After several years of backyard bbq we decided to start competitions this year. We have only competed in 2 but have a blast in both of them. The first one we competed in was Smokin in the Junction in Valley Junction(Des Moines, IA). We didn't know what in the hell we were doing but we had plenty of beer, ice, charcoal, and food. The Junction event was a non-sanctioned event and consisted of chicken, ribs, and pork loin. Overall we finished in 9th place out of 32 teams. To our absolute amazement we got a call for 5th place pork loin. I think we thought they were kidding when they called our name! We learned a lot at this contest about what not to do...Next was the Pleasant Hill Summerfest this past weekend. It was in Pleasant Hill, IA and all of the Rhino's were there--Brad, Dad, and me. This was a non-sanctioned event as well and consisted of ribs, chicken, and sausage. This was the first year of this contest but it was still a fun environment. We got there about 5:30am and got our site set up by 6. The smokers were going by 6:30 and we put our ribs on around 7. Some of our friends were competing in this contest so it was fun to have someone else out there that we knew. We met several different teams that were very friendly to the newcomers. Big Moe from Ponderosa BBQ was vending his world famous Cheese Steak sandwiches so we had to go over and try them, they did not disappoint. On to the competition, we thought that are ribs and chicken were outstanding but we did not get a call for them. As they counted down the top 10 for sausage they read off #10, #9, #8....by this point I think we all felt like we were not going to place in this category either. Then they called off #7, #6, #5, #4, #3, #2 and we had all but solidified a no place showing for the contest. Then they read 1st place sausage....Albino Rhino BBQ. I think we all about fell over from the surprise. We ended up getting 5th overall and won money, a ribbon, and a trophy that will likely be pretty lonely.
I have been amazed at how friendly all of the competition teams are. You would think that in a competition environment there would be a little animosity amongst the teams but it is quite the contrary. All teams are willing to share some tricks of the trade(not all tricks but some) and they are all there to just have a good time.
I wanted to tip my hat to Rod from Buster Dog BBQ. About a year ago he told me about the ISU BBQ class in Ames so my dad and I attended. We have been hooked ever since. Rod has been instrumental in helping us figure out the world that is competition BBQ. Thanks Rod!