Dear BBQ Friend:
Best brisket in the Country?
I’m sure there are pitmasters that would argue with me, but after three 1st places and a 2nd in brisket this year and then finishing 1st in brisket at the Sam’s Club Tour finals in Bentonville, AR this weekend, I can legitimately lay a claim to be the best brisket cook in the Country.
The Sam’s Club Tour is a playoff system… it starts out with over 600 teams. The top 6 from the qualifying events go on to 5 different regional contests. The top 10 at the regionals go on to the finals at the Sam’s Club Headquarters in Bentonville, AR.
Those dang BBQ gremlins started attacking me from all sides in the early hours on Saturday in Bentonville. They knew my pellet smokers required a lot of electricity and they did their best to see that I got none of it. They tripped my breaker when I tried to start my ribs and chicken smoker. “Not to worry” I thought as my battery backup power supply kicked in and I stomped on a few of those nasty rascals. I knew the battery backup would not last long, so I started up my generator just long enough to get past the heating element stage of the startup.
As I tried to switch back to the regular power, the gremlins threw another assault with a vengeance. The breaker tripped again. That’s not supposed to happen! I started the generator up again but now those pesky gremlins got into my battery backup. They must have brought in some cyber hackers because now my battery backup uninterruptible power supply (UPS) would not recognize that there was power being supplied. So now I had to unplug the UPS, bypass it, and run off the generator the rest of the day. I knew I had enough gas to run the generators, but the gremlins had disabled my gas gauge and it registered “empty”. I had to scramble and borrow some gas.
By now I was one hour behind on my three hour rib cook. My chicken goes on later, so it only suffered a slight pit temp decrease at the beginning of the cook. I started the butts and brisket an hour early because of the cold weather, so I was somewhat prepared there although it’s never good when your smoker shuts down for an hour in the middle of a cook.
But my ribs suffered the worse… they didn’t develop any bark. After what had happened, I was amazed at how good they turned out. They frenched up nicely and were tender and pulled cleanly from the bone like they should, but something was just not right and them little tattletale gremlins sent one of their messengers straight to the judges and let them know what they had done. I am embarrassed to say I finished 45th out of 50 in ribs. And that is usually a good category for me. Damn you gremlins!
At least I got everything turned in on time. That’s not easy to do when you are working alone. Overall, I finished 21st with 26th in chicken and pork. But that brisket call was nice! I can say I’m the best brisket cook in the Country! I better brag while the braggin’ is good!
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Chatham Artillery BBQ Team