The second competition was forty miles outside of Prosser, Washington at McKinley Springs Winery. The competition was part of a benefit for Veterans. In order for a competition to be a qualifier for larger competitions (like the American Royal) there needs to be atleast 25 teams. Our team volunteered to split in order to make 25 teams, so Jeff and I made up Sibling Revelry and Dad and his friend cooked as Rub Em' Raw.
We quickly learned that competition is a lot of work but more fun than we could have imagined.
A typical schedule for a competition starts in the late afternoon the first night. After setting up camp for a couple of hours, officials come by to inspect your meat, fire extinguisher, and washing stations to make sure you don't kill the judges and then the prep starts. In the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association (PNWBA), the turn in order is pork, brisket, chicken, and then ribs. So naturally the first thing to be prepped is the pork followed by the brisket. At around 11 or 12 at night, the pork and brisket go on the smoker. You would think that one could get some sleep at that point, but it never happens. The next thing to be prepped is the ribs as they take about four hours to cook. We start that around 7 AM on the second day. The first turn in is at 11 AM and the last is 2 PM. We usually clean up a bit until the awards ceremony at around 5 or 6 and then we take down the camp and try to stay awake on the drive home. Ask any pitmaster if he/she regrets any of it . . .
We were very excited to have placed 13th overall and got 5th place ribs. The most fun I have ever had . . . until Coeur d'Alene.