My slogan for my Barbecue Chef’s website has always been, “We Don’t Compete. We Eat!” Looks like I may have to change or modify that. I’ve gone and entered my first barbecue contest.
A few weeks ago, I was scouring my monthly copy of the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s “Bullsheet.” On the back cover was a full-page ad by the fine folks at Smoke On The Water, a group of barbecue people who put on some of the biggest and highest-paying barbecue competitions in the US of A.
In the ad they listed all the comps they were putting on this year. Since I don’t compete, I don’t usually pay much attention to these ads. However, I suddenly noticed that one of their contest sites is Loveland, Colorado. That’s just 20 miles north of my digs in Boulder.
I went to the contest web site, and lo and behold, what did I see? Along with a Pro event, they’re holding an amateur rib contest; and the entry fee is only $100! The next thing I knew, I had whipped out my credit card and entered my first barbecue contest.
I stood up and shouted “I’m a barbecue comp team!” Then I realized I’m just one guy, hardly a team. I’m competing as “Roaring Fork BBQ,” the name of my old almost catering company. I even have a cool logo designed by Patrick Carlson of BBQlogos.com, the best barbecue logo creator on the planet, in my opinion.
Then I started creating a small list of everything I’d need to bring. My other motto is “Keep It Simple.” After all, it’s just an amateur event, and I’m cooking ribs only. First prize: $500. No biggie! Nothing to get all worked up about! Here is my list, in no particular order:
Beside all this, I’m working up my competitive spirit. I want to win this thing. The rules are easy: cook a minimum of 5 slabs of ribs; turn in 6 bones; no garnish; turn-in time 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. From 1–3, give samples to event attendees in exchange for a ticket. The team with the most tickets wins $100.
Needless to say, I’m excited. If in come in dead last (there’s no way that’s going to happen), I may have the shortest competition career in history. But if I place in the top 5 or win? Let’s just say I’ll be thinking of calling Lavern to order a Meadow Creek TS250 with the smoker box and the BBQ42 Chicken Cooker, with the chrome smoke stack and chrome wheels. Trailer-mounted, naturally!
Hey, my philosophy is, if you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big!
Stay blessed, my friends.
This recipe first appeared in Issue 36 of StoryQue magazine.
Frank Eriksen is a voice-over artist, podcaster, blogger, backyard barbecue enthusiast, and a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge. He lives in Boulder, Colorado and cooks on a 22.5 WSM. Visit BBQ Chefs website.
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