Y’all know The Big Guy and I are always looking for something different to do on our weekends and today was no exception. We made our way to Mt. Airy, MD today to help judge a “Grilling Competition“. This was not a standard BBQ contest like we usually judge.
This group has received sanctioning from the Kansas City Barbeque Society for a KCBS BBQ Competition but wisely decided several months ago that they would need more planning and prep time to pull off such a huge undertaking. They will hold one this time next year, complete with all the bells and whistles and big smoker rigs. To preserve their date and create some anticipation in the community, they decided to do a Grilling Competition this year.
Grilling and barbequing are two very different actions, use different equipment and produce different products. Grilling is a process, whereby one places their raw food over a direct heat source and quickly produces a cooked food product. Barbequing, on the other hand, is a slow-cooking process using indirect heat and, usually, involving smoke as a flavoring tool. BBQ competitions involve 2 days of cooking where grillers only need a few hours.
Unfortunately, today dawned gray and damp and things got off to s subdued start. Only six cooks showed up to compete in the four categories of wings, ribs, burgers and “anything-on-a-stick”. We did have well-qualified certified judges on hand for the scoring and treated this small field of competitors just as a field of 60 would have been rated. We had some excellent samples turned in and thoroughly enjoyed judging these different categories.
Between categories we were able to watch a children’s hotdog eating contest, an adult hotdog competition and a wing eating contest. The kids made for the best watching!! The young lady that won polished off three dogs (complete with buns) and a bite of a fourth in the allotted 5 minutes! (The winner’s on the right in this pic.) Mr. Hotdog was there to award the prize!
There was one little girl who didn’t have a shot in the world as she’d nibble a little bite, chew thoroughly and then wash each bite down with a swig of water. I think she managed about a quarter of a dog - but she did seem to enjoy herself! The adults shoved much more in and, honestly, appeared ready to explode. I’m not sure how many dogs the winner ate but it was a close race.
In the wings contest, competitors vied to be first to finish off a plate of a dozen wings. The winner and the runner-up both shoved the last wing into their mouths simultaneously. To win, they had to swallow all food and show the contest judge their empty mouth. They kept the audience in suspense for what seemed like minutes while they each chewed and chewed and chewed, attempting to swallow that last bite. Finally, we had a winner! He’s the second from the left. (The guy on the left was runner-up.)
At the end of the day, the sun had finally come out, we'd had fun and enjoyed ourselves. It was a little different than the structured KCBS events but it was, all in all, a great experience.