This past weekend I made the trip to Bixby and was met by sunshine and a light breeze after a week with good amounts of rain. Check-in was pretty smooth and I was quickly shown my spot with lots and lots of sun – my shade tree was shorter than me. Almost immediately I was sad that my new casters for my Weber BBQ Cart had not arrived earlier in the week as my narrow, hard plastic casters sank into the soft soil. Luckily, my BBQ neighbors helped me out and I got setup fairly quickly.
Prep and cook went smoothly. Only hiccough was my Weber EZ 26 (aka Big Boy) jumping up to 300-310 while I was wrapping my ribs. A little shutdown on the guru dampers and daisy wheel and it was back to 280 before the ribs went back on. I’m loving my new BBQ Guru Wifi but wish the screen was easier to read on the Guru.
My initial impressions were that: my chicken was fairly good; the ribs were okay but lacking a punch of flavor; pork shoulder money muscle tenderness was good for once but still lacking something in the flavor category; nailed my brisket point (it was perfectly juicy and cut great) but unforunately it was paired with slices that were a little dry.
I was hoping for a call around 7th-10th in chicken but did not get a call on Saturday. When the dust settled, OkieQ claimed GC and Buffalo’s BBQ RGC. MOOCHEWSOOEY came in a close 3rd place. Kim and Joe were some of the first people I met when I started into competition BBQ and it was great to see them get multiple calls. Joe recently switched to an FE from Cookshack and is loving it – obviously so are the judges. Speaking of judges – WOW – the variance between tables was quite extreme this past weekend with a few judges consistently handing out 4s and 5s (which is very bad for those who don’t know) and average scores in the mid-20s (also very bad). I was lucky enough to avoid a few of the REALLY BAD tables but found one with a few judges with very low average scores. Unfornutaely, I also missed the two tables that were placing teams in the top 10 in Chicken, Ribs and Pork Shoulder. Overall, I finished at a personally disappointing 29th out of 81 teams.
To lick my wounds, I started off the week with a favorite activity of mine, tinkering/modifying my smokers. I got out my new casters (which arrived Friday evening while I was sinking into the dirt in Bixby), some new Weber WSM legs I ordered using my serial numbers, and a nice 2′ x 6′ piece of 1/4″ aluminum plate that I had cut to size by Council Steel in OKC. After a couple evenings of work/effort, moving my Weber EZ 26 Guru ports to the front and a few scraped knuckles, I am pleased with the results.
I like how the new cart looks – especially the OEM WSM legs on the Weber 26. My OCD nature also likes my logo magnet in the middle. The casters roll and rotate so much better than my old ones, and they are foam filled to prevent worries about flat tires.
On a side note, True Value stopped providing “ship to store” service for the Duraflame Hardwood Briquets I have been using and shipping costs to my home were insane. Luckily, one call to Duraflame solved my problem. Duraflame makes Stubb’s Natural Briquets – read here that these are the exact same product placed into a different bag. Since Stubb’s is available from Lowes, I will have no problem finding a bag and it is a lot closer.
Don’t forget to check out my Schedule and Results pages for updates. Next stop is Langley, OK.
Till next time…