It was not the weekend we were hoping for at the Fire Ant Barbecue Festival 2018. Unable to get a call for our barbecue pork, loin, or ribs, we finished 24 out of 42 teams competing.
This was our first competition with our new Stump Smoker. The new gravity-fed smoker worked great and kept a consistent temperature for over 14 hours straight. However, our timing was a bit off.
We felt our loin was the most tender entry we have ever submitted; even scoring as the best on the table by one judge, and second-best by two other judges; however, it could not compete with Rescue Smokers first place loin. We finished 17th.
Our pork butt was not as flavorful as past competitions but still looked impressive with a thick smoke ring. Unfortunately, almost half our fellow Georgia Barbecue Association teams were better than us – as we finished 20th.
Despite our Grand Championship ribs in Woodstock, we finished 35th at Fire Ant. We tried a different meat supplier and knew our ribs were not as tender.
New Product Sponsors
We are so grateful for Dixie Crystals and BBQ Guru for their support. Both came in very handy this weekend.
Along with the generous donation by D.C. Webster, to help us acquire our Stump Smoker…we could not have competed with your support.
Check out Doug’s pitch for the Cyber Q Cloud.
Fire Ant Barbecue Festival Site
This was probably one of my favorite competition venues.
Cook teams were pre-assigned spaces, which were clearly marked and were easily accessible upon our arrival. (Thank you Robby Royal)
Located on the local high school property, the festival area was spacious, which led to very little congestion, especially during turn-in times.
One of the largest crowds at an awards ceremony witnessed hometown team, Rescue Smokers take Reserve Grand Champion. Then, it was back-to-back victories for Captain Jack’s Freedom BBQ, for Grand Champion.
Catch the broadcast of the awards ceremony HERE!
As a cook team, I very much appreciated the music and entertainment were halted for the announcement of the BBQ Cook-Off winners.
Despite our disappointing finish, we thoroughly enjoyed the reunion with our barbecue family. Smokin J’s Barbeque will return to the Fire Ant Festival in 2019.
And look out fellow cook teams – we will be back in full force at the BBQ & Brews Cartersville event!