Chisholm Trail Roundup Round Up
Competing in our second only BBQ cookoff, Team Que & A scored a top 20 finish in ribs this weekend at the Chisholm Trail Round Up in Lockhart, Texas. Lockhart is the self-proclaimed Barbecue Capital of the World, a fact that we knew was going to be against us in the competition. This area of Texas is known for its legendary BBQ joints such as Kreuz Market, Louie Mueller, and The Salt Lick. What makes Lockhart so special is that it has 3 BBQ restaurants that have been in business longer than any of us has been alive: Kreuz Market, Black's Barbeque, and Chisholm Trail Barbeque.
The stakes were high for this event as nearly 90 teams showed up for a cookout in the sweltering Texas heat. We were witness to every make, model, and size of custom-built pit, including the famous John Deer cooker seen here:
We felt slightly intimidated being around such experience teams and such elaborate setups. Afterall, we fit our entire site into the back of a '94 Ford Ranger. Everything you can fit under one 10" x 10" canopy. Our main pit is a New Braunfels Diamond Smoker, and the secondary pit is a cheap Brinkmann bullet smoker. None of this is even comparable to the 45 foot, double-sided, chrome-plated beasts that some teams pulled in on a Diesel flatbed.
But we soon learned that much of what we saw was just intimidation factors, meant for us to be awed into making a mistake. And just because you had a large pit did not mean you were better or guaranteed a better score. I personally witnessed one team (an all-girl) team destroy their brisket and make their chicken look like mush on a single barrel grill.
We've decided that competitive BBQ is best done where there's plenty of shade or air-conditioning, neither of which we had at this competition.