Competition BBQ season is finally here, and we are beyond ready to get #FreakWatch2018 underway!
It's been exactly 147 days since our last contest. How is it that 147 days can feel both like an eternity ... and like it was just yesterday?
Well, that's the mystery of BBQ time.
By our 25th contest last year, Smoke Freaks had gotten into a serious grove and our timing was d-o-w-n. So much of competition BBQ comes down to timing, specifically staying on a schedule so that the four meats cook to the ideal window of tenderness, allowing you to submit your best work to the judges at exactly the prescribed time.
No surprise, then, that we're driven by the clock.
The Smoke Freaks operation runs on a 3-page timeline, and it's down to the minute. Each task is categorized, then synced to our BBQ playlist. So whenever you hear "Werewolves of London" fade into some Eminem, now you know it's time for me to start working on the chicken.
Time. It's woven into every aspect of our BBQ operation...
Time wasted running around town looking for kale.
Time to motorboat the pork.
Time for my 9 a.m. cook day beer.
Time for "the 9:22" with BBQ family.
It has its claw in everything we do...
Time is your enemy when you have a 4 minute, 33 second walk to turn-in.
Time is your friend when it takes 25 minutes to build a pork box.
Time is what burns you if you change time zones but your clock doesn't.
Time is what saves you when the chicken's not quite done at 11:45.
Time. There's not a thing you can do to speed it up or slow it down. BBQ is done when it's done!
So those 147 days in the off-season were really, really weird: We had so much more time for other things. Our obsession with time started to fade. Life moved at a different pace.
Eventually, time lost some of its power.
But BBQ time is funny like that; it's almost an illusion. Because when it changes, it changes fast and sucks you right back in. You know it's BBQ time again because everything feels better. The warmth is returning. The anticipation building. BBQ is in the air!
Time. It's precious because it's limited. So, if you're going to throw yourself at this crazy thing called competition BBQ, be sure to take the time to enjoy it.
Even when the foil is hosed, your money muscle blows out, or you go home empty handed.
It will happen so let it. All in good time. #FreakON
Ann is Co-Founder and Pitmaster for Smoke Freaks. She loves being the Head Cook and and has fallen head over heels in love with Pork.