I had an opportunity to join up with a competition team and experience my first full competition. Big O Dang O is a one man team run by Aaron Moore. He invited me to come out to Jakey in June in St Jacob, Illinois. Jakey in June is a non sanctioned event, but is an absolute blast.
This competition covers all categories (brisket, shoulder, ribs, and chicken) but also includes a dessert and margarita competition. It also has a kids grilling competition, which I think really gets families involved.
This year there were 27 teams entered into the competition. It is a Saturday/Sunday competition, but teams are encouraged to come out Friday and vend on both nights.
Aaron did a great job of not only teaching about competition, but also allowing me to get involved. It really helps the experience to get hands on and get involved in the work.
Overall, this was a really great event and we did absolutely fantastic. We placed 3rd in Margaritas, 3rd in brisket, 8th in shoulder, 8th in ribs, and 1st in chicken. With our totals, we finished as Reserve Grand Champion and 2nd Overall.
If you ever have a chance to get into competition, I highly encourage it. Once competition and you will be hooked!