Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 - A new season begins

Unfortunately, without photos.

We opened the 2011 BBQ season last weekend at the unsanctioned, but still great fun Rand River Road Bowl Annual Winter Burnoff.

This is a fun event put together by Keith and Rebecca Engstrom to raise funds for Noah (National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation) They do a great job every year organizing this event, and, as always, everyone has a lot of fun. To make things better, this year they raised 2700.00 for thier charity.
Keith hands over controls to his freind Doug as of 06:00 the morning of the competition, so that he can compete without any question of conflict of interest. And this year, he won the Grand Champion! Congrats Keith, well deserved!

In past years, we've attended, as judges some years, and as cooks in others. We've seen weather as bad as 5 above with -30 wind chills, snowstorms, etc. But I think this year was a first. Although the weather guessers were predicting snow, and, as we drove to the location at 5:45 AM. the salt trucks were out in force, what we got instead was a day of on and off rain (more on than off) that left everyone thouroghly saturated.

Fortunately, when we arrived at about 6:30, it wasn't raining yet, and we were able to mostly set up without rain. We went with a very spartan setup, even for us, with only an EZ-up a table, and a few essentials, including our Mr. Heater and a dual halogen lamp setup to provide both heat and light. We opted to bring the generator also as power is first come, first serve at this event. That proved to be a good choice, as there were numerous issues with the power due to the rain. We had no problem :-)

Biggest challenge was the weather. The rain just kept coming, and kept keeping temperature a bit of a chore, but in the end, we stayed pretty even, just went through a lot more charcoal than usual.

In between downpours, we did get to visit with some of our BBQ buds. Joe and June from Bear Cat Smokers, Tim, of Windy City Smokers, Alex and Kate (Dr. Porkenstein), Joe McManus (Joey Mac), Pete and Linda (Ma & Pa's Kettle), Mike of Mike Rib, and Kow's Q. My apologies if I missed anyone. And, as always, we met some great new folks as well, including our next door neighbors, Dig the Pig BBQ.

Besides not having KCBS sanctioning, the main difference between this competition and the rest, aside from when it occurs, is that the meats are different. KCBS is chicken, pork ribs, pork butt, and brisket. Due to the potential challenges of trying to cook some of those items as a 1 day event, the burnoff meats are sausage, chicken, pork ribs, and pork loin or tenderloin.

We didn't end up in the money, as cash only went to the top 3 teams in each category, but we did manage to be top 10 in every category. Something we have yet to acheive until now!


1. KRE Smokers
2. Dr. Porkenstein
3. Kow's BBQ
4. Windy City Smokers
5. Mike Rib BBQ
6. 2 Skinny Cooks
7. Hawgs and Hotties
8. Dig The Pig
9. Joey Mac
10 Ma & Pa Kettle

1. KRE Smokers
2. Dig The Pig
3. Smoke Chester
4. Dr. Porkenstein
5. Hawgs & Hotties ( Note: Dr P and Hogs & Hotties tied wit 157.1428 each)
6. Joey Mac
7. Kow's BBQ
8. 2 Skinny Cooks
9. Mike Rib BBQ
10. Bear Cat Smokers


1. Smokin' Tasty
2. Kow's BBQ
3. Joey Mac
4. Windy City Smokers
5. Dig the Pig
6. KRE Smokers
7. Dr. Porkenstein
8. Hawgs & Hotties
9. 2 Skinny Cooks
10. Rub 1 Off


1. Dr, Porkenstein (over 10 points above nearest competitor)
2. Windy City Smokers
3. Kow's BBQ
4. Bear Cat Smokers
5. Smokin tasty
6. Hawgs & Hotties
7. Mike Rib BBQ
8 Joey Mac
9. 2 Skinny Cooks
10. Ma & Pa Kettle

Pork Loin/tenderloin

1. KRE smokers (8 points above 2nd)
2. Mike Rib BBQ
3. Ma & Pa Kettle
4. Windy City Smokers
5. 2 Skinny Cooks - Woo hoo! we got a ribbon at least! And top 5 in pork again!
6. Dig The Pig
7. Kow's BBQ
8. Rub 1 Off
9. Smokin' Tasty
10. Dr. Porkenstein

Another first...we were NOT anywhere close to the last ones packed up. Truck was ready to roll well before the awards ceremony started! Sadly, some of those who poke fun at us for taking so long were not there, as they'd attended a wedding of a mutual BBQ buddy the evening before.

For anyone who might read this that lives remotely in the area, it's definitely an event worth coming out for. The bowling alley donates a number of lanes for folks to bowl and raise funds, Miller Brewing was kind enough to donate a couple of kegs of beer, all proceeds went straight to the charity, an open chil contest, and silent auction were also conducted. It's a very good time, for a very good cause!

So the 2011 season has officially begun. Next up will be Westmont, Memorial Day weekend. We're still filling in our schedule beyond that, but looking forward to another summer and fall of fun!

Until then, hope everybody stays warm and dry!


  1. Good start to the BBQ year! How about doing Willowbrook the week after Westmont? They tell me there is an extra $1000 prize for the highest scoring total for the team that does both contests.

  2. It's on our calendar. We've already sent our entry for Westmont, Willowbrook depends on a catering gig that we're not sure of the date yet. Once we can verify it isn't the same weekend, we'll enter. Can't turn down a comp that's 5-8 minutes away, unless it's for guaranteed income