7th Overall For Our First Visit to the Beltway BBQ Showdown

Even the scrap ribs were rather tasty!

With only 29 teams registered for the Showdown, the level of competition was surprisingly high.  We did not have the best cook this week and we knew it even before the meat was off the smoker… but we did everything we could to give the judges the best we had available by turn in time.  The results were 3rd place ribs and 3rd place brisket which helped carry our low scores from 19th place chicken and 20th place pork to an overall 7th place finish.

We tried to be organized this year and sat down with a calendar before the season started.  We planned out each competition knowing we were going to have our busiest season yet.  After a strong finish in Delaware a couple weeks ago, Jeremy from Seadog BBQ unintentionally talked us into adding one more and we ended up competing in the Beltway BBQ Showdown in Fort Washington, Maryland.  Our original plan was to take the few weeks after Delaware to ensure we were 100% ready for the Swinetastic BBQ Festival in Frederick, MD on June 16th.  After Jeremy mentioned there was still room at the Beltway, we changed our mind and decided maybe it was best to just keep in the rhythm of competing.

We pulled in early Friday morning to a very well laid out competitor area.  Sites were clearly marked, water was easily accessible and each team had a power drop right in front of their site.  Weather was going to be a factor Friday night, so we prepared accordingly … At least as much as you can for a tornado.  As the weather warnings went off, all we could do is watch as the clouds began to spin and drop to the ground a mile away from us.  Although they claimed there was a tornado in the same county, we never saw a full funnel cloud hit the ground … but it was close enough for us!

PLEASE don't become a tornado … PLEASE! … Or is it already?

Saturdays cook was uneventful.  Our chicken ended up a little ahead of schedule and our test bites were on the dry side.  we were not too surprised that we were not leading the pack with the yard bird.  It’s frustrating to go from 1st in Annapolis to 26th and 20th the competitions after that.  We had a discussion about it and may have identified the slightest, inadvertent change in technique that may have been impacting the final product.  We are going to make the adjustment for Frederick, but keep the same flavor profile that got us 1st in Annapolis.  In Delaware, we had almost nothing worth turning in for ribs.  This week we cooked better racks of ribs and had plenty to choose from … I guess we chose the 3rd place ribs instead of the 1st place ones! In the pork category,  our pork was a little dry.  The butts cooked on schedule and the temps were right … but they still came out a little over done in our opinion.  This was reflected in our scoring.  On to brisket … guess what … dry.  Not overly dry, and the flavor was right on, but a large section of the flat was more dry than normal.  I sliced the entire thing until we found some slices with moisture.  Although we turned in fewer slices than normal, we still managed to fill the box with good flavored meat and managed to get that 3rd place call.

A huge congrats to 3Eyz BBQ for taking Grand Champion!  With so many reserves, we knew their time was coming and it was well earned.  We keep telling Dan and Chris that someday there will be a competition that we are going to nudge them out of the top seats, but that seems to be quite a lofty goal.  Great job guys!

We have a weekend of fun and relaxation coming up at the “Dizzyfest” at Chris Capell’s BBQ store in Manassas, VA this weekend.  Then it’s game time in Frederick.  That’s a big one this year and the team list looks like the who’s who of Mid Atlanta Barbecue!  Looking forward to a weekend of serious competition!


  1. Maggie and Mike Rauh


    You are NUMBER 1 in our neighborhood. The aroma delights us day and night…pleeese let us be your taste testers!

    Maggie and Mike

    • Thanks! We have discussed having a neighborhood BBQ so we’ll keep you posted! In the mean time, if our chicken scores don’t improve, you may be seeing piles of chicken thighs at your front door as we look for that perfect recipe!

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