BBQ Gremlins...

                                                                                                                                                                            May 2010

Dear BBQ Friend:

     Chatham Artillery's first contest of the year was in Thomaston, GA. It was at a beautiful location on a lake. I thought it was a public park at first, but the guy running the show said it was built by his Grandfather. Anyway... I learned, or should I say re-learned, two important lessons in Thomaston...

1) Don't try new stuff at a contest! Contests are not a place to practice your BBQ skills. Just about every single time I have "experimented" at a contest, it has failed. Practice at home and bring what you know works to the contest and do not deviate from the game plan. I tried drumsticks in Thomaston, but I wanted to turn in thighs too. The FBA requirements say you have to have 8 pieces in a box. So I tried putting 6 drumsticks and 6 thighs in one box since there are only 6 judges. I should have known that it would be a tight squeeze. Should have practiced at home. The box didn't look too good as I had tobbq gremlin cram the thighs in there vertically...

2) Watch out for those BBQ gremlins! Those BBQ gremlins are out there. They do exist. I have seen them with my own eyes. Now if I can only get a picture of one! Be prepared for things that might go wrong. Those BBQ gremlins are mischievous little devils. If they see an opportunity to make things go wrong, they will take it. For example, the power was terrible in Thomaston which the gremlins probably caused by chewing on the wires and flipping the circuit breaker when nobody was looking. This wreaked havoc on my pellet smokers. I could hear those pesky gremlins giggling behind Myron's F-250. As a result, my ribs burnt up like I had never seen before. During the foiling stage, the sugars burnt to a crisp so bad I could not unfold the ends of the foil packs. They were black. But since I had six racks, I was somewhat prepared for those little devils and I managed to find 8 half way decent ribs from the middle of the burnt spareribs. Thank God I had 6 racks to choose from. I'll bring an inverter to my next contest!

I placed 23rd in chicken, 16th in ribs, 8th in pork, and 11th in brisket. 13th overall. By the way... Thomaston was one of the most competitive contests I have seen in a long time. Along with about five members, there were about 10 other very good teams there like Jack's Old South, Jus Fer Fun, Rescue Smokers, Bub-Ba-Q, Forrest's Fine Foods, Munchees Smokehouse, Sweat's BBQ, and many more. Any one of them could have taken grand but Rescue Smokers walked away with the honors!

Our second contest of the year, the Barnesville, GA BBQ and Blues festival, resulted in a little better 4th place overall with 4th in ribs and 5th in pork. The BBQ gremlins were swarming en masse in Barnesville and literally falling out of the sky. The weather forecast was for 50% chance of rain, but it poured down rain from Friday night to about 3:00 PM on Saturday. After dealing with those gremlins in Thomaston, I came prepared for Barnesville with a 10x10 canopy and a 12x12 canopy. They both came in handy. Other than the rain, everything was OK in Barnesville. Jack's Old South took top honors with Hoochee Que taking reserve. Followed by Bub-Ba-Q, Chatham Artillery BBQ, Swamp Boys, and Bethel Smokers.

I'm bringing a big ole can of BBQ gremlin repellant to Waynesboro, GA!
Look Out Gremlins!

What's next? Swarms of mosquitos? Gnats? Heat? High winds? More rain?
The moral of the story is... Be Prepared!

Wether you are cooking in your back yard or going to a contest, prepare for what "could" go wrong and you'll be way ahead of those pesky BBQ gremlins!

Here's some tips...

Remember... to watch exactly how we cooked and won 4 Grand Championships last year,
go to

barbecue videos

Bill Anderson
Chatham Artillery BBQ Team

Also... Competition BBQ Secrets is available in our BBQ Store along with some great BBQ essentials... remote pager thermometers, cookbooks, rubs, etc. Just click on the link below to go to our store...

The Rocky Mountain Products Southwest rub is what we are using this year. Another team has already won a Grand with it. It's the best "all around" rub I have ever tried. Especially good on brisket. I hear it's even good on scrambled eggs!...

bbq thermometer
foods of the southland
brisket rub

And more!...

barbecue thermometer

Click HERE -




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