Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cookin' wings for Sam's BWOP

(Midwest City, OK) -- As mentioned in the previous post -- this week we shall not judge but rather cook. Wings. 

The Tyson "Best Wings on the Planet" sampling tent setup

Pre-seasoned, fully-cooked Tyson wings. 140 lbs. of  them in all available flavors except Spicy Asian and Buffalo (!). Which, at this club, leaves Tequila Lime and Honey BBQ.

Since they are fully cooked we just have to make sure the frozen wings are heated through to the bone. Of course we will use charcoal and a competition-grade smoker to make sure they have a little carmelization on the outside so they taste great.

They did. The Honey BBQ were gone first, I'm suspecting because people are more familiar with a flavor like that. Those that passed on the Tequila Lime missed out because them things is tasty. In fact they were so good I bought a bag to take home.

Even the kids had a great time  helping out and pushing those tasty wings

It was a fun day meeting the people out there and watching what happens at a BBQ contest from a different perspective than that of a judge. We'd look at our watches and see 1pm and think -- Pork is hitting the tables about now. A little envious but still having a good time. The kids even took joy in helping out.

The set-up for the BWOP sampling is really cool (as you can see). Tyson is proud of the wings and should be. All of the barbecue teams were given the opportunity to put their own spin on wings for a chance to have their face on the bag of next year's new flavor. 

Teams gather hoping to collect the trophies and checks

The winners were as follows:

1st  - Blue Collar BBQ of Wichita, KS
2nd - Sizzlin' Bones BBQ of Muskogee, OK
3rd  - Buffalo's BBQ of Sperry, OK

Tom Rodgers collects his giant check for his winning wings

The guy from Blue Collar -- Tom Rodgers -- called his recipe "Asian Barbecue Wings I Guess" and seemed a bit sheepish realizing he may not have been working from a set recipe that he'd now have to re-create and write down for the organization.

It was a great day and we'd do it again. Still, though, looking forward to getting back in the judges tent. Stillwater? No -- turns out they say they don't need us. I guess we don't need them either then (more on poorly run competitions - which this certainly was NOT - in a future post).


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The season has begun...

(Fort Worth) -- Well we pulled in to Westworth Village (basically Fort Worth) and found the Sam's Club. Glad they moved some of these southern contests out of July and into a more reasonable time of year. It was windy and cloudy but otherwise a beautiful day for the first contest of the season which just happened to be one of the early stops on the Sam's Club tour.

KCBS judges (BoD member Dave Compton second from left in blue) loitering in the judges tent prior to what will be the first contest of the season for most of us.

There aren't all that many KCBS contests in Texas so we like to travel down and hit them when they have them. And the Sam's events are known to have some pretty solid barbecue too. This event didn't disappoint.

Chicken was solid all the way around (as it often is), the ribs -- mostly pretty good. There was some excellent pork with one of the samples just sublime -- some of the best I've had. Brisket was weaker (judges -- burnt ends can sometimes be worth the extra point to take you to a 9 on appearance) with only one box containing burnt ends and only two boxes with what could honestly be called really good brisket.

It was a fun and well-run contest with a couple of our favorite reps on hand and a hard working Troy Black as the organizer (although they did run out of water -- in the parking lot of a wholesale club!).

Great show -- judge one of these Sam's Club events if you get the chance.

We also met the rep for the agency that handles this whole thing and we've been recruited to cook wings for the Tyson "Best Wings on the Planet" next week in Midwest City. We will lose the chance to judge BBQ but we'll be able to help contribute to the success of the event and earn a little scratch in the process. Set up and grill wings to hand out to the public -- these events are kind of like a mini-fair where the food is small but free.

See you down the road.