May 20-21, 2011 — Delight, AR.
SWABA (Southwest Arkansas Barbeque Association) has one of the best locations for a BBQ contest! Considering that this contest has been in a muddy (cause it always rains) hay field in the past, the gravel lot of the Old Feed Mill is great. Plus, there’s indoor plumbing in the judging area and a dish-washing sink with lots of hot water.
Eighteen teams were there from Arkansas and Texas.
This is an IBCA sanctioned event. We cooked 1/2 chickens, pork spare ribs, brisket and pinto beans. There’s no garnish, only a sheet of foil that goes in the bottom of the box.
It was a rough cook weatherwise. I’d loaded the pellet hopper up, fed the pellets through the auger so that all I had to do to start cooking was light the firestarter and turn it on. It rained HARD! Even though there was a water-proof cover over the hopper, pellets got wet. The motor just groaned when I turned it on. At midnight, I was sure I’d be going home with a cooler of seasoned meat and a cooker that wouldn’t cook.
Early Saturday morning, I pulled my spare motor out and decided to replace it (not even thinking that there’s pellet-crete in the cooker). Emptied the hopper out and found the mess in the bottom. My neighbor, Russell with Just Add Sauce was lighting the fire in his Stumps with a weed burner. I begged for help. The weedburner was just the thing to start the pellet mass in the auger burning enough to start it moving. There’s no thermostat or electronics in the auger that could be damaged by fire in the pellet-fire system installed in the Jambo.
I was cooking at 5 am! Did the best I could with what came out of the cooker. Got a 9th in chicken, 3rd in ribs and 3rd in brisket, which made BBQr’s Delight RGC!