I got back last night from judging at the Smokinâ€™ In The Park BBQ Championship. It was my first time judging and I had a blast. It was well worth the 6 hour commute to and from the Viejas Outlets in Alpine. There was great weather, great BBQ and a beer gardenâ€¦ what more could a BBQ judge want? The event was well organized with much props going out to the California BBQ Association for doing it.
Judging was only half the fun, mingling with fellow BBQ fanatics is the other. Everyone was sharing stories. It seems that judging is the gateway to competing. Many competitors also judgeâ€¦ it offers them familiarity with what judges are looking for. I did happen to run into people that I had met when I took my judging class in August. There were a few that were there to judge their first BBQ competition as well.
Chicken, ribs, pork and brisket were the four categories that we were judging. The BBQ teams could enter any or all categories, but to win grand champion they would have to score well in all four. You really must try to attend one of these events just to see the BBQ rigs. I will keep you posted of when the next event will be and if there will be any judging classes coming up. I know that I must be sounding like a BBQ geek right now, so I will stop.
Some teams use the WSM along with their larger pits
This team had a few pits and a grill in the back.
This is a serious BBQ pit.
A BBQ trailer
BBQ samples were being sold to raise funds for a children’s charity.