Ted did an outstanding job organizing this contest and bringing it back from the dead. Everybody seemed to have a great time, and I will definitely be back next year.
This was not part of the KCBS contest, but rather just a fun one-category competition where we were allowed to turn in anything except the four KCBS meats: chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder/butt, or beef brisket. I kept it simple and did a sausage fatty for my turn in. I really didn't have time to practice something elaborate. I knew the fatty was good, but didn't know how it would stack up against fancy seafood and beef entries. I'm really happy with 6th place, especially since I put basically zero effort into it. The best part was when I asked one of the judges after judging was complete if she had any good entries. She said that she had a great fatty that she wouldn't have changed a thing about. She described it, so I know it was mine. It makes me happy when people enjoy my food.
Due to my pork and brisket taking longer than expected on the smoker, I totally ditched my original chicken plan and cooked it in a way I've never done before. The result was my best chicken score ever. Go figure. I was absolutely thrilled with 8th place in chicken. I planned on doing it that way again in Merrimack the following week. More on that to come.
I always say that there are a ton of great rib cookers out there, so I'm happy to finish near the middle of the pack. My ribs were a tad overcooked, and that shows in my score.
I lost my pork mojo, baby. After getting 1st in Maine and 5th in Harvard last year, I get a pretty horrible 22nd at Peter's Pond. The worst part is that, other than being very slightly overcooked, I thought the pork was pretty good. Such is life on the barbecue circuit.
I wish I could give my first place trophy to the cow that was kind enough to provide me the beautiful brisket I cooked at Peter's Pond. It wasn't Wagyu or even Prime. It was just a really nice, thick brisket. I knew it was special when I saw it in the store. I cut it and finished it a little bit differently than I have in the past, but what made it great was how juicy it was. Even the tip of the flat, which was thinner and more well done than the middle, was extremely moist. It goes to show you that selecting the right product is very important.
Very respectable, given the stiff competition. Any time I finish in the top 10 with 30+ teams, I'm happy. It was a great weekend. See everyone there next year!