5th Annual Smoke on the Water at Lake Shawnee

This past weekend we made to trip to Topeka Ks for yet another contest that was a first time for us. The 5th Annual Smoke on the Water was held at beautiful Lake Shawnee on the Southeast side of Topeka. A section of the RV camping area was set aside for the contest so we had spots with dedicated water and 30 amp electric. We were on gravel and there was plenty of shade, few contests can offer better accommodations. Josh and his crew took good care of us and we had a great time.
Before we get too far into the contest, let me tell you about a little side trip we made to Wamego on the way. During the trip we saw several miles of old stone fence, some in disrepair that was backed by wire fence and some that was still in good shape. Here is a picture of a section of stone fence that appeared to have been recently re-stacked:

Stone fence

Stone fence


The stone fence was just one of the ways the people who settled the region made use of the materials at hand.
Wamego had lots of buildings made of the native limestone, with just a little care these buildings will last forever:

Limestone building, Wamego KS

Limestone building, Wamego KS

Wamego is also home to the old Dutch Windmill. We visited there when I was little, and I could still remember that. As with many things, time has taken its toll. It saddened me to see the windmill in this state:

The Old Dutch Windmill, Wamego KS

The Old Dutch Windmill, Wamego KS

But the stone fences, buildings, or even the windmill were not the reason we made the side trip to Wamego. I had spotted a Weber kettle grill for sale at a good price, this is what we were there for:

Weber Ranch Kettle A monstrous 1104 square inches of grilling surface

Weber Ranch Kettle
A monstrous 1104 square inches of grilling surface

Back to the contest. Friday evening we were joined by my sisters Debbie and Donna and brother-in-law Bob, our son Justin, his wife Angie and their daughter Jocelyn. We grilled some rib eye steaks, baked potatoes and corn. Topped this off with some of Kristi’s delicious home made cheesecake. We had a great time visiting with family as well as some of our barbecue friends. We were next to Smokin’ Bad Habit and across from the Front Door Gang, so there was plenty of bantering back and forth.
We thought we had a really good cook but the judges weren’t as impressed as we were. Kristi took 5th in the Cook’s Choice category with her Reese’s peanut butter cup cheesecake.

5th place Cook's Choice

5th place Cook’s Choice

We did pull out a 6th place in chicken which, when the KCBS TOY was updated, was good enough to put us in 84th place in the nation!
We’ll have one more contest to try to get enough points to keep us in the top 100 for the year.

5th place Pork

5th place Pork

We ended up 13th in ribs, then got another call for 5th place pork, followed by a disappointing 18th place brisket. When the smoke cleared, we were 9th overall out of 43 teams. They did have some neat metals for us:

Our metals: 5th place Cook's Choice & 5th place Pork

Our metals:
5th place Cook’s Choice & 5th place Pork


The Lake Shawnee contest will certainly be on our radar for next year.
But now I need to wrap this up and get busy trimming meat for our trip to Parsons, our last KCBS contest of the year. We are looking forward to seeing some of our friends one more time before winter sets in.