Sunday, June 21, 2009

O'Town BBQ Showdown Recap

Sommer and I had a great time in Ottumwa last weekend. The weather was great on Friday and we managed to navigate into our spot around noon. It was another tough crowd with lots of great teams.

We had a couple challenges on the weekend....I woke up about 3:30 am to a hard rain, no big deal as the cookers were under the awning. I decided to get up to check on them to be sure, I took the first step out of the trailer and knew something was wrong as I felt my shoe fill with water. I quickly realized that we had 6+ inches of water running through our site. It was a mess with cooler, garbage, logs, you name it floating by. The water was about 2 inches from coming into the firebox on the smoker. After about ten minutes it stopped raining and the water started to go down...that could have been really bad, but in the end it was no big deal.

Challenge number two proved to be a bigger issue. Brisket has been, by far, our best category...I knew that would not be the case this weekend when I took our brisket out of the package. It had a huge fat cap and after I got it trimmed it was really skinny. In my experience a skinny brisket is a dry brisket. This one was no exception. I probably should have made a couple off adjustments to cooking or trimming, lesson learned I guess. Everything else went off as planned and we were really happy with the other three categories. The judges did not agree :) Our scores were actually pretty good with everything except the ribs in the 160's but it wasn't good enough for a top ten call.

Out of 30 Teams
12th Place - OVERALL
12th Place - CHICKEN
15th Place - RIBS
12th Place - PORK
14th Place - BRISKET

A very consistent outing just not consistently good! Overall, I was happy with everything except the Brisket and we will give it another go June 26th in Marshalltown.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

O'Town BBQ Showdown Ottumwa, IA

We will be competing in the first ever O'Town BBQ Showdown this weekend. This contest was a late add to the schedule. Sommer (my oldest) and I are cooking together this weekend. It will be nice (for dad anyway) to get a little father/daughter time in! I am really looking forward to getting back to the normal categories and we're hoping to followup on our good showing in Owatonna. I told Sommer I would split any winnings with her as she is trying to raise money for a couple of trips in the coming year. As a result the pressure is on, with me luck hopefully Sommer can earn a few bucks :)

BarbeQlossal Recap

We had a great time in Des Moines at the Qlossal. The event is very well organized and well run. I field was amazingly tough this week and it was fun to cook in the same event as several folks I've seen on the Food Network :)

As I mentioned the categories were different this week....lets just say I like the regular categories better. I will never complain about prepping chicken ever again!

Or turn ins were just sort of OK and the judges agreed (out of 59 teams):

Ribs 39th 158.86
Pork 12th 168.57
Loin 35th 153.14
Overall 31st

This was our first Iowa competition of the year, so it was also our first crack at Iowa Barbecue Society team of the year points in Ribs and Pork. One good and one bad. Actually, that is our best pork score ever...a good way to start. The IBS takes a teams top 4 scores and averages them together to determine the TOY. We are doing 5 contests in Iowa so it will be fun to see how we stack up against some of the big boys in Iowa at the end of the year.

Overall, it was a good weekend and I think we found a pork recipe to replicate the rest of the year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Great Pork BarbeQlossal Des Moines, IA

TippyCanoe BBQ Crew will be competing in the Great Pork BarbeQlossal at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. It will be just my family this weekend and we are really looking forward to it. We have heard nothing but good things about this event!

The Qlossal is different than all of the other competitions we will compete in this year. The event is sponsored by the National Pork Board and is a pork only contest that follows the same KCBS rules. The biggest change is the categories themselves. They are pork, pork ribs, pork loin, and whole hog (the whole hog category does not count towards to overall results). We don't have the capacity to cook a whole hog so we will only be doing the first three. With our results in chicken and brisket the past couple of weeks I'm a little sad to see them left out, but it will be fun to try something different.

With 59 of the best teams in the country coming to town it will be challenge to place in this one!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Now that was fun :)

The weather was great (with the exception of a few light showers overnight), the smokers worked great, and our timing was nearly perfect. I hauled the trailer up and started prepping during the day Friday. Kim and the kids as well as Brian and Matt and their families came up Friday evening. It was another well attended event with 43 teams competing. The meat went on and we were off to bed around 1am. The morning went as planned and before we knew it turn ins were done once again.

After turn ins I felt really good about what we had turned out. We nailed the chicken and brisket and the ribs were better than our previous attempts. The pork is always a question mark for us and this time was no different. I was hoping for a couple of calls.

The awards ceremony went better than I could have imagined. We first heard our name in the Chicken category with a 5th place finish. Ribs were next and we were pleasantly suprised to get a 3rd place call. The pork category passed by with no call. As they called the names for brisket I thought to myself, if we could get a top 5 in brisket we might have a chance at this thing...just then i heard our team name for 3rd place in Brisket. The top awards had been pretty spread out and I had a feeling it was down to us and Iowa's Smokey D's for the Grand Championship. My thoughts were accurate and they called Darren for Reserve Champion and TippyCanoe BBQ Crew as Grand Champion. Needless to say we were thrilled. I don't think my feet hit the ground all the way to the stage. I still can't believe we won :)

The Grand Championship in this "state championship" event gets us an invite to the American Royal BBQ in Kansas City in October ( and in the "draw" for the Jack Daniels World Championship in Lynchburg, Tn (we have a 1 in 4 chance of getting drawn as far as I can tell).

Its a weekend I won't soon forget!!

Here are the scores:

Chicken 5th 170.28

Ribs 3rd 168

Pork 15th 158.85

Brisket 3rd 169.14

Overall 1st 666.28