Saturday, November 27, 2010
I know it is a little late, but I am finally getting around to writing about our trip to Shelby, NC. Hog Happenin contest.
The trip started out on Wed nite around 11 pm, we hit the road. I was expecting to arrive down in NC sometime around 12 - 1 PM on Thur. We got there around 1:30ish, not too bad considering it rained pretty much from the time we got into PA until we pulled into the BJ's parking lot in Mooresville NC (The town that Dale Earnhardt JR lives in - right Shaune...LOL). We got all of our supplies, oh and by the way Yeungling was only $15/case and PBR $13/case Yeeeee Haaaaa!!!, and headed into Shelby to drop off our stuff and set up the site.
The contest is held at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. They have all the teams (82 of them) set up around, and inside this oval track, the sites were very large, big enough for an RV if you had one. We had reserved a site on the outside ring, and we had a spot right next to Smoke on Wheels (Andy & Rob), I don't think that they will be the same after the Al experience. We got all set up, and headed to the hotel which was only about 2 miles down the road (Awesome). We ended up going to a BBQ place for dinner (when in Rome) called Big E's BBQ, we got there about 20 min before they were closing so we had to decide real quick what we wanted to eat, for me it was a no brainer, I love pulled pork. So, I got the LARGE pork dinner with and homemade mac n cheese and hand cut fries, which also came with hush puppies (deep fried corn bread balls) that's what I talking about. If you are ever down that way you have to check out Big E's.
Saturday we get back to the site and start getting everything prepped and ready to go. Saturday was a lot of fun, we walk around and met some of the teams. One team that was real fun to hang with was Carolina Backyard BBQ (Jesse & Mike), After meeting Jesse for about 3 min Jesse says "hey, you guys want a drink?" I new right then we would get a long just fine, they even fed us dinner that night too, fillet Mignon with baked potato, Delicious!!!! Later on that night Shaune played in a corn hole (not what you think) tournament with our new found friends, unfortunately they got knocked out in the first round.
It got pretty cold during the night on Sat in to Sun (35F-40F), I am just glad I brought the propane heater, we had all the sides up on our 10 x 20 EZup. We got the temp up to about 85 degrees on the low setting....that was Awesome.....all we had to do was set up the air mattresses and we were good to go.
We got the Butts and brisket on the cookers about midnight, and got up every couple of hours just make sure things were going as planned. Everything was going good until I decided to look at how much charcoal was left in the smoker (at about 7AM) that's when I started to panic, the charcoal was nearly out. So, as you can imagine I started scrambling around to get some more charcoal going, after about an hour things were back to normal (thankfully!!), it actually work out kind of good because the Butts and Brisket we going to be done too soon. Everything else went on the cooker as scheduled.
We turned in all of our entries in on time, and we were very pleased with how everthing came out, Although I am pretty sure I turned in the wrong side of the brisket. After the box left I continued slicing the rest of it and notice how much more juicy it was compared to what I had turned in the (I was kind of mad but what can you do). Everything had great flavor and was tender and juicy, very very happy with everything.
We ended up 29th overall out of 82 teams, not to bad considering this was our first time cooking a new program. 12th in pork, 16 in chicken, 40th in ribs, 55th in brisket, and 6th in sauce.