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takeahike66

11/09/07 Southwestern International BBQ Cookoff

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Abeach2bum    0

All,

 

We went, we saw, we consumed, and we waddled back to the car.......

 

The event was held at a tourist attraction on the southern border of Phoenix, on the Gila River Indian Reservation, called Rawhide. It is a mock western town that used to be up in north Scottsdale until it was moved down here two years ago. The main street is lined with small shops, cafe's, gunslinger shows, etc. After walking the entire length of the town (by design, I'm sure), you finally get to the special events area. Entrance to Rawhide itself is free, but to get in the BBQ cookoff area required some extra green - $15 at the door, or if you had the foresight to stop by a QuickTrip store ahead of time (which I did), it was $10. And these tickets were "per day" for a three day event - you could spend some serious cash if you wanted to attend the whole thing.

 

Once in the event's area, there was a large (200 x 600') permanent tent with some vendor stuff - mostly junk. Budweiser had a huge bar set up with big screen tv's and college games on. Then there is a 5 acre section of grass and lots of acres of gravel. We got there at 11:30am and we found out that was too early. There really wasn't any published schedule of the BBQ events so we had to ask some of the teams what was going on. They had to have their food to the judges by 1:00 pm, and then you could start tasting their creations around 2pm - for a price. You had to go back to the entrance and purchase tickets for $2 each that entitled you to one sample per ticket. Some teams were cool and would give you a rib, a couple of medallions of brisket, a chunk of chicken, and a scoop of pulled pork. Others would just give you one of the above. We bought 10 tickets and struggled to choke down the last two. I remember going to chili contests and it's amazing how full you get eating out of tiny cups - this was the same way.

 

The event was sponsored by Budweiser and DeWalt - don't think there is one picture that doesn't have the word DeWalt in it! Bud brought a Clydesdale to the event and just walked him up and down the aisles of the teams. I have never been up close and personal with a Clydesdale - that is one Big Ass horse! His handler was taller than me - probably about 6'-4" and that horse is way bigger than him!

 

It was kind of hard to take pictures of the rigs and the associated food, as everyone was scrambling to get their food done. And then I started eating - holding food, a beer, and the camera just wasn't working out :)

 

All in all, we had a good time and I'm glad we went. Was a little warm - shade temp was about 85, but well over 100 in the sun. Beer was $4 a bottle which is probably half of what I will pay tomorrow at the Lions/Cardinals game!

 

[attachm

ent=2412:q4.JPG]

 

[attachm

ent=2417:q9.JPG]

 

 

Hope I gave enough info - never have been to one of these before. I think iwill volunteer to be a judge next year!

 

beach

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shelly    0

Scott, thanks for the coverage and sharing your good times with us.

 

Those competition bbq rigs are big like the Clydsdale horse!

 

I've only seen them (the big bbq rigs, not the horses) on tv show coverage of bbq events.I love the ones that have the racks moving throught he cooking chamber like a carousel rotisserie. But cleanup looks like more work than I would ever want to get into.

 

But if you're gonna compete with the big boys, it takes big equipment.

 

Did you get to sample any foods from the winners?

 

Shelly

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takeahike66    0
All,

 

We went, we saw, we consumed, and we waddled back to the car.......

 

The event was held at a tourist attraction on the southern border of Phoenix, on the Gila River Indian Reservation, called Rawhide. It is a mock western town that used to be up in north Scottsdale until it was moved down here two years ago. The main street is lined with small shops, cafe's, gunslinger shows, etc. After walking the entire length of the town (by design, I'm sure), you finally get to the special events area. Entrance to Rawhide itself is free, but to get in the BBQ cookoff area required some extra green - $15 at the door, or if you had the foresight to stop by a QuickTrip store ahead of time (which I did), it was $10. And these tickets were "per day" for a three day event - you could spend some serious cash if you wanted to attend the whole thing.

 

Once in the event's area, there was a large (200 x 600') permanent tent with some vendor stuff - mostly junk. Budweiser had a huge bar set up with big screen tv's and college games on. Then there is a 5 acre section of grass and lots of acres of gravel. We got there at 11:30am and we found out that was too early. There really wasn't any published schedule of the BBQ events so we had to ask some of the teams what was going on. They had to have their food to the judges by 1:00 pm, and then you could start tasting their creations around 2pm - for a price. You had to go back to the entrance and purchase tickets for $2 each that entitled you to one sample per ticket. Some teams were cool and would give you a rib, a couple of medallions of brisket, a chunk of chicken, and a scoop of pulled pork. Others would just give you one of the above. We bought 10 tickets and struggled to choke down the last two. I remember going to chili contests and it's amazing how full you get eating out of tiny cups - this was the same way.

 

The event was sponsored by Budweiser and DeWalt - don't think there is one picture that doesn't have the word DeWalt in it! Bud brought a Clydesdale to the event and just walked him up and down the aisles of the teams. I have never been up close and personal with a Clydesdale - that is one Big Ass horse! His handler was taller than me - probably about 6'-4" and that horse is way bigger than him!

 

It was kind of hard to take pictures of the rigs and the associated food, as everyone was scrambling to get their food done. And then I started eating - holding food, a beer, and the camera just wasn't working out :)

 

All in all, we had a good time and I'm glad we went. Was a little warm - shade temp was about 85, but well over 100 in the sun. Beer was $4 a bottle which is probably half of what I will pay tomorrow at the Lions/Cardinals game!

 

[attachm

ent=2412:q4.JPG]

 

[attachm

ent=2417:q9.JPG]

 

 

Hope I gave enough info - never have been to one of these before. I think iwill volunteer to be a judge next year!

 

beach

 

Thanks for the report and photos, Guess I'm just going to have to look for one to attend next year.

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cuskit    0

Beach,

 

That looked to be one serious show! Though the horse looked to be big enough to steal the starlight, I think the red table with the rib racks is the clincher for me! Darn, I sure wish we had even a scaled down version of one of those competitions around here! Your photos were great, thanks for taking the time and effort to share your day with us!

 

Mike

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Abeach2bum    0

Shelly, Hike, Cuskit Mike,

 

Yes it was a rather large event - somewhere between 40 and 50 teams competing. Obviously I could not taste them all. Not sure if I tasted anything from a winning team or not. They did not announce the winners until around 5 pm - after the sun, food, and beer we were done and left around 3:30. The rigs were awesome - the one with the red table had several trophies on display - QN4U was their name and were from CA. You were allowed one people's choice vote and I gave it to them. Their ribs and brisket were fantastic. I also liked their smoker - complete with the Peterbuilt chrome exhaust tips on the top vent stacks!

 

One thing that surprised me was that there was less than a handful of just vendors (non-compete) like Don S. does. And they actually sold more traditional fare - hot dogs. burgers, fries, etc. So, you had to do the sample routine to get the good Q. It was a great time and will keep my eye out for these competitions. They certainly ran the gammit, from two small Brinkman vertical water smokers, BGE's (one team had 4 large ones), and up to the triple axle, tricked out chrome pit trailers pulled by their $500k motorhomes! Looks like it could a very expensive hobby...

 

Scott

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cuskit    0
Shelly, Hike, Cuskit Mike,

 

Yes it was a rather large event - somewhere between 40 and 50 teams competing. Obviously I could not taste them all. Not sure if I tasted anything from a winning team or not. They did not announce the winners until around 5 pm - after the sun, food, and beer we were done and left around 3:30. The rigs were awesome - the one with the red table had several trophies on display - QN4U was their name and were from CA. You were allowed one people's choice vote and I gave it to them. Their ribs and brisket were fantastic. I also liked their smoker - complete with the Peterbuilt chrome exhaust tips on the top vent stacks!

 

One thing that surprised me was that there was less than a handful of just vendors (non-compete) like Don S. does. And they actually sold more traditional fare - hot dogs. burgers, fries, etc. So, you had to do the sample routine to get the good Q. It was a great time and will keep my eye out for these competitions. They certainly ran the gammit, from two small Brinkman vertical water smokers, BGE's (one team had 4 large ones), and up to the triple axle, tricked out chrome pit trailers pulled by their $500k motorhomes! Looks like it could a very expensive hobby...

 

Scott

Beach,

 

I am really amazed by those rigs! Do you have any more photos you can post?

 

What was the most popular rib style: just dry rubbed or with bbq sauce? Were they all "falling off the bone"? I wondered if they precook the meat, and just finish it off at the show, or are they set up a day or two before to start the long cooking required for this stuff?

 

Again, lots of thanks for posting this, these shows really intrigue me - to the point that I'd like to make plans and travel out to one or two as part of a vacation trip next year - I'm not sure how to plan a vacation, last one we had was 1984, Bar Harbor Maine for fifteen days! ;) Ever since then I've been staying home mostly working on our new countertops! Hee hee hah hah! Feeling silly all of a sudden! :)

 

Mike

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