Archive for September, 2011

Pickin’ in the Panhandle

Last week as the rain was threatening to flood out parts of Maryland, we packed up and headed to the hills of West Virginia for our first trip to the Pickin’ in the Panhandle bluegrass festival and KCBS competition.  We were coming off a good performance at Smokin’ on the Bay and knew that our competition would be equally as strong, if not stronger in West Virginia.  This is a unique location for a KCBS competition because it is the one and only West Virginia state competition; which means the grand champion automatically gets a ticket into the Jack Daniels invitational next year.  Because of this, a lot of big hitters show up and whether you are a well known team or new to the circuit, you show up to compete!

The teams begin to stack up at Lazy A Campground

We had the pleasure of setting up camp next to the Tipsy Pig, a rookie team who was cooking in their first KCBS competition.  We’ve been so lucky to meet incredibly nice people and teams who’ve helped show us the ropes since we started competing in 2010.  Although we are still considered a rookie team, we’ve made it a point to go out of our way to pay back the generosity we’ve been shown and help out new teams as much as we can.  We may not give up ALL of our secrets, but if we can help, we certainly will.  We shared a taste of all four food categories as well as photos of a couple of our boxes … And we were lucky enough to get a taste of their food as well.  They did a fantastic job by being part of a three way tie for 10th place in pork.  Impressive for a first competition!

A piece of our 7th place chicken.

We were fortunate enough to get two ‘calls’ on this trip.  The very first call of the awards ceremony was for the peoples choice pork butt, and PepperMonkeyBBQ won!  That earned us another pig trophy for our small collection, but more importantly free entry into next years competition!  Our next and only other call was the 7th place chicken, which we were both proud of.  Our other categories did well, but not well enough to place in the top ten:  27th in ribs, 18th in pork, and 16th in brisket.  Overall we placed 14th, which given the level of competition, we were still happy with, but are really hoping to work our way back to the top ten for our final two competitions this year.

Six racks of ribs ready for the smoke!

We really enjoyed our first trip to Pickin’ in the Panhandle.  Jen and the rest of the crew clearly worked very hard to make it an enjoyable event for everyone.  Congratulations to Chix, Swine and Bovine on their Grand Champion and earning another trip to the Jack.  Congrats to Just Smokin’ Around for coming in a close second.  We are looking forward to cashing in our free entry into the 2012 Pickin in the Panhandle.  Now it’s time to practice for our upcoming trip to Harrisburg, PA.

September 21, 2011  |  Brisket, Chicken, KCBS Competition, Pork, Ribs  |  No Comments  |  Share

Smokin On the Bay 2011. 6th Place Overall!

 The first ever ‘Smokin on the Bay’ competition was held at Tracys Landing, MD and what a great competition it was!  We had not competed since June and we were ready to try out some new flavors and techniques that we had practiced throughout the summer.  Initially this competition was only going to have 15 to 20 teams and in our mind it was the perfect venue to try out our new flavor profiles and methods.  Little did we know we’d be cooking amongst 40 other teams including 6 teams that were already qualified to compete in the Jack Daniels invitational competition.  Needless to say, we were caught off guard when the contest organizer told us, “Why don’t you guys set up your camp next to Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South.” 

Myron Mixon cooking next to PepperMonkeyBBQ – Serious competition!

 We accepted the challenge and new that there was nothing better to push us hard than competing with some of the best.  Our cook went incredibly smooth considering it was different than we had done in the past.  At one point we found ourselves staring at eachother with nothing to do and Erin commented that she was nervous because it was going so well!  Because we were ‘local’ we met many people from the area and made many new friends which all came to the awards ceremony.  They kept commenting that we’d certainly win something but they likely didn’t realize the caliber of the other teams.  Our first ‘call’ was in chicken, 8th place!  We were ecstatic.  We were hoping for just one good call and felt confident in our chicken.  The next category was ribs, after calling out 10th – 5th we almost stopped listening, but then they called PepperMonkeyBBQ for 4th place!  Prior to this, 9th place had been our best call ever.  With our new friends cheering us on, we figured it couldn’t get any better.  Pork was next and when we got called for 2nd we couldn’t believe it.  What a fantastic day for us.  Our 20th place in brisket pulled us out of the top three overall, and we finished in 6th place for the entire competition. 

A sneak peek at our 4th place rib turn in box.

 This was only our 5th competition so we are extremely happy with the results.  We still have A LOT to learn and realize the results of the next competition could be totally different.  We will keep cooking and having fun and see where it takes us!   Congrats to the grand champion, Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South, and to the reserve champion, Tuffy Stone from Cool Smoke.  Hope to see everyone again next year!


September 12, 2011  |  KCBS Competition  |  No Comments  |  Share