For the past couple of years Chris and I have thrown around the idea of going to the Great Pork BarbeQLossal in Des Moines, IA. The QLossal happens every June and it's a contest that is unique in that it is the only Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned contest where cooks only deal with pork. No beef. No chicken. No other ancilaries. Just pork.
Pork butt. Pork ribs. Pork lion. And the big one...whole hog. The last one is the category that has scared us off until now. We have never cooked a hog and it seems like a pretty big undertaking.
So while we considered it, we never really considered it. That is until we started kicking the idea around again early this year when a friend of ours, Jerrod Caton of the team Pork Me Purple, brought it up. Jerrod talked us into it and now we're teaming up to cook this exciting event.
We are actually quite lucky to have Jerrod on our side. He's put in over a decade in the pork industry and took first place in pork at the 2007 American Royal Invitational.
Our first order of business: team name. We decided that we'll combine our names for this contest. So, for the first weekend in June, the Dodge County Smokers and Pork Me Purple will be known collectively as the Dodge County Purple Porkers.
We're hoping that our combined success in the two regular KCBS categories of pork butt and ribs thrown in with a little luck in loin and that whole pig will result in a successful day for us all.
Oh, and about that whole hog that has scared us off before. Well...we'll be doing our practice run on a small pig this weekend. Official QLossal rules state that we must cook a pig with a minimum weight of 45lbs. Given the small size, we're hoping we can manage it and we're looking forward to the challenge. Win or lose, it should be fun weekend and learning experience for sure!