I must say that I felt really good going into this contest on Long Island. I reviewed all of my previous contests, tweaked all of my recipes and went in with high hopes. We had a great cook. Although it rained all night and we almost ran out of wood, we made it. Bill and Billy were right on the fire. We had a nice steady temperature throughout the whole cook. Not an easy feat, especially when it was raining. But the team did great. We ended up with Reserve Grand Champion and an entry into the Sam’s Club Regional in Chesapeake, Virginia.
To start it was a nice contest. It was small, efficiently ran and a delight to compete in. When I pulled in on Friday morning, I ended up getting a nice spot only about 100-150 feet from the turn in tent. This meant that we did not have to hurry or rush with out turn-in boxes. Plus, it allowed us to be able to hand in the hottest food possible.
Chicken – 3rd out of 24
This was a wild card in my book. I picked up the chicken from a market in Queens, so I was uncertain about how it would work out. Further, I tweaked my chicken sauce based on the results from my earlier competitions. Come to find out, the chicken was a winner, Literally! It was moist, tender and had a great chicken flavor. It was definitely the best chicken of the season. The Judges totally agreed. We ended up with 3rd place in chicken. This was our first top five call ever as Rex’s Red Hot BBQ. It was also our first trophy ever! It was a blast.
Ribs – 4th out of 24
I knew we had great ribs. We tweaked them for our last contest in Louisa, VA and ended up with a 6th place. We were right on track. I did a slight tweak this time around that was well received. We ended up getting 4th place. Although we did not receive a trophy, we did get a nice little check. Not too shabby. This was our second top five call. Needless to say we were on cloud 9.
Pork – 2nd out of 24
This was our best category of the day. After an erroneous attempt to improve upon my recipe in Louisa, I went back to my recipe from Annapolis that got us a 6th place call. This time, I did a slight tweak to my sauce and hit another home run. Our third top 5 call and second trophy of the contest. Nothing could ruin this contest.
Brisket – 9th out of 24
Brisket has been our worst category in every contest. I just haven’t been able to dial it in. However, I feel as if I am on the right track. We had a great contest and received a call in brisket for the first time. After returning to the audience after the pork call, I heard ninth place, Rex’s Red Hot. At this point in time I felt we were going to do well overall, as we were one of only a few teams to get four calls.
Overall – 2nd out of 24 teams
They called all of the teams from 6th place on, and we ended up receiving 2nd place overall. We got a sweet Reserve Grand Champion Trophy and an entry into the Sam’s Club Regional Contest in Chesapeake, Virginia. Can’t wait to head to Chesapeake to see if we can repeat these results and get an entry into the Sam’s Club finals.
We had a blast and are very happy that we had such a great cook. I would like to thank Bill and Billy for being there and being a crucial part of the success. Without them, I probably would have been disqualified for not handing food in. Although the weather did not cooperate, we pulled everything together for the best cook of the season. I can’t wait to compete in Chesapeake.