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Monday, June 16, 2014

Cross Boarder Blues, Brews, and Ques - Wilson, NY

This past weekend, the Three Dogs BBQ traveling road show loaded up the trailer and hit the road for Wilson, NY to take part in the KCBS competition at the Cross Boarder Blues, Brews, and Ques Festival.  As seems to be tradition, the weekend got off to a rainy start.  Just as we pulled in, it started pouring.

But, the rain stopped after about 30 minutes and we didn't get a drop the rest of the weekend.  It was beautiful, but a bit chilly from time to time.  Perfect weather for slaving over a hot smoker.

As always, we made some new friends and caught up with some old ones.  Shelly Frisch, Pitmaster from Desparados BBQ was our next door neighbor.  As you can tell from the picture, she was always hard at work tending to her pit.  Thanks for the Fireball Shelly.  Bring more the next time around!

I do question her choice of beer.  But she insists that it migrated from another team...

On to the results, shall we?

Chicken is always our best category.  Well, we are happy to report a bit of a breakthrough this weekend.

After a minor tweak to the recipe, this beautiful box of legs and breast slices scored us a 173.7144 and second place overall out of 47 teams.  We missed first place by a mere 0.022 points.  We decided to experiment with boneless breast.  If it was good it would go in the box.  If not, it would be lunch.  Well, we liked the breast.  It was tender and juicy and looked great.  But, did it work?

One judge loved the legs, but said the breast was dry, scoring us a 7.  The other five judges seemed to like it.  Did the breast help with the other five judges and hurt with the sixth?  Who knows.  We will be adding breast again.

After a strong start to the season, our ribs are hurting us again.  We scored a 157.6800, good for 30th. I just can't seem to find consistency with our rib cooks.  I am considering a switch to baby backs.  Also, based on the comment card, we appear to be too sweet.  Too sweet of a rib on the KCBS circuit.  Is that possible?  Maybe we need to take the extra sugar out.  There is some R&D work in our near future.

I did not know earlier in the season that the pork rules had changed.  Unlike in the past, you can put your meat back in the smoker after cooking and then separating.  So, we practiced a bit and it payed off for us.  This box scored a 162.8000 and 21st out of 47.  I can live with that score moving forward.  Just some minor tweaks needed here.

Brisket has come back to be an issue.  This one was a bit over cooked, therefore the larger slices to help out with texture.  This box was good for 157.7372 and 23rd place.  I need to do a bit more research to come up with a more consistent product.

Where to start with kudos?  Well, Frank and Carol Tutzauer, our event organizers deserve a big round of applause.  Carol's breakfast on Saturday rocked!  Sliced pork loin in Cajun style gravy, served over grits.  That was a stick to your ribs breakfast.  No swag bag?

No worries.  Free growlers and a free fill from Woodcock Brothers Brewing awaited us.  Keep up the good work guys.

Our good friend Che Baird from Taurus BBQ scored a first place in ribs.  Congrats and good work.  I still say that your substitute Don cooked the ribs.  Just saying.

When you get a comment card like that, you are doing something right.

Next, congrats go out to our Grand Champions, Spittin Feathers BBQ.  I've known Tim for years as a fellow Stump owner.  You couldn't meet a nicer guy.  Good work my friend, you deserve this one.

Congrats also go out to John Thomson with Team Eatapedia, our Reserve Grand Champion and our foil in the chicken category.  Well played.  Maybe we can find the 0.022 points the next time.

We have a bit of a break now.  Next up is the Hudson Valley Ribfest in August.  Some well deserved time off for Three Dogs BBQ to rest and recuperate.  Maybe even a little bit of R&D as well.

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Great Job Bill and Hope! Glad to see you made it safely back to your site (via escort) Saturday night!


    1. Thanks Che. I remember everything for the most part. Shortsville Smokers and that Apple Pie Shine. It sneaks up on you. See you at Warren.

  2. Brisket Appearance 7 Uneven pieces and stacking of slices. Burnt ends look over charred with char unevenly over slices. Garnish is sloppy and uneven. (It may me a meat contest but it is what it is)

    1. Agreed with the meat comments. Not our best brisket entry. I think the garnish is ok though. Where do you see the issues?

  3. I guess it is really from the uneven pieces of meat. Box Geometry should be clean and crisp. Straight lines and uniformity. Sad but true.

  4. After further though, garnish can add height to the box. This gives the appearance of a fuller box. The fuller box seems to be more inviting and comforting.

    1. The brisket was not our best try this weekend. When I went to slice, it was overdone a bit. So, that meant larger slices to keep it from crumbling on the edges. We could raise the garnish a bit and probably will. I try and keep it lower on the ribs so they fit in the box without smudging. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Hey Bill, Great meeting you and Hope this past weekend, certainly hope to see you on the trial soon! FIREBALL!!

    1. Hello Dave. Great meeting you and Pat as well. Strangely enough, we ended up with a bottle of the Fireball. Shelly is evil...

  6. great work, Bill!

  7. Thanks Gus. Slowly moving on up...