Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grilling Contests

Last year, I made the decision not to do any more grilling only contests. The decision was mainly because of logistics. I bought a camper/trailer so I could pack all of our cooking gear in there, and keep in there between events, then just hook up and go to the next one. Grilling contests, you don't need nearly as much stuff, so there is no need to drag a camper there. However, than means our SUV has to be jammed to the gills with gear, which creates additional mess and labor.

Also, the decision was made soon after I completely tanked at the Snowshoe and Oyster Bay grilling contests.

So I decided that I would only cook grilling contests if they were tied to a BBQ event the same weekend.

However, after several months of thinking it over, I have reconsidered this position. While there are some logistical issues, there are many benefits to grilling contests. One is the practicing of meeting turn in times, which is pressure that you can never recreate when practice cooking at home. Also, you can never get enough practice in building turn in boxes.

Of course, it is also a chance to meet up with friends from the BBQ circuit and have some fun, and hopefully add to the hardware bin.

Based on this, I have changed my mind and will resume my grilling career. This will begin with the Snowshoe in March, as I am planning to send out the application this weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NEBS Board of Directors

Tuesday night, I was elected to serve one the New England BBQ Society board of directors. Thanks to all of you who voted for me. After being elected, the board voted me as corresponding secretary. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to help promote and support BBQ in the region.

Meanwhile, by the end of the month, I should be starting to work from home full time. One of the many things I am looking forward to about this will be the ability to start cooking a whole lot more. Currently, I drive an hour each way, each day to work, and when I get home after 7 it is never easy to do any real cooking. Needless to say, we eat a lot of burgers, tacos and other speed meals.

I plan on cracking open the cookbooks and trying a lot of new things.

It will definitely lead to more practice for the upcoming BBQ season!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday Cook

Braved the elements yesterday to do some Q'in....

Fired up the Backwoods and cooked four pork butts for my brother's engagement party next weekend, and a few beef short ribs for myself.

Cooked the short ribs for about 8 hours, they were real tender.

I have to credit Steve Farrin of I Smell Smoke! for my interest in cooking short ribs. He let me try one of the short ribs they had cooked for the Snowshoe in 2007. They were so good, and I think a week went by before I had cooked some myself. Now, I usually throw some in whenever I have a smoker going.

The butts took about 13 hours to finish.

Pulled them all, then immediately vaccum sealed them and put them into the freezer. I don't use bear claws for competition pork, but they sure come in handy when you have a lot of pork to pull.

I've never vaccum sealed and frozen BBQ pork before. I'm interested to see how well it holds.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Finally, Cooking Again

Tomorrow, I'm finally breaking out the Backwoods tomorrow to do a little BBQing. Sheila is going away tomorrow and Sunday, going to Florida on business (poor baby) so I will be hunkered down with Max all weekend. Hopefully he will be doing better, he came home from day care yesterday with a 104 fever, so the last day or so has been real rough. He's doing better though, but I've heard enough screaming for the time being.

Next weekend is my brother Cristiaan's engagement party. I'm cooking the pulled pork, and decided smoke it this weekend and hold it for the party. I have done this a few times before, and it has always turned out great. Doing four butts.

I also picked up a few beef short ribs to throw in the smoker for me to have for dinner tomorrow. When it is all done, I'll try to post some pictures. Hopefully, I'll be able to find our camera, which is currently MIA....

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hello Again

Decided to take a week or so off from writing for the holidays. I've got a couple posts in the works, but nothing today, stay tuned....