On July 29-30, Degüello BBQ competed in the first annual Bluemont BBQ Bash in Bluemont VA, and with 26 teams competing, we took 10th place in chicken, 3rd place in ribs, 5th place in pork and 1st place in brisket. Most importantly, however, Degëullo BBQ took the overall Grand Championship in this inaugural event. Big congrats to Mark, Moses and Nikki of Serial Griller for the Reserve Grand Championship in their first competition cook with their new Jambo pit. Along with our first GC, we are now in the drawing for the 2011 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg TN. It’s going to be interesting to see how the draw for “The Jack” comes out, so we’re waiting anxiously for the first weekend of September for the results to be announced. And a huge thanks to Jaclyn Jenkins of Great Country Farms. Jaclyn handled this first year comp like a seasoned pro. She took good care of the competitors, listened to our suggestions for next year, and it appeared like she handled the whole event pretty much on her own. Well done Jaclyn!
In 2011, we’ve had some success in each of the four individual KCBS categories, especially in chicken and ribs. The ribs results are particularly gratifying, considering how far we’ve come since our very first KCBS competition just a year ago at Pork in the Park in Salisbury. MD. Trust me the ribs from that comp, picture below, richly deserved their 124th place ranking (that was out of 132, if you were wondering):
Since that first competition last year, we’ve been working hard to refine our pre-departure prep, on site cooking processes and recipes with the goal of consistent results across all four categories. And all the work finally came together this weekend. Here’s the contest rundown:
Chicken: 10th out of 26 (159.4286)
This weekend we used a new source for our chicken, but I was still pleased with how it came out. The funny thing is we also turned in chicken for the VIP Judge event, and we finished 2nd overall in that special category. Sharon told me she thought our VIP chicken looked better, and it appears she may have been right.
Ribs: 3rd out of 26 (164.5714)
Our second 3rd place finish in a row on ribs. I had temp issues on the 22″ WSM again, and I am beginning to wonder if the volume of cold meat I’m placing on at one time is causing the big WSM to struggle to get back up to temp. Regardless, I kept a close eye on the temp over time and made a slight time adjustment when I pulled the ribs. The end result was just as good as the week before, so I was happy. Glad the judges liked them too.
Pork: 5th out of 26 (161.7142)
After last weekend’ s 2nd place, I wasn’t expecting the same result. I felt the chunks in this week’s box were not quite as good as our Easton entry, but they were still much better than what we’ve been turning in the rest of the year. Bottom line, we were very pleased with the 5th place finish.
Brisket: 1st out of 26 (171.4286)
This weekend’s brisket was the return to form I’ve been looking for. We cooked two very different sized briskets (12 lb. and 16.5 lb.) so I staggered the times I placed them in the big WSM and kept a close eye on both for doneness. It turned out that the bigger one was way better tasting, so we decided to turn in slices from it. I made sure that our slices were consistently sized and generally thinner than we’ve been turning in, but otherwise I did everything exactly like last week. Working with nicely aged and trimmed brisket gave us a shot at a good finish, and we made the most with what we had. Thanks for the awesome brisket Rich, you came through for us again.
In our past three competitions over six weeks, Degüello BBQ has taken two 3rd place overall finishes and one Grand Championship. It is very gratifying to finally get our first GC, yet I know we have to keep refining and working hard to maintain this pace. Everything we learn each week goes into the refinement process for the next cook, so we’ll keep plugging along. Next up for Degüello BBQ is a tough challenge; we’ll be in New Holland PA for the New Holland Summerfest on August 26-27.
Probably the most picturesque venue for a cook off yet. Bluemont 951 Winery up on the hill.
The 1st place brisket.
Fortessa made some really nice plates for awards. We almost got enough for a serving set!