Friday, September 28, 2007
After the Hudson Valley Ribfest, that bug was nowhere in sight.
This is our second year of competition BBQ. The first year, we only did five events. This year, we did five events in the span of eight weeks. This would have been fine, if I didn't have a full time, supervisory position with my company, and a part time bartending job. After the Hudson Valley Ribfest, I was burned out.
Burned out, and frustrated that I hadn't achieved the success that we did in 2006. We won our second ever competition, and went to the Jack Daniel's invitational. No wins in 2007.
Now that I have taken a few weeks off, it has given me a chance to really evaluate the season, and I have a very different view.
First, I looked at our overall finishes in the KCBS BBQ events: 7th in New Hampshire (34 teams), 4th in Lake Placid (36 teams), 7th at Harpoon (40ish teams) 6th in Maine (21 teams) and our only really bad finish, 22nd in New Paltz (57 teams). We dramatically improved our grilling program, almost taking reserve grand champions at Maine and getting numerous grilling calls. In fact, we got calls at every contest we attended. And I can't forget that we took reserve grand champions at the Winter Sizzler back in January.
Looking at everthing, it has been a pretty good year. We may not be going back to the Jack Daniel's this year, but I think we established that Q Haven is a competitive team that will be a fixture in the New England BBQ scene for the forseeable future.
With those positive vibes, we begin preparing for the Battle of the BBQ Brethren. The team list is growing, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The first noticable change is that the prices have gone up pretty much across the board. The menu has not been updated on line, so it does not reflect there yet. However, the two meat combos and the rib, brisket and pork platters that come with two sides are now $19.95. They were $16.95 on the old menu.
One positive addition is that of baby back ribs, which were not offered on the previous menu (but were available sometimes as specials). We've been to Bubba's three times since the new menu came out, and I've had the ribs twice. I give them a thumbs up. They do not remove the membrane from their ribs, but they are tender and smoky.
They have removed the Kentucky lamb from the menu too. I always told myself that I would try it, and never did. Some that I talked to really liked it.
I can also recommend the Bubbarita, which is a margarita the way it is supposed to be, served in a pint glass.
I still stand by my previous comments that Big Bubba's is the best Q I have found in Connecticut. Better than the Cookhouse in my opinion, although I know many disagree with me on that one. Maybe it's because I can actually see Mohegan Sun from our perch where we live overlooking Norwich Harbor.
I recommend that you try Big Bubba's if you are at the casino. Hitting a slot jackpot too will make the high prices a lot easier to stomach.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I did my best to trim them down to St. Louis size. One of the racks I ended up trimming too muchand they were a lot smaller than the other. I rubbed both racks with my homemade competition rib rub.
Next, they went into the WSM for three and a half hours at 225 degrees with lump charcoal, a couple of large apple wood chunks and a big chunk of hickory.
Next, they went into foil for an hour and a half with apple juice and honey. Then, back into the smoke for another hour.Sauced for the final 15 minutes, turned and basted a few times before I pulled them for slicing.
Here is the finished product.
Overall, I thought they came out pretty good. The tenderness was not quite there, might have needed a little more time in the foil. But they really held the smoke flavor, and had a nice smoke ring.
I didn't slice them very well either. I'll work on that for next time. Spares clearly would present a lot better in competition, but I have to say that for me personally, I still prefer the backs. But I will do a few more cooks before I decide whether to make the switch for competitions.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
So, at the beginning of the summer, I noticed that BJ's had a Kingsford charcoal grill for sale for around 130 bucks. This grill was pretty similar to the Weber Performer, without the charcoal starter. However, I didn't think it was worth that much money, so I passed.