|Volume 6, Issue 9||
Local team delivers award-winning barbecue
|Brisket ready to turn in. Identical clamshell boxes have coded labels so judges can't tell who cooked what. The "burnt ends" of the brisket are a delicacy that gives our team its name.|
After three years of judging, which can involve tasting and grading dozens of meats during a contest, John & Laura took to the circuit, competing in about five events a year.
The contest at the State Fair began on Saturday with the Special Categories of sausage, chicken wings and steak. While the teams were getting those items cooked, they were also preparing their Competition Meats entries of beef brisket, pork butt, pork ribs and chicken. These are the standard four meats that nearly every contest requires. The “low and slow” cooking process turns these normally tough cuts into tender and flavorful delicacies.
Teams slept at the fairgrounds in tents and vans as their meat slow-cooked overnight. Early on Sunday the pressure was on. Each meat had a separate “turn-in” time beginning at 11 am with the pork butt and ending at 2 with ribs. It can be tense during the time leading up to turn-in since all the teams must reach the judges’ tent with their entries no more than five minutes before or after turn-in or face disqualification.
|Tired but happy "Burnt Ends" Laura & John Roberts with their sous chef Carol accept the fifth place ribbon for their brisket|
After the final turn-in there was time to relax (except for the cleanup chores) while the judges tallied scores and the results were turned in to the State Fair office, which manages the prize money. Sponsors donated $21,000 dollars in prize money this year, with $5000 going to the overall champion team!
More information about the Northwest Barbecue Association is at pnwba.com. Plan to come to the Cider Festival for great barbecue, bluegrass music and of course, fresh apple cider to wash it down!
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12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229