This past weekend was our first KCBS contest. It was the 4th annual Roberts Ranch Smokin Red Dirt State Championship held in Enid, OK. I decided to enter this contest for a couple of reasons. One was that at roughly 9 hours from home this is one of the closest KCBS contests to where we live in West Texas so it just seemed like the right thing to do. Another reason is that I really wanted to get out of Texas to do some contests this year. I do not agree with how some of them are ran. I also have been blessed to have had an opportunity to see how different KCBS contests are vs what we normally cook in Texas. It's a whole new ballgame and ready or not we came to play.
I did not want to take this contest on alone so with the help of a great friend of mine and teammate Chris Canon we decided to head out for Enid, OK Thursday after work. We stopped in Albany, TX on the way up to dine at Texas's # 4 ranked Steakhouse the Fort Griffin General Mercantile. This is one of the best steakhouses I have ever eaten at. It's well known for attracting a few celebrities and Robert Duvall has even made a replica in his own home of their bar, The Bee Hive, when he was down in Texas working on Lonesome Dove. We each had a Ribeye cooked medium rare. They are cooked directly over mesquite coals which is a staple of Ranch Style Cuisine. After we finished our dinner we took a look in the kitchen and chatted with the owner about some of the history of this wonderful place. We headed out shortly after that and arrived in Wichita Falls relatively late.
Friday morning after some coffee and a short nights rest we headed up to Enid and arrived shortly after lunch, got unloaded and visited with a few of the other teams. The weather had called for some wind and about three inches of rain, however we lucked out and just caught a small sprinkle Friday afternoon. We had some time to make some new friends but were not used to being assigned a cooking space and being told where to cook. That's a lot different from what were used to so getting set up took a little more effort than usual.
The contest was a great learning experience for us. With the help of Kelly Wertz of 4 Legs Up BBQ we learned how to prepare a garnished turn in box which we had never had to do before. Texas contests only allow for foil so it was a lot different than what we are used to doing. Once we had an idea how to do a box it was time to start getting ready to prep the meat to put on the cooker. We worked throughout the night and by the time the sun had come up we were tired and ready for some breakfast. After breakfast we went over to the 4 Leg's Up camp at 10:30 and enjoyed a double shot of some get you ready for the chaos whiskey and made a good luck toast to all who could partake.
One thing I really enjoyed about this contest was the fact that we were able to see how we faired overall against the other teams. Although I am not proud of a few of our showings I think we did what we could with what we had and that's really all you can do. Here's how we did.
Chicken 8th of 47
Ribs 44 of 47
Pork 38 of 46
Brisket 13th of 47
I will post our turn in pictures and would be open to any criticism or compliments. I already got enough from the judges but you can never learn enough of what looks good or what doesnt. I have done much better in ribs back home but here's how we ended up for this contest. The ribs were in a triple pack and had some extremely slanted bones which we couldn't see so it made them very hard to cut which is part of the reason we did so poorly in that category. One rack even had to be thrown away. The rest though is just something that will take a little work and a little practice.