|The Taste of Grand Rapids 2006 Pictures
Photos from our first competition!
July 14-15, 2006
|We're getting better about this whole
competition thing. We actually drove up to Grand Rapids, the
farthest we've gone for a comp so far, on Thursday night instead of
killing ourselves on Friday. We arrived around 8:00 and got our
pick of sites. We chose a site with morning shade, as that was
about the best we could expect. If I'd known the site better, I'd
have opted to pay more for a site with afternoon shade, but it worked
|We had a better
setup for getting there and home, too... A closed trailer and trailered
|As the day progressed, there were more
and more teams set up. It was a nice site overall, other than
some issues with the contracted services. It was HOT, but not as
humid as it could have been.
|Mark pulled up with
the new trailer. Not as big as a lot of the rigs there, it was
still a great size for what we needed, and so much nicer than a bunch
|We had a nice setup for prepping,
though we still need to make taller tables. With only one smoker,
we could spread out more than before.
|We tried some new
things with chicken. I liked the taste, but I wasn't a judge!
|This doesn't really show the size of
the Smokehouse, but we had plenty of space! We're doing some
tweaking on the new smoker, but this is going to be a sweet rig!
|We never really did
try to get any sleep in Grand Rapids, though Mark snoozed for an hour
or so. The new smoker took a bit to keep up to temp until we get
the thing tweaked. Oddly, when turn in time came, I woke up and
did just fine!
|Here are ribs that are finishing up on the grill on Saturday,
just ready to get sauced. They looked GREAT, and tasted just as
|There was no electricity provided
in Grand Rapids, but they turned the lights on in the ball field.
This is a great shot taken in the middle of the night. It got a
big foggy, but the 'fog' in this photo is all wonderfully smelling
|They had several extra categories in
Grand Rapids, but we just turned in a couple of them. Here is our
beans entry, which came in about middle of the pack.
|Our dessert entry
was bread pudding made from doughnuts. It was pretty good, though
didn't do well in the judging. Mostly, cheesecakes and the like
seem to do best.
|This is a look at getting a turn in box
ready. For chicken, we pick out the pieces we like best, then
take them to the box to arrange.
|Our chicken turned
out a bit thick with sauce. We didn't do well with it, but
hopefully learned what NOT to do next time!
|The ribs turned out just about perfect,
though I think they needed a bit more heat to them. We'll
continue to improve, but a 20th out of 56 is our best placement with
ribs so far. I think we'd have been better off leaving the ribs
flat instead of showing the smoke ring.
|We tried a pork turn in with no
garnish. I don't know if we should do it again, but we did ok
with it. The pork was lightly sauced, and tasted pretty darn
good. We got 15th out of 56 with this, our best pork placement to
|Our brisket turn in came out pretty nicely. We put in
burnt ends again, and probably will continue to do so. I think
it's the best part, so we need to let the judges try it! It
worked out well as we got our first walk up for a 5th in brisket!
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