Bucky McOinkum's Barbecue, LLC
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 for us.

We had a better setup for getting there and home, too... A closed trailer and trailered smoker!

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 of Chargrillers!

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 good!

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 smoke!

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 date.

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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