Smokin J’s Barbeque at Doc Holiday Competition

Smokin J's Barbeque Doc Holiday GriffinOur second barbecue competition of the season is in the books and it was a hot one in Griffin, Georgia at the Doc Holiday BBQ and Music Festival. 

The event takes place in historic downtown Griffin, home of the famous gunslinger, Doc Holiday.  The annual event celebrates his life and his role in the Gunfight at the OK Corral.  Complete with vintage costumes, actors portray the 30-second shootout between Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, town Marshal Virgil Earp, Special Policeman Morgan Earp and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws known as the Cowboys, which took place in Tombstone, Arizona.


Food, crafts and barbecue lined several blocks.  One thing I especially like about this competition; the craft vendors, kids area and other activities are not in the same space as the barbecue competition.  We do not mind visitors; however, a constant flow of people can be distracting and of course, we are COMPETING and need to be 100% focus.

Journey to the Competition

If you follow our escapades, you know, it seems we always endure drama just before a comp, or on the way to a competition; this was no exception.

Earlier in the week, Doug discovered a flat tire on the RV.  We just bought brand new tires for the entire RV earlier this year, due to several blow out experiences during last year’s GBA season. 

Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar

Thank you Dixie Crystals for your continued support.

BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud

Thank you BBQ Guru & the CyberQ Cloud


Click to Read about our GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP moment! 


smokin js barbeque travel to Griffin

It is always better to be safe than sorry.

However, this time, it was a nail in the tire.  Fortunately, it was repairable.  Doug reinstalled the tire after work.  Friday morning, as we prepared to leave for Griffin, he found a silver object embedded in a different tire.  Therefore, we had to make a detour to a tire shop, to hopefully, get this one repaired.

In route to the tire shop, the road was closed – UGGG!   So, we made a VERY NARROW, two-mile detour; waited 20 minutes for an available bay; only to discover, it was a rock embedded in the tire.  Doug had attempted to remove the object, while still at home, but it would not come out. And at 6 A.M., in the dark, it was shiny and we thought the worst – a nail.

Nevertheless, we got back out on the road and made it to Griffin by lunchtime.

Competition Notes

Although a smoother cook than in Douglas at the previous competition, we were still not in strong form.

Smokin J's Barbeque 10th place Brisket finishHaving our brisket stall at 178º was enough stress for the whole day; however, we managed to pull out a top 10 finish.  Although we really would’ve loved to have taken home the coveted 1st place brisket trophy – CONGRATULATIONS TO Wright On Q, who did.

Despite a slow rise to the necessary temperature, our loin was delicious; tender, moist and full of flavor; however, it just was not what the judges were looking for.   We finished 36th.  So happy for Fire In The Hole for winning their very first LOIN FIRST PLACE TROPHY!

Once again, our pulled pork was delicious and busting with juicy flavor.  Imagine our surprise when we received a comment card, “looked dry and chewy,” but received a 10 in taste, on the same card?  Very confusing.   Hats off to Hickory Flat BBQ Co. for their 1st place finish in pork.

Finally, our ribs were not at the same caliber as we are used to; so we were not surprised by our 34th ranking. But OFF THE CHAIN nearly scored PERFECT for their preliminary ribs AND captured the GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP!  Congratulations.

Great job to WE WANT QUE for their Reserve Grand Champion finish!

Smokin J’s Barbeque already has a strategy in the works to improve for our next competition scheduled for November in Jacksonville, Florida.

WATCH THE AWARDS CEREMONY HERE!

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South Georgia Competition Kicks Off the Season

Douglas BBQ Festival Smokin J's Barbeque Banner

 

 

The Georgia Barbecue Association kicked off the 2018-2019 season in Douglas, Georgia and Smokin J’s Barbeque, along with 40 other teams, were in the heart of it.

Kudos to the City of Douglas

The city of Douglas definitely knows how to run a competition.  Everything was strategically organized and planned for not only the cook teams, but also the many craft vendors, car enthusiast and families who attended.

Great job to Mike Hudson and his staff!

Those of you who do not cook at professional competition events may find this mundane, however, the cook teams arrived to find great signage for the event; easy access to the cook sites and wonderful organization by the city.

Cook sites were clearly marked and staff escorted teams directly to their assigned spots.  We were very grateful, electricity was immediately available because it was HOT!  Water was available relatively shortly thereafter.

Using the Douglas Municipal Airport, where we competed four years ago and endured a destructive tornado, was brilliant.  Activities were spread out. Plenty of room for visitors to walk and enjoy the festivities.  The cook teams were not cramped, but were close enough to socialize with our GBA family members.

Arriving Early…

We enjoyed looking at the vintage airplanes on display for the event.

Smokin J's Barbeque

Vintage planes were on display at the festival.

The wonderful city fed all the cook teams Friday night after our cook team meeting.

Thank you for the ham, chicken, greens, mac n’cheese and delicious desserts. 

It is amazing how many contest fed the teams barbecue.  The last thing we want to eat is barbecue.

This was not just a professional barbecue association.  There were plenty of things to do at the South Georgia BBQ & Outdoor Festival.  

A motorcycle show, a custom-car show, an aircraft display, along with a flyover and a Friday night Kason Layne concert brought the visitors in.  Huey Helicopter rides were available along with a kids zone, complete with a  reptile wagon and southeastern snake encounter demonstration.  Despite the warm temperatures, people packed the event.

Smokin J's Barbeque

Planes of various sizes were on display. Can you see our pitmaster?

Competition Hurdles

Loin Smokin J's BarbequeSurprisingly, I get so much more nervous than Doug BEFORE the competition even starts.  Doug is more stressed, than I, during turn in times.  However, I guess our mojo was just a little off, since it was the start of a new season – or at least that is what we are claiming.

We had several issues during the competition that kinda threw us off our game…

THANK YOU to Off The Chain for giving us a box of disposable gloves.

THANK YOU to Pirates of Pork Scents for loaning                                                                     us an injector.

We were missing a few other tools which were left at home and we were just out of sync.

But we have since regrouped, figured out what went wrong, and loaded up new supplies.  We will be ready for the next competition.

Smokin J’s Barbeque Results

Of course, being off our game, we did not fair as well as we had hoped.  However, we were proud of our 10th place finish in brisket.  Good flavor, moist and tender – we just probably were on the same table as Rescue Smokers who took home 1st place in category.  Congratulations of course!  

Our loin did not fair as good – we were 31st out of 44 teams.

In pork butt/shoulder – we were 37th.

Despite not changing any ingredients from our Grand Championship Ribs in Woodstock – we were 28th.

WATCH THE ENTIRE AWARDS CEREMONY HERE!

Very disappointed in our finish, but we were competing with the best teams in the Georgia Barbecue Association and will score better in Griffin.

Thank you to our sponsors.  Without you we would not be able to do this!

D.C. Webster
Dixie Crystals
BBQ Guru

Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with where we will be competing and to get delicious barbecue and grilling recipes!

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Smokin J’s Barbeque Charitable Work

In 2012, we were blessed with the most beautiful granddaughter in the world.

Abby was born with multiple congenital joint contractures throughout her tiny body.

Doctors do not know exactly what causes Arthrogryposis, and even fewer physicians know how to treat a child with this issue.

This lack of muscular development and growth is very difficult for families.  More needs to be done to provide new AMC parents with guidance and medical opportunities to help their child grow to be self-sufficient.

Fortunately, Shriners Children Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina has a wonderful department with surgeons and therapist who recognize the symptoms and provide medical treatment.

Smokin J’s Barbeque is proud to donate a portion of our annual barbecue competition winnings to AMC SUPPORT.ORG

Heck, we even named our Stump SmokerAbby 2.

Smokin J's Barbeque with Stump Smoker

AMC Support provides resources and materials for families affected by Arthrogryposis, as well as, coordinates an annual conference which bridges the gap between those with AMC and medical professionals.

Only one in 3,000 babies are born with this rare condition and AMC does not receive the media attention of many other ailments, but with donations to AMCSUPPORT.ORG – education and support can build a community and spread awareness.

We do not expect our barbecue competitors to donate to a charity dear to our hearts, but we would ask you to consider donating a portion of your winnings to a charity which might be close to your heart.

We are all doing something we have a passion for – BARBECUE!   Why not go beyond smoking up good food?

 

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9 Essentials for a Barbecue Competition


Smokin J's Barbeque essential toolsWe have been competing in the Georgia Barbecue Association for five years.

When we started, we knew nothing about professional barbecue except what everyone has seen on television.  TV glamorizes the competition, which is a blast – but it is very challenging and hard work.

Every team who has won a trophy or money in a competition has truly worked for it.


Experience has taught us a lot – as well as our fellow GBA family members.  However, prior to our first competition, we didn’t know about disposable cutting boards or heat resistant gloves?  We have absorbed knowledge by talking with our fellow competitors and devising unorthodox uses for some common household items.

Smokin J's Barbeque Essential competition tools

We keep a checklist of our most used items, in our barbecue camper.  Each season, we double check this list and verify we have plenty on hand of things we might need throughout the year.  The list is ever-evolving and we are constantly devising new ideas to help us.

I created a downloadable PDF of the checklist, in case you are interested.

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE CHECKLIST HERE!


Obviously, there are items you must have – a smoker you are comfortable with; aluminum pans; disposable gloves, etc.  These are needed just to be able to function at a competition.

This article focuses on those “extras” which are not necessary but make cooking so much easier.

I have included affiliate links for these items.

In no particular order…

G & F 1689M Dupont Nomex & Kevlar Heat Resistant Oven Gloves, BBQ Gloves, Fireplace Gloves, Gloves for Cooking and Grill, Commercial Grade, Medium, Sold by 1 Pieceplaced over your disposable gloves, these make it easier to handle hot pans and smoker racks but still have the dexterity to hold shakers full of rub.

Although made from Nomex, these gloves can be washed in your home washing machine, just do not use bleach and make sure they are completely dry before using.

 


New Star Foodservice 26177 Squeeze Bottles, Plastic, Wide Mouth, 16 oz, Clear, Pack of 6

Invaluable for applying barbecue sauce precisely where you want it and as much as you want.   Strongly suggest getting the wide-mouth bottles to make it easier to pour in your prepared sauce.

These do not contain spout caps, however, I just use plastic wrap and a rubber band.


Essential tools for a barbecue competitionBeach towels – yes, large beach towels.  Place them under your cutting boards to prevent slippage.  Also, they can be washed in your washing machine for easy clean up of all that sticky barbecue sauce.

We also place beach towels under our cutting boards when we rub our product. Just shake them out, to avoid mixing any rub – then flip them inside out – then you are ready for the next product.

Kaufman Sales 4 Pc Pack Stripe Beach Towel by Ben Kaufman Sales

We use one beach towel under our cutting board for trimming and immediately discard this towel, until we get home and it can be washed.


We use a catfish skinner to remove the silver skin from our ribs.  This tool is superior to the spoon handle and paper towel method.

Maybrun Commercial Catfish Skinner


A Washable warming tray can keep a variety of sauces warm, so as to not apply cold barbecue sauce to warm meat.

Recently discounted: Elite Platinum EWM-6171 Maxi-Matic 2.5 Quart 3 Tray Buffet Server, Brushed Stainless Steel

Keep the tray at its lowest setting because it will get very hot and barbecue sauce should not be boiling when you apply it to your entry.  The buffet trays and lids can be placed in the dishwasher.  After the warming platform has cooled, clean with sanitizing wipes.


BBQ Guru cutting mats

Smokin J’s Barbeque will not receive compensation for your purchase.

Disposable cutting mats are a game changer and we like these made by BBQ Guru.

They are 18″x24″ and include a ruler on the side for measuring slices or cubes.  Also, the middle is a 9″x 9″ square for proportioning your turn in box.

There are other suppliers out there with food-grade cutting mats, the point is…they are a must for a competition cook team.

 

 


A reliable temperature control for your smoker is crucial for consistency during a competition.

Smokin J’s Barbeque proudly uses the CyperQ Cloud by BBQ Guru. 

It not only regulates your cooker’s internal temperature but also, monitors up to 3 food temperatures.  Package includes 1 six-foot pit probe and 1 six-foot food probe, but additional food probes are available to purchase.

CyberQ Cloud BBQ Guru

BBQ Guru is a sponsor of Smokin J’s Barbeque, however, we will not receive compensation for your purchase.

A key feature of the CyberQ Cloud is its WiFi capability. You can monitor AND control your CyberQ Cloud remotely from any web-based device such as your smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop.


Barbecue tools | Smokin J's BarbequeA set of poly-carbonate shakers with various lids.  There are many types of shakers and after experimenting with various brands, sizes and textures…we have concluded the poly-carbonate shakers are the best.

We bought a set which contains several different lids with various sized holes.

Most any restaurant supply store will have these on hand. If you want to order online, here is a reliable Food Equipment Supply Company. 

Various lids are available at their website.

We keep many on hand so we can prepare all the rubs at once.  No fumbling around later when time is of the essence.


Barbecue competition toolsFinally, a valuable tool but not really necessary if you have plenty of sanitizing wipes on hand, are disposable, fitted tablecloths.

Rather expensive at $3.10 each, these “kwik” covers are made for 6-foot long, fold-able tables. 

They fit over the 2″ edge of the table, much like a fitted sheet on a mattress.  They can be wiped down and reused, but by the end of a competition, we are ready to just throw away everything and rest.


These are our 9 barbecue competition essential tools.

Do you have any ESSENTIAL TOOLS you pack in your barbecue trailer?  Please share….

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Stir-Fry on The Big Green Egg

Stir-Fry is a meal that you spend more time prepping, than actually cooking, especially on The Big Green Egg.

We have prepared stir-fry for dinner several times and have modified our process over the years.

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We purchased the Lodge Logic wok and it is the perfect tool for this job.

Use a long-handled spoon or spatula, as the heat does build in the Big Green Egg.

Make sure all your ingredients and tools are close by, as this meal moves quick!


Ingredient prep for Stir-Fry on the Big Green Egg

For the dinner below, the following was cut into bite-size pieces…

2 – yellow crooked-neck squash
2 – zucchini
1 – medium eggplant
1 – medium broccoli crown (florets only)
2 – boneless, skinless chicken breast

The following were cut into julienne strips…

1/4 lb. carrots
1 whole Vidalia onion
1 – green bell pepper

We also added 8 oz. of snow peas – which were not cut.

Make sure you have your favorite stir-fry sauce ready.   For the video demonstration, we used a great product, I highly recommend (and we were not compensated for the endorsement), it is Ted McBride’s Samurai Sauce.

To avoid migraines, it is important for me to watch my MSG intake; Ted’s Samurai Sauce includes the following:  water, soy sauce, brown sugar, red wine, vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil, garlic and spices.  No additional MSG!

It is great for marinading steak, shrimp and chicken.

CLICK the picture to buy the sauce, we will receive a few pennies for your purchase.


Process for Stir-Fry on the Big Green Egg

  1. Place the cast iron wok on the Big Green Egg grate.
  2. Heat the egg to 300º.
  3. Once heated up, you need to use a high-burn point oil and coat the wok.
  4. We have used olive oil and stir-fry oil, both work very well.
  5. When adding vegetables, start with the ones which will require the longest amount of cooking time first…carrots and onions.
  6. Cook for about 6 minutes, slightly stirring and adding 1/4 cup of your sauce.
  7. Followed by squash, zucchini and eggplant.  Keep stirring frequently and add another 1/4 cup of sauce. Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add your protein.  Stir frequently and add another 1/4 cup of sauce. Cook for 6 minutes.
  9. Finally, add the broccoli and bell pepper towards the end of the cooking time. Cook for 4 more minutes.
  10. Make sure everything is mixed up.  Spoon into serving dish.

Video demonstration of the above process…

If you decide to make your own stir-fry, drop us a line below – and we love pictures!

 

 

 

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Smokin J’s Barbeque Was Hot in Hazelhurst

Three Rivers Festival

It was bittersweet at the Three Rivers Festival in Haselhurst, Georiga this past weekend, as it was the 9th and final festival to be hosted by Jim Sewell, in the small southern town.

Organizer Jim Sewell held back tears as he dropped the news on 23 Georgia Barbecue Association cook teams during Friday evening’s cooks meeting.

“I really struggled with this decision specifically because of the many fine people I have met by putting on this contest,” lamented Jim. ” I will always be grateful to those who supported our contest over the years.”

Doug and I are very sad about the demise of the Three Rivers Festival.

Our decision to participate in this contest, this year, was two main reasons:

  1. We wanted to support our friend and fellow GBA member, Jim Sewell and the dedication he has for the event.
  2. Towns Bluff RV Park & Heritage Center is the most beautiful, tranquil, comfortable event site, on the GBA circuit.

Smokin J's Barbeque at Towns Bluff RV ParkWith the onset of cook teams opting for larger cook rigs and recreational vehicles, Towns Bluff RV Park provides 30/50 amp power at all their sites (with the urging of Jim Sewell), water, a dump station, shaded spots, and easy accessibility.

Only other cook teams will appreciate the stressless luxury of knowing it will be easy getting your rig parked and set up, on one of the  25 level campsites.

Most importantly, cook teams (and yes, even judges) can camp before the event and stay till Sunday, after the contest.

These competitions take a lot out of you and being able to stay an extra night to recuperate before a long drive home – AND – be able to sit and talk with our GBA family, is an added bonus for this contest.

READ MY FULL REVIEW OF THE CAMPGROUND HERE


Successful Competition

We thank Smoke Show, Weekend Warriors, Southern Hogs, Lang BBQ, Bubba Grills and all other GBA family members who invited us and shared food with us Saturday night.

Smokin J's Barbeque at Three Rivers FestivalVisiting with our GBA friends was much nicer after hearing our named called twice during awards.

Finishing 8th in Pork;  7th in Ribs; and barely out of the top 10 in Loin was thrilling; especially with such tough competition.

NINE of the top twenty teams competing for the TEAM OF THE YEAR Championship were at this event!

WE FINISHED 8TH OVERALL!

Three Rivers Barbecue Contest Awards

Congratulations to Rescue Smokers for winning another Grand Championship.

Winners in Hazelhurst

Kudos to Matt Sapp and his Southern Hogs team for winning Reserve Grand Championship and GBA Team of the Year.

As for Smokin J’s Barbeque, we feel like we have finally got the groove on our new Stump Smoker but it is the end of the season – sigh.

Smokin J's Barbeque Sponsors

Thank you…Dixie Crystals, BBQ Guru and D.C. Webster

Nevertheless, we will be well prepared when the 2018-2019 Georgia Barbecue Association season rolls around.

Of course, thank you to our sponsors…

Next up, is the GBA Awards banquet in August.

Sign up for our newsletter for reminders of our upcoming cook dates and schedule.

 

 

 

 

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Mediocre Meat at Canton BBQ & Brews

Smokin J's BarbequeIt was a tough weekend for Smokin J’s Barbecue in Canton at the BBQ & Brews Festival.

The weekend started off great!  Traditionally, BBQ & Brews gives away a gift basket to the BBQ & Brews Cantonteam who turns in their competition application first.

For the THIRD TIME – IT WAS US!

Filled with t-shirts, hats, pig regalia and Reformation Beer – we appreciated being recognized.

We are always excited about participating in these north Georgia events, so we get our applications in, as soon as we see them appear on the GBA schedule. 


Dale Wilson, owner of Pirate 50 Custom Artwork and Trophies (and creator of some of the best GBA trophies) surprised BBQ & Brews’ Gary Lamb and Kristen Cash-Raines with their own trophy replicas.Pirate 50 Custom Artwork and Trophies


The weather was beautiful, but our meat did not satisfy the judges.

Finishing in the middle of the pack, we were hoping for better results.

  • 12th in Loin
  • 20th in Pork
  • 17th in Ribs
  • 15th Overall

We are finally getting used to our Stump Stretch Smoker, Abby II and expect to improve with experience.


Smokin J's BarbequeWe want to thank those who came out to cheer us on…

Sponsor – D.C. Webster

Stump Smokers owner – Thad Estes

and first time visitor – Bill Webster

And we need to thank our sponsors…

BBQ Guru CyberQ Cloud

Thank you BBQ Guru & the CyberQ Cloud

Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar

Thank you Dixie Crystals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next competition is quickly approaching.  We will be at our favorite barbecue competition cook site location, in all of the GBA – Towns Bluff RV Park & Heritage Center on the Altamaha River.

Food, craft vendors, fun for the kids and of course, the smell of barbecue will be happening all day Saturday, May 5th.

Hope to see you there!

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Using Your Leftover Pulled Pork

Smokin Js Barbeque pulled porkBeing a professional barbecue competition team, you have plenty of neighbors and friends eagerly awaiting your return from a competition, to see if you had any leftover meat.

They politely inquire, “how did you do this weekend?”  Followed up with, “did you have leftovers?”

Typically, we have several family members or friends who visit us during a competition, which we will gladly share leftovers, once all turn in boxes are complete.

Sometimes, we end up taking some home and freezing it for future meals.

Using our Food Saver is the best way to store leftover pork.

This model comes with various size bags.  The quart size is perfect to accommodate portions for two people.

Once frozen, just label them and store them in the deep freezer until needed.

Heating Up Leftovers

Through trial and error, I have discovered the most efficient way to heat up leftover barbecue and keep the integrity of the meat’s moisture and flavor.

  1. Add water to a large pot; big enough to accommodate your package of frozen barbecue without spilling.
  2. Place pot on stove top and heat till JUST BEFORE BOILING
  3. Reduce heat to allow water to simmer and add your frozen barbecue – BAG AND ALL – to the simmering water
  4. Using tongs, turn bag over after approximately 10-15 minutes (for quart size bag, maybe longer for larger bags)
  5. Allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes (for a quart size bag, maybe longer for larger bags)
  6. Remove bag from water and place on towel
  7. Carefully open bag and pour barbecue into a bowl
  8. Serve

Barbecue Pizza

Recently, after heating up some leftover barbecue in the above method, I decided to try it on pizza.

You can buy quality pizza dough in the dairy section of your local supermarket.

Using packaged dough, I used my favorite marinara sauce, Nellino’s Sauce Company.

Barbecue PizzaPlaced some pepperoni slices on top of the sauce.

Dropped the small “pearl” drops of mozzarella cheese over the pizza and a 1/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese.

Sprinkled on the barbecue.

Placed in a preheated 450º oven, straight on the oven rack.

Baked for about 15-18 minutes.

Removed and let set on the cutting board for about 4-5 minutes, then cut with a pizza roller.

It was delicious!

Do you have any unusual ways to use up leftover pulled pork?  Please share them in the comments!

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Loin Test Cook Pays Off at BBQ & Brews Cartersville

As some of you MAY know, Doug and I did a PORK LOIN test cook, at our house; well, it paid off at our first competition since the test cook –

4 PLACE IN PORK LOIN!

What do I mean by test cook?

We strategically applied four different flavor profiles to four different pork loins.  We used standard 5 lb. pork loins, which the Georgia Barbecue Association requires.

The flavor profiles included various rubs, sauces and injections.

Upon gathering about a dozen friends and family (NONE of which are certified barbecue judges)- we gave them a crash course in GBA judging rules.

We set up our garage as a mock judging area – complete with place mats and score cards, similar to the GBA.

Then, we presented four blind boxes.  Only Doug and I knew which box corresponded to which scenario.

Smokin J's Barbeque

Our judges tables, set up in our garage.

Smokin J's Barbeque

Judges received place mats and score cards similar to the GBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a clear winner.  Therefore, we used the same recipe at the BBQ and Brews Cartersville event!   So, we have to thank those brave volunteers who came to our house; got a free lunch of pork loin; and helped us to a successful cook.


We were very happy with our overall cook; scoring 10th overall – out of 34 teams.

Doug and I have been working very hard to formulate a great flavor profile and we feel our sauce is one of the best in GBA competition.

We are getting use to our new Stump Smoker. Cartersville was only our fifth cook on the gravity fed smoker.  Once we get more familiar with our vessel, we will be right on target.

Smokin J's Barbeque

Walking to the turn in table with our 4th place loin box.

Congratulations to Weekend Warriors for winning Grand Champion and Rescue Smokers for being awarded Reserve Grand Champion.

It was a tough competition as many of the top teams in the GBA were in Cartersville.


Wanna watch the awards ceremony?  CLICK HERE


What’s next?

We will be competing at the BBQ and Brews Canton Festival, April 28th at Etowah River Park.

Live Music, Retail Vendors, Craft Beer, and a Kid’s Zone!
Located in Etowah River Park 600 Brown Industrial Parkway
$5 Admission (kids under 12 free)

This will attract some of the best Georgia Barbecue Association teams in the state, so getting your team name called at this event, will be exciting!

Smokin J's Barbeque

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Barbecue at the Fire Ant Festival 2018

It was not the weekend we were hoping for at the Fire Ant Barbecue Festival 2018.  Unable to get a call for our barbecue pork, loin, or ribs, we finished 24 out of 42 teams competing.

This was our first competition with our new Stump Smoker.  The new gravity fed smoker worked great and kept a consistent temperature for  over 14 hours straight.  However, our timing was a bit off.

We felt our loin was the most tender entry we have ever submitted; even scoring as the best on the table by one judge, and second best by two other judges; however, it could not compete with Rescue Smokers first place loin.  We finished 17th.

Our pork butt was not as flavorful as past competitions, but still looked impressive with a thick smoke ring.  Unfortunately, almost half our fellow Georgia Barbecue Association teams were better than us – as we finished 20th.

Despite our Grand Championship ribs in Woodstock, we finished 35th at Fire Ant.  We tried a different meat supplier and knew our ribs were not as tender.


New Product Sponsors

Smokin J's Barbeque SponsorsWe are so grateful for Dixie Crystals and BBQ Guru for their support.  Both came in very handy this weekend.

Along with the generous donation by D.C. Webster, to help us acquire our Stump Smoker…we could not have competed with your support.

Check out Doug’s pitch for the Cyber Q Cloud.


Fire Ant Barbecue Festival Site

This was probably one of my favorite competition venues.

Cook teams were pre-assigned spaces, which were clearly marked and were easily accessible upon our arrival.  (Thank you Robby Royal)

Located on the local high school property, the festival area was spacious, which led to very little congestion, especially during turn in times.

One of the largest crowds at an awards ceremony witnessed hometown team, Rescue Smokers take Reserve Grand Champion. Then, it was back-to-back victories for Captain Jack’s Freedom BBQ, for Grand Champion.

Catch the broadcast of the awards ceremony HERE!

As a cook team, I very much appreciated the music and entertainment was halted for the announcement of the BBQ Cook-Off winners.

Despite our disappointing finish, we thoroughly enjoyed the reunion with our barbecue family.  Smokin J’s Barbeque will return to the Fire Ant Festival in 2019.

And look out fellow cook teams – we will be back in full force at the BBQ & Brews Cartersville event!

Smokin J's Barbeque We Want Que

JoAnn of Smokin J’s Barbeque and Stephanie of We Want Que turning in loin samples. Photo courtesy of Greg Hoyt.

 

 

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