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Great American Barbecue

MO_cows

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Seems like a lot of members are into bbq, so thought there might be interest in the Great American Barbecue this weekend in Bonner Springs, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City. www.thinkbbq.com Kansas City Barbecue Society www.kcbs.us

We have a bbq team in the family and they are entered. In the Open division, they are up against about 150 other teams. In the Invitational division, about 40 teams. They cook a heck of a lot to get those "perfect" portions to turn in for the judges....for example, cook a whole brisket and only turn in 6 slices. So we usually show up and "help" them with all that extra barbecue. Yep, it's a sacrifice but what else you gonna do for your family?? www.smokemetenderbbq.com
 

Jogeephus

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That sounds like fun. Good luck with it. We have a big event here in November. People really take this stuff seriously. Are your family members hardcore? I mean will they really kill you if someone discovers their secret recipes. ;-) :lol2: I really enjoy it myself. I'll cook about once every two weeks. Always trying something new. Been making my own cookbook with my favorites. Decided to do this after I created a sauce that everyone loved but I made it from scratch and didn't write ingredients down. :oops:

http://www.bigpigjig.com/history.htm
 

grannysoo

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We have some teams from our area that go to the bigpigjig too...

I have never went, but am thinking about it this year. Who knows, one day I may want to get up a team and compete. If not, I'll eat bbq until it's gone.
 

MO_cows

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They are serious about it but they started doing it for fun and still have fun at it. Competition barbecue seems to have a lot of camaraderie with the teams. Sort of, "Hey, I am going to do my best to beat you and you're gonna do your best to beat me, but that's no reason not to have a beer together and swap stories while we babysit these smokers all night....."

I have seen coverage of the bigpigjig on tv and it looks like a blast. But it costs a lot of money to travel that far, and trying to get everyone on the team's vacation time lined up together is a nightmare, so they haven't been able to compete that far away from home yet. Also, they haven't cooked a whole hog but maybe once, now that's something that is hard to practice!

Here's a photo taken at Rock n Ribs in Springfield, MO in April this year. There were 60 teams; they took 5th for chicken and 8th for ribs, 12th place overall. So they aren't a 600 pound gorilla team (yet!), but they consistently place towards the top of the pack and have won some championships.
 

Jogeephus

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I like their team's name. Smoke Me Tender! That's good. We just cook for fun. To me, consistancy seems to be the art of winning a tourney cause there are so many variables you have to deal with. Then there is the timing. That's gotta be tough. Its definitely an art. For them to place that high in competition when the competition is so strong speaks a lot for their abilities.

Next time you talk with them ask them if they have ever smoked a turkey where the smoke ring went all the way to the bone. My dad did this once and we never could replicate it. Definitely the best turkey I've ever tasted and would like to repeat it.
 

MO_cows

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The team names are half the fun. Whiskey, Women and Wibs, Half-Sauced, Rub My Butt, etc.

I'll ask them about that turkey tonight, I'm headed out there after work.
 

MO_cows

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The team did pretty good! In the Invitational division, which is comprised of all Grand Championship teams from other contests, they finished in the middle of the pack of 41 teams. In the Open division, there were 160-some teams, and they came in 38th overall. Their top placing was 5th place with beans. Their brisket and chicken were both in the top 20 which earned a ribbon and a check for each. For some reason, their ribs absolutely tanked this year at 150th or else their overall placing would have been much higher. :clap:
 

Jogeephus

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That's still fantastic! Kinda like placing in the middle of the pack at the Olympics.

MO_cows":2q42x9mg said:
For some reason, their ribs absolutely tanked

Maybe ya'll used the same ribs I used the other day. Have no clue as to what happened. Normally they are just fall of the bone cut with a spoon tender with a gentle smoke ring around them but these things were horridly tough and it took a sharp knife to seperate them. I was mortified cause I do love my ribs. But thankfully the grill is large and there were other things that rung the bell. :nod:
 

MO_cows

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Maybe it was the meat itself? There's so many variables. My last barbecue disaster was chicken. Burnt on the outside, raw next to the bone. Ewww.
 

grannysoo

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Jogeephus":3pgkyvoq said:
That's still fantastic! Kinda like placing in the middle of the pack at the Olympics.

MO_cows":3pgkyvoq said:
For some reason, their ribs absolutely tanked

Maybe ya'll used the same ribs I used the other day. Have no clue as to what happened. Normally they are just fall of the bone cut with a spoon tender with a gentle smoke ring around them but these things were horridly tough and it took a sharp knife to seperate them. I was mortified cause I do love my ribs. But thankfully the grill is large and there were other things that rung the bell. :nod:

Don't you just hate it when a well laid plan goes to be nice in a handbasket....
 

Jogeephus

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MO_cows":31zkjre0 said:
Maybe it was the meat itself? There's so many variables. My last barbecue disaster was chicken. Burnt on the outside, raw next to the bone. Ewww.

To me, chicken is one of the hardest things to cook cause you got to cook it so well and slow cooking requires some serious time. It sure is good when done right but you really gottta be careful. Clear blood coming from the joints scares me.

I have a guide to picking ribs somewhere. Something about size of the ribs and number of the ribs per pound of rib section. I used to use this all the time and they always came out good but I misplaced my guide. (you would think I could remember something as important as this)
 

MO_cows

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This was grilling, not smoking. I think my main problem was getting too ambitious on a weeknight. It got dark on me before it finished, so I was grilling it by flashlight. Then I got hungry/tired/impatient and put it on the hottest part of the grill to hurry it along. Wrong! I use a thermometer to make sure of the done-ness now.

For whole chickens, I like to brine them 24 hours and then smoke them. A friend of ours raises meat chickens on "pasture" and they are excellent. I don't quite get the scientific concept, but somehow the salt in the brine makes it penetrate the meat and it takes the flavor of the other brine ingredients in with it. The meat isn't too salty, just moist and flavorful.
 

Jogeephus

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MO_cows":qb0sjyuu said:
This was grilling, not smoking. I think my main problem was getting too ambitious on a weeknight. It got dark on me before it finished, so I was grilling it by flashlight. Then I got hungry/tired/impatient and put it on the hottest part of the grill to hurry it along. Wrong! I use a thermometer to make sure of the done-ness now.

For whole chickens, I like to brine them 24 hours and then smoke them. A friend of ours raises meat chickens on "pasture" and they are excellent. I don't quite get the scientific concept, but somehow the salt in the brine makes it penetrate the meat and it takes the flavor of the other brine ingredients in with it. The meat isn't too salty, just moist and flavorful.

Its also a chemical reaction with the protein molecules. Relaxes them somehow. Next time you fry chicken try brining it first. The result will be the best tasting, greese free chicken you'll ever eat. The brine will cause the chicken to soak up water within the cells. As its cooked, the water will boil out of the chick thus pushing against the force of the greese trying to get in the chicken. Definitely worth the trouble.
 

MO_cows

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That's a good tip, thanks. I hardly ever make fried chicken. Maybe if I could make it better, that would change. :lol2:

Well the next big bbq contest is the American Royal in October. There's a few smaller ones in the meantime, but that one is the "big daddy".
 

Jogeephus

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Will ya'll be attending that one? All this bbq talk has got me wanting some ribs. I see they are on sale now so maybe this weekend I can fire up Wilber. :nod:
 

MO_cows

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The team is already entered, and oh yes, we will pay them a visit one night at least. The poor things, they will have all that extra meat that they don't turn in for the judges, they will need our help. :roll: Grand Champion at the American Royal pays something like $10,000. If you win one of the individual meat categories, that pays at least $1,000. It would be soooooooo exciting if they would win a big one like that. :banana:
 

Jogeephus

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Smoked ribs and briskets last night. This was the umpteenth experiment I have performed trying to find the secret to the perfect rib. Ran three different sets last night. I finished up late so I just labelled the meat and took it in the house without even trying them. With wedding visitors at the house everyone sampled the meat for lunch and all say one set was by far the best ribs they ever tasted. I tried them myself and I gotta say they are the best I ever made too. If I can duplicate this a few more times and become consistant, I think I may have mastered ribology. :banana:
 

MO_cows

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Did you wrap them part of the cooking time, or were they "naked" the whole time? It was a big surprise to me to walk around a bbq contest the first time and see all the meat wrapped in foil in the smokers. They start it out bare, then wrap it and let it cook, then finish it bare. The reason I was given, the wrapped cooking time helps with moisture retention and tenderness.
 

Jogeephus

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The batch that got the most praise was smoked at 225 for 3 hours uncovered, then 2 hours wrapped, then 1 hour uncoverd. They were done in 3 hours but they were not what I call tender till 5 hours but they did not get perfect till 6. My next experiment will be this compared to another set I made a few weeks ago that was cooked uncovered the whole time. I'd like to be able to omitt the foil if possible due to cost.
 

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