We always get a little uncomfortable whenever we take time off of the competition BBQ trail. Sure, the extra time is nice, but we start to get antsy and ask ourselves, “just what have we done lately?” Well that moment started to present itself as I sat down to write this blog post. Turns out, we did quite a lot.
First we watched two of our friends get drawn for The Jack! The Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ Invitational contest is the Superbowl of BBQ and at the very top of every pro team’s list of dreams.
Teams make The Jack either with an automatic entry (such as by winning 7 Grand Championships at qualifying events) or by being lucky enough to have their “bung” (barrel stopper) drawn.
Last Friday was “Draw Day” and Smoke Freaks was stoked to see that two of our friends got in! We’re so proud of our friends Bill (Thunder Hog BBQ) and Mark (Smokin Aces at thebbqsuperstore.com) who are headed to Lynchburg in October. Wishing you all the best!
We think our friend Mark from Smokin Aces at thebbqsuperstore.com said it best:
"A journey that began in 2009 with my good friend Scott.... Since that journey began I had 1 goal, to make The Jack. Well after almost 175 contests, 15 Reserve Grand Champions and 8 Grand Champions, tens of thousands of miles and dollars spent chasing a dream, that dream finally came true!"
(The Jack. One of our goals for Smoke Freaks in 2017.)
And then we started a business. Smoke Freaks, LLC. It's real. We're going to make something of Smoke Freaks. We're on our way with several business paths that we're working on.
Coincidentally, our business became official on the 39th anniversary of Elvis’ passing. And so, I leave you with an Elvis quote that sums up our drive to build Smoke Freaks into something that matters.
"You only pass through this life once, you don't come back for an encore."
Stay tuned for our next freaky chapter of Smoke Freaks...
It was a glorious weekend with absolutely perfect BBQ weather. Highs in the 70s with clear skies and sunshine. And no rain!! After a long drive, we pulled up at a local campground for a quick overnight before arriving at the Manitowoc County Expo and Fairgrounds on Friday monrning.
With 26 other teams competing, we got to see old friends and make new ones. We even slipped away on Friday night to catch a few races at the Speedway, which was right next to the competition area.
Saturday got off to a great start, thanks our wake up song, Werewolves of London…
... and a killer biscuits and gravy breakfast from Tim’s Full Belli Deli!
Saturday’s cook went really well and we had many laughs (and howls) throughout the day, including many at the awards ceremony. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment we got 2nd place in chicken, our best chicken score to date. I was beaming with pride over that that chicken score, which combined with 5th in ribs and 4th in brisket was good enough for 4th overall!
But no rest for the weary as we had to do it all over again on Sunday. Another beautiful day and man, Smoke Freaks were totally in synch and our cook followed our timeline almost to the minute. We scored 7th in chicken, 3rd in ribs and 5th in pork, giving us another 4th overall! (We missed 3rd overall by .6 points!)
We were thrilled with our consistency over the last few competitions, but now need to get all 4 meats scoring well within the same cook.
Thanks for reading our blog for a little Taste of the Freakage!
Smoke Freaks took last weekend off for some much needed R&R at home. It was our first weekend off after 7 contests in 6 weeks and we didn’t really appreciate just how much we needed that recharger.
Of course we were busy during our week off. Lots of time with our nieces and nephews mixed in with everyday life stuff that can get away from you when you’re so busy: oil changes, cleaning and laundry! We even picked our first beets from the garden!
It was a nice week… but… we didn’t expect to be haunted by BBQ the entire time. BBQ was always there, always on our minds and even taking over our dreams. Lots of BBQ dreams. Most of them were BBQ nightmares, which was too damn freaky for us:
We’re ready to shake that mojo off and hit the road for the Badger Brew & Que this weekend. We’ll be in Manitowoc, WI for another double-header and lots of freakiness.
If you’re in Manitowoc on 8/6 and 8/7, 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.