Originally written November 2008:
Dear BBQ Friend:
Well, I've been very busy cooking BBQ the past couple of weekends. Last weekend I spent Friday and Saturday cooking for the Roundhouse Blues &
BBQ Festival in Savannah. I helped my brother-in-law Lee Sweat who now competes under the name Slabba-Dabba-Q and David and Michael Carter of the Arsonists BBQ Team cook a ton of BBQ.
Before that was the Douglas, GA contest... while it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot, I didn't do too well at all. For some reason, my chicken skin turned out rubbery. I have tested and used that chicken recipe many times now and
the skin always turns out tender and "bite through". But for some unknown reason, it turned out rubbery this time. I only have two guesses why it happened - 1) it may have been that Perdue chicken I bought or 2) the weather was
a little on the cool side and maybe that had an effect on my cooking temperature. Anyway... my brisket got done way ahead of time and I foiled it, let it cool down, and put it on ice for a few hours. I re-heated the slices before
turn in. It turned out a little crumbly and on the dry side. Too bad - I had really been practicing my brisket. I thought my ribs were pretty good, but the judges did not think so.
I'll figure these competitions out and let you know when I do. Next one will probably be next year. Remember... even though I sell a BBQ book, I am fairly new on the competition BBQ circuit as the head pit boss. I was always just the
assistant. I really didn't think it would be this hard, but when you consider who I am competing against, I can understand why I am not winning. These BBQ teams are extremely good and have 10-20 years experience on me. They have
their techniques down to a science. Me winning my first contest would be like a high school quarterback thinking he could win the super bowl. But I'm not going to give up yet!