Im BAAAAAACK! (Yes, again.)
I started working for Sweet Baby Rays & True Cuisine Catering last summer which resulted in me pushing some things aside. I wasn’t cooking as much or doing as exciting things as I was when I was unemployed. I have finally gotten my blog spark back! The inspiration for me coming back was I was invited to join a BBQ Competition team through work. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to blog again. I’m hoping my
many fails of learning the ways of smoking/BBQ will entertain you all. I am by NO MEANS an expert in this. I have only had my own smoker for a year and only have recently learned the ”correct” ways of doing things. Im sure most of my blogs for the next few months will revolve around my smoker but i’m sure most of them will be amusing and full of “don’t do this at home” moments. Anyhoo, enough of my welcome back intro – onto my first competition BBQ practice.
A few months ago I was asked to join “The B Team”. It is composed of a few sales people from Sweet Baby Ray’s and some pals. We are the “B Team” because obviously being employees of SBR we have “The A Team” to compete with – aka Sweet Baby Ray + Friends. I still feel we need a fancy awesome BBQ name but im the new guy – what do I know? (I hope you’re reading this Bob). I joined my team for our first practice mainly so I could watch and learn. At this point I don’t feel I have much advice or input to give because im the noobie of the group. I did however provide some piggy tummy which I feel I deserve awesome points for. Our set up was 2 Weber Smokey Mountains, one for ribs and the other for miscellaneous snacky items and a pellet smoker for the chicken thighs.
We practiced chicken and ribs because it’s just more practical for timing. We all work together – we don’t want to hang out for 18 hours on our days off (or at least I don’t – I hope im not fired now). I will not say how we prepared the chicken because duh – this was for competition. The last thing we need is for you to steal our brilliant ideas that we thought about for weeks on end trying to make it perfect. Okay maybe that’s not entirely true – but either way *taunting voice* I’m not tellllin! I will say that I was very intrigued by the method used to prepare the chicken thighs. I have never done chicken in the smoker and now I can’t wait to do it again. They were so flavorful and moist and full of happy. I have this poultry phobia in the smoker because I’m worried of it drying out. Fear no more – I will probably do this weekly. Our other competition practice item was ribs. Our goal during practice was to not mess with too many variables because A) It becomes too difficult to remember what the variable was and B) sometimes some of the changes really didn’t matter and it becomes difficult to decide which slight change was better. We basically only messed with different rubs.
After six hours of practice it’s only natural that you get a bit stir crazy and just cant wait til you can enjoy that first bite of smoked meat. For this purpose we did have snacky treats on one of the smokers. I had found some small cuts of pork belly that I couldn’t pass up. That was the first treat we were able to enjoy. It was incredible. While you eat it you have to sort of ignore the fact that you’re eating pure fat and just enjoy it. Nobody cares about the fatty goodness running down your chin – because we are all in a state of porktastic euphoria. Yes it is indeed that good. We also got to enjoy sausages and rib scraps rubbed with what I created – “Weird ass rub”. It was mainly meant to be created as a tester for this honey powder we wanted to try out. I was definitely a fan of the honey powder and recommend it to anyone trying to create a sweet rub.
Overall the practice was a success. Hopefully the notes we made will help us out at the competition in two weeks.