Archive for Competition

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( www.jambopits.com ). 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.

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BBQ Bucket List…

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

There was a post on www.bbqbrethren.com 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 www.mojobricks.com , www.simplymarvelousbbq.com , & www.drapersbbq.com 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.