Archive for the Important News Category

Trip to Texas, Memphis BBQ Co., and the Milk Cow Music Festival…

Posted in Competition BBQ, Important News with tags , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by Big JT

Trip to Texas, Memphis BBQ Co., and the Milk Cow Music Festival…

         I know this was promised to be posted earlier in the week, but I have been lazy and trying to recuperate from the last week and get busy planning the next couple weekends.

       First off, I need to thank the sponsors of Big JT’s Smokin’ BBQ which are, Simply Marvelous BBQ, Mojobricks, and Drapers BBQ. Without the support of these companies we would not be able to do what we do.

       It was a long week; we left for Burleson, Texas at 4:00am on Memorial Day to start the first leg of the trip to pick up the Jambo Pit. We arrived at about 7:30 pm Monday night. During the trip we stopped off at the Memphis BBQ Company to eat lunch and catch up with Pete and Melissa from Yazoos Delta Q. I went to their first class in 2010 and learned all about competition bbq both KCBS and MBN styles. If you get a chance to stop in do yourself a favor and stop by. The food is great and they also have non-bbq items on their menu. Once in Dallas we ate a place called Texas Land and Cattle Company, not really knowing what to expect from the place but it was highly rated and recommended by the hotel staff.  The place was not busy at all and we were seated as soon as we walked in the door. The food was very good and it really wasn’t all that expensive of a place to eat at.

       The next morning we were up early and heading to meet up with Jamie Geer( ). We pulled into his driveway and there it was… Once we all made the introductions and small talk Jamie walked us through the inner workings of the pit and also his shop. We saw a J-3 Model in the paint booth being painted New Orleans Saints Gold. After about an hour we were back on our way home with the new pit in tow. It pulled like a dream and we had comments about it at every gas station and rest stop.

     We finally got home after another stop at Memphis BBQ Co. and loaded the Jambo into the garage. After a few hours of sleep I woke up and lit a fire in it. I played with controlling the fire and felt that I had a good handle on it…more on that later…

     So fast forward to Friday, i picked up the completed sign from a local airbrush guy, and he did a pretty good job, mounted it on the Jambo and headed north to Fair Oaks,In Milk Cow BBQ competition. there were several tough teams in the field of 50 and we were just hoping to get everything cooked and turned in since cooking on the new pit.  We woke up around 3am and lit the fire and the pit came up to temp in about 35 minutes, i’m pretty sure i built too big of a fire as we were having issues with the pit wanting to run cool when both intake and exhaust was fully open after realizing this we were able to make some adjustments and get everything on track. I felt pretty good about the entries except for chicken… When it came time for awards I wasn’t expecting much, but was hoping for something. We finally heard our name called for a 2nd place brisket only to be beat out by Able Acres and 1 appearance point. the real suprise came from the overall rankings, we didnt expect an overall call due to only being called up one time. We ended up 10th overall out of 50 teams which i thought was very respectable considering the caliber of teams at the competition. We scored out highest score ever and it would have GC or RGC a few competitions last year but it was only good enough for a 10th place.

Next we are gearing up for one of my favorite competitions at Jeffersonville Smokin’ on the River. We are competing in a rib throwdown against 8-10 other teams on friday and then the normal competition turn ins on saturday.

The next weekend we will be competing and vending at the Franklin Smokin’ on the Square event so it will be a very busy couple of weeks, but hopefully the payoff is a good one.

Drapers BBQ – MOO’d Enhancer Beef Rub…

Posted in backyard, Important News, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by Big JT

2 weeks ago at the Benton,Ky BBQ Competition I received a complimentary 1lb bag of the new MOO’d Enhancer beef rub from Drapers BBQ.I was really looking forward to trying it out on a brisket, but that will have to wait as the selection at the local Sams Club was pretty bad this morning. So instead I bought two rather large T-Bone steaks so I could see how it would hold up to some grilling. The Steaks looked pretty good so I brought them home and went to bed (3rd shifter) About noon I woke up and pulled the steaks out of the fridge and unwrapped them. I then went to my competition bin and got the foil bag of DBQ Moo’d Enhancer. Upon opening the bag for the first time you get hit right in the face with the freshness of the rub and all the different elements to it. I put a light-medium coating of Moo’d Enhancer on both sides of the steaks as I was going to let them come up to room temp while the Weber was warming up.

Once the Weber was up to temp (about a 1 and a holy crap that’s hot count holding your hand over it) I put the steaks on the cool side i had set up to use the Reverse Sear or Finney Method ( I really like this method as it allows you to more precisely determine your finish temp (130-135*) After about 30 Minutes i flipped the steaks over to the sear side of the Weber, and it didn’t take long to get the outside nice and seared.

I bring the steaks back into the house and find out that Lisa had made some tater tots and a Caesar salad to finish off the mega lunch we had going on. I allowed the steaks to rest loosely covered with foil for about 10 minutes, and yes my counter top is lime green… It goes with the velvet wallpaper we have in the house. After about 10 minutes I couldn’t stand the wait anymore as the smell was driving me nuts with anticipation (my mouth is actually watering again as i type this) So i loaded up the plate, I look over to Lisa who is standing at the counter like a shark on blood devouring her first two bites of steak. The next sentence out of her mouth made me realize that we had a winner on her hands and I quote ” You know, i went to the store and bought this (Heinz 57 sauce that she puts on everything) and I don’t think I’m going to use it”  That statement shocked me.  So i dive into the steak and wow… what a flavor explosion the flavor of the rub held up to the grilling and it didn’t overpower the flavor of the steak, it really let the meat be the star, I would really love to try this on some Prime or Wagyu. I actually could have put it on a little heavier and it still would have done great. Now back to Lisa, the final statement she made which really told me that this was one of the best steaks she had was, “Oh my gosh, I am so glad i’m not a vegetarian right now…) Now onto the best part of this meal was the tater tots at the bottom of the pile which had time to marinate in the au jus that came from the steak… absolutely delicious, had all the flavor of the beef and the Moo’d Enhancer. I would definitely give this rub a shot it is great for steaks, or any beef for that matter. I can’t wait to give it a shot on some brisket and try to work it into my competition line up. I have a feeling this rub will take off and it is going to go huge on the competition circuit. Bottom line is that this rub stands up and accentuates the beef flavor that sometimes gets lost when cooking beef over fire. It puts a great crust on your meat when cooking over direct fire, it is a really bold flavored rub that mellows a bit with cooking, and it is a more savory rub as opposed to salt/pepper rub. The flavor is more intense due to all the different spices and flavors hitting you at different times during the tasting.

I also have a great new beef rub from Simply Marvelous that i believe will compliment this rub if used in a layering process. I will be doing a side by side comparison with these two in the near future.

I was also let in on a little secret from Shane @ DBQ about a new product that will be hitting the scene soon I hope. I know it will take a lot of work out of my prep for a competition.

Be sure to check out our BBQ 101 class that we have scheduled for July at the Eastside Community Center.

BBQ Bucket List…

Posted in Competition BBQ, Important News with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by Big JT

There was a post on that got me thinking, what BBQ Competitions and events do I want to do before I “retire” from Competition BBQ, or even better yet, what are my GOALS for competition bbq.

When I started my journey in Competition BBQ obviously I wanted to win as I am a very competitive person and really hate to lose or do bad at anything. My ultimate goal my first KCBS sanctioned event was to turn everything in on time and to not finish last in any category.  I ultimately accomplished that goal in Benton, Kentucky in 2010 and actually exceeded it with a 5th place finish in the Chicken category. My next goal my rookie year was to finish in the top half of the field and I accomplished that at the very next competition in Liberty,In with a 7th overall out of 36 teams and that included two HUGE walks with a 1st place ribs and a 2nd place pork. The rest of my Rookie season didn’t  go as well as I had planned, and even the beginning of 2011 started out kind of rocky, but it picked up in Westmont,Il with a 1st place chicken call in a very tough field of cooks and my first ever encounter with a 2 hour rain delay at a competition. The calls kept coming for the remainder of the year and we ended up with several Top 5 overall finishes and the last 6 competitions of the year our brisket and pork were rarely out of the top 10.

This year starts the quest for our first Grand Championship and I am putting it out there for everyone to see, we have come to close too many times and this year we are going to earn our way into accomplishing some of the other goals or “Bucket list of Competition BBQ”

1. Taking Grand Champion at a competition – Easy enough said right? Well this has to happen for us to continue to our next several items.

2. Cooking the American Royal open and Invitational – I have always said I want to cook the Royal, but the only way I am going is if i can cook the back to back open / invitational.

3. Cooking at the Jack Daniels World BBQ Championship – Most people would say win the Jack Daniels, but you have to be selected to cook it first , so let me be selected and then we can talk about winning the thing…lol.

4. Cooking at Memphis in May – Worlds largest Pork BBQ competition. I want to cook whole hog and do the on site presentation. Whole hog is where the big boys play at MIM may score horribly but I have learned from the best and think i could hold my own against any team down there.

5. Sams Club BBQ Series – I kind of have mixed feelings about this, on one hand its the closest thing that we have to a play off series in BBQ, on the other hand is it really the BEST teams in the Nation you are cooking against, now I know what you are saying… “JT who are you to say your one of the best in the nation!” and I say just watch and see… We are still a young team experience wise and I believe this is the year everything starts to snowball in our favor.

6. KCBS TOY – I am leaving this as the last item on my list. At some point in my BBQ career I want to be able to drop everything and set my sights on the KCBS  Team of the Year, I realize that I will have to grind it out for 30-40 competitions, but I want to be able to say that I did it.

7. Friendships – I have to say the BBQ community is one of the best ones I have ever been involved with. Most everyone is like family even if you only see them once or twice a year you can pick up right where you left off. There are weekends that I’m not cooking that I am always checking for results to see how this person or that person did at their competition. Just last week when I saw that Rob from 2 Worthless Nuts got the 180 chicken and overall GC I was just as thrilled as if it had been me up there getting those awards. Same goes for any of our BBQ friends If i dont do well at a competition I sure as hell hope one of my Friends cleans up at awards.

Well the blog kind of swayed from it original intent, but who cares, its mine anyways… Be sure to check out products from my sponsors , , & I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without their support. Also, we will be in Liberty,IN at the Smoke on the Water Festival by the Lake the first weekend of May so stop by, IM not sure if Shane from Draper’s BBQ will be up sampling his products or not. After that it looks like we may be heading to Westmont,Il and Fair Oaks, In back to back weekends plus Jeffersonville,IN and Franklin,IN back to back weekends with us vending at Franklin. So stop by and see us, and at Franklin, stop by and eat some bbq!

PS. DONT forget about our BBQ 101 class at Eastside Community center coming up in July, make contact with Eastside to register and get your name on the list.

Wild Ride coming…

Posted in Competition BBQ, Important News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by Big JT

Well, after firing up the CTO for the first time in about 3-4 months it seems that I have been bitten with the bbq bug again (not that it ever went away). I cooked quite a bit of food for the Superbowl and I am starting to get some requests for brisket and ribs for Valentines Day dinners.

In March I am heading out to Kansas City with a few BBQ friends and we are going to try and hit up a few local bbq places as well as stop into Ambrosi Brothers knife shop. Speaking of knives I just received my new slicer via FedEx today. It is a Glestian 12″ Beef Slicer, i ordered it from and I am really excited to use it. I also purchased a digital camcorder today so that in the next few weeks I can start adding videos and cook demos to the website.

Shortly after returning from Kansas we will be on the road to the first stop on the competition trail for 2012. We will be in Benton, Ky cooking at their Tater Day BBQ Competition. We have cooked here the past two years and I will probably keep cooking it since it was the first professional competition i cooked. We actually won 5th place Chicken.

The bbq forums are buzzing with excitement about the upcoming BBQ Pitmasters Season 3 casting call, I did shoot and submit a video and I will have it up on this site soon. I highly doubt that I will be chosen, but if i am it will be a Wild ride for sure.

I am heavily anticipating the call from Jamie Geer about my new Jambo pit. I was told it would possibly be ready for pick up by April so I wont be cooking on it in Benton, but I am having a friend help me out down there. Shane Draper from Drapers BBQ will be cooking with me down in Benton and providing me use of his cookers for the weekend. I hope we do well and believe me I wouldn’t be able to cook down there if it hadn’t been for him stepping up to help me out.  Shane is also helping out the team this year as a sponsor. This year we will be using his Smokin’ Sauce in competitions. The sauce is great, it is a very original sauce and has some many subtle flavorings that help bring out the flavor of rubs and the meat. I have used it with my competitions rubs from Simply Marvelous and they pair up nicely.

Looking forward to the next few months and looking forward to seeing all the BBQ crew when we hit the competition trail. Hang on its gonna be a wild ride!

BBQ 101!

Posted in Around the house, backyard, Important News with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Big JT

Well, it seems that the first BBQ 101 class received rave reviews, we are tentatively  scheduled to hold another class on June 11, 2011 at Eastside Community Center.  We here at Smoke Break BBQ want to say thank you to all who helped make this class a success. Here are some pictures to show you what you missed!

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The good stuff…

Posted in Around the house, Competition BBQ, Important News with tags , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Big JT

I just got back from running some errands around town trying to gather things for next week. 1st and most importantly the  9:22 drink of choice i picked up my first ever bottle of Single Barrel Jack Daniels. It wont replace my bottle of Jack I purchased at Lynchburg (that was stolen), but it seems like a pretty good replacement. Well, maybe we will just leave the Single Barrel to sipping on some crushed ice.

Promoting BBQ 101

Posted in backyard, Competition BBQ, Important News with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2011 by Big JT

TC and I were up bright and early to go one two morning radio shows, first we were on 100.3 FM KORN Country with Dave “The King” Wilson promoting and giving a little background on our Competition team. After we wrapped it up there it was time to bring in the food and let the morning crews sample the BBQ we were talking about. About 20 minutes later we went into QMIX and chatted it up with the Q Wake Up Crew. TC and I had a blast and I believe we are getting some good promotion for the class. For more info on the class Click the BBQ 101 link on the right side of the page. Here are some pictures from this morning with the Q Wake up Crew.


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