Preparing for the big one!

So it's Sydney Meatstock eve, Its sort of like Christmas eve, but better! To say I'm excited would be a total understatement. My dreams (when I actually sleep) have been BBQ related and my thoughts never stray far from the ridiculous amount of crap I need to take with me. Today I hooked Fat Amy up to the Ute all by myself - I was so proud.  Although, I was too scared to move it in case I didn't hook it up right..... ha! 

All but one of the sauces

All but one of the sauces

I made all my sauces during the week.  I had this great idea that I should do only two sauces - one for ribs and pork and one for everything else. Somehow I ended up with seven separate bags of liquid including sauces, injections and glazes. I'm seriously my own worse enemy. I ended up having a separate sauce/glaze for lamb, brisket, pork and pork ribs and an injection for lamb, pork and brisket. Crazy days.....

We went and visited our good mate, Scott at East Blaxland Butchery to pick up our meat stash for the weekend. He hooked us up with a massive amount of meat including shoulder lamb, shanks, AAco brisket, chicken breast, a massive Boston butt, 2 racks of pork ribs and a pork belly. As well of course, as the parsley he so graciously supplies for every comp. Scott will be competing in the Butcher Wars at Meatstock on Sunday and he showed me the wooden shelving he will be displaying his finished products on. It looks great and I hope he can smash it out of the park!

The haul

The haul

The fun part after buying the meat, is trying to fit it in the fridge. We currently have three fridges. One is our normal, everyday kitchen fridge which is usually full of leftovers,  a few veges and other assorted crap. Downstairs we have a beer fridge which is usually full of beer (surprising hey!), soft drink and any other alcohol products we have. We have a third fridge which we got for free and not surprisingly, doesn't work, and is therefore now used as an outdoor cupboard. Yes, we are THAT classy. All this meat had to fit in the upstairs kitchen fridge, so after a bit of Tetris like manoeuvres, I managed to squish it all in.  

Tonight I have to make a quick trip to Costco for a catering gig I am doing next week, then it is home to do some trimming. It appears that BBQ has truly taken over my life....

The tetris fridge

The tetris fridge

Tomorrow we will be up by probably 4.30am, throw the last of our stuff in the Ute, pray Fat Amy is properly attached and off to the Sydney Showground for a 6am bump in. Thank goodness, our wonderful wood supplier Mike from Blackheath Firewood is also going to Meatstock so we don't have to take our own fuel. I am not sure where we would fit it if we had to bring it with us!.

If you are considering getting into this crazy sport of competition BBQ I have a few pieces of valuable advice for you:

1. Have lots of fridge space.

2. Have lots of money.

3. Don't ever think that any winnings at comps will cover the actual costs of competing. You are doing it for the love. 

4. Be good at tetris.

5. Find a good butcher

6. Find a good wood supplier

7. Organise and plan everything. I mean everything. 

8. Be nice to other teams - you never know when you will have to borrow stuff from them.

9. Practice your cooks 

10. Enjoy it - this is by far the best time we have had in a long time. Win or lose, it is worth every cent - and you will never regret it (except at about 7am Sunday morning at a comp, when you are tired, smelly, hungover and looking at another full day of cooking. Apart from then, you will never regret it!). 

See you on the flip side!!

 

 

Meastock wrap up - April 2017

What a huge weekend! It seems strange to me now that it did not occur to me until turn ins on Sunday that we had effectively competed in three competitions within three days. It's little wonder that now, four days later, I am still walking around in a zombie-like state, constantly wiping sleep out of my eyes. 

Meatstock has become a huge event on the ABA calendar. This year there will be three Meatstocks: New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney. For us, Sydney will be the highlight, since it is in our home state and only a short one hour drive from home. I have never been much of a "road trip" sort of person, but when we were offered free entry into the Melbourne competition, there was not a chance of saying no. Although at the time that decisions was made, we had yet to compete in any comps and had absolutely no idea of the logistical nightmare that comps become when you compete far from home. 

Our "rib off" ribs

Our "rib off" ribs

Our first comp for the weekend was the Rib off, which was a fundraising event for the diggers and was held at the Vineyard Restaurant at St Kilda. Unfortunately the comp ran for the exactly the same hours as bump in for Meatstock so whilst our 11 year old daughter helped me with the ribs, Sam drove herself and our new smoker, Fat Amy, to the Showgrounds for bump in. The Rib off was an invitational only event, with three of the five teams having the three highest scoring ribs from 2016. We were the third highest behind Rub and Grub and Full Metal Kettle. Two wild cards: Rollin' Smoke BBQ and Bush Kitchen were also invited. We arrived late, tired and unprepared, but I was ready to give it my best. I stupidly chose the only BBQ without cover (and it seems that typical Melbourne weather usually involves a fair bit of rain) and I quickly noticed I was also missing a chimney lid - which made things tough as this is how I control the temps on a reverse flow. The BBQ's, ribs and fuel were all provided which kept everything reasonably fair. I was really happy with how the cook went - considering how unprepared we were, I felt my daughter and I did really well. I think my flavours were a bit lacking, but I thought the appearance and texture were just about spot on. In the end, Rollin Smoke took out first, with Bush Kitchen second. We came 4th overall. 

A few beers later, and a catch up with Highland Q, we headed to our hotel for the night. We were asleep early, ready for the rest of bump in the next morning. 

Our set up!

Our set up!

The winning burgers!

The winning burgers!

The next morning it was off to Meatstock. We were put down in the "naughty corner" with a few other teams, miles away from the judges tents and the other teams. I liked that we were on concrete though - it kept us nice and dry and mud free! Our first comp was the Steak Cookoff Association's "King of the Grill". This included 3 categories: wings, burgers and steak. We were all given two steaks, the rest we had to supply ourselves. I thought our steak was delicious - rubbed with the usually salt and pepper as well as a bit of Hardcore Carnivore, reverse seared and then rubbed with some rosemary and garlic infused butter - so good! Our wings were the KFC style - they were good but I had a feeling they just weren't at the level of some of the teams. Our burger was a taco burger. I had this idea one day out of nowhere - and whilst I do realise that other people have done these before, I had a few tricks up my sleeve. Everything ran relatively smoothly and before we knew it, it was time to announce the winners. I really thought our steak and burger would do well, but I never knew how well!! As it turns out, our Taco burger was a winner - we got first place! Our steak came 13th which we were very happy with. I was so proud of us, considering it was such a team effort and we were all smiles when we received our trophy. 

After a lot of congratulations and celebrations, it was time to get serious and start thinking about the actual Meatstock comp. I had planned on doing lamb ribs, but I just could not get them right on a practice on Saturday night, so we made a quick decision to do a shoulder. Coles was on the outskirts of the showground, but there was no escape and since I am no good at climbing fences I had to enlist some help. Craig from Sandgroper BBQ kindly offered to find an exit - his task a difficult one considering Coles closed at midnight and it was 11.30pm at the time. Armed with my credit card, off he went, hell bent on sourcing me some Coles lamb shoulder. Within an hour, he was back, and I was the proud owner of two lamb shoulders! All the "big meats" were on by about 2am and we settled in for the night. 

When the sun finally woke up, we were only a few hours off our first hand in - chicken. After stuffing up chicken at Wollongong, I really wanted to get this right. The sauce I had made was delicious and I was ready to put the chicken on just after 8am for a 10am hand in. 8am hit and I made a mental note to get the chicken on soon. I set up the Weber, went to the bathroom, did a few other little jobs and returned to see the clock say it was still 8am - I figured time was just moving really slow..... A good half hour later I again looked at the clock and it still said 8am! Now it hit me - the clock had stopped. The time was actually 8.45am and the chicken should've been well and truly on and the ribs were just about ready to wrap. We hauled arse and got the chicken on and the ribs wrapped and I started think about heating up the sauce to coat the chicken with. Guess what? No sauce! I had no idea where it was. Eventually I gave up looking and made a new sauce, pretty pissed off that I couldn't use or recreate the sauce that I wanted to use. All good though, we threw something together and it tasted ok. Now we had to start thinking about the lamb. I had no lamb "flavours" with me and all I could find in our kit was a gravox can of "lamb and rosemary" gravy. Desperate, we tried to put something together with this. I knew it wasn't great but we did the best we could with what we had! The lamb turned out well cooked and we tried to flavour it as much as we could but I knew it would be a let down. Oh well..... The rest of the cook was uneventful and we then started the pack down whilst waiting for the announcements. 

By the time the announcements rolled by, I was feeling deflated. I had a sinking feeling that our food was rubbish and I was feeling very low on confidence. The top 10 for each category were announced and we were not called once. Very happy for our mates Highland Q who scored second in brisket - awesome effort! Eventually it was time to announce Grand Champion - this time they would call the top 20 teams overall. When I heard the names of teams called who had top 3'd in a category, I felt we had no chance of being in this 20 at all. Sam and I started to talk amongst ourselves, discussing who we thought would take GC. Around that time, Jess Pryles was announcing number 15 on the list and what a surprise - it was us!! 15th out of 50 with no top 10 call ups - I knew we must've been pretty consistent and that's what I had been aiming for. We were lifted! My apprehensions, fears and lack of confidence disappeared and I was so proud of us! What an effort! 

Our turn in boxes

Our turn in boxes

Our current trophy haul!

Our current trophy haul!

A massive massive weekend, but one I wouldn't change for the world. We met a lot of people who we had only talked to in the cyber world, and we had some awesome neighbours. I am still so pleasantly surprised with the calibre of people involved in BBQ - it is so nice to meet such nice, gracious and helpful people. Our next comp is Sydney Meatstock in less than a fortnight. I learnt a lot at Melbourne (mostly don't forget the sauce - which I found in the fridge at home!) and I am hoping we can take these things into Sydney and manage a top half finish again. This sport is so damn tiring and such an emotional roller coaster, but we are well and truly hooked and so bloody happy we have started on this adventure. Til next time!

When low and slow just won't cut it!

At 10.45am last Saturday, whilst setting the Weber up to cook up some lamb shanks, we got a phone call from Sam's brother. He and his family were down from Tamworth visiting their father at Smithfield, which is about one hour from us. The plan for the night, was for us all to go to the local club for dinner, however it was apparent that her brother was not really keen on the club (to be honest neither was I). Before I knew what I was saying, I had offered to do brisket burgers for dinner (what was I thinking??). After the phone call I realised the only thing I had going for me at that time was that the Weber was already fired up and ready to go - the problem was I had no brisket! A quick visit to our trusty butcher Scott from East Blaxland Butchery, a trip to the shop for burgers and coleslaw ingredients, and an extra fast trim and rub and the 4kg Cape Byron brisket was ready to go. The time was now 11.30am - we had to leave by 4.30am.

Now the thing I love about low and slow cooking, is the fact that it is actually, low and slow. I know a lot of comp teams are doing hot and fast now, but I think it takes away a bit of the theatre of this style of BBQ. There is nothing more rewarding than cooking a massive slab of meat for up to 12 hours and feeling the absolute exhilaration (and exhaustion) when tasting the wonderful flavours from the rendered fats. But unfortunately, this time there was no time for "theatre" - I had 5 hours to get it to at least 203f. At least I love a good challenge! 

So here are my secrets to hot and fast BBQ success - dot pointed for your viewing pleasure:

 

  • Probably the best idea is to have a brisket handy, in case you don't have an awesome, local brisket who had briskets readily available. 
  • Trim it very little. I just took a bit of the really thick fat off, but I figured it was going to cook hot and I am a fat cap down sort of gal, so I figured the fat cap would help protect it from the heat.
  • Rub it with salt and pepper, I used about 2:3 salt to pepper ratio. I grinded it up in the coffee grinder so it was still quite coarse, but not too much.
  • I found the snake was not hot enough in the Weber, so I pretty much just threw the coals on one side with a tray of water. I set up the Smartfire because I really needed to make sure the heat stayed hot, and of course it held it's temperature beautifully!
  • Chuck it on, fat cap down, not directly over the coals. Having never done a brisket this quickly, my knowledgeable mates at Doctor Cue BBQ kept me on track. You want to have the ambient temperature to stay around 350f. Mine went a bit high at one stage, but this brisket was pretty resilient and it didn't seem to affect it too much.
  • Once it hits about 160f wrap it up. I poured some beef stock around the brisket just to get some steam going. Wrap it tight and back on - still at 350f.
  • It probably took about 2 or so hours to hit 160f and by some miracly, at 4.30pm on the spot it hit 203f. I was so excited!! We wrapped it in towels and it rested for the hour drive in the car. 

I was admittedly, a little apprehensive about how it would turn out. We have been talking up this sort of BBQ to the whole family and now it was the day of reckoning! Would it be a failure? Were our catering dreams over before they even started? 

I unwrapped it and started slicing. I could hardly look - but to ensure I didn't chop off my finger, I had to be brave. And then - holy cow - IT WORKED!! Anthony - you are a genius!!

The family were impressed! 

So if you are ever desperate, you know that hot and fast can work - and it worked very well! 

 

A rainy weekend - the perfect time to BBQ!

It feels like it has been raining for months. It hasn't - that's just me being dramatic. But it has been raining fairly seriously for the last week. So much so, the ceiling in an office at my work fell in over the weekend. Government buildings - so strong and well built..... Anyway regardless of the rain, I was going to BBQ over the weekend. Pretty much nothing can stop me once I get that idea in my brain. There are some good reasons for BBQ-ing in the rain - firstly, it is too  wet to hang clothes out, so I don't have to worry about getting clean clothes all smokey. Secondly, I can't be bothered going anywhere, except to the butcher and the bottle shop. Suffice to say, my weekend was sorted! 

The snake method

The snake method

The plan for Saturday was lamb ribs and a magical cut of beef my butcher wanted me to try. Apparently it comes from the shoulder blade and is not always available, so I figured I would give it a go. I went on my weekly visit to East Blaxland Butchery, talked BBQ for a while with Scott and left with a 6 kg AAco brisket, a couple of lamb rib racks and the stunning piece of blade. 

The blade went on at about 1pm. I set the trusty (very old, very dodgy, very unstable) "practice" weber up using the snake method. I am saving my good Clean Heat Charcoal briquettes for upcoming comps, so I picked up some cheap Bic briquettes from Coles (they were on special, half price!). They sort of looked like Kingsford briquettes, just much bigger. Their size made the snake a bit tricky, but I managed. I used a a banksia cone out of my backyard and some other pieces from the Ministry of Smoke which were lying around. Mostly cherry I think. I set up the Smartfire for this cook - it is an awesome little gadget which makes BBQ almost too easy (almost, not quite though!). Make sure if you are using a Smartfire, you place some foil on the grill over the opening, so no coals fall into the unit. The Smartfire makes it very much "set and forget" which suited me because it wasn't really the weather for sitting outside marveling at the wonder that is BBQ. I set the pit to 250f for starters and off it went. It all worked beautifully - the Smartfire has a built in fan, and will self regulate the amount of air required to keep the pit at temp. It really is an amazing product - it works using your WiFi and your phone/ipad (I am not sure exactly how, but the creator of the Smartfire, Mark is the man with all the knowledge!) so you don't have to be within a certain distance of unit. It can be used on Apple or Android devices. One time, I left my partner home with the Smartfire while I went to pick my daughter up 1.5 hours away. I monitored it for the whole drive from my phone and let her know if she needed to do anything to it. Perfect BBQ peace of mind!

The following photos show the set up of the Smartfire on a Weber, a screenshot of the temps and the meat set up over the snake method. 

Lovely lamb ribs

Lovely lamb ribs

The "magical" blade

The "magical" blade

So I treated the blade like a mini brisket.I rubbed it using Emus Rub hot rub (you have to try this stuff!!), took it to 165ish internal and then wrapped in foil. Important tip - make sure you spritz once the bark starts forming. Every half hour or so. This will help get you a nice pink smoke ring. You can use water, stock, cider vinegar, Worcestershire, really whatever you like. So once it was wrapped, I let it do its thing until it hit that glorious 203f mark. I then rested for an hour or so wrapped in towels in an eski. I then moved onto the lamb. I had used the sweet chilli marinade from the Bar-B Shack to marinade my lamb ribs for an hour or two before they were ready to go on the BBQ. Len from Bar-B Shack swears by lamb ribs that have been marinated in this stuff. I haven't really done much marinading of BBQ cuts because I usually just dry rub, but I was more than willing to give this a try. They went on for about 2 hours and I used the Bar-B mop to mop more of the sweet chilli juice on top of the lamb every now and then. What I should've done was seared the fat on top a bit after they were ready to get it a bit crunchy, but I forgot this step. Still, they were delicious. They had a great bite through, with a good amount of resistance but still really easy to eat. I would recommend them and the marinades to anyone! 

Once the blade had rested, I sliced it up. Holy moly - it was devine! It really was quite magical. Scott was right! It was so tender and bite through and juicy (dare I say, moist?!). Absolutely amazing! A very successful day all around, even with the crappy weather!

Sunday, I was up at 6am to get the brisket on the offset. I decided I should really get my practice up on an offset considering the smoker is coming in two weeks and I will not get to practice on it before Wollongong Crafted Live (that is going to be an interesting learning curve....). For the first time ever I used peach butchers paper (which you can get from BBQ Smokers) rather than foil to wrap it. I used my brisket rub, which is mostly Emu Hot Coffee run with some sneaky extras thrown in. I took it to 165 (with lots of spritzing every half an hour) and then wrapped in the butchers paper. IT TOOK FOREVER TO REACH 203! I guess I am used to the foil really getting the heat up, but the paper does not wrap so tightly so I daresay it is similar to boating or just leaving it naked for the whole cook. Eventually, after about 11 hours in total, it got up to 203. The difference was immediately noticeable - the bark was still intact, and quite crunchy. So different to wrapping in foil, which softens the bark so much it nearly rubs off (sort of like the bark on the blade photo above).  It tasted great and had a lovely smoke ring too. Leftovers went to my work mates, and the rest into the slow cooker to make a beef brisket curry pie! 

All in all, it was a great weekend of cooking. Is it the weekend again yet?? The next time I cook a brisket, it will be on the new smoker. So exciting!!

The 11 hour brisket - totally worth it!

The 11 hour brisket - totally worth it!

When the kids are naturals!

So we decided last week that we were going to get our 11 yr old, Chloe to make us some pork ribs on the weekend. Now, ribs use to be “our thing”. In our first comp, we took first place with one of the highest scores seen for ribs that year. In our second comp, we came second (on a count back) to one of the best teams on the BBQ circuit, BADASS BBQ. We were getting awesome ribs from our butcher Scott, who runs and owns East Blaxland Butchery. We were on fire! Then something happened. I don’t know what it was but our rib game took a massive dive. It dove about as low as it can go – dead last! Yes, we came last in ribs at Parramatta. I don’t know what happened, but they were over cooked, over sauced and just a massive fail. Just to prove I am not exaggerating, here is a photo of last place ribs – well deserved I think!

Last place ribs - an over cooked, over-sauced failure

Last place ribs - an over cooked, over-sauced failure

Orange, whilst not a complete disaster, was not too good either, managing 12th in ribs. So it was time to regroup and try and get back to our former glory! I always use to do the tried and true 3-2-1 method. For those who haven't tried it, it is simply this:

  1. Cook 3 hours uncooked
  2. Wrap and cook for 2 hours
  3. Unwrap and sauce for 1 hour

I am not sure what changed but this method was no longer working for us so it was time to do some experimenting. 

Which brings me to last weekend. Chloe was in charge - she is preparing for some impending kid BBQ comps! Whilst I did guide her through, she did everything herself. And I also have to say, her lack of time management meant the ribs were wrapped for about 20 minutes more that I wanted, and I think, this is what made them so good!!

Here is the method she used:

  1. Prep your ribs - you want to take the back membrane off the ribs. This is a bit tricky but worthwhile. Use a butter knife and then pull it off in one big piece.
  2. You don't need to do this step but I do just so the rub sticks to the ribs. I brush on some yellow mustard on both sides of the ribs, just a little bit - enough to cover them and make sure the rub will stay on. 
  3. Get your rub. While I am not going to give away all my secrets here is the recipe I use as a base for my rub. I also use a good amount of Emu Rubs. Experiment and see what you like. It takes practice, but what better practice is there than eating ribs??
  4. Put your ribs back in the fridge and prep your BBQ. Chloe used the Weber using Clean Heat Charcoal and apple wood from The Ministry of Smoke. You want your BBQ anywhere between about 225 and 250f. 
  5. Once you are at temp, pop your ribs in the BBQ and just stand back and marvel at the amazingness that is BBQ (see above photo). 
  6. Let the smoke do its thing for about 2 hours. Get a spray bottle with some apple juice and water in it and spritz your ribs after about 1/2 hour. Do this every 15 mins or so. 
  7. After two hours, lay out some foil on a table and put your ribs on it. You want to put some brown sugar, butter and honey/maple syrup on both sides of the ribs. Then wrap them back up and back on the BBQ upside down. 
  8. I was planning on leaving them wrapped for an hour but they ended up going for about 1.5 hours. I definitely think this is the secret to the success!
  9. Unwrap them and brush them with your favourite sauce. The sauce then needs to set, so cook them for another half hour to 45 minutes until it looks set. 
  10. That's pretty much it. Take them off the BBQ, slice them up and enjoy!

Saucing

Finished product

Finished product

Bite through to bone

Bite through to bone

Looks like she is ready for some kids competitions! And quite possibly, she is now going to be in charge of ribs at future comps.

     

KFC chicken, that is not really in anyway like KFC chicken BECAUSE IT'S KETTLE FRIED CHICKEN!

So I came across a recipe today on a thermomix recipe page. It claimed to make chicken that tasted like KFC without the deep frying, and whatever else the Colonel does to his chicken. 

This was a great recipe, but it still called for shallow frying. Lately, I have been eating that much bad food, I certainly don't need a reason to eat more deep fried goodness. So if you are feeling the same way I am - give this a try - it was amazing!!

2 tablespoons salt
1.5 tablespoons black peppercorns
1.5 tablespoons dried onion
1 tablespoon dried garlic
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
350 grams plain flour

So I popped it all in a coffee grinder and grinded the hell out of it. You could probably do the same in a pestle and mortar.  Then add it to 350g plain flour. Then do your usual schnitzel thing (with the egg and the flour) but do the egg wash and flour twice. And please guys, do this - dunk in the egg with one hand, dunk in the flour with the other. Seriously this will change your life!! But yes, it is still messy as, but that's what makes it great. 

Once you have double dunked - egg wash flour, egg wash flour - then you have a choice: oil it or grill it. Whilst I think that deep or shallowed fried would've have been amazing, I chose the BBQ since I was cooking on it already. So straight on the weber, sprayed some oil on it and just cooked it till it looked done. 

It was amazing!

Got to say I didn't make up this recipe - it came from a thermomix recipe, but I know I can't afford a thermomix so this is the cheap arse version! Enjoy! 

Let me know how you guys go. Good, bad, ordinary?? Feedback would be great!

 

 

 

Orange Crafted LIVE wrap up!

What a weekend!! Crafted LIVE hosted 26 BBQ teams, with 5 categories and over $6000 up for grabs.

Orange is just under 3 hours drive for us so we went to our real jobs (also know as our BBQ funding jobs) in the morning and left the rainy Blue Mountains for the dry, hard grounds of the Orange showgrounds.  The atmosphere was great - we really like country comps; they are so relaxed, more flexible and a lot less red tape.  Bump in didn't take long and after the team briefing we started on the important things - drinking and socialising!! 

I had done all the trimming the night before so only had to inject, brine and marinate so I got that done nice and early. At about 1am, after far too many vodkas, we decided to put the brisket, pork and lamb shoulder all on at the same time. Considering brisket turn in was not until 4pm, we were probably slightly preemptive.  Not to worry - it gave us the chance to get a quick sleep while the Webers did their thing. I was up at 5am tending to the BBQ'S and feeling pretty good about things.  

At 10am the thighs went on in preparation for the midday turn in. We hadn't done thighs this way before and I have to say, we were very happy with the end result.

Next was lamb turn in at 1pm - the lamb was taking ages to cook and in the end I think I took it off a little too early but sometimes shit happens.... The rack was taken to 165f and I think the cutlets were really good.  In hindsight we could've left the pulled out of the box but I don't think it was a total failure. The average puntee would love the flavours, it just depended on what the judges wanted to see/taste. 

The pork ribs were up next. We have dropped our rib cooking time by a couple of hours because we kept over cooking them. These turned out well but were probably under by about 10 minutes. The bite was good and had some resistance but I think the country judges would've  appreciated them a little more done.  Ah well, live and learn.  

Next was pork. I'll be short and sweet here. We overcooked the money muscle and because of that, it wouldn't slice. So we chopped the money muscle and pulled the rest.  Not happy with this turn in but it was the first time we have had to hand in pork so we can only improve from here.   

The brisket had been resting since about 11am (due to our badly thought out early start) and the burnt ends went on at 2pm. When I took the brisket out of the eski, it was still very hot and very juicy! It had a great smoke ring and we were very happy with it. The burnt ends were amazing - sticky and chewy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside.  So good! 

Our 6th place brisket. 

Our 6th place brisket. 

At 6pm, just when they were about to start the announcements, it bucketed down with rain. It was torrential. The creek separating the rich kids from us was flooded, nearly cutting us off from them - it was like the universe wanted us to stay on our side of the creek! They moved us all inside and the announcements began. We scored second in chicken! We had defeated our old nemesis! I can't even count the number of times I've screamed "I HATE CHICKEN!!" But not anymore. Well not until the next comp anyway. 

We managed 6th in brisket, 12th in ribs and 13th overall. Suffice to say the pork and lamb stuffed our overall position but you can't win them all I guess! Massive congratulations to the Grand Champions The Smoking Jokers and Reserve Grand Champs Grillas in the Mist. Also special mention to Highland Q - 6th overall! 

So that's another comp done and dusted. We had an awesome weekend and coming away with a call up made it even better! Next comp is at Wollongong on the Easter weekend. Can't wait!!

 

Sam posing for the Orange Crafted Live photographer. 

Sam posing for the Orange Crafted Live photographer. 

Our tent, which as always, received more interest than we did! 

Our tent, which as always, received more interest than we did! 

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Our set up