So let me paint the picture.......
We drove 18hrs to get down to North Little Rock Arkansas. 3 of us, Chris, Daniel P and Dan H took 2 days off of work to go and compete against the best BBQ cooks in the world. And this wasn't just for bragging rights, this was the worlds richest bbq competition..... $100,000.00 in total prize money. This was, for lack of a better description, the shit. This was THE event, the time you want to shine.
So fast forward to Saturday morning. Everything was going ridiculously smooth. The smoker, hit its stride after 5 months of inactivity flawlessly. Temps were rock solid, meats were on target. The weather? Simply amazing. Chris and Daniel were well rested after a night in the hotel, Dan H, not in bad shape without having to fight the smoker. In a word, things were PERFECT.
So, it was quite the shock when a bit after 10am, the chicken (which had been meticulously trimmed, marinated, rubbed and shaped) hit the ground. All of it hit the ground, every piece. And the ground, no, it wasn't grass, nor dirt, nor pavement, but gravel! Without missing a beat, Dan H (who had been the one loading the chicken int the smoker) called for water, lots of it. In perfect sync, the members of 3eyz bbq rinsed, scrubbed, rinsed, scrubbed, rinsed, washed, dried, rubbed, shaped, and replaced the chicken on the rack. Time from ground to smoker? 12 minutes flat.
And it actually turned out good. 84th of out 238 teams. Overall, we finished 34. The lesson on this one? No, I'm not telling you to drop your chicken. But do not freak out, don't give up, don't throw in the towel. Make it work, no matter what.
The best part? Our neighbors gave us a bottle of rub. Written on the duct tape label was "3eyz chicken rub". In the bottle? You guessed it........gravel. I love BBQ people :)