Friday, June 19, 2009

Tonganoxie Days BBQ Contest

After the throttling we took at the GAB, Chris and I were both looking forward to cooking again. We had set our sites on the contest in Tonganoxie, KS but when I contacted the organizer I was promptly told they were full. Bummer.

You see, Chris and his wonderful wife, Jenny, recently had a beautiful baby girl named Megan. So we were hoping to minimize the time away from home and cook a nice, low key contest. Tongie fit the bill, as it is just minutes from the front door of Chris & Jenny’s house and it’s one of those great, small town events. So when they called me back to say they were opening up five more spots due to an overwhelming response…well, we jumped on it!

Chris and I both worked a full day before heading up to the contest. This has become a fairly common practice for us. We have become pretty good at rolling in later than usual and getting set up.

Since we got in and set up late, we didn’t have much time to walk around and visit until later in the evening. As we made our way around the grounds, we sized up the competition – 48 teams, and it was stacked! We were set up next to Rubbin’ It and Lovin’ It and they have been very good lately. Jeff from KC Can Crew was there with his trash cans and he’s always tough. Captain Gary and his Bare Bones crew were smokin’ with their WSM’s and just across the row was T’s Smokin’ Pit. Smokin’ Guns were all set up and we spent a good amount of time talking to our friends from the legendary Rib Stars. One thing I wish I would have gotten was a picture of John from Parrothead Smokers’ new Jambo pit. The color of the pit matched his new Ford pickup and it looked sharp! It won’t be long before John has that thing dialed in – lookin’ and cookin’ good!

As for our entries - they were good. Neither of us were all that happy with our chicken, and our ribs were just OK. Chris really liked our pork (and I did too) and I thought our brisket was pretty damn tasty. So it’s only natural that our chicken scored (7th) and we really hit with our “just OK” ribs, nailing down 1st. Of course our brisket and pork both fell to 14th place.

Not hearing our name called in the final two categories was a little hard. I had accepted the fact that we had a pretty good day with the 1st place call in ribs, but didn’t think we had enough for even a top 5. Usually when the top 10 overall places are called out, by the time you get down to Grand and Reserve, there is really little doubt who they are. I wasn’t so sure on that day. I thought we either won it all or finished 20th.

Turns out we won it all…but just barely.

We held on for the win by .0004 of a point over the guys from Burnin’ Down the Hog. Watch out for them…they are knocking on the door of a grand championship and it won’t be long!

We had a great time in Tongie. We are very proud to have won this event – our 6th grand championship in about 50 or so contests, give or take a few. The staff was great, the setting was really nice and the competition was top notch.

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