& COOKING ARTICLE
league of their own
barbecuers have passion for grilling
by Bonnie Blackburn, The Journal Gazette
consultant Kevin Taylor has spent untold thousands of
dollars with a return of a paltry $200 on his latest
making money isn't the goal.
just fun," he said. "I just love it."
is competition barbecuing, a growing pastime that thousands
of Americans practice every summer. Taylor, 46, started
competing several years ago after his company, Fort
Wayne National Bank, was purchased by National City
and he decided to "retire."
Taylor runs a small investment consulting business out
of the Aboite Township home he shares with his wife,
Lynne, and children Katie, 12, and Kurt, 5.
Michigan native, who began smoking meats about 15 years
ago by making jerky, got serious about perfecting his
barbecue style about five years ago. For more than two
years, Taylor and his partner, Tim Ashby, have been
taking the Double Smoke competition cooking team on
May 19, Double Smoke won two sixth-place ribbons and
one third-place ribbon - plus a prize of $200 - at the
Minnesota Barbecue Society's competition in Cambridge,
hundred miles each way," he said. "My wife thinks I'm
Taylor's not alone in his "insanity." There are some
500 teams in the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the league
in which he competes. Nationally, there are at least
15 other regional barbecue societies, some with as many
as 700 teams.
said competition barbecue chefs usually compete in several
different categories, such as ribs, chicken, beef brisket,
and pork butt.
key is slow and low," Taylor said, as in cooking the
meats at a low temperature for a long time. Depending
on the meat's thickness, Taylor said, proper barbecuing
can take between six and 14 hours.
never steams meat to remove fat, because water can draw
the flavor out of the meat. Instead, he places the meat
over a low fire (he uses only charcoal and a handful
of pear, hickory or apple wood chips), with a pan to
catch the fat drippings. The night before a competition,
he rubs the meat with a combination of spices, wraps
it in plastic wrap and refrigerates it overnight.
it's time to cook. Taylor said the ideal temperature
is between 225 and 275 degrees. The meat is cooked for
one to two hours per pound, depending on the cut.
cooked on the bone may develop a pinkish color, which
can lead inexperienced cooks to try to cook it longer
because it doesn't look done.
pink is from the smoke," Taylor said. If in doubt, get
a meat thermometer, he added, and make sure the meat
has reached 160 degrees.
prefers a "dry" rib - one without added barbecue sauce.
That way, he said, diners can add their own sauce after
the meat is cooked. He sometimes adds a last-minute
glaze of sauce after the meat is finished.
you want to put a sauce on, it's got to go on no earlier
than 20 minutes before it's done cooking," he said.
"Otherwise, the sugar in the sauce can burn and blacken."
advised it's also important not to keep checking the
meat while it's cooking, because that causes temperature
time you lift that lid, you add 15 minutes to your cooking
time," he said.
judges look for appearance, tenderness and taste, he
has to hold its shape yet pull apart with no resistance,"
Taylor said of beef brisket. Ribs "have to pull off
the bone clean."
on the number of judges, Taylor said he generally has
to cook six racks of ribs, 12 pounds of pork butt, six
or seven pounds of brisket, and 16 pieces of chicken,
at his own expense.
spent thousands of dollars," Taylor said. "But I can't
run, I can't jump. I play golf but I'm not very good.
It's (barbecuing's) just a passion."
sauce to suit tastes
from Kevin Taylor:
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org