Contest number two of 2010 is in the books! Brian, Matt, and I made the seven hour trip to Jefferson City Missouri last weekend. We cooked very well, had a great time, and managed to return home unharmed.
This contest is well known for having a big purse ($26,000 total), for attracting some of the best teams in the country, and for being very cook friendly. Bruce Ring and his group of volunteers came through on all counts.
Unlike our cook in Little Rock, everything seemed to click in Jefferson City. The Backwoods Smoker's performed flawlessly and we hit our marks consistently. We aren't in mid season form by any means, and it still seems like we are working too hard at this, however, we are getting closer :). After turn in's we began the clean up and I think we all felt pretty good about what we had turned out. We made an adjustment to a couple of flavor items on chicken and the chicken was much improved over Little Rock. We were also trying out a new rib supplier and switched up the rub used on them. Like the chicken the ribs were far improved over the last couple of attempts.
As we headed into awards I think we all had high hopes for the day. As it turned out we were not to be disappointed:
We finished just over a point out of 2nd - Iowa's Smokey D's, and over 12 points out of first - Great Grills O' Fire. As it turned out we could have finished 4th in Brisket and still not finished better than 2nd. Needless to say, Becky and Mark with Great Grills O' Fire cooked their butts off and earned that victory! Our Friends Ryan and Sonya of Big T'z Q Cru finished in a strong 5th position to make it three Iowa teams in the top five!
All in all, we had a great time, filled the BBQ account for the next several contests, and really feel good about how we are cooking heading into the meat of our schedule. The long drives are over for a while and we are looking forward to contests a little closer to home. Next up is the Minnesota in May event held at the Mower County Fairgrounds in Austin on May 14th and 15th.