Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 14-15 2010 Smoke in the Valley

Green Lane, PA

This was to be the second year for this event and the field was almost double in size from the inaugural contest the year before. The weatherman waffled all the preceding week on the possibility of rain or storms for Friday night. Despite a tornado warning during the cooks meeting, as well as word that a funnel cloud had been spotted nearby, all we had was a little rain and some distant lightning and thunder, not too bad at all. Apparently the BBQ gods were watching out for us this time.

The local VFD once again did a bang up job going out of their way taking care of the cooks and promised to try and improve for next years event. I have not cooked as many contests as some folks out on the circuit. I will have to say that the continental breakfast put out by the contest committee here is one of the best I’ve seen. Hot coffee, juice, fresh fruit, (including local strawberries), and a ton of HOMEMADE baked goods are just a sampling of your choices. The shoofly pie, in my humble opinion, is worth the trip by itself.

Level sites, easy in and out, helpful staff, good food, friendly people, beautiful countryside, and great springtime weather on Saturday made this weekend very enjoyable. Oh, and did I mention on-site coffee delivery. That’s right, after the initial breakfast rush, contest volunteers came around on a golf cart with fresh hot coffee and stopped at each and every site to see if you needed a cup. It is easy to see why this contest is quickly becoming a favorite for many east coast teams.

The contest was won by PA Midnight Smokers, Reserve Champion was 3 Eyz BBQ, with Dizzy Pig BBQ finishing in third. Top honors in chicken went to Max Cue. ZBQ was 1st place in ribs and PA Midnight Smokers, the contest Grand Champ, swept the pork and brisket categories. Congrats to all that walked.

The who are those guys? crew improved from their last outing finishing 8th place over all. They received 2 calls, 9th place ribs and 5th place brisket. Chicken was 18th and pork 15th. There were a total of 49 teams cooking the event. At least we are moving in the right direction.

Shawn Tucker, the contest organizer told me that he is just about to the max with 50 teams, so if you want in on this contest, you’d better get your entry fee in early next year. I know we’ll be back, and judging some of the comments from the other cooks, many of them will return as well.