Smoke Freaks survived the brutal heat of the Effingham BBQ Jam last weekend. It was a weekend of blood, sweat and…. brisket!!
There’s nothing better than standing over a hot cooker all day, except snagging 4th place pork and 3rd place brisket! Our best brisket result EVER!!
We were happy to get our Freak Streak back on track and seriously stoked about our brisket performance. Our brisket is back, but now our chicken needs some work. Turns out we missed another Reserve Grand Championship by less than a point, due to my 19th place chicken!?!
The Effingham competition was staged on the streets around the town square, which was a pretty cool set up. We even got to turn in our meats to the judges at the Effingham county jail building!
So we're taking our first weekend off after 7 competitions in 6 weeks to enjoy the comforts of home. It does feels a little strange not to be loading up for a competition and we’ve both had BBQ nightmares about forgetting to cook a meat or bring one of the smokers.
(Oh, and you better believe that I’ll be practicing my chicken cook to get that back on track. Game on.)
If you’re in Manitowoc on August 6th and 7th, come out to Taste the Freakage!
Here are a few Freaky moments from Effingham…
We arrived at the New Palestine Wine, Brew & BBQ Too competition with a simple mission: cook our #@%&s off. Smoke Freaks rose to the occasion and snagged our first RGC, or Reserve Grand Championship!
It was a fierce battle facing 38 teams on Day 1 of the double-header, including 5 of the top 25 teams in the nation. We cooked this double-header weekend as a 2-man team, for only the second time. Much of our success that day should be attributed to our level of organization and planning, both of which we needed to lean on heavily.
When it was all said and done, I got my second-ever chicken call (9th place) and we also snagged 4th in Ribs. We couldn’t believe our ears when they called Smoke Freaks again for 4th in Pork. And we lost our minds when we were named Reserve Grand Champions!
And just like that, they wiped our names off that great big check and wrote in our friends Thunder Hog BBQ as RGC for Day 2. We, on the other hand, got totally shut out. We cooked exactly as we had the day prior, but it just wasn’t our day. Those judges scored some killer BBQ, that’s for sure.
Here are a few Freaky moments from New Palestine...
We cooked our first double-header at the Gold Ribbin' BBQ Fest at Lambeau Field this past weekend. Not only did we survive, but we kept the Smoke Freak streak alive!
From that moment on it was a constant blur of activity. A blend of focus and fun. Smoke Freaks are totally serious about serving a great product to the judges, but we're Freaks, so we like to have a good time. Take for example, our team rally cry: "Smoke Freaks. Arrrrrrrgh. Hooooooowl. SMOKE FREAKS!" (That's because we're part pirate, part wolf and 100% freak.)
So how did we do? We wrapped up Day 1 with 10th in Chicken, 14th in Ribs and 17th overall out of 66 teams. We were thrilled.
But no time to celebrate as we had to turn around and do it all over day on Day 2. Except this time we were down a Freak. Our Chicken Specialist couldn't join us so not only we were down to two Freaks, but I had to do the chicken cook on my own. No small task... just my first KCBS competition cook EVER.
Things got pretty hairy on Day 2 with that chicken cook. But we ended up with a 9th place call in Chicken, 12th in Pork and 23rd overall out of 55 teams. Yep, I got a chicken call! I couldn't believe it when they called for Smoke Freaks to come on up and get an award. I froze on stage and then was prompted to say or do something... so apparently I let out a very enthusiastic howl!!
Here a few Freaky moments in Green Bay...
Just as soon as we got back and organized from the Grillin' in Grafton contest, it's time to get loaded up and ready for the next one. We ended up with a 9th place call in Ribs and while we were happy to keep our streak alive, we weren't thrilled with our overall results.
And with no comment cards from the judges, it's hard to evaluate our performance, other than our own take on how things went. But hey, it's BBQ and we'll figure it out.
Our next competition is the Gold Ribbin' BBQ Fest in Green Bay and it's a double header, our first ever.
It's sure to be quite an experience and Smoke Freaks is ready to bring it to Green Bay! One thing's for sure, Lambeau is about to get Freaky.
So if you're in Green Bay this weekend, stop by to Taste the Freakage!
Ann is Co-Founder and Pitmaster for Smoke Freaks. She loves being the Chicken cook and has fallen head over heels in love with P❤rk.