Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A BBQ Cookoff Experience

This weekend I only picked up my laptop to do some online shopping and by the time Sunday night rolled around, I didn't feel like breaking that streak. So weekends are now discussed on Tuesday. What can I say, I like to shake things up.

Aside from a random selection of movies played on my TV this weekend (Mean Girls, Princess Diaries, Legally Blonde, Anchorman, A Few Good Men, I Love You, Man, The Departed...), nothing much happened. Those of you with good attention to detail may know that my last pieces of furniture, the dining table and chairs, arrived, but since I'm not totally happy with how they look, I haven't photographed them yet. 

The biggest activity this weekend was a BBQ Cookoff that Andrew participated in. Sara wanted more info on what it was and what I was doing (at one point she worried I was standing in a dark field, alone) so I took some pics and thought I would share them with you today.

Andrew joined a BBQ cooking team with his coworker and his coworker's dad. His coworker has a huge smoker that sits on a trailer that he can bring with him, and his dad has two smaller smokers, also on a trailer. So that's three smokers. They set up three large tents with a cooking area and tables and chairs, and lined the tops with Christmas lights. There's a generator to keep the power on. This cookoff was extra fancy and gave teams the opportunity to rent a porta-potty, which Andrew's team did (ew). They had a makeshift sink area with a huge cooler of water and dish soap, so at least they tried to keep clean.

Just an idea of all the stuff they brought out with a small smoker in the background | "our own porta-potty (I opted for the real bathrooms, they weren't that far away) | The big smoker and wood. Unfortunately the camper in the back was a different team.

Each cookoff judges different foods: this one was brisket, chicken, ribs, fajitas, beans, and dessert. Teams are given different times to turn everything in. Everything but the fajitas were due on Saturday, but since briskets cook for forever, they set everything up on Friday and basically invite people into their cooking area Friday night to have a big party that lasts until the briskets go on to cook. There were nearly 100 teams at this event, so there was a lot of food and a ton of smoke in the air.

I got to the cookoff, which was an event heavy on beer. I don't drink beer so I kept it classy with individual bottles of wine straight from the bottle. The team had already been cooking all afternoon, and they had lots of stuff ready: feral hog (which I didn't care for but everyone else loved), fajitas, chicken, homemade BBQ sauce, and my favorite thing - boudin-stuffed poblano peppers wrapped in breakfast sausage and then grilled. It was amazing. I ate a bunch and random people drifted in and out of the tent - luckily, a friend of ours was there to keep me company while Andrew cooked.

Keeping it classy with my wine | Feral hog, anyone?

After it got dark, I wanted to walk around and see some of the other set-ups. Some were amazing. There were all kinds of custom trailers and smokers. Some people rented huge tents and had dance floors and DJs. One tent might have been playing The Train and Tootsie Roll and I may have wanted to crash their party after three mini wines, but you weren't there, so you'll never know. One tent had an RV with two TVs mounted to the outside. I thought Andrew's team's set-up was pretty cool until I saw what else was out there and I encouraged him to make new friends!

A wide shot of Andrew's team's set-up | A Houston Texans smoker | One of the cool tents - so big it didn't fit in the pic.

There was lots of gun talk, an old man telling me a story that he probably still hasn't finished, tons of beer, and even more meat. It was definitely an experience and outside of my comfort zone. I left around 12:30 but Andrew was out there all night and most of the day Saturday - it's definitely a time-consuming, tiring hobby. So apparently that's the BBQ life. Next time I say I'm at a cook-off, you'll know that I'm not exactly roughing it and if I'm lucky, I'm bringing a mini bottle of wine to a tent playing the best hits from the late 90s.

Anything else you want to know about a cookoff? How should I go about making friends with the people with the cool tents next time?

17 comments:

  1. Wow that sounds so fun! Except that Andrew was gone all that time. But hopefully he was having a good time too.

    I love me some late 90s music.

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  2. "An old man telling me a story he still hasn't finished".....hahahaha love that.

    Why don't you like your table and chairs? The little bit I saw on your food picture looked beautiful!

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  3. I've been to 2 cookoffs now since being in Houston (the Humble one & the rodeo one) The Humble one we just had to walk around cause we didn't know anyone but I actually got into tents cause we new people. SO MUCH FUN! I'm sure the longer your husband does it the more people you'll meet & the more tents you'll get into. That's how I got into tents at the rodeo one.

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  4. This seems SO cool! Except for the huge time consuming part.I would love to try all the different food! It almost seems wrong not to have a beer at something like this :)

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  5. That sounds fun. I would've taken off at the same time you did though.

    I look forward to more tales of BBQ life.

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  6. So is this bbq cook off team a regular thing now or is in like an annual thing? Sounds fun!

    Why don't you like your table and chairs? :( Do we need to accessorize them to make you like them?

    I will come chill with you at the tent with the best 90's music. Sounds like a good time!

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  7. I'm always pro BBQ. I think that's the southern girl in me. A BBQ cook off sounds like a blast. Also, why don't you like your table???

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  8. That sounds like so much fun! I volunteer to be a judge though the feral pig thing sounds gross. Bring a bottle of bourbon and offer the big tent owners shots you will make fast friends! ;)

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  9. Anything with that much food is a win in my book!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. oh man this sounds like my BBQ heaven haha. love that the old man is still probably not done with his story either. sounds like my gpa.

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  11. Individual wine makes everything classier!! :)

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  12. How fun!!! And total class with the mini wine. Hey, a girls gotta drink too. I feel like I could smell it from the photos! So glad you had fun. And I love Princess Diaries! Haha

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  13. I bet that smelled like heaven! Being a Kansas City girl, I love me some BBQ.

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  14. This sounds like so much fun!! And I only discovered mini-wine recently...best invention, since I only ever drink a glass. Also, that list of movies is perfect :-)

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  15. Apparently I have been living under a rock, but I've never heard of a cookoff. This seems like serious business!

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  16. Haha, totally watched I Love You, Man, Sunday night after cooking class {thank you, DVR}...BBQ cookoff looks fun! Esp is husband cooked and you didn't, haha. Plus, I mean it's BBQ <3

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  17. I would have done the mini wine bottle thing, too! No shame in that, plus it might give you some street cred. You should take a book next time? That might be a good way to keep busy. As for how to make friends there, LOL I have no idea!

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I like comments and read them all but I'm not great about responding to them, so please don't be offended. I would much rather visit your blog instead!