed.
And thanks to our big win at Swinetastic, we received an invite to the American Royal Invitational. The trip to the Royal was an adventure in and of itself, but getting a 15th place call in chicken at the Invitational made the drama of a stripped tongue jack the night before leaving, faulty gas gauge outside Indianapolis and transmission issues on the return trip pretty much OK.
Our Swinetastic GC put us in the draw for the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue for the second year in a row. And against the odds, Degüello BBQ was pulled in the Maryland draw and three weeks after the Royal we made our way back to Lynchburg.
I would have liked to report that our 2012 Jack was as successful as 2011, but that was not the case. It was really tough to end the 2012 season in the bottom half of the field at the Jack, but we made it there and we cooked our best.
A few more highlights from 2012:
Degüello BBQ was named the 2011 5th place Ribs Team of the Year at the annual Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association meeting. This award meant a lot to us, as it was a great indicator of how far we’d come since finishing 124th in ribs at our first career KCBS comp, the 2010 Pork in the Park.
On the Friday before our first KCBS comp of the year I attempted to amputate my finger with a Weber stainless steel grill pan. Since it was my left hand, this made knife handling a little problematic. In addition I had agreed to cook for the judge’ school on the Thursday before Naptown, but I was fortunate to have a lot of help from Don Chomas, Mike Richter and Chris Owen. Thanks guys; I could not have handled that class without you.
As if that wasn’t enough, three months later I tried to amputate my right index finger on Thursday night before the Bluemont BBQ Bash. I decided not to go to the ER this time, but I probably should have because my finger bled for two days and it hurt for a week.
We welcomed two new members to the team this year. After two seasons of success cooking on Weber Smokey Mountains, we decided to go to an all-Backwoods cooker lineup. Our Extended Party smoker quickly paid dividends as we took a 2nd place in brisket at Naptown. As for the Fatboy? Much thanks to Mason Dixon BBQ Services for delivering the Fatboy to the Frederick County Fairgrounds on Thursday night. I did a test run that night, and I liked it enough that I decided to use it in competition that weekend. Thanks to the resulting Swinetastic Grand Championship that Fatboy paid for itself just 36 hours after delivery.
Actually we added a third member to the team late in the year. We’d been struggling with logistics for awhile, and I will freely admit that is a lot on me for being unorganized and having too much of everything. But we finally decided that if we were going to pursue the sport of competition BBQ full time then we needed to have a purpose-built trailer. Freedom Trailers built us a really righteous competition trailer, with an 8′ porch, plumbing and toilet and shower. We are still working on organizing our new trailer but it’s been a really nice upgrade. And now we can say we compete in The Yellow Submarine (credit to Mike Fay for coining that nickname).
So that’s the short version of the 2012 review. I am actually finishing this post at a brauhaus in Augsburg with iPad in one hand and a Riegele dark in the other. So any typos, omissions, etc. please blame on the German beer. The 3rd Annual Naptown barBAYq is almost upon us, so we are looking forward to seeing all of you out there. And of course I saved the best for last. Sharon and I want to thank our sponsors for their incredible generosity. You all believe enough in our team to spend your hard earned dollars helping us, and for that we are grateful beyond words. So thanks to all of you: