Another successful BBQ contest down for the Bedford Blues Fest. It seems to be growing every year. This year there were 51 cooks and more than 60 certified judges in attendance. KCBS held two CBJ classes in the area in the last few days, more than tripling the number of local judges. I think it is going to be pretty tough to get in as a judge in years to come, unless the number of competitors increases that fast, too.
This year we were in airconditioned comfort inside the old Bedford Library location. It was perfect! Plenty of room, comfy, and very close to the cooking area for quick delivery. As always, the KCBS staff and Bedford people made the whole process easy to follow.
Overall the BBQ this year was much better than last year. I think I gave one 9 in brisket, ribs, and beans with lots of 8's in every category. I gave very few 6's and 7's (average is 6). The surprise was the small number of entries in the steak category. There were only 8 entries with payouts of $900, $700, and $500 for 1st-3rd. Pretty good odds for the few cookers who participated! I only got to sample 2 of the steak entries and my Mrs would have kicked their butts. If they do it again next year there will be lots more entries, especially with those prizes. One of the brisket entries I sampled had deep smoke flavor and I loved it. Some of the burnt ends were pretty good, too.
As usual, I got to bring home my sampling leftovers. My Mrs has already been in them and has agreed they are much better than last year. It's really a shame there aren't more KCBS events here in Texas, but IBCA and other groups have solid schedules here already. I do like the KCBS process a lot. They are very organized, thorough, and with the training, everyone starts from the same page.
Congrats to all the cooks who participated in this year's event. A mighty fine showing, indeed.