View Full Version : Our Pine Bluff Weekend (long)

09-17-2007, 10:25 AM
Although a little out of range, some of my fellow judges talked me into judging Pine Bluff this past weekend. First let me say that the Cates family did an AWESOME job with this contest. I don't know about the competitors but the judges were pampered. Very nice goodie bag and a top notch judging facility with an awesome view of the lake. They even put Rach to work as a "do"-bee. That means a volunteer for whatever they need you to "do" :lol: . Most importantly, she went to a competition with me and now she's got the bug too. This, my brothers, is a good thing.

Another first happened this weekend. For the first time in 5 years of being a brethren, I finally met some of my brethren (and sistren). Got to meet Bubba (and his wife and mom) and Jeff (and his wife) from Bubba and Jeff's BBQ, Pat from Sweet Chipotle BBQ and Mark and Becky from Great Grills. The wife and I truly enjoyed meeting ya'll Friday night and then sitting with you Saturday afternoon while you got your calls. It was especially exciting to see Bubba and Jeff's faces when they got that 7th place overall. Considering the teams you were up against, that was pretty awesome. And as far as the trash cans go, say what you will, but it's more about the cook than the cooker. And from what I tasted Sat afternoon, you fellas know how to cook. You know what summed that afternoon up though? When that guy across the way came over to look at the trash cans and commented about his great big smoker and stainless kitchen and how ya'll still whipped his a$$. Man, that had to feel good. Pat, that's a heckuva rig you got there. Thanks for the tour. I'm looking forward to one of those cinnamon rolls one day. And while I didn't get to stop by and wish all of you good luck Saturday morning you all had my best wishes. Thanks to all of you there for taking us in and treating us like family. You make me proud to call you brethren and I truly hope to repay the favor one day.

As far as the judging goes, there were 120 teams (so I heard), 134 judges and only 10 uncertified judges. I have to hand it to the reps though, we spent 30 minutes mixing and matching to make sure there were no more than one uncertified judge or newbie judge sitting at a table. Judges with less than 5 comps and Master judges were also dispersed. I saw this done down in Ashland too and think it is a truly good thing to make it as fair as possible. I sampled lots of good que and a lot of average stuff too. In each category, I had the full spectrum of underdone to overdone and then those in between that did really well. Only one truly blew my socks off and it was a pork turn-in. I'm going to try and give you a visual so bear with me. Small bitesize chunks with and without bark going diagonally with slices on each corner and just a slight glaze on it all. Nothing rude, just enough to make it look fresh off the smoker and make you really want to taste it. Now, how'd they fit all that into one box? These had to be supersize turn-in boxes and the teams were filling them up that's for sure. If I said I handled a brisket box that weighed 10#, I wouldn't be far from the truth.

All in all, it was a good time. The weather was awesome and actually a little chilly at times......but great cooking weather. The only complaint I heard while I was there was the fireants but hey, that's nature. At least until you get bit/stung by one of the dang things.

Definately looking forward to next year.

09-17-2007, 11:24 AM
Sounds like a good time had by all. Except for the ants.

09-17-2007, 11:57 AM
It was nice meeting you guys too. Yes we were suprised to finish were we did considering that field of teams. We will be back next year one of the best contests that we have done so far.