This past weekend we attended the 5th Annual Hay Capital BBQ Cook Off in Yates Center, Kansas. We were one of the charter members that were at their first contest and have not missed one since. We enjoy going there, they like the teams and take care of us. Free electric and ice, indoor bathrooms, showers and other amenities add to the fun.
This year they added something new and did a sponsor dinner, where people from the community get fed by a competition team in return for a donation to the contest. We had 8 guests for supper and enjoyed visiting with them. They seemed pleased with the food, and this was reinforced on Saturday when the organizer said they have already requested us for next year!
Adding to the fun of the weekend, we were accompanied by David and Aquila who were doing their cook that will enable them to become certified KCBS Master Judges. They got to experience most of what a competition team goes through; they were there at noon Friday, slept in their car next to us and were back up at 5am to finish the day. They gained a new appreciation of what the cooks put in to those 6 pieces of meat that the judges sample.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Kristi’s Naughty Nurses 2nd Shift came out of retirement to cook as a separate team to help the organizer reach the necessary 25 teams. So to recap, we were cooking for guests Friday night, teaching a couple about competition barbecue, and cooking as separate teams. Whew, busy weekend.
The sponsor dinner was really fairly easy, we cooked Moinks as an appetizer and the main meal consisted of pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes and corn. For dessert we finished it off with home made cobbler that Aquila made and ice cream. Left over cobbler and ice cream were enjoyed again Saturday by us and some of our neighbors after we were done with turn-ins.
Once that was done we split up with boys vs girls for the competition. But we did remain on friendly terms and even helped each other out when needed, just like we would a new team. Kristi and Aquila got the FEC100 and David and I used WSMs. We both followed our normal recipes for the most part, though we did experiment a little which ended up with some interesting things learned.For example, the ONLY thing different with our chicken entries was the cooker and fuel: pellets vs charcoal. Kristi came in 13th and Greg won the category:
Our ribs ended up on the same table and the judges didn’t like either one of us.
But in the pork category, Kristi came in 6th;
And Greg took second;
Those places were reversed in the brisket category, with Greg taking 5th place;
And Kristi took second!
In the end, Kristi finished 10th overall out of the 25 teams and Greg, with the help of Kristi, David and Aquila brought home our first ever Grand Champion!!
We were very excited to say the least. After we came close a few times the last couple years, we get a Reserve Grand Champion followed by Grand Champion the next week! Kristi’s hands were shaking as she filled out the paperwork that will be sent in to reserve our spot in the American Royal Invitational. We have always said we would not go the the Royal until we could do the invitational, now we’ll be there in October 2014! The other thing we should get is a chance to be drawn for the Jack Daniels Invitational. For The Jack, the winner of every qualifying contest gets a chance to get their name drawn. Getting your ‘bung’ pulled is the highlight for many teams. Of course we could just win 6 more contests between now and next July and get and automatic bid!
We didn’t have much time to visit friends, but it was good to see them again none the less. We also met some new friends and hope to see them again on the barbecue trail.
Our next event will be in McPherson where we’ll spend the weekend with our Scottish Highland friends.