Here is "The rest of the story" now that I am home and "chillin'"
DF and I do not agree about the finer points of a couple of things.
That is OK, cause we are Partners/Brothers and Brothers are allowed to disagree
Just so there is no confusion--we have learned our lesson and will "Kick Ass" in the Southeast in 2005--we are stronger now!
We had a great time as did our spouses and kiddos!
But, I blew it--notice I said "I", not "we"--very important in this case!
I am posting this as a "lessoned learned" for the others that may try the same gambit--
Team duties are simple--DF is Chef and I am Pit Bitch. DF selects and preps the meat--then I cook it properly (at least the StudeDera portion). We jointly do the final turn-in boxes because "2 heads are better than one". Even the wives help out with presentation--gotta love the extra eyes
When you put this in scoring terms, we are jointly responsible for "appearance", DF controls "flavor", and my job becomes "tenderness".
Simplistic, but works for a "post-mortum" on the event.
I will tell you that the taste of all 4 entries was "to die for"--Wonderfull!
As a Judge, I would have been giving "very high" if not "maximum" scores for flavor!
But, tenderness (my job) was screwed up!
As a Judge (I am human), I would be hard pressed to give high taste scores to a peice of under-cooked or over-cooked meat.
Judges- jump in and tell me if I am wrong!
My mistakes--too many to list
For example--I know the Brisket is HUGE, but have it loaded in the top of the StudeDera.
Guess what--this chokes off the exhaust
Then, I compond the error by ignoring about 20 warning signals that things are not right
It is taking "way too much fuel" to hold temp!
Air temps "don't make sense" from top to bottom!
Meat temps are not climbing as they should!
Smoke is just "wafting" from exhaust!
And "on and on and on"!
Amateur mistakes all around
In the morning we have the ribs in the lower section of the StudeDera right where they belong and on time.
I am busy "foiling" the first 100# of huge Trukey Drummies for vending.
I go to the StudeDera and the ribs are "ahead of schedule" on "pulling back" and seem to be "ahead of schedule" on cooking. Also, they are "darker" than normal- not my normal golden brown!
So, I move one slab up a couple of shelves and go beck to important stuff--like wrapping Turkey Drummies for sale
DF and I had to sort through 3 slabs of burned ribs to find a center set of ribs that "just might score" something and not be DQ'ed for being toxic
Uning imagination--we hid the buned parts, came out "kinda OK" on apperance, and "tubed" texture--rightly so in my opinion!
I could go on and on--but the StudeDera, under "my watch" produced crap--simple!
I have had lots of time to reflect--it is a 6 hour drive to DF's plus all the intervening hours to "ponder"!
"Vending" is a distraction at our level of experience on the circuit! Plain and simple!
I was trying to protect our investment in "vending" and lost track of our primary mission of "competing"
I I/we had focused on quality product--we would have been "top 5" or better, cause we can do that! And that is all meats- not just the Chicken!
Even with the field we faced, our stuff is good!
So, we learned our lesson!
We must get sponsors lined up (large and small) for the 2005 campaign and I have lots of new ideas to try!
We will succeed--just gotta find some $!
Just my thoughts--
ps- I just tried to add a couple of pic and got the "Sorry, you have reached your maximum....". I will figure that out later and post a couple of pics!