Sunday, October 28, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This past weekend, Q Haven competed at the Battle of the BBQ Brethren in Sayville, Long Island, New York. We had originally planned to compete at Dover this weekend, but after much deliberation we decided to head to Long Island instead. It turned out to be the right decision for many reasons.
Getting ahead of myself again....
Sheila and I decided that we would take the ferry to Long Island instead of driving the long way, down I-95 to New York City, then back up to Sayville. Even though it cost over a hundred dollars each way, it was well worth it, as getting the SUV and trailer on and off the ferry was a snap, and the drive was easy on the NY side.
We arrived at the site of the contest mid afternoon Friday. The contest was set in a park in the middle of a neighborhood. Will Breakstone aka Willie B greeted us and set us up with a nice site at the back of the contest area.
Next were ribs. I decided to take a chance and marinate the ribs, something I had never done before in competition. Also, I bought the ribs at Restaurant Depot, which is a place I use for a lot of things, but not usually for ribs. Not sure if those things were really factors, but the ribs really missed the mark. 22nd place.
Missed with pork too. We thought this was our best turn in of the weekend. The judges disagreed. Also, 22nd place.The final category was brisket. We thought brisket was our worst category of the weekend. Dry and tough. There must have been a lot of bad brisket turned in too, because we took 8th place.
The people who put this contest together did an awesome job. Especially Eric Devlin (motoeric), who despite a foot injury hobbled around from team to team on crutches every day to make sure everything was OK. Will Breakstone (Willie B) did a great job too, as did the too many to mention people who did little things behind the scenes that made the contest such a success.
Now, the long off season begins. Believe me there will be a lot of practicing.
Monday, October 22, 2007
To top it off, we took reserve grand champions in the NEBS grilling event Saturday and got two calls in the KCBS BBQ contest Sunday.
I'll post a complete recap of the contest by the end of the week.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We have had a lot of time to plan for this contest, and can't wait to get there!
We leave Friday morning, taking the camper on the Cross Sound Ferry from New London, CT to Orient Point in Long Island. Since the New London ferry is ten minutes from our house, this will make the trip a whole lot easier, albiet more expensive. But now, we won't have to drive a giant circle, or pass through New York City with the trailer, to make it to the contest.
Even better, we have decided to get a hotel room near the contest site for Sunday night. Mike and Kris from Lakeside Smokers are staying in the same hotel that night, so we will be able to just relax with friends after the event instead of driving hours home Sunday night. Then, we are taking a noon ferry home on Monday.
Since the contest is being planned by competition teams, including Willie B of the team I Like Smoke and Lightning, this will surely be a cooker friendly contest. If anyone is heading down to the event this weekend, be sure to stop by and say hello.
Also, we will have plenty of Plowboy's Yardbird Rub we will be selling at the contest. We have both 8 ounce shakers for $5 and 16 ounce shakers for $8.
We're looking forward to a great weekend of Q with some great friends!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Chicken skin is the source of a lot of debate among BBQ cooks. It is such a difficult thing to get right. I envy some of the teams in New England that seem to really do well with chicken, Dirty Dick and the Legless Wonders, Lunchmeat and QWannabees to name a few. I have no idea what they are doing, but I haven't been able to figure it out.
Well maybe not until now.
I think all the practice is starting to pay off, and I'm finally starting to get good crispy skin without burning it. I used to smoke our chicken, but in the last few months I have changed everything, the entire recipe, and we're grilling and not smoking. The last few test cooks have been really good. I can't wait to try it out on the judges later this month at the Battle of the BBQ Brethren in Sayville, NY.
In the meantime, several New England teams are jetting off to the American Royal in Kansas City this weekend. I really wish we had qualified for the invitational like we did last year. Unfortunately, we had booked a vacation for that week last year, so we couldn't go. We could go and cook the open, but that is always more than 400 teams and I have told myself that we will not go unless we are qualified for the invitational. Good luck to the New England teams in KC this year!
Hopefully next year we'll be there! Instead, I'll be working Friday and Saturday, and watching football on Sunday.