Recap – North Platte NE

Recap – North Platte NE

North Platte marks my 6th contest of what I hope to be many more. When I first caught the bug around the middle of last summer, the TV series BBQ pitmasters was all the rage among the pros. It featured the best and the most popular Q’ers that compete. It was my favorite show on TV. So it was quite a treat for me when I did my 3rd contest in Craig CO last year and the one and only Johnny Trigg from Texas (one of the BBQ pitmasters) rolls up next to me. I got to not only compete against Johnny but spend the weekend hanging out with him and his wife Trisha as we cooked right next to one another. This weekend as I was setting up another one of the famous BBQ pitmasters starts settting up next to me. This time it was Moe Cason from Iowa. Again it was a treat to hang out with Big Moe and get to know him better. The great thing about Moe was I told him I got a case of cold natty lite if he wanted one and he told me. “nah man, I got my own natty light” naturally I thought he was BS’ing me or he thought I said something else….. I said “you drink that?”, he said “Its the only way to go!” I have never seen anyone at a contest drink natty light. Hats off to you Moe and your commitment to drinking excellence in a can.
I spent 2 years as a traveling salesguy covering parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. I spent 2-3 nights a week in a hotel traveling around and visiting hospitals in large cities and small towns. One of the things I really enjoyed about traveling to the small towns was the hospitality of the people. They were always so dang nice! North Platte reminds me a lot of those towns I used to travel to. Even though I dont vend or sell to the public during comps I was asked to set up my area in the middle of a vending section so I got to talk to a lot of the attendees, I really enjoyed talking to them. This one lady really stuck out to me. After my turnins I usually set out my meat that did not make the turn in box and offer to people passing by. This sweet older lady and her husband just happended to walk by as I was setting out my chicken, they had a piece and wanted to talk but I did not have time to chat with them, they came back about 2 hours later and the lady was carrying on about my chicken, she said she wanted to buy a bunch to take home with her to eat as the week went on. It was very gratifying to hear from her how much she liked my chicken. She was very determined to get some and was disappointed when I told her I had no more for her and that I dont sell my food. She reminded me of the people I got to know in the small towns I used to spend a bunch of time in as I traveled around but I think what I appreciated most about her and her husband was that they reminded me of my grandma and grandpa and how I miss seeing them since I moved out of St. Louis. My grandma and grandpa lived right across the street from me, thats the small town mentality that I miss and appreciate and am grateful for my weekend in North Platte for allowing me to feel that warmth again. While I live in a relatively “big city” I am still a small town dude at heart. I told the lady I wanted to put her comments about my chicken on my site as I never had anyone carry on about my chicken as much as her. Here she is:
Another highlight of the weekend happened to me Saturday afternoon – I was cleaning up my area after turnins were complete and Ryan Grob from Backdraft BBQ brought me this Awesome chile lime pork tenderloin with green chile. It was AWESOME – Thanks Ryan!

So as far as the comp went, the weather was awesome, it was held at the mall in North Platte, they had a carnival going on live music and a mechanical bull YEHAAAW! There was 37 teams competing this weekend, as I looked out over the parking lot where the teams were set up, it was RV after RV with Husker flags flying everywhere I enjoyed talking football with a couple of the teams. As far as turnins go I was happy with my chicken – the judges liked it for the most part as it finished 12th. My ribs were undercooked AGAIN as I was driving home I was giving a lot of thought as to why my ribs have came out 2 weeks in a row undercooked, I figured it out and look forward to tunring in properly cooked ribs next week. I was scored accordingly and took 19th which is about where I thought I would end up. My pork I thought was great, but I also thought it was great last week and it took 3rd to last……So I had no idea how my pork would do, I got 5th in pork which was nice but more than anything else it is a relief as I really had no idea what judges were looking for in pork and glad now have something to build upon. My brisket flat again was super narrow I am having a hard time finding good sized briskets. It was a little underdone but tasted good I got 9th. Overall I took 4th out of 37 teams which is my best finish ever, its gotten me even more excited and motivated to continously improve. I am looking forward alrerady to Lamar CO next week. Hats go off to Kevin Feit of Swinestone Cowboys for a steatlhy 180 PERFECT SCORE in brisket. It did not get announce during awards for whatever reason. A perfect score is the equivalent of a perfect game in baseball all 5 judges gave it a 999. For perspective I am happy if just 1 judge gives me a 999. Congrats to Burnin Bob for what will probably be the first of several GC’s for him this year and to We’ll Smoke You on their RGC. Our friends at Backdraft BBQ got first in sauce and I was able to get some video of his walk. I hope to put more and more video up as my techonolgy resources improve.