Last weekend we competed in our final contest of the year, the 2nd Annual Smoketoberfest BBQ Challenge At The Grove in Chambersburg PA. This contest is a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was held at the Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center. 48 teams competed at this event, and Degüello BBQ had another strong showing. We took 5th in ribs, 6th in pork, 7th in brisket and 3rd overall. Congratulation to PA Midnite Smokers for the Grand Championship and Christmas City BBQ for the Reserve Grand Championship. Eric Forrester of Mason-Dixon BBQ did a first class job with the event, and I understand Make-A=Wish received a very sizable contribution from this event.
Here’s the contest rundown:
Chicken: 23rd out of 48 (155.4284)
I honestly have no idea what happened in this category. We’ve cooked the exact same recipe and method all year and have scored 3rds at Middletown and DC and a 9th last month in Shrewsbury. We were very happy with the taste and texture, as was our friend Jeff Burkett of Smokis Porkis, so the mid-pack finish was both puzzling and disappointing. Based on some observations and conversations with other competitors, I am going to try a few tweaks on our cooking method. Nothing drastic, but I have some ideas I’d like to work on over the winter.
Ribs: 5th out of 48 (161.1428)
Our second consecutive strong showing in ribs. Given the fact there was less than 0.6000 separating 3rd to 6th, I feel this was an even stronger showing than the place indicates. After struggling with the WSM temp early in the cook, everything settled down. I think our Shrewsbury ribs were a little better, but these were spot on.
Pork: 6th out of 48 (163.4284)
A much better outcome this month. I dialed down the smoking temp and was able to pull the butts from the smoker later. We used larger chunks this time out and put a lot more pulled in the box. I think it looked better, and a better looking box might give the impression that it tastes better. Who knows, but we had our best pork score ever and best placing since Middletown.
Brisket: 7th out of 48 (162.8572)
I was optimistic about our brisket, and we were happy with the call. Would’ve been nice to place a little higher, but we’ll take it. Thanks again to Rich and Central Meats of Chesapeake VA for the great brisket.
The overall 3rd place was a great end to our inaugural season. We’ve made tremendous strides in all facets of our cooking, and I feel like we’re really rounding into form for 2011. We’re looking at a more ambitious competitive schedule next year, and the winter will allow us to practice, maybe make a tweak or two and come out of the gate strong.
Our Flying Pig “Trophy” for Ribs