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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hudson Valley Ribfest 2013. A Breakthrough of Sorts.

This past weekend Three Dogs BBQ competed in the Hudson Valley Ribfest in New Paltz, NY.  We took part in the Saturday NEBS competition and the Sunday KCBS competition.  More on the NEBS later.  Lets get down to the BBQ...

The weather was perfect.  Hudson Valley is known for rain, but we did not have any this weekend...

Chris from Houlihan's Beer Me BBQ

Chris's ribs, just on the cooker.

Starting to see more teams from Downstate NY...

...and some from way Upstate as well.

Shawn with Big Guns BBQ (he was a Artillery Officer in the Army), is a fixture in NY.  Boom! Boom! Shawn.

Time to wake up Hope...

The life blood of any team...

It was a great weekend for us.  We improved our overall score, slightly improved our chicken score, and took a quantum leap with our pulled pork score.  On the downside, our ribs did not improve and our brisket slid just a bit.  I attribute the ribs to some scrawny racks and the brisket was off because it just would not finish cooking.  Here is our score sheet:

For those who compete and have not seen a new score sheet, here it is for you to see.  I like the new system.  It tells you what table you were at, how you ranked at your table, and when you go to the overall and individual categories, it puts to the table number next to each team.  That way, you know how your table ranked against others and how you ranked at your table.

We'll start with our lowest score, our brisket.

The above box was good for a 142.8572, 43 out of 51 teams.  Our problems consisted of a flat that stalled and would not loosen up.  I had to hunt for six good slices.  The burnt ends were outstanding, the slices were mediocre in tenderness.  Plus, I was a bit sloppy getting the bits off the slices.  Just bad presentation and it shows in the scores.

Next up, ribs.

The above box was good for a 150.2400, 41 out of 51 teams.  This pig must have had a crooked spine because I had to hunt real hard for 6 straight cuts.  Plus, 3 out of the 4 racks were not too meaty.  Therefore, we had tenderness problems.  Lesson learned.

Next, chicken.

I am especially proud of this box.  Six scores of 9 for appearance.  That is a first for Three Dogs.  The tenderness was spot on for sure.  The only problem was they were a bit salty.  I will rinse the brine off for the next competition.  The above was good for a 165.0856, 15 out of 51, a five point improvement from Hamburg.

Finally, the break through, pulled pork.

First, I want to thank Mike Cartchine, organizer of the Hamburg contest and fellow competitor.  He was more than happy to let me pick his brain for how to cook Boston Butt.  The tips really paid off for sure.  The above box was good for 169.1428.  That was good for third place and our first KCBS trophy.  We were shocked.  But, we stripped out the fancy stuff and listened to Mike.  No injection, mustard slather followed by Oakridge Secret Weapon Chicken and Pork rub.  The money muscle was spot on tender with nice bark.  We lightly sauced and hoped for the best.  We did not expect a 25 point improvement.  Also, out table was evenly paced with that table scoring between 1st and 29th place.  Needless to say, we were very happy.

The entries above were good for a 627.3256, a 14 point improvement over Hamburg, and 26 out of 51 teams.  Very respectable in a field with numerous Jack participants, a 2011 Jack winner, and the 2012 KCBS Team of the Year.

I would like to thank Rolf and Stephanie for putting on another great competition.  Shout outs go out to Smokin Hoggs, Grand Champions.  They have been on a tear since winning the Jack, and the 3 Eyz BBQ, Reserve Grand Champions, 2012 KCBS team of the year.

Finally, I have to give hard earned kudos to Dr. Pearls Medicinal Smoke:

Their Pitmaster, Mike, sprained his ankle when loading up on Thursday.  He hobbled around on Friday and Saturday, setting up and prepping.  He finally was persuaded to go to the hospital on Saturday night.  It turned out he broke his ankle.  So, the rest of the team stepped up to the plate and picked up the slack.  The result?  A 1st place chicken entry and 6th overall.  I have never heard a roar so loud when they got the first place call for the chicken.  It was also the first standing ovation I have seen for a BBQ team.  Well played sir!

Next up, Oinktoberfest in September.  We can't wait to see how that turns out for Three Dogs.

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Have you ever visited the "BBQ Turn in Box Critique" group on Facebook. You can get feedback and comment on different turn-ins. It seems that a lot of teams strive for geometrical, length, width and size equality for neat presentations. I occasionally take a look (lurker) but never comment. (Unless it is a score of 5 or less and not anymore).

    1. Chilebrown, I am sorta anti Facebook. But, I might have to check that out. Thanks.

  2. Great job Bill, congratulations! Looks like a fun weekend too!

    1. Thanks Jeanie. The competitions are very fun. I am a bit surprised that you are not part of a team on a part time basis.

  3. Just saw this!! Thank you Bill! It was a great day to win my 1st trophy!!
    Dr. Pearl's Medicinal Smoke BBQ Team

    1. Michael, I had no idea that was your first trophy. Congrats for sure! While we won a ribbon at Roc City, our pork trophy was our first as well. Can't wait to get back at it again. How is the foot?

    2. Congrats to you as well! Nor did I realize that was your 1st. I've gotten call, but really wanted some hardware. I've worked really hard this year on everything and it felt so good to finally get some recognition for my cooking and not how drunk I got! LOL Foot is coming along. Got the Boot on it and a lot of bourbon! Can limp around fairly well on it. Hopefully will heal up in a few more weeks. Be well. Happy BBQ'ing and hope to see you again soon.

    3. It's actually a broken foot. 5th meta. Jones fracture.

    4. That Hoopie that hangs with you is the drinker... Glad to see Kevin picked up his game. Not to bad for a Mountaineer...

  4. I wasn't drinking when it happened. Maybe I should have been! LOL My WVU teammate is Mark. Yes, he can drink. He was a lot of help and did some great parsley boxes for me. I still did all the cooking! My wife came sunday morning to be an extra hand, taster and another set of eyes.