Monday, September 3, 2012

The TOY run - Update #1

Well week #1 is in the books and there were some very interesting developments in the hunt for the KCBS TOY - nearly all of them bad for the Canoe Crew :)

I'll start with the one piece of good news from the weekend!  We weren't drawn to compete at the Jack Daniels World BBQ Championships!  How is this good news you say?  Well, nearly everyone else in the Top 10 of the current KCBS TOY standing was drawn (notable exception being our friends @ Big Tz Q Cru).  This means that while the rest of the top 5 are competing in a contest worth exactly 0 KCBS TOY points we will be competing in a contest worth 300 to the winner.  It's a small consolation and I'm likely spinning it a little to make myself feel better about my horsecrap luck, but hey ya gotta do what ya gotta do sometimes.

As for our results this weekend we had a solid cook in Warrens Wisconsin and thought we had a shot at the Grand Championship.  In the end it wasn't meant to be as Mike and Beth from QUAU lapped the field and won three categories in route to a twelve point margin GC.  We ended up third by less than .5 point - not that it really mattered from a points standpoint as 2nd wouldn't have improved our points but the Reserve Grand Champion check sure would have been nice!  We've missed $2000 in additional prize money the last two weeks by a combined one point.  That is BBQ though, and we've been on the right side of those narrow margins many times - it just sticks in your mind when you're on the wrong side two weeks in a row.  In the end, a net ZERO improvement in the overall Team of the Year rankings for TippyCanoe BBQ Crew.

A quick glance at the KCBS event results reveal that's not the case for several other teams in the top ten.  Most notably was another Grand Championship by the current KCBS TOY leader 3 EYZ BBQ - this GC was worth 297 points and with a 3rd place finish to drop it widens their lead to 54 points. We managed to stay in 2nd but three teams behind us narrowed the gap with solid finishes.  QUAU's victory in Warrens pushed them up to 6th place, Big Tz Q Cru ended up Reserve Grand Champion in Omaha NE and will move to 5th, and Little Pig Town won Quapaw OK and moved up to 4th place.  That all adds up to create a big lead for 3 EYZ BBQ and a jam packed 2-5 with only 31 points separating us from #5 Big Tz Q Cru.  Big Tz also scored a perfect 180 in brisket this weekend to put a stranglehold on the #1 brisket ranking.  There is no doubt Ryan in the best brisket cook in the Country!  Congrats my friend!

Week #2 of the "RUN" is fast approaching and we have yet to commit to any event, however, it appears as though we will be headed to Blue Springs Missouri if we can make it in time.  I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's alive...

It's been far too long since I've updated this blog, but I decided tonight that it might be kind of fun to use this space to talk about the final months of this season.  When the 2012 season began we went in with the goal to finish in the top 5 of the Kansas City Barbecue Society Team of the Year ( KCBS TOY) overall rankings.  A quick glance at the current standings reveal some good news and some bad news as we head into the stretch run.  The good news is that we currently sit at #2 in the nation - the bad news is there is a long way to go and the race is very tight.  There are seven teams within 100 points of the lead and several teams on that list would jump to the lead with one Grand Championship.  I hope to use this blog over the next few months to share our experiences as we push to stay in the top 5. The rankings can be found at

It all starts again this weekend as we head to our 21st contest of the year in Warrens, Wisconsin at the Smokin' in the Bog's BBQ Championships.  To be honest, I'm not real sure where the road takes us from there.  I've studied the KCBS calendar and have an idea in my head, however, we will likely be making those determinations on a weekly basis.  The KCBS TOY point system is structured as such to reward teams for scoring well at bigger contests giving "maximum" points for contests with 50 or more teams.  It is likely that after this weekend that will be our game - make the drive to get to the 50 team contests.  I haven't looked much past September yet but can assure you if we have a shot at the Team of the Year title, travel and the schedule will get crazy :)  It's going to be a wild ride and I hope to have some time to share a little of it here along the way.  Wish us luck! 

Good luck to everyone in "The Jack" draw tomorrow.  It's a special day in the bbq world as the folks at Jack Daniel's conduct a drawing to determine which Grand Champions deserve the opportunity to cook in their World Championship event (not how I would do it if it were my contest, but its not my contest so I'll save that story for another day).  We have 6 "chances" across four states (California, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota) but overall our odds are low and I expect we used up our draw luck in 2011!  I hope your bung gets pulled!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Smokin’ on Big Creek – Pleasant Hill Missouri

4-3-2011  RGC Big Creek 106

We had an amazing weekend in Pleasant Hill Missouri at Smokin’ on Big Creek.  This is a fantastic event.  Jeff, Stan, and their group of volunteers put on a first class BBQ event.  To top it off the weather was great! 

With 77 of the best teams in the Midwest in attendance it was one of the toughest fields we will face throughout the entire year.  These early season contests attract large fields and tough competition.  Our cook was fairly uneventful and overall we were very pleased with the food we turned out.

It was our first event using the new Memphis Pro Wood Fire Grill in competition and it performed flawlessly as usual.  It turned out some amazing chicken that propelled us to the Reserve Grand Championship on Saturday!  Category results: Chicken 14th, Ribs 6th, Pork 7th, Brisket 12th.

Todd Johns of Pork Pullin’ Plowboys was Grand Champion and pulled off an amazing feat getting first place calls in Chicken, Ribs, and Pork!  Congrats Todd!!

4-3-2011  RGC Big Creek 090

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Memphis Pro

With the weather finally warming up a bit I had a chance to do several practice cooks with the new Memphis Wood Fire Grill. I cooked my competition style chicken and it turned out great. A little tweaking with the timing and I think we've got a winner. They took up a great smoke flavor from the apple and cherry pellets and they were very juicy and tender. Two more chicken cooks this week and we'll be ready to roll with it in Pleasant Hill.

I cooked a few steaks on it as well last week and they were phenomenal. Set the grill at 650 degrees and in 8 minutes I had a perfect Ribeye.

I also spent a little time updating the Website a bit, I hope to continue to do so! Speaking of websites, anyone want to trade website work for BBQ? I would love to have a professional often updated site, I just don't have the skills to do it :)!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NKC Recap

Our first event of 2011 is in the books! Kim and I loaded up the boys Thursday night and headed for North Kansas City. The new trailer and tow rig worked very well and we arrived with no significant issues (we did manage to lose a hub cap on the Motorhome, coincidentally the first trip with the previous rig we lost a hub cap...must be something with me and hub caps :)).

I was great to get out and cook again. The weather was perfect all weekend and we got to see some of our best bbq friends. With 104 teams competing the field was very deep. Many of bbq's biggest players were in attendance. We had a very solid and consistent cook finishing 22nd in Chicken, 20th in Ribs, 20th in Pork, and 47th in Brisket. That put us 15th overall at the end of the day, not bad for our first time out in the new digs. I was pleased with our results in a tough field.

Earlier in the week my new Memphis Pro Wood Fire Grill arrived
We hauled it to NKC with us and I got to put it through its paces on Friday. What a great machine! I am so impressed with the quality of construction, temperature control, and just how well it works. We made pizzas and cookies with it Friday night and they turned out great. The temperature range and control with this thing is amazing (from 180-650 degrees). I'm looking forward to getting some meat on it this week, this will be our main chicken cooker and will likely see the ribs and big meats as well. From what I can tell so far, it's all it's advertised to be and I'm going to love it!

Our next event will be Smokin' on Big Creek in Pleasant Hill Mo April 1st & 2nd. I'm already looking forward to it :) Here are some pictures from the weekend and of the new Memphis Pro.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trailer Update

We made a little more progress on the trailer this weekend, below are some pics. We figured out the layout, installed the cabinets and started laying out the plumbing. The drop in sink went into the base cabinet pretty well and is going to look great when it's done. I also put the Backwoods Fatboy on the porch, going to get it secured down tomorrow. With any luck the plumbing work should get done next weekend, 11 days to go!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trailer Progress

Matt and I made the 1000 mile round trip to pick up the new trailer a couple of weeks ago. It looks great and I can't wait to get cooking with it! First things first though as we have lots of work to do to build out the kitchen in the enclosed area. Here is what she looked like when we got it home

I spent the last two weeks laying out the inside and ordering parts. I ended up ordering cabinets from and I can't wait to see them. By far the most inexpensive aluminum cabinets I could find. The reviews I've read are good and I hope the quality is as good as they say. I found tanks and a three bay sink on ebay. I ordered a Bosch Ariston 4 gallon water heater, a ShurFlo 115V RV Pump, and a ShurFlo accumulator tank from With all that Matt's got his work cut out for him to make us a kitchen with runnning water!

Kim and I installed the vinyl flooring yesterday and I think it looks great. We also decided to add an additional outlet for the water heater, Brian got that installed yesterday as well. With any luck the cabinets should arrive this week and installation can begin. I signed us up for a contest in North Kansas City on March 11st, so that is the new deadline! I will post pictures again as we make more progress.