It's taken me a while to recover from last weekend. Hoover's Third Annual Barbecue Contest was another success. The number of entrants and people attending increased and the weather co-operated fantastically. There were something like 9 people up for Ribs and about as many for the "Anything But" category.
I packed up the Weber two coolers of beer, cokes, ribs, and melons and set up shop in the side yard late Saturday morning. Three guys who compete on the BBQ circuit were already cooking on some really impressive smokers. My cooking method was very much similar to the one I've tried in the past. This time the big change was that I added about 1/8 cup Cattleman's sauce to the cider and rub before placing the marinade on the grill to warm it up. This turned out pretty nicely. The taste of the ribs turned out quite well. The problem was the texture. My ribs were chewy. Eaten individually I think they would have stood up to the competition much better. However, the rules state that the ribs must be served in pairs. They were not easily separated.
My presentation was unique. I mentioned the melons earlier. I also used a bunch of cilantro to add some green. I don't believe that it survived transportation very well, nor was it as appetizing as I had hoped. I was really impressed by the presentations I saw from the guys on the circuit- pillowy billowing lettuce gently held the ribs in place. Really nice stuff.
The dogs have come out winners in all of this of course. They have been taking care of the bones. I still have four ribs left to finish off. I think those will be lunch tomorrow. I really am happy with the way they taste. Next year with a little more practice I should perform even better.
I learned that I placed second from last. A step up from last year when I turned in ribs that needed to finish cooking. Ew. I was relatively pleased with the outcome. The competition was more sophisticated and practiced. I am sure that next year will be even more difficult. I am looking forward to it.
Thanks Hoover- great job. You and your wife hosted a heck of a party.