Claremore Boots & BBQ

The entire family made the short trip down to Claremore, OK. We were greeted by a rare site this BBQ season – sunshine!  After setting up and getting the AC running, I worked on prepping everything while my sons played with the Ncognito Cookers kids. 

I thought I had a solid cook but was disappointed with my chicken. To my surprise, the judges disagreed and scored it a 174 for 3rd!

I followed with 6th Ribs, 7th Pork and 10th Brisket for 4th Overall!

I almost accomplished two goals at once – a Top 5 finish and all scores above 170… alas, my brisket was a 169.1084. But I was excited for a bit more consistency and 4th. Congrats to my friends Three Hog Night on their GC and American Dream RGC. Next stop is a little break from BBQ and family vacation. 

Till next time…

Posted in BBQ, Family | Leave a comment

Grand Lake 2017

We thought it would be fun to pick up the boys after their last day of school Friday and head down to Grand Lake in Oklahoma. 

The first stop was Langley, Oklahoma for the Grand Lake BBQ Festival  We were greated with a steady rain for setup and some fierce overnight storms. Surprisingly, none of my setup was damaged in the storms. 

I thought my cook went fairly smoothly but the judges didn’t much care for the pork shoulder and brisket. In the end, Oklahoma Jayhawk only managed one call with 7th place ribs (which is shockingly 3 for 3 Top Ten calls in ribs). 

After packing everything up, we made a short drive over to Water’s Edge RV to camp out the rest of the weekend. We spent the time relaxing, playing catch, camp fires and watching our sons play with neighboring kids. It was a great weekend away from home. 

Till next time…

Posted in BBQ, Vacation | Leave a comment

Sam’s Club Rain Contest

It really did feel like battling the weather more than making BBQ this weekend.   I’d love to go over the details, but am too tired and soaked. Here is the summary:

Every piece of equipment I own is dripping wet

Chicken 20th, Ribs 8th, Pork 14th, Brisket 20th, Overall 15th (two times in a row now)

Till next time…

Posted in General | Leave a comment

2017 BBQ Season Opener

Made the short drive down to Sand Springs, OK this past weekend for my first KCBS contest of the year.  With a couple of practice cooks under my belt from 2 weeks ago, I was optimistically “ready” to give it a go. After arriving and setting up, I was treated to an awesome potluck hosted by Joe and Kelly of MooChewSooey.  Then it was time for getting down to business. 

The cook went smoothly for the most part despite Oklahoma standard windage of 20-25 mph.  Pork butts flew thru cooking and were up to temp about an hour early. Not sure how I managed to break/crack a turn-in box while adding kale…

In the end we all congratulated David and Chris for another dominate cook and GC. Uncle BCs swooped in for RGC. I managed to end the day with two Top 10 calls out of 33 teams.


Chicken 8th

Ribs 10th

Pork Butt 20th (oops)

Brisket 11th

Overall 15th

Luckily, my 10th place ribs were the highest score table 251 gave out all day (they didn’t have another score in the top half of the field).  As for the pork butt, I thought it was the best product I put out all day… so there I go thinking I know what the judges want. Next stop is Sam’s Club in Overland Park – where I’ll have to step up my game if I want to make it past the first round.

Till next time…

Posted in BBQ | Leave a comment

Spring Break 2017

Sorry for the long absence but the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 have been incredibly busy at work – resulting in no family trips or bbq events till March.

All work and no play was interrupted by Spring Break this year. We decided to purchase an RV travel trailer and go on a trip. So here is the newest addition to our fleet

After some manufacturer defects and me clipping the awning arm, we finally got it out and took the boys on a trip through Arkansas. Our first stop was at Turpentine Creek, a literal animal refuge/rescue for lions, tigers and bears. It was fun because you park your RV right next to the tiger enclosures and entry into the park is included with the camping fee.  Be glad for the double fences. Here is a picture in case you forget these are wild animals; the lioness stalked us while my father-in-law took this picture. 

Next stop was near Harrison and Mystic Caverns. The boys enjoyed the caverns and playing at the RV campground. Relaxation and smores were had by all for a couple of days. 

We packed up, traveled to Little Rock and stayed at a nice campground down by the river. The next morning we made our way into Little Rock to take the boys to the Central Arkansas Nature Center and Children’s Museum. We had a great time and the boys always love playing with the experiments and activities.  There was also a tesla coil show where they used varying frequencies with the coils to make music. It was cool and the world record size for a dual tesla coil. After that the adults “needed” to tour and take in some samples at Rock Town Distillery. A few fun facts: it is the first Legal distillery in Arkansas, the owner worked for Alltel before Verizon bought it, and he realized he would have to make vodka/gin/etc to not go under while waiting for bourbon to age. The samples were really good; they have a basil vodka that would be good in cocktails. 

The caravan moved on to Hot Springs. It was fun to be able to see more of the town and area since the last time I was there was for a doubleheader BBQ contest in August, 2015. The boys worked hard on completing the required workbook to become Junior Rangers for the Hot Springs National Park. They were pretty proud of themselves; hopefully not the last we gather at a national park. 

With storms headed our way, we decided to head home a day early. Unfortunately that meant we would be missing the diamond dig, but it was good to be home. 

Till next time…

Posted in Family, Vacation | Leave a comment

Long Haul

Round trip of a little over 1600 miles to pick up my new toy. The truck and trailer held up well but the bridges at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers on Hwy 60 are old, sketchy and narrow.  My trailer was simultaneously hanging over the white line (inches from the cement/metal sides) and over my half of the double yellow line. This was fine until I saw an 18-wheeler coming the other way. 

On the way out, I went from Coffeyville to Chattanooga with stops for diesel and the Loveless Cafe.  The cafe is on the south side of Nashville. I got some country ham, fried eggs, hashbrown casserole, biscuits and turnip greens – everything was really good.  After a good nights rest, I headed out early for Deep Sout Smokers in Cumming, GA. Randall was quick to load up my new toy and I was off for my marathon home. The way back only saw stops for diesel. Unfortunately while checking my trailer, on my second stop, I was greeted with a deflated caster wheel on my new smoker. I racheted down the other three straps and carried on. 

The next morning, I spent awhile getting the caster wheel patched before I was able to move my Deep South RGC (nickname pending – you may recall I called my Weber smokers the Amigos).  Now to say Randall builds a solid pit is an understatement, because this is his smallest model and it is plenty heavy. It took a solid effort to move it up hill to the back patio. 

I loaded it up with one bag Stubb’s briqs and gave it a run to see: 1) how long it would take to get up to temp and 2) how long it would hold temp. It took 90 minutes from being lit to 275 degrees and held it for over 13 1/2 hours. I say over 13 1/2 hours because I shut it down at that point and went to bed. When I checked it the next morning, I found it used about 3/4-7/8 of one bag compared to the 3 1/2-4 bags I needed my Webers. 

In no particular arrangement, I placed all the pans I will use in a typical contest on the four racks.  Now to just order up some meat and do a few practice runs to play with arrangement and cooking times. 

Till next time…

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Quick Trip to KC

Kristi and I had been talking about wanting to go to a Chiefs game for awhile, and decided this Sunday was the time to get it done.   Kristi’s parents agreed to watch the boys Sunday and get them off to school Monday morning, so off we went Sunday morning. We made a pit-stop for brunch/lunch at The Farmhouse near Downtown KC. The food was pretty good, I especially liked the curried carrot soup with chili oil. If you are into hipster decor and good farm-to-table food, check them out. 

After filling our bellies with mamosa, bloody mary, and food, we headed to Arrowhead. Prepaid Gold parking thru Gate 5 is totally worth the $60  it costs if you go to a game. We were waived straight in and got parking in the third row. We got to Arrowhead a little early so we strolled around the Hall of Fame and grabbed some brews before heading to our seats. 

Section 120 in row 32 has a pretty good view. We had a few sprinkles during pregame but stayed dry for the game. The Chiefs rewarded our journey with defensive bonaza for the win.  Turnovers were awesome to watch but a kickoff team scoring on a fumbled return was spectacular. 

After making an easy exit from Arrowhead (Gold Parking Gate 5 people!), we headed to Power & Light to check in for our overnight stay at The Ambassador. Since we are old, we just chilled in our room and watced Sunday night football with room service. 

Tomorrow morning we are heading home to Coffeyville. Till next time…

Posted in Family, Vacation | Leave a comment