Saturday, April 21, 2012

Smokin' Red Dirt BBQ in Enid

(Enid, OK) -- I guess what sticks in the mind the most about The Smokin' Red Dirt BBQ contest for us is how well run and completely organized it is from a judge’s perspective. We didn’t get to judge this one though.

T-shirt from the Enid cookoff

Karen and Ralph Williams were the reps and they are among our favorites for their ability to keep the wheels greased and the shiny side up. They had the organizer send out a judge’s survey prior to the event so that they’d be able to arrange judges at various tables by experience. It also allowed them to pre-select their Table Captains and those with a CTC designation were picked. That’s what we did.

The judging took place in a pool hall. Indeed it was mighty generous of David to open up The Q Spot for judging as the event transitions to the convention center which is under construction/renovation. He had to turn away business while all this craziness went on but has a certain civic pride that makes him a respected member of the Enid business community.

The Q Spot in Enid -- a/k/a the judges tent

The barbecue looked very good for the most part and the scores reflected that. It started out strong with a couple of pieces of chicken at one table scoring nearly perfect. Got to try the best looking of the ribs at one table and while a bit overcooked it looked beautiful and tasted outstanding. Pork was strong across the board – tried four of the six boxes over by the sample table.

We’re proud to note that burnt ends were plentiful this week. They may not all have been cooked perfectly but even the tough ones were very tasty. Funny to see the volunteers with no clue as to what burnt ends are. We gladly told them that these pieces of meat are basically candy and they should grab strays when they’re going by. Didn’t take them long to catch on.

Something of a carnival atmosphere -- this is a big event and it happened on a beautiful day in this wonderful city.

There was a fifth category this week -- dessert. Since some of the judges took off after the main four some of us table captains had to do double duty and judge that category as well. Sometimes we just have to make sacrifices like that if the whole thing is going to work. Word to the wise -- if you’re going to go to all the trouble of making that Strawberry Cheesecake Shortcake (yes!) then go the extra mile and use pound cake instead of those horrible, dry angel food disks sold four to a pack down at the grocery. Might get you a 7 in texture on an entry that otherwise would have scored a 9.

Hats off to the great City of Enid, the Chamber of Commerce and especially organizer Lynne Benkendorf for an excellent contests. This is an example of how it should be done and there is every reason to believe next year will be outstanding with the new facility complete. Looking forward to that.

Next week -- Arkansas City, KS!


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