Nov 192012

This was our 9th year competing in this 10th year contest. Plant City is only about 45 minutes from home and is always well attended by both teams and the public. Teams came in from no less than 9 different states and Canada, and the crowds weren’t too bad either. We always sell our bbq here and the crew did another great job selling 2 cases of butts, 8 cases of ribs, and 2 cases of corn.









The contest side of things seemed to go very well too. I felt I had done my best and was very satisfied with my turn ins. And for the most part the judges agreed, although they didn’t like my pork and brisket as much as I did. But in the end Swamp Boys was fortunate enough to get a 1st place in chicken, 6th in ribs, and Reserve Grand Champion out of 48 teams.

Thank you to my great sponsors for helping me out – BBQR’s Delight, Butcher BBQ, and 3 Eyz BBQ.

1st place chicken


Reserve Grand Champion!




 Posted by at 7:33 pm
Apr 012012
Last year in Ocala I finished as RGC so this year of course I had a GC on my mind. I felt I had a very good cook and put everything into the hands of the judges. They seemed to agree awarding me a first place in both Chicken and Ribs. My Pork placed 6th and my Brisket was 5th, all out of 32 pro teams. In most contests this would be scores worthy of a GC, but not so this time. My good friends and Swamp Boys Q School grads “Unknown BBQ” scored a 4th, 2nd, 1st, and 2nd and edged me out by 0.05 of a point! I guess if I was going to be beat, I couldn’t think of any team better. Congratulations to my brothers from another mother!


On another note this was my last cookoff with my Stumps/Lang setup. They served me very well and now it’s time for the new chapter to begin.

1st place Chicken!


1st place Ribs!


Reserve Grand Champion!

 Posted by at 10:54 am
Aug 202011

For a couple of years now we have been incorporating these 2 KCBS contests into a family vacation and loving it. This year was no different.

The Dillard contest has always been one of my favorites, set in north GA in the mountains. Jane and her husband Steve are fantastic organizers and always put on a very cooker-friendly event. The cook site is adjacent to The Dillard House which is where we always stay the first few nights and we make sure we eat at least one meal there. They serve great Southern cooking up “family style” and it is a treat!

I was very happy with the food I turned in to the judges, and for the most part they liked it. Out of 66 pro teams we scored 18th ribs, 3rd pork, and 4th brisket. If I could have scored a top 10 chicken we could have been GC. A top 20 chicken we could have been RGC. But with a second-to-last place chicken (65/66) a 15th overall was my destiny. What happened to my chicken? Heck if I know. It’s been pretty good this year scoring in the top 10 seven times in my last 10 contests. I would have paid $100 to watch and hear the judges scoring it. The highlight of the Dillard contest though was watching my wife Amy wine 3rd place in the Dessert category! She has got it going on with her “secret entry”.

The Franklin contest is also a very nice one, just about 20 miles or so up the road from Dillard. Again I was very happy with what I sent the judges, and even made a tweak to my chicken to see if I could improve my score from Dillard. It seems my change worked, as I got 14th in chicken, 6th in ribs, 6th in pork, and 4th in brisket out of 52 pro teams to lay claim to Reserve Grand Champion and the awesome stained glass window trophy! And to top it off Amy won 1st place with her “secret entry” in the dessert category! Those were great surprises and sure made the 10 hour drive home more enjoyable. Congratulations to The Smokehouse Mafia who managed 0.0006 more of a point than I did to take Grand Champion. It was a close one.

Amy won Dessert and I took RGC in the BBQ contest

 Posted by at 1:27 pm
Apr 052010

So for 2009, I finished in the top 10 over 85% of the time. I finished in the top 5 68% of the time. I came in Grand or Reserve Champion in over 44% of the contests I entered.  Those are numbers I’m pretty proud of, and they are what kept the Swamp Boys ranked as the #1 team in the country on the National BBQ Rankings for 67 weeks, including all of 2009. We’re talking out of over 4, 400 pro teams.

Jump forward to 2010. Here is a list of the contests I entered and where I finished overall:
Okeechobee 3rd/44
Lakeland 18th/73
Winter Haven 4th/46
Starke 5th/38
Haines City 12th/37
Clermont 14th/30
Dade City 10th/25

Granted, 3 of those above are good finishes. And  historically the start of the season is my weakest stretch.  But still, those others have me worried. In Haines City I did not get a call! It has been years since that has happened. Something is changing, now to figure out how to deal with it.

 Posted by at 11:48 pm
Mar 142010

It has been a rather unremarkable competition year for me to date. The only contest that I was satisfied with my results was the one in Sebring, where I finished Reserve Grand Champ with a 1st in Ribs. The weather at awards was brutally cold, in the low 30’s with a damp north blow. That was my first contest of the year, and it has been a challenge ever since.

Following that we had the FBA “Celebrate Last Year” party which was fun. The whole team came along and we had a great time in Lake City, where we received the coveted FBA Team of the Year award for the second year in a row. This is a very tough award to win, as it takes a lot of time and commitment to be able to cook enough contests, and do well enough in them to win. While it would be nice to take aim at a third TOTY in 2010, I’m not sure I’m up for it. I missed out on a lot of family stuff in 2009, which I don’t want to do again. There will always be more bbq contests, but you only get one chance with your children. Good luck to you guys!

 Posted by at 10:49 am