Big JT wins chicken in Westmont,Ill

Thanks to my sponsor we were able to head up to Westmont,Ill to be a part of the Red, White, and  BBQ event over Memorial Day Weekend. We arrived Friday evening and dropped off the trailer then headed to the hotel for the night. Saturday morning we ate some breakfast at the hotel and then headed back to the contest site to get everything set up for meat inspections later in the morning.  Lisa volunteered to cook in the Amature Rib cook off since her dad (Pop’s Belly BBQ) was unable to make the trip up.  Lisa is the dessert queen of the team and has never cooked a rack of ribs in her life, but she jumped right in there and prepped her ribs, I gave her my temp and rib time line, but she chose her rub and sauce combo. Everything went well until it was time to slice the ribs for presentation boxes, the bones were pretty curved, but she managed to get 6 ribs in the box and turned in on time.

Lisa with her 9th place Rib award

After the cooks meeting they had the Amature awards at the stage, we really weren’t expecting much but she managed to get 9th place out of 40 teams.
The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful, I managed to catch about 6 hours of sleep before lighting the fire and starting the cook.
We dealt with some sporadic rain throughout the morning but that is to be expected at a BBQ competition.  Right before chicken turn in I see about 60 CBJ’s runing out of the judging tent, apparently there was some bad weather on the way and they were evacuating the park . Well, needless to say there was no way any of us Cooks were leaving the area. They finally announced that judging was going to be delayed about 2 hours, so back into the cambros everything went… except I didnt have my cambro, so I turned the CTO down to 160* and laoaded it back up with all my meats to hold for the next two hours. The first storm passes with nothing to speak of and at this point we would be finishing up turn ins as it was around 1:15 and brisket would be up next. The second storm comes though and has some heavy rain with it but nothing else to speak of. 
Once everything was all clear we were told that chicken will be judged at 2:00 PM then every half hour after that for the other catagories. 
I had the most faith in Chicken and Brisket for the day, after boxing chicken I knew it had good taste but wasn’t sure with tenderness due to sitting an extra 2 hours. Ribs and pork I knew both were bad, ribs were still tougher than i wanted and pork was dry and over cooked. Brisket was pretty good, tenderness was there but taste was lacking a bit, but we turned in our best effort and just had to hope for the best.
After turn in’s were completed we started breaking down camp and our friends from Bonehead BBQ showed up just in time to help break down and hang out before awards. At awards we weren’t expecting much of anything, Lisa ended up 7th in dessert I finally was able to break through the chicken barrier and placed 1st beating out Quau and some other reall good teams. That would be the only call of the day as we finished 14th in brisket , 56th in pork, and 54th or so in ribs. All in all it was a good competition and we are looking forward to returning next year!

1st place Chicken


One Response to “Big JT wins chicken in Westmont,Ill”

  1. Brock Kruzic Says:

    Hi James, wnated to say thank you to you and your wife for the wonderful taste test today. I vould not stay for the results. I hope you did well, you deserved it.

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