Quick Tips, Reviews & Cool Stuff



Product Reviews






West Coast Championships 2009

First KCBS sanctioned event

My first KCBS sanctioned event. For this one, I'm cooking under Team Smoke Ring Circus with my friend Al. I've learned a lot in the past 2 years, now we put it to the test.


KCBS sanctioned cookoffs are nothing like local competitions. The rules are stricter, turn-in times absolute, and the competition is unbelievable.We were cookin with the big boys now.


But the same holds true for the type of people at these events. There were several folks I knew from local competitions, and those I didn't know quickly became friends. Nothing like cracking a beer and talkin bbq to make new friends.


This is to be a 2 day contest. We are turning in Ribs and Chicken on Day 1, and turning in Pork Shoulder and Brisket on Day 2. My job is to be responsible for Chicken and Pork. Al is gonna handle the brisket (still my weakest area) and the ribs. There is also a Mystery Meat category to be discussed shortly.


Results: Once again we had a fantastic time, but we didn't get to walk. My chicken placed 8th overall (out of 38). My shoulder was about 22 (I have a hard time remembering the lower scores :). I was not happy at all with my shoulder turn-in. It was tough and did not pull apart very well. I could have used a couple more hours on the smoker. I believe ribs were 12th and brisket was around the 20ish mark as well. (I'll go back and get exacts on these another time).


The Mystery Meat turned out to be "Flap Steak". What the hell is that?!?!

It was about 12 pounds of cryovac beef, similar to a skirt steak. Apparently it's popular for making carne asada. I found this out after some frantic research trying to figure out what to do with it.

The thing about the mystery meat category, is that anything goes. You can turn in whatever the heck you want. We wound up making Tequila Lime Soft Tacos, which you can find the recipe in the recipe section of this site. They turned out great, and were a nice alternative to eating yet more ribs, chicken, pulled pork and brisket! But we didn't place. I think we wound up somewhere around middle of the road on these. I'll get the actual number later. First place went to a Lobster tail wrapped in Flap Steak, YUM!


Overall, we both made a couple mistakes we shouldn't have. Chicken could have been cooked a little bit longer, same as pork. We'll use a better grade brisket next round, and ribs, well ribs are a bitch.


You gotta understand, when you are cooking at these competitions, you are getting the best of the best. These folks are cooking their best possible turn-ins, in a one-run cook. Every variable is closely watched and we are all in it to win it.


Here's a few pics from the Fairfield West Coast Championships Competition.

BBQ chicken turn in box Here's the BBQ Chicken turn-in.



BBQ Ribs turn in box and the kick ass ribs Al sent up


Tequila Lime Soft Beef TacosTequila Lime Soft Beef Tacos, ohh so good!