KILL (CRK Specialty "Q") takes 5th Place Overall at the Shake,
Rattle, and Smoke California Championship BBQ Cook-Off
Saturday, May 11th,
Story of How this BBQ Event went, and How ALL BBQ Events Typically Unfold
will be a document describing this event and also how the typical BBQ
event unfolds. So, as it is read please keep in mind sometimes I
digress to a generic description of all BBQ events and reference specifics
of this one when applicable.
Team Shows UP!
Road Kill (CRK Specialty "Q") shows up at Follows Camp, Azusa
California, last Saturday for the Annual State Championship BBQ Cook-Off
held at Follows Camp. The team members for this event were:
Balbach, who over the last year has been attending BBQ events with CRK
and finally joined with CRK for the first time during this
event. Gary has great BBQ skills and experience and will be a
great asset to the entire CRK family. He BBQ's primarily with
WSM's, a Klose trailered Smoking Pit, and Weber Kettles.
Wight, is the new Tritip "Sherriff in Town" this
year. Bill is well known and sought after reference his skills
with a magical tasting grilled / smoked Tritip. Bill also can
pop a great Smoked Pork Shoulder Butt out of his Weber Kettle in 9
hours that is always an award winning product. Bill joined CRK
for the first time during this event and is a welcome addition
to the team. Bill is a specialists on the Weber 22inch
Streiff, founding team partner. Rick has attended the last 19
out of 20 events that CRK has attended over the last several years. His
BBQ skills are too numerous to mention on all forms of BBQ pits and
and Barbara Cannon, and the pups, founding members and Team
Captain. Dan and Barbara attended their first Smoke, Rattle, and
Smoke in June of 1998 and competed in 20 straight events in California
and Arizona through July of 2001.
day, Thursday, is usually a great day. Everybody rolls into the
campsite and begins the enjoyable job of setting up the equipment. EZ-Ups,
tables, sinks, shelves, and everything else it takes to make a kitchen in
the rough. It usually takes about 2 1/2 hours to setup. Then
everybody can sit around a camp fire or table, that evening and just relax
anticipating the great event and workload that is about to begin. We
do not typically BBQ anything that day, but instead just relax, chit-chat,
and catch up on strategies and other items that need to be planned or
discussed prior to the BBQ event. Friday morning (the day it all
begins) starts out slow in that most teams don't arrive until after noon
so we can relax, have a nice breakfast cooked out in the open air, and
take our last relaxed breaths until the event is over, literally!
real work begins about 13:00 on Friday of a BBQ Cook-Off. One has to
now ensure all equipment is functional, laid out, and prepared for the
non-stop effort that is about to start.
first item is to break out the 3 ten to thirteen pound Beef Briskets that
will need to be trimmed, possibly marinated, and seasoned. Some
people will season in advance, some later due to salt pulling moisture out
of this piece of meat. I will cook my Briskets for 15 hours so I
need every drop that I can get.
we will break out 4 - 8 Pork Shoulder Butts. These pieces of
meat also cook in a smoking pit for 15 hours but need little preparation.
starts the Chickens. Usually 4 - 8 birds are trimmed, prepared, and
marinated throughout the evening. Bird preparation is a bit of a
pain, but not too bad. About as difficult as Brisket and Pork
we will start on the Pork Ribs. Very little is done with them until
the next morning when they will then be put on the Smoking Pit to smoke
for 5 - 6 hours.
Tritip preparation starts. This is the last item and is usually a
fairly quick piece of meat to finish up. Depends upon how much of
the fat cap one takes of. We usually do about 4 - 8 Tritips.
They all don't have a "magic" taste so we have to ensure we get
one that does.
it Over Yet!
and Butts go on during the later part of Friday evening. We have the
WSM's (Weber Smokey Mountain) Smokers that can go for 6 - 8 hours
unattended. This allows us to get a good nights sleep. The
Pork Ribs have to go on early in the morning so we do have to get up early
to get them on for their burn in the pit. It is at this time that I
wonder WHY I have spent all this money and time on something that is so
tiring and labor intensive. It usually takes until 8 or 9 in the
morning for me to get past that part. Finally Chicken and Tritips go
on last. We all are now running around ensuring that for all 5
categories of meats we have all our magic sauces, rubs, greens (for
trays), and preparations ready for turn-ins, which start at 11:30
through 13:30, on every half-hour. What job that is. We have
to pull, slice, prepare, and finally agree on 6 pieces of each meat
category. This is determined to be the best-of-the-best, and put it
in a presentation box that is turned in and blind-judged by 6 people.
comes the big moment. After turn-in we try and get everything
washed, cleaned, and put away as much as possible. However, WE ARE
BEAT! It is a tremendous effort and takes a lot of stamina to do
everything from set-up at arrival, meat prepping, 15 hour cooking
sessions, and 5 categories of meat preparations. This all ready to
be presented within a 10 minute window in a perfect and award winning
state. Usually about 16:00 Awards are presented. Teams are
called out from 10th place up. One does hate to hear their name
called out too soon, but that is better then never! Coyote Road Kill
was lucky enough to receive the following during this event:
have been better, could have been worse. Now, we all wander back to
our cook sites and look at ALL the gear that has to be cleaned,
disassembled, and packed into the vehicles. One wonders how this
could all be worth such a great effort. Soon we will get past that
state of mind.
Awards Team Party
of the greatest parts of the entire event is to get to see, mingle, and
enjoy all the great social company of the other teams, our
competitors. We are all like a big BBQ Family when the competition
portion is over. We all help each other before, during and after the
events. If it were not for this part I would not be doing this.
After a an hour or so of relaxation everybody picks up some munchies, some
beverages, and finds a central location, or fire it, to sit around and
exchange stories and bragging rights. We will typically complain
(all unfounded) about the bad judges, scoring errors, the mistakes the
organizers made, the reasons why our BBQ did not take Grand Champion, the
weather, the lack of room, the lack of facilitation, and a myriad of other
subjects that make us all feel better in our lack of accomplishing the
goal we were all there for. To take 1st in all categories and walk
away with all the prize money. Oh well, at least that DOES happen at
every Catering Job! We all sat around chilling out, relaxing, and
talking till about midnight. Then the great efforts of the last 2
days catches up with us all and we all wonder to our individual cook-sites
to finally get a good nights sleep.
Worst Part Begins
worst part by far is the clean-up on departure day, usually Sunday if we
are lucky. Sometimes we are required to leave on the same night as
the awards ceremony. That is VERY painful after the efforts and hard
work we have all been through over the last 2 days. Fortunately
those events are few and far between and we will, if given a choice, not
attend for that very reason. We all got up about 08:00 Sunday,
looked around a bit, and finally decided on some breakfast before we
started the BIG job. There are at this time few teams left as a
rule. The Rat Pack (Mike Guinaugh and Joe) were just starting to
pack. When our fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, and eggs were ready
the Rat Pack joined all the members of CRK to sit down for a few minutes
of relaxation and socialization before packing and
leaving. Rick and I have found that once you focus on
the cook-site disassembly it always takes about the same amount of time to
then have it all packed in the vehicles and be ready to go. That
time is 3 1/2 hours. So, at a typical Cook-Off, where we have to get
out early, we will be up at 07:00 a.m. and be on the road by 10:30 -
11:00. Then it can be up to a 6 - 7 hour trip home. I was the
last to leave Follows Sunday and ended up pulling out at 3:30
p.m. Got home about 17:30. And as usual, swearing that this
cannot possibly be worth the cost and effort, and vowing that this will be
the last time. Well, we will see.
I must say in closing, and to answer the above statement that CRK is
scheduled for the following events over the next year:
World BBQ Championship & the Surf & Turf BBQ California State
Championship. Both being held at Imperial Beach, July 4th
weekend, two individual competitions being held over 4
days. Teams from all over the world will be attending and the
competition should be very tough!
West Coast BBQ California State Championship. Being held at
Tres Pinos California (about 25 miles below Hollister, in the Northern
part of California). July 12-13-14 at a very nice grassy and
tree type location. There will be a Blue Grass Festival going on
at the same time adjacent to the event, but we will be to busy to go
visit but can listen as they broadcast the festival on the AM Radio.
Go for the Gold California Championship BBQ Cook-Off. Being held
August 3rd at Follows Camp, Azusa California. Very spacious and
nice campsite close to a running river centrally located to anybody in
Southern California Championship BBQ Cook-Off. Being held
September 21st at Follows Camp.
I guess that answers that question, we will be there next time.
Cannon, Team Captain, BBQbyDan / Coyote Road Kill aka CRK Specialty "Q"