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Published: September 18, 2009


They put me on the CookShack web site Winner’s Circle!–ranking-4-at-the-silver-lake-apple–bbq-festival

I’m excited! I guess the people at Cook Shack knows a quality cook! LOL ROFLMAO

Published: September 18, 2009

Silver Lake / Mears Mi.

Silver Lake Dunes Michigan is a pretty area. If you ever wanted to drive a dune buggy, in sand, this is the place to do it. Lots of sand, water and dune buggies. Being from the big city, Silver Lake / Mears seemed like a small Mayberryish tourist town.

There are several hotels with the name Sands in them and we stayed at one of them. It was right next the, are you ready for this, the Sands Restaurant. (BTW the pizza was very good there). The room was big and comfy.

Well anyway, we cooked in the Silver Lake Apple Festival near Mears Michigan. This was their 4th year and it seemed a bit disorganized on the side contests. Pat entered all the side contests. They were a apple salad, apple with pork dish, and apple dessert.

The BBQ contest portion was top notch. Jeff (the organizer) and crew did a great job. I guess 4 years of experience paid off there. Water and  electricity were near by. Trash pick up was timely. The only fault was ice. They were running / ran out Saturday morning. Then again, the weather was in the mid eighties Friday and Saturday and the vendors were selling food and drink like crazy. Jeff told us to expect crowds up to 1,000 people. I lost count at 276 (LOL) but I estimated the crowds to be 3,000. Streets were closed so spectators could walk to get food from the vendors. There were Ats & Crafts and apples for sale in booths set up in the streets.

OK, enough of the treavel info, you wanna know how we did. Well here are the stats..

Total team entries —  31
Chicken —  8th Place
Ribs —  9th Place
Pork —  19th Place
Brisket —  1st Place

Over all 4th Place

They didn’t give a hand out for the side contests so we can only assume how Pat did on the other 2. They only gave out prizes for 1st Place.

Apple salad —  1st Place (Pat’s creation)
Side Dish over all — 1st Place

We figured Pat did pretty good in the other 2 categories to get the Over All win.

Published: September 13, 2009

Just about ready…

Just got back from Jewel Food Store getting the last necessities for our trip to Mears / Silver Lake Michigan. All we have to do in the morning is pack the coolers and we’ll be off.

We figure it’ll take us 5 hours pulling the BBQ Mothership. We have to swing through Indiana. Yuck! The expressway at the border sucks. I know there will be traffic backups. Oh well, that’s life on the barbecue trail. Next time you read this, hopefully, we’ll have a grand championship under out belts.

Published: September 10, 2009

Pig Candy?

What is “pig candy”?

Basically it is a slice of thick cut bacon covered in brown sugar and cooked in the oven (about 400 degrees) until the bacon is crispy. Simple, right? I learned about pig candy several years ago on a forum (I don’t remember which one).

Now it seems to be the “in” thing on the FoodNetwork. In the last week Paula Deen, Sandra Lee and Brian Boitano has made variations of it.

It was made with pure maple syrup and Sugar in the Raw, light brown sugar only, light brown sugar and chili powder, light brown mixed with white sugar, cayenne pepper and brown sugar or a mixture of the previous variations.

Is it the new in thing?

Published: September 9, 2009

Getting ready..

This past weekend (Labor Day Weekend) we pulled the trailer out, unloaded, cleaned and reloaded everything. We made sure our supply of essentials was stocked up and added a new chair to the trailer.

Pat was practicing apple desserts, apple / pork main dishes and apple salads. Yepper, we are going to the Silver Lake Michian Apple Festival and BBQ cook off 9/11 & 9/12. Go to–bbq-cook-off-festival-42/ and check it out. Looks like its going to be a fun time. BTW they supply the apples.

I trimmed my brisket today. The brisket started out at a shade over 13 pounds. After trimming its about 11 pounds. Big drop due to fat. However, it looks like it has a bigger point and a smaller flat. We’ll se how it cooks when the time comes.

Pat took the ribs and the last of the pork butts out of the freezer. I got a good deal at the beginning of the year on butts. They were 99cents a pound so I got 2 cases. When I buy spares, I buy them by the case for a better price. They come in 2 slab cryovac packages, 3 packages to a case. I cook 4 slabs and freeze 2 for later use.

This cook I’m going to cook 3 slabs of loin backs and 2 slabs of spares. Why? Because they were in the freezer and I didn’t have to buy more. They’ll get trimmed Tuesday evening.

The butts and chicken will get trimmed at the contest. It gives me something to do, to keep out of Pat’s way while she does the side contests.

Da Dude

We are ready to kick butt… pork butt that is.

Published: September 8, 2009

Da Jack!

3 of my BBQ friends made it to the Jack.

Scottie Johnson, –
Randy & Marla Twyford, – Ulcer Acres (Twyford BBQ & Catering)
Alex & Kate Cothell, – Dr Porkenstein

I know there can be just one winner 🙁

Good luck to all!

Published: September 4, 2009

O.. M.. G.. Its the Pork Police!

(make your favorite siren noise)

Let me preface this with, I think the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) is doing a great job riding herd on all the contests it sanctions. However, a recent rule clarification, or interpretation, has a majority of the contest BBQers in a tizzy.

KCBS rule 16 g) After cooking, all meat:
   i) Must be held at 140° F or above OR
      ii) Cooked meat shall be cooled as follows:
         (1) Within 2 hours from 140° F to 70° F and
         (2) Within 4 hours from 70° F to 41° F or less
         (3) Meat that is cooked, properly cooled, and later reheated for hot holding and serving shall be reheated so that all parts of the food reach a temperature of at least 165° F for a minimum of 15 seconds.

All the competitors agree with and abide by this rule with no complaints.

KCBS rule 10) The Four KCBS Meat Categories:
    CHICKEN: Chicken includes Cornish Game Hen and Kosher Chicken.
    PORK RIBS: Ribs shall include the bone. Country style ribs are prohibited.
   PORK: Pork is defined as Boston Butt, Picnic and/or Whole Shoulder, weighing a minimum of five (5)   pounds. Pork shall be cooked (bone in or bone out) and shall not be parted.
   BEEF BRISKET: May be whole brisket, flat, or point. Corned beef is not allowed.

KCBS rule 15) Each contestant must submit at least six (6) separated and identifiable (visible) portions of meat in a container. Chicken, pork and brisket may be submitted chopped, pulled, sliced, or diced as the cook sees fit, as long as there is enough for six (6) judges. Ribs shall be turned in bone-in. Judges may not cut, slice, or shake apart to separate pieces. If there is not enough meat for each judge to sample, the shorted judge(s) will score a one (1) on all criteria, and the judges having samples will change the Appearance score to one (1).

Now comes the problem, I as a competitor pull and chop my pork after cooking and am bound by rule #16. I want to keep my chopped and pulled pork at 140 degrees. When you pull and chop the temperature of the meat drops quickly. We are prohibited from putting the meat back in the cooker to warm it up to serving temperature or the minimum of 140°.

If we comply with rule #10 and not part the butt, the clam shell container will not close. If it is pulled and chopped, we serve it cold or room temperature. A conundrum for sure.

Then again, if a cook butterflies his butt for cooking, could that be considered parting?

Is there an answer? Probably not right away. I understand the KCBS Board doesn’t want to change rules or interpretations in then middle of a contest year.

Published: September 1, 2009