In the world of competition barbecue getting an invitation to the Jack Daniel’s Invitational World Championship Barbecue is possibly the highest thing you can achieve. Last week the people at Jack Daniel’s drew the teams that may represent their state or country and guess what? We, my barbecue team the Sea Side Smokers, are going to the Jack 2016! Whoohoo!
The rules to get entered in “the Draw” vary a bit for US teams and foreign teams. If you’re an US team and you win a state championship your name ends up on a bung, one of those plugs they put in a barrel after filling it. For European teams there are two possibilities to get a bung, either you win a contest or you end up being the best national team in the country the contest is held.
The day of the draw all the bungs go in a bag per state or country and one team is drawn from the bag. So it might happen that you are in the draw for a couple of years and you’ll never make it to the Jack!
We are going to the Jack!
Last season we managed to be the best Dutch team twice at Dutch contests. First there was Regahfest and later the Delft BBQ Fest. So we ended up with two bungs in the draw, which proved to be enough to get picked out to represent The Netherlands for the 28th edition of this monster contest. So we are going to the Jack!
Frits and I have been to the Jack before but for Mike it will be the first time. We ended up at the Jack in 2012 when our friend Harry form BBQGuru.nl invited us to join his team that year.
For us it was our second contest ever! Here in Europe there had only been one KCBS contest so far, the first Tony Stone Low & Slow Competion.
I can tell you it was a steep learning curve, we ended almost last, as most of the European teams did in those days.
We have learned a lot since then and we hope we can do better. But we are also realistic enough that we are competing against the best teams on their own turf with their flavor profiles. If we manage not to end up with the last ten I would be very pleased.
We already set things in motion and Mike Alvarez is kind enough to lend us his Pitmaker smoker. We used this beast in 2012 and we have a reverse flow smoker here by Dutch Bros. Smokers that works exactly the same. So equipment wise there shouldn’t be too much of a difference from cooking here.
And since we are there we are planning a small road trip to see some of the characteristic and regional barbecue in the area. It promises to be a whole lot of fun! And the good news is, you will be able to read all about it here on my blog and through Facebook, so don’t forget to like me there!