Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taylor International Barbeque Cook Off

Last Saturday brought the Taylor International Barbeque Cook-Off to Taylor, Texas. It was a hot one in Central Texas, but the crowds were still out to sample and chat with their favorite cookers. The event is in Murphy Park on the north side of Taylor, and fortunately was mostly in shade. We almost didn't get the shade at this event because Taylor's mayor, Rod Hortenstine doesn't want the event in Murphy Park. Luckily he was only one of two votes against the Jaycee's using the park in a council vote back in June, otherwise attendees would have been subjected to the shade-free Taylor Regional Park in the 105 degree heat.

In addition to the 83 teams competing in 7 different meat categories, there were a few vendors including our buddy Drew with Man Up Texas BBQ.

Drew from Man-Up Texas BBQ manning the Q Card table

After turn-in, teams place samples of their 'cue out for public sampling. Many of these teams are vying for the "People's Choice" award which is a popularity contest based on how hospitable the team is, or how well their free samples are liked. This Aggie fan with Show Us Your Pits was one of those friendly cookers, but the rest of her tent seemed annoyed at our presence.

A sampling of brisket.

It's honestly a bit odd to go around from rig to rig looking for hand outs, but the Dirty Bar-B-Que team from Granger was more than accommodating. Unlike many of the teams, all of the members were engaging and happy to talk about their methods, as well as let us sample some of the best goat I've ever eaten.

"Dirty Bar-B-Que" Team from Granger, Texas

Goat from Dirty Bar-B-Que

There were a plethora of smoker designs, some were fancy while others were a bit more functional.

I has planned to judge the event, so I filled out the requisite forms months in advance. After sending them in, I got no response either way about being included, so I assumed they had enough judges. The responses I did get gave the impression that the Taylor Jaycee's were a group with transitioning leadership, so maybe I'll try next year.

In my research, I did learn that BBQ authors Paris Parmenter and John Bigley were able to judge, and this was the first research trip for them in their effort to update their Texas BBQ guidebook from 1992.

You can read a few other accounts of the competition from the Texas BBQ Posse and from Don O. If you're interested in the results, here are the 2010 winners:

Master Cook: Bevo Burners

Reserve Master: Bad Boys BBQ

Seafood: Nazarene BBQ Team

Wild game: Patin Construction 2

Poultry: Hell, I Don’t Know Either

Beef: D&K Cookers 1

Pork: Texas Pit Crew BBQ

Lamb: Bevo Burners

Goat: Aggie Cookers

Beans: Gnaw on This

Elaborate rig: S&S Pit Crew

Showmanship: Best Light Cookers

People’s Choice: Pappy and the Boys

- BBQ Snob

No comments:


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.