Monday, January 16, 2012

Certified BBQ Judge? I Like The Sound of That!

Yup, I'm still here. I know it's been a while since I've posted on this blog, but honestly there just hasn't been anything interesting to write about. I'm not one to babble just for the sake of babbling. But I do want to give a huge thanks to those who have ordered from my little catering business on the side. You know how there's a lady that sells tamales at work? Well, I'm the dude that sells brisket at work. I've sold pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, but the brisket has been the hot seller by a landslide. Thus far, I've done about 30 orders and it's been a blast.

I drool every time I look at this picture
Dirty Smoke BBQ brisket is always a favorite

If you've been a reader of this BBQ blog, you'll know that I'm constantly trying to learn new things. There are so many great BBQ websites out there that give you how-to instructions, videos, and all types of info. Of course, that isn't my goal here. Although, I don't want to be seen as a BBQ expert, I'll still share my experiences (good or bad). As we kick off the new year, I want to make an effort to chronicle more BBQ experiences outside of the backyard -- whether it's writing about restaurants, products, or events.

So what's first up this year? Back in June '11, I wrote about wanting to attend a certified BBQ class. Well, that time has arrived. I just signed up for not just one, but TWO certified BBQ judging classes on February 25 in San Diego. It's part of a BBQ convention organized by the NBBQA (National BBQ Association). If you're new to the BBQ world, there are quite a few acronym-loving BBQ organizations out there. It can be hard to remember and keep track of them all. One of the classes is by the MBN (Memphis BBQ Network) and other is by KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society).

So what's the difference between the 2 classes? Well, they both judge different meat categories. KCBS is the most popular one that sanctions a lot of competitions and probably most people know about -- they judge ribs, chicken, pork shoulder, and brisket. The MBN judges whole hog and pork shoulder only. I could write more, but Professor Salt from the Grill Marks blog over at OC Weekly explains it in more detail. Of course, all this BBQ fun doesn't come cheap. Each class costs $90. But once I become certified, hopefully I'll more than make up for it by eating lots of "free" BBQ at competitions. Oh and yeah, that BBQ competition knowledge will help too.