Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to back wins in the Dakotas

"So, let me get this straight, you've got $10K in prize money, you're going to give me my entry fee back when I get there, AND you want to give me $100 for fuel?" I wouldn't be surprised if Mort Kreig and his volunteers heard that question over and over the past few weeks, because that's exactly what they did at BBQ from the Heart in Dickinson, North Dakota this past weekend.

This is an easy blog entry to write because we won. However, it would be an easy post to write even if things had ended differently. The drive was a little long and the weather was pretty rough, but other than that, you could not have asked for a better contest. I have never met such friendly people, eager to learn about competition barbeque. I can't tell you the number of times folks welcomed me to their state and wished me luck. It was crazy. All of folks visiting the event were intrigued by the event and were genuinely interested in learning about the pits, the meats, the judging and the contestants. Oh, even the power was awesome. I've never seen so many 30 amp plugs go unused at an event. I wish I had taken a picture of all of those big power plugs going to waste. Heck, I'd go back just for the power! In addition to all of the financial incentives this contest offered, they had a cook's gathering on Friday evening and even hand delivered breakfast to each cook site on Saturday morning with a smile. Despite the strong Dakota winds and the cold Saturday rain, the volunteers and spectators remained upbeat. Of course, they reminded me that the wind always blows up there.

A separate contest took place on Friday night. The area fire fighters competed in a steak cook-off. They were supplied with the steaks on Friday afternoon. They were first judged by a panel, then subjected to a people's choice venue. These guys pictured were part of the event. They actually entered twice, submitting a traditional grilled steak recipe and a uniquely cooked entry where they actually deep fried the steaks. They called this style Pitch Fork Fondue. I was lucky enough to sample both. They were by far the most colorful group of firefighters there, but unfortunately they did not win. Better luck next year guys.
As the title indicates, we won the first annual BBQ from the Heart event in Dickinson, North Dakota. We also receiving a perfect score in brisket (180). Here's how we finished:

Chicken - 3rd
Ribs - 5th
Pork - 5th
Brisket - 1st

Grand Champion

Congrats to Smokin' In The Rockies on their Reserve Grand Champion finish. They won the chicken and pork categories in Dickinson. That's huge! The wind blew so hard from the north on Saturday, it made it difficult to control the pit temp. After the sun went down on Friday night, the winds died down so I did everything I could, including making up my boxes on Friday night. I knew it could be windy on Saturday and I wanted to get as much done as possible so that I would be able to hold on to my canopy if needed. Instead, I spent much of my time watching the temp gauge on my pit. By mid morning, I decided it was going to be an interesting day come turn-in time. Despite twenty-five mile an hour winds with periods of rain through-out the morning, my sand filled weights held the old canopy in place. I had to add support for the velcro fastened sides with bungee cords. To my surprise, all four categories were decent that day. Anybody that knows me knows I am almost never happy with the final product. That day was no different, but the entries weren't as bad as I thought they might be as a result of the weather.

Luckily I had help at turn-in time. (more to follow)

Several contests this weekend. Big congrats to Greg & Eric of Ribs 4 U for their commanding win in Butler, Missouri this weekend over a who's who of competition barbecue. Also, congrats to Parrothead Smokers and Wild Bunch Butt Burners for their wins in Atchison, Kansas and Decatur, Alabama. We're headed to Hot Springs, Arkansas this weekend. The event has the largest prize purse of any sanctioned event in the country. We were lucky enough to win this event last year, so I guess you'd say we're the defending champions. I hear this year's Smoke On The Water event has over 100 teams and counting. We're really looking forward to heading south to see some of our friends who have headed different directions during the summer months. See you all on the bbq trail!

1 comment:

Bill said...

Way to go on the back to back wins in the Dakota's. You guys are absolultely the best! I want to be like you when I grow up!
Bill Arnold
Blues Hog