Another Four Contest Wrap-Up
When we last updated, the team had just finished 8th in Bainbridge, GA and were heading to Pensacola for the week. Following a week of rest, relaxing and eating way too much fresh, gulf seafood, the team moved into the downtown area for Smokin' In The Square. After a dismal showing in 2016, the guys were anxious to redeem themselves in 2017. After a strong cook, the guys were anticipating a good day at awards. While the scores were high in the chicken and pork categories, there was no call. Ribs led the way with a 3rd place call. Fortunately enough, when the overall awards were called, the team finished 8th overall. The team felt redeemed after last year's 29th place debacle. The next day, the guys loaded up and headed west to Hammond, LA to spend the week in the New Orleans area.
The trip to Hammond, LA has become a tradition for the Smoke This guys. Beginning in 2014, the guys decided to make this an annual trek to visit great friends in Hammond. After spending another week vacationing, the team moved into the downtown area on Thursday to prepare for competition. After facing some adversity during the cook, hopes weren't high for a good day. Thankfully, though, after a couple weeks of sub par brisket the tide had changed. A fourth place finish allowed the team to squeak out a 16th overall out of 55 strong teams.
After a couple weeks off to recover from all the travel, the guys were happy to make the one hour drive south to Kings Mountain, NC for the annual Firehouse Cookoff. This event was celebrating its 21st annual event. Smoke This has cooked in several of those events but have never had better than an 8th place finish overall. While the contest is close and convenient to attend, anticipation has never been high because of past results. In 2017, behind the strength of a perfect score in chicken and a 7th place brisket, Smoke This was able to shake the monkey off their back and came in 2nd place for Reserve Grand Champions.
Two weeks later, Smoke This found themselves in Lexington, NC for the annual BBQ Capital Cookoff. This event is the teams first vending-competition event of the season. Therefore, to be honest, competition takes a little bit of a back seat. These vending gigs allow the team to compete in 20-25 events per year without having to pay out of pocket for the competitions. Making and selling top quality pork, ribs, chicken and brisket is the priority. Still, though, as a part of the rules, vending teams must enter the competition. A ninth place chicken was the only call of the day as Smoke This finished a middle of the pack 17th of 38 teams.
After the Lexington event, the team will only compete in one event in May and none in June before going to Greenwood, SC in July for another vending-competition. They will, however, be busy with some catering and community service projects during the hiatus.
We mention our sponsor quite a bit but can't say enough about them. Randy and his team go above and beyond to make sure we have the rubs, injections and sauce we need to be prepared! Be sure to visit the website for all our bbq needs or give them a call at 706.536.2901.
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