Growing up in Fort Worth, TX it might be by default that one learns the Pleasures of Smoking BBQ and eating it on a regular basis. One early memory is of my mom picking up Cousins Pit BBQ for the whole family. This means gallons of tea, quarts of chopped and sliced brisket, and pints of various sides. To say a BBQ joint is the best in town is easy for some people to do. I tend to weigh out the positives of all my frequented established BBQ joints. Three great stops in Fort Worth are Angelo’s, Railhead, and Cousin’s, I should also mention the new player in town Hard8. My final score on Hard8 is not tallied yet, but I can assure you that any of the others will suffice any craving.
With the tong and nose for BBQ it was just a matter of time before I stuck my foot into the Competitive Circuit. First off credit goes to my wife’s uncle Joe who got me involved in Cook-offs. Joe has been smoking BBQ for years. His wedding gift to us was a Brinkman smoker. It was from then on that I really worked hard on trying to achieve perfection.
Today I have come to accept a higher level of consistency rather than perfection in my Q. Besides everyone has a little different idea of what that might be.
My first cook-off came in 2003 at the Zops Wild Game feast. Zops always falls around Superbowl weekend and consists of 3-4 days of cooking, concerts, and camping out late with friends. There is an Open Cook-off that starts on Saturday morning and last’s practically all day. Open cook-offs usually have 4-5 categories to turn in. A pretty standard would be chili, beans, chicken, spare ribs, and random item announced weeks in advance. I’ve competed in Zops for 5 years and various other cook-offs and would highly recommend it to anyone that loves to cook and camp. Most people would be surprised to find how numerous BBQ cook-offs are around the country, just got to find them.
I am currently in the process of putting together my own Chili competition for this coming winter. That is always the best time for chili in my opinion. I will post here info when the times comes closer, and welcome all to compete and attend.