The Trailer has Landed

LangMfgAround September of last year I started collecting and researching information on trailer mounted barbecue cookers. When I started the process, it was amazing to see how many makes and models are really available out there! Let the search and fun begin!

 

Klose, Lang, Jedmaster, Good-One, Southern Pride, Ole Hickory, Bushrod’s, Belson, Fast Eddy’s, Kingfisher, Kooker, and Backwoods just to name a few.

 

 

Model84After filtering through many manufacturers, I narrowed the field to a couple of top contenders, which wasn’t easy to do given the quality and reputation of so many of them. There was one in particular, however, that stood out from a cost/value standpoint; the model #84 from Lang Manufacturing.

In December I spoke with Ben Lang, the owner, and I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was to work with him. Then, in late April, the BBQ’n Fools made the decision to place the order! As a result of conversations with Ben and discussions from other owners of the model #84, we ordered it with a couple of modifications, such as the addition of 4 thermometers and an extended neck on the trailer. Even with the modifications, it was only a couple of weeks after placing the order that we were in possession of our new pit!

 

Model84ExtendedneckWe ordered the extended neck, as you can see from the photos, so that we could add a grill to the front of the unit. I had spent another bit of time researching what type of grill to place there, and after that was decided, I designed and built a system so that it would retract during transport and could be pulled out for use. Already, it’s proven quite useful.

 

 

 

Here is a list of what we have done with it so far:

May 17th – Received the cooker
May 18th – Seasoned the cooker
May 19th – Cooked for 40 at a house warming party
May 26th – Cooked for an estimated 600 at an Albertsons event
June 2nd – Competition in Imperial Beach, 1st Place Chicken, and 5th Place Seafood
June 3rd – Cooked for 60 at an anniversary party
June 9th – Competition in Long Beach
July 7th – Cooked for an estimated 750 at an Albertsons event
July 14th – Cooked for 40 at a street party

 

Model84inactionThis cooker has already provided us many hours of cooking pleasure and many people with some wonderful barbecued food.

 

 

 

 

 

Model84usefulFor the record, we purchased this pit so we could provide “on-site” cooking for parties and events. If you have an occasion coming up where you’d like that extra special touch of championship barbecue, give us a call: (714) 569-1310 (Southern California area.)

 

2001 American Royal Barbecue Contest

tentThe American Royal Invitational is to Barbecue competitors, as the Super Bowl is to Football teams. The only exception is that there are a few more barbecue teams involved in this annual competition, and it smells and tastes a whole lot better! In every state that has a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) cooking competition there are teams who, to the best of their abilities, and with a bit of luck, strive to win a KCBS sanctioned State Championship. Winning one of the State events is a feat in itself.

From the weather, to baby sitting the cookers all night long, to the actual competition preparations and timing that it takes to hand in the food on time, hot, looking and tasting great. The variables that it takes to place in any of the four categories, let alone the Grand Championship, makes it a pretty daunting task. Then there is the totally unpredictable variable, personal human taste, the judge.. God bless’em. These are the things that the barbecue competitor faces, and we all work very diligently to accomplish this feat, a State Championship, so we can receive the invitation to the American Royal.

Our team, BBQ’n Fools, has been very blessed the last couple of years. Through our combined talents, and love for good barbecue, we have been invited to compete in the American Royal Invitational two years in a row.  Given that we only started competing 2 1/2 years ago, this is an honor we feel very grateful to have had.  Last year, at the 2000 American Royal, we did not do as well as we had hoped.  We did, however, learn a lot from the experience and met a number of great people who gave to us their wisdom and shared their own experiences so that we might grow as a team and as cooks. Their friendliness will never be forgotten.

insideIn 2001, we were invited back again, this time for having won the Southern California Barbecue Association’s “Team of the Year” for 2000. This year, when we arrived at the American Royal, we were very optimistic and full of energy. We were very happy to see so many of the familiar faces we had met last year. Their enthusiasm for us being here once again was inspiring and delightful. So, with great excitement, taking all that we had learned from the last Royal, keeping in mind all the advice and experience we had gained from competing throughout the year, the BBQ’n Fools started cooking.

When it was all said-and-done, all of us felt we had cooked the best we had in a very long time! The day had gone smoothly and everything tasted so good we thought we had a good chance of placing in a category or two. Did I mention that we were competing against sixty-eight other championship teams?  These are the top teams on the KCBS circuit! To place in a category at this event would be a real accomplishment.

When it came time for the awards ceremony, we were very excited, and I’m happy to say that our hopes had come true! We received seventh place for our ribs, our chicken took fourteenth, and we wound up sixteenth place overall out of sixty-nine championship teams!  It was a VERY good day!

We entered our sauce, BBQ’n Fools Signature Barbecue Sauce, in the American Royal International Sauce contest as well. The results for this were announced the next day, along with the winners for the American Royal Open Barbecue Contest.  To our extreme happiness, not only did we place fifteenth in ribs at the Open (out of 363 teams), our sauce took fourth place for Retail Packaging! Needless to say, we are very pleased with our performance at this year’s American Royal Barbecue competition.

BackForMoreAs with last year’s contest, we made some very endearing friends and also got to see some olds ones. That alone makes the American Royal a special event. We are already looking forward to competing next year in an effort to be invited back again to this Competition of Champions; were there are no losers, only good folks, and the love of great barbecue.

Shake, Rattle & Smoke BBQ Cook-off

AzusaThe Shake, Rattle & Smoke event, in Azusa, was our first competition ever, and to say that we were a bit nervous going into it would be an understatement. Not only had we never competed before, we had never even seen a barbecue competition! So, with great anticipation, Kurt and I gathered up my two cookers, a Black Diamond and a Weber Smokey Mountain, and headed off to whatever fate awaited us.

 

 

 

 

 

Tri-tip 1stIt wasn’t long after we arrived at the cooking site that we came to the realization that this was going to be an even better experience than we could have imagined! Those of you who have never been to a cook-off before (and by the way, you need to try it sometime) would be amazed at how much camaraderie there is at these events! Here were two guys whom no one knew, yet folks actually took an interest in us and made us feel welcome. Having been a member of two previous organizations, both of which had nothing to do with barbecue, and both of which had their little “clicks” (reason I no longer belong), it was great to feel that we were welcome here.

 

 

 

 

 

HangingOutSince we had no real idea as to what we were getting into, we decided to only enter two categories: chicken and the backyard category, which was tri-tip. Well, if there was any doubt that these folks weren’t genuine, it was removed when Kurt and I were called to the stage to accept a 1st place trophy in tri-tip! The cheers from the cheering section we had brought with us, Grant (now a team member) and his wife Jeni, were drowned out by the cheers we received from our newfound friends! It was truly a testament to the quality of these folks.

While it would have been easy for these people to have shunned us for intruding on “their” sport, that was not the case. We spent that Saturday evening visiting with other teams, being congratulated by many, and just enjoying our new friends. We had all been brought together by the love of barbecue, we all respected each other’s talents, and we all enjoyed the success each other achieved!