My team, Axe-Men BBQ, just competed in our first KCBS BBQ competition at the Lamb’s Farm Barn Burner event this past weekend. At first we were a little skeptical about how well we would do, since we were competing against former champions and were one of three first-time groups. There was 44 teams competing in this event, and many were doing full BBQ competition tours. All the other teams had huge trailers, larger smokers, and banners with multiple sponsors. We didn’t have any of that…
It was chilly, windy, and rainy. We didn’t have walls on our pop-up tent, we didn’t have a fire pit, and we didn’t know you could trim and prep the meats ahead of time (which would have saved us a lot of work during the event). Most of our competitors who would walk by knew we were first-timers just by looking at us, however, I would bet we were having the most fun out of any team. Everyone was nice, but a lot of friendly poking at the noobs was had.
Unlike some of the competitors, we made all of our injections, rubs, and sauces from scratch. We did not have very much area to cook numerous portions of meat, so we had to make sure the limited amount of product we were preparing turned out the way we wanted it to. We only used a smaller Pit Boss pellet smoker and a 22-1/2 inch Weber grill. This also meant it needed to be constantly monitored, so there was a definite lack of sleep.
We are proud to have received a 9th place call on our ribs and 10th place call on our chicken, along with being 26th place overall. We could not be happier and are looking forward to doing 6 to 10 competitions next season. We will also being upping our game as far as equipment, sources for meats, and getting a sweet banner with sponsors (if we can!)