Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ribs & Bibs BBQ Competition Results / Year 2009

The competition BBQ team from Old Dave's Po-Farm (Ribs & Bibs Cooking Team) had a wonderful year. We competed in five Midwest states and covered about 4500 total miles on the Kansas City Barbecue Society trail in 2009.

The team competed in 13 contests was fortunate enough to win two state Grand Championships during the contest year. Out of the 4679 different teams that competed in the US in 2009 on the KCBS trail, only 29 of these teams won more contests than the two contests that Ribs & Bibs won during the year. We also had several other good finishes through out the contest year so it was a very good year for the Ribs & Bibs Cooking Team.

This picture shows Ribs & Bibs win at the "Wabash Ribberfest Barbeque Championship" in Mount Carmel, Illinois in September. The Gentleman on my far right in the blue shirt is Paul Everman who co-cooked the event with me this year.

We were lucky enough to get all four of our competitive meats in the top ten and did receive some nice trophys and a ribbon along with a little cash.

Ribs & Bibs Cooking Team consists of myself and usually one other member per cooking event. I am really blessed with some great co-cooks, friends, and of course my bride Janet who has put up with me for 44 years. There is no way I could do these events without all the wonderful support I received through out the year from these people. I just can't thank them enough for their help with this crazy hobby of BBQ competition cooking.

Steve Creech

Steve is from Columbus, Indiana and was a co-cook with the team during the year. He and Linda call their cooking team ZZ-Que and also compete on the KCBS trail during the year. Steve is great help and a pleasure to cook with. My friend, I sure appreciated the help this year.

Jeff Toler

Jeff is from the Westfield / Carmel area on the North side of Indy and co-cooked the Madison, Indiana event with me this year. Jeff with his wife Teri and family compete as Snake Pit BBQ. Jeff is a blast to cook with and is great with the preparation of our turn-in boxes. Thanks buddy.

Paul Everman

Paul is from Versailes, Indiana and has co-cooked with the Ribs & Bibs team for a couple of years when he is not competing with his own team. Paul and his good friend Pat compete as Hickory Flats BBQ. It is sure nice when he cooks with Ribs & Bibs as he is just too tough to beat cooking with his own team! Paul is a great cook and a joy to cook with as he is always one step ahead of this old fat man and sure keeps me on my game. What can I say Paul...Many Thanks!!!

Mike Zinkan

Mike is from Sheridan, Indiana and is a long time friend. He has co-cooked with me longer than any other cook and claims to be the Indiana State Micro-Wave Champion. At least, that is what he put on his resume. Mike is a great friend and keeps me in my place. Just couldn't find a nicer, easy going, and more liked fellow to cook with at the events. Mike is more than a co-cook, he is a life time friend. Thank you for putting up with me all these years and all the help with this crazy hobby.

I sure hope my co-cooks can find the time again next year to cook with the team again as this old fat man couldn't do it without the great help.

We had several friends and guests visit with us during the cooking year and also had two KCBS judges cook with the team early in the year to earn their Master Judge certification.

I know many folks visit this blog from all over the world and don't have the foggiest idea of how the KCBS barbeque contests work so I will try to give a brief discription of how they work and some information on the rules.

Most contests in our area will have about 25 to 60 cooking teams. They will usually compete for a prize fund of about $3000 to about $12,000 dollars. We cook chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder or pork butts, and beef brisket in these competitions. Our food is judged on Presentation, Tenderness & Texture, and Taste. We must turn in at least 6 samples of each meat and it will be judged by 6 judges. This means that all 4 of the meats will be judged by 24 judges. The judges will give out a score which is assigned to a point system and the winner in each class of meats will have the highest score with the judges. The overall score which determines the Grand Champion is the total score from all 4 meats.

We usually start prepping our meat after it is inspected on Friday morning and have it ready for the cooker in the evening. We cook 14 pieces of chicken, 3 slabs of pork ribs, 2 pork butts, and 2 brisket or brisket flats. We like to get the butts and brisket on the cooker by about 8:00pm on Friday evening as they cook overnight. We start both the ribs and chicken on Saturday morning. The turn in time is chicken at 12:00, ribs at 12:30pm, pork at 1:00pm, and brisket at 1:30pm on Saturday.

These are some typical presentation boxes for the 4 meats.

Chicken Thighs

Pork Ribs

Pork Butt

Beef Brisket

About 2 hours after the last turn-in, they have the Awards Presentations at the events. If we are lucky, maybe we will get our names called a couple of times and might win a trophy or ribbon with a little cash.

We now have enough contests in our area that we can kind of pick and choose the ones we like as we only do about two events a month. We prefer contests where we can arrive on the Thursday before the event, and then stay over on Saturday evening, and then leave early on Sunday morning. We also prefer a reasonable entry fee of $225 or less and will pass on contests that we feel try to hold you up. Another nice feature that we look for is inside restrooms and showers or someplace close we can go to get a shower. We need a large cooking site for our toy hauler so that as well is important to the team. I guess that the perfect contest would be in a RV Park with all the amenities including sewage hook ups.

A typical KCBS contest in our area is getting expensive and the teams are very difficult to compete against with all the cooking schools out there at the present time. We are not usually very serious cooks and do this for fun but sure find it nice to hear our name called once in a while at these events.

Typical Contest Cost..

$225.00----- Entry Fee
125.00------ Contest Meat
100.00------ Fuel for Truck
25.00------- Food on Road
60.00------- About 14 Total Meals at Cooking Site for 2 Team Members
75.00------- Thursday or Friday evening Party--feed 20
50.00------- Beer and other Beverage
50.00------- All Cooking Supplies for Contest-Rubs, Sauces, etc
25.00------- Misc

$735.00------Total per Event

Ribs & Bibs compete out of a small toy hauler as older folks do need their creature comforts!!

In 2009, we used both the Old School Fast Eddy Pellet Cooker and my pair of Backwoods Party Cookers for contest cooking. These are great contest cookers.

I did get a few pictures at some of the events this year and will share them with the people that read this blog.

Our cooking year started out wet!! As you can see, I am stuck in the mud before I even got backed into my site.

Some of these units needed a very serious wrecker to get them out.

This is Charles and Velma Krininger at the Fairbanks, Indiana contest. This couple cooked with the team to complete one of the requirements of becoming Master Judges. They just did it all!! From trimming up the meat, to the injection, rubs, sauces, wrapping, presentation, etc.. they were there 24/7 and did a great job with this contest cook. Really nice folks and a pleasure to cook with.

It can also be cold at the end of the year and this picture shows one of the teams co-cooks, Paul Everman, at the New Albany, Indiana event in October. His cooking partner, Pat, is in the background.

This is another gentleman that cooks with the team once in a while during the year. The picture shows Steve Creech with his better half Linda at an event in Southern Indiana late in the year.

This is a picture from our Grand Championship finish at New Albany, Indiana in October. The gentleman on my right and co-cook for the event is Mike Zinkan from Sheridan, Indiana.

This was a first year contest right on the bank of the Ohio river in New Albany, Indiana. Real nice setting for a contest. If you look close, you can see the river in the background.

We enjoy doing some kind of party either on Thursday or Friday evening at the cooking events. Some of the treats we have done in the past include pizza, jambalaya, several Mexican dishes, hot wings, hawg wings, and some other appetizers.

We are kinda known for our pizza and do this one often. Hickory Flats and Ribs & Bibs teamed up this year at the Madison, Indiana contest for a large pizza party.

We put some tables together for this event and the beautiful salad was made and brought to the party by Hoosier Crawdaddy's (Doug and Debbie Searcy).

Isn't that pretty...

This is a picture of Doug, Debbie, and Mom from the Hoosier Crawdaddy's cooking team.

My co-cook Jeff Tolar and Paul Everman made them up and I cooked them on the Backwoods Party cooker. At times, we had 4 pizzas in the cooker.

We also did some cajun pizza which is always a hit at these events.

Again, 2009 was a great year for Ribs & Bibs Cooking Team. Had a wonderful time getting to visit and compete against many great friends and also had the chance to meet many new friends and cooks and hope to do it again next year.

It's a great hobby but is expensive...but what isn't in this day and time??

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Old Dave's Slyders

I am always looking for something unique to cook for friends and competitors on Thursday or Friday evening at a BBQ Contest. I think this one will be a winner. Much of the work can be done in advance to make it easier to prepare at a contest in the cooker. Everyone I know loves Slyders!!

There are a couple of my homemade cheeseburger slyders and one hamburger slyder on the plate.

I grew up eating these sandwiches on a Friday evenings after the ballgames and at that time, they were $.12 cents each. As a young man, I could put away about 12 of these in one meal.

All right, lets make slyders...

There are several things you can use for buns and I am lucky in that our local Kroger carries the very small Lewis Bake Shop sheet buns which come 24 per package and measure 3" X 3" which is the perfect size for a slyder. If you can't find something like that, you can use the small yeast rolls or maybe hotdog buns that you could cut in half or thirds.

The pickles need to be the very small and thin hamburger type dill pickles for best results.

Ingredients for 12 sandwiches

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar Gerbers beef baby food 2.5oz
2/3 cup of low sodium beef broth
1-1/2 cups of chopped dehydrated onions
3 cups of hot water
12 buns or rolls of some type
12 thin sliced dill pickles
Salt and Pepper at table
Condiments of your choice

Instructions for making the patties

Mix the hamburger, baby food, and the low sodium beef broth in a bowl with your hands.

Line a medium sized baking sheet (about 10X15") with plastic wrap. Place the meat on the sheet and spread it out with your hands or a spatula until it is fairly thin and then cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to spread it out to the final size which will be slightly less than the full size of the sheet. Carefully remove the top sheet of the plastic wrap and score the flattened meat in about 3-1/4 to 3-1/2" squares all the way to the pan and then cover the meat back up with the plastic wrap. It now goes into the freezer to be frozen solid.

This is what it looks like just coming out of the freezer. You can see the way the meat has been scored and it will now just break off into the 12 pieces and be ready for the next step.

This is another picture of the meat just before I broke it up for the slyders and placed it back into the freezer until I was ready to do my sandwiches.

On cooking day, I fired up the smoker and brought it up to about 350 degrees. Using pecan for smoke.

The next step is to place the onions in a bowl and then add the water to get them ready for the cook. It will take about 15 minutes.

I wanted the buns steamed so I made up a pan for this.

I put a little water in this pan and then added a rack to the top of the pan.

I placed the buns on the rack and then covered the pan with another pan.

I then lined a larger cookie sheet with foil to make for an easy clean-up and then spread the wet onions out on the sheet.

The pan is ready for the frozen slyders.

I got the frozen meat out of the freezer and placed it on the onions.

I put the bun pan on about 30 minutes before I placed the slyders on the smoker to give the buns time to steam a little. I then placed the slyders on the smoker for a short cook of about 15-18 minutes although I didn't time it.

This shows them on the smoker just before I pulled the pan off the cooker.

This picture show the slyders right out of the cooker and just before I got them ready for the table.

This picture shows me getting the patties on the steamed buns and then adding the pickle on top of the meat.

Man, don't them things look great!! And they do taste like the real thing.

I prefer a slice of American cheese on my slyders.

I know many folks won't have a smoker that will run at the higher temps but I am sure these slyders will do fine at a lower temp of say about 250 degrees but will take longer to get them done.

You can do them in your kitchen oven as well for the folks that don't have a suitable cooker or smoker.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Whole Pork Loin / Rick's Blue Ribbon Barbeque Pit Beans

Here in Central Indiana, they are just about giving away whole pork loins at both our local Marsh and Kroger stores. For the last month of so, they have been running about $1.32 to $1.36 a pound and that is a bargain. Most of the whole loins weigh about 5 to 7 pounds. Heck, you can't even buy burger for that price!

You know, you can cook em whole, cut them up for roasts, kinda fillet them open and stuff them with whatever, have the store cut and cube them for great sandwiches, pound em out for your deep fried loin sandwiches, and many other great methods for this wonderful cut of pork. At this price, I have been filling the freezer.

One of my favorite ways to do the loins is to just cook them whole and then slice them up and freeze the slices in bags for the freezer. They re-heat nice in the nuker and make for a quick and tasty meal along with some of Rick's wonderful Pit Beans.

I usually start by laying the loin out and giving it a light coat of my favorite rub which is Smokin' Guns hot about 30 minutes before I put it on the smoker.

Rick's Blue Ribbon Barbeque Pit Beans are KILLER!!! While I do love about all kinds of baked beans prepared in a smoker, these are much different and have a very unique flavor. They have a slight celery taste that really is great and goes with about all types of meals. I do many other beans but this one is most requested and very simple to prepare as it starts as a canned bean.

I will start with Rick's recipe and we can go from there.

Rick Salmon's Blue Ribbon Barbeque Pit Beans

(as Rick originally posted over on the BBQ Forum sometime back in early 1993)

Two 28 oz. & one 15 1/2 oz cans of Bushs original baked beans
1 12-to-16 ounce bottle barbeque sauce (I use KC Masterpiece)
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
8 tablespoons of prepared yellow mustard
About 1 pound brown sugar (or what ever it takes to adequately cover)
2 tablespoons powered hickory seasoning (or bbq rub)
2 tablespoon celery seed
1 to 2 pounds of smoked pork or brisket
1 aluminum half steam pan (roughly a 9x13)

Put all the above ingredients in the pan. Mix well. Cover with brown sugar, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick and do not stir in the brown sugar. Put in smoker for about two to three hours at 200 to 225 degrees, I use hickory wood. Let the brown sugar melt down into the beans. Stirring it in is not necessary.

Can be done in the oven.

Use one of the big industrial cans for two half-steam pans. "end quote"

For our home use, I usually do a double batch of these beans in a full sized hotel pan as the beans do freeze well and heat up great. A great side dish for my pork loin.

For this batch, I used a couple of cans of the 44oz and a couple cans of the 28oz regular Bushs original baked beans. I also used about 5 pounds of pulled and chopped pork butt. This picture shows the brown sugar going on the top of the bean mix.

I also doubled all the other ingredients in Rick's recipe and then added a little cayenne pepper to the pan as I like a touch of heat or a little kick in my beans. Probably best to leave this out if you don't like a little heat in your beans.

I started the beans first in my old school Fast Eddy pellet cooker and set it on smoke for about the first 90 minutes to be sure I got some smoke flavor in the beans. I used pecan pellets for this cook.

At 90 minutes into the cook, I added the whole pork loin and let is set in the smoke for an additional 60 minutes before I turned up the temp to about 325 degrees to finish my cook. I can't remember for sure but I think it took about 90 more minutes to get the loin to about 140 degrees internal and then I pulled it off the cooker and wrapped it in foil and placed it into a cooler for about two hours.

I sliced the loin up and kept out a few pieces for lunch and breakfast and then put the balance into freezer bags and froze it for later use.

I dished up a large bowl of the beans for our use and then froze the balance in quart containers for future use.

I served my loin up on a toasted bun with some special home made hot sauce along with some veggies and pickle and then added some of Rick's wonderful pit beans for one great meal.