Sunday, February 12, 2012

Georgia BBQ Championship Throw Down - Young Harris, GA

Our BBQ competition season ends in October and begins in April... that's 5 months of waiting, a lifetime when you are as caught up in this thing as I am! I'm always on the look out for some reason to fire up the cooker during the down time. This year I found one. January 27 - 28, 13 1/2 hours away in Young Harris, Georgia at the Brasstown Valley Resort Lodge was a small competition. Only 25 teams... Let the 2012 season begin!

The entry fee, a cheap $199.00, also granted us seats at the Georgia BBQ Championship Awards Banquet. The opportunity to meet these great GA teams and even compete against some was more than sufficient reason to attend.

We started our trip to Brasstown on Thursday morning and headed straight for Lexington, NC. And about dinner time pulled into The Lexington BBQ...

After a nice chopped pork dinner, we drove about 2 more hours into Ashville and crashed for the night, finishing our trip to Young Harris Friday morning.

The Brasstown Resort is in the North Georgia Mountains and it was a very scenic drive.

We saw many of these as we drove up and down those mountain roads. With a summit elevation of 4,784 feet Brasstown Bald is the highest point in the state of Georgia.

We finally pulled into Brasstown Friday early afternoon and set up our BBQ site, it was a pleasant 58 degs and beautiful! The turn-in times were shifted for this competition, instead of the chicken being do at 12, it was do at 3pm. This was in case the weather was unbearably cold. This gave more time to enjoy the offerings of the hospitality cabin, and yes, shine was available... this was Georgia after all. It was good!

At about 2am, after 3 hrs. sleep, I stumbled out to start the cooker only to find it covered in frost... it was 20 degs! It took a while to get her up to temp., big meats went on around 3:20am.


Chicken finished 16th out of 24 with a score of 161.1248. I used a new sauce and was very happy with flavor, will tweak cooking methods for the next competition.

Ribs have been my best category and they got us an 8th place call in southern territory! This make 6 consecutive contests with a top ten rib finish. They scored 165.7144.   
Pork came in a miserable 22nd with a score of 153.7140. We really thought this was some of the best pork we have made, from the presentation to the taste. Not quite sure what happened.
The brisket finished 20th with a score of 151.4284. It looked great and the flavor was right on. Unfortunately it needed another 45 minutes to an hour to come to that perfect tenderness, I'm not surprised with the finish.
Overall we finished 19th out of 24 teams with a score of 631.9996, not a great showing. But hearing our name called in that banquet, among some the best teams in the country, made it a success in my mind! We got to meet and compete against some great teams, Bub-ba-Q, Rescue Smokers, South Pork, Killer B's BBQ, and Jacks New South. It was a well organized event thanks to big Jim Stancil of Bareknuckles BBQ and Bobby Brumley of Brasstown Resort! We look forward to our next trip out to Georgia, maybe in November at The National BBQ Cup in Cummings, GA, we'll see how things go.

View from Resort
The long road home...

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