The (BBQ) results are in & Canadians rule…

Update: If you got to this page via Google search for “Pork Ninjas”, follow the Pork Ninjas on Facebook and Instagram to see what we’re up to.

That’s me in the green. We can’t afford a team t-shirt for me yet. (Sponsor us?) Click to enlarge.

That photo was taken on Saturday by John Thomson of team Eatapedia after the Kansas City Barbeque Society awards. He posted it on Facebook with the following note (I added the links and the team’s home cities):

Look Out KCBS, Here Come The Canadians!

Today, at the KCBS Boston Hills BBQ Competition, there were 43 teams competing. Among them, 7 Canadian teams participated. At the awards ceremony, all the Canadian teams received calls. In the picture, going from left to right:

Can’t Stop Grillin’ [Puslinch, ON]: 4th Place Chicken, 8th Place Ribs, 1st Place Pork , 3rd Place Overall
Fatty MacBarbecue [Georgetown, ON]: 1st Place Ribs, 6th Place Brisket, 4th Place Overall
Q’n Canucks [Guelph, ON]: 3rd Place Chicken, 9th Place Overall
The BBQ Blog Pork Ninjas [Toronto & Georgetown]: 5th Place Pork
Diva Q [Barrie, ON]: 6th Place Pork
Team Eatapedia [Ottawa, ON]: 8th Place Chicken, 4th Place Pork, 10th Place Overall

Congratulations to *all* the teams who received calls today! Best. Competition. Ever.

It was also Eatapedia’s and Fatty Mac BBQ’s first KCBS contest, though neither is a competition amateur.

Canadians dominated in pork on Saturday. We live across the street from one of the best butcher shops in Toronto and all of their meat is Ontario-raised, so we get our pork (and two of three other competition meats) there. It’s the pork we distribute to The Depanneur, available in sandwich form every Thursday after 6pm. This week I pulled it myself at the competition.

The 4 categories, as usual for KCBS, were chicken, pork, ribs and brisket.


Pork Ninjas chicken leg bacon explosionFor Sunday’s the New England BBQ Society (NEBS) competition we competed chicken legs, shrimp, burgers and s’mores. Chicken was deboned for a “bacon explosion”, resulting in a 7th place trophy: Bacon weave, then chicken, then sausage rolled up, cooked and sliced. Shrimp was skewered and done mango-coconut. Burgers were slider-sized with cheddar and peameal bacon (“Canadian bacon” to Americans). The smores were a slight deviation from the classic.

shrimp skewers

An aside:

New categories each contest is sometimes a burden. The ability to be creative is liberating, but there are more things to think about. Sometimes, on an evening prior to leaving for the contest, we search for inspiration on shelves and in coolers at supermarkets. And sometimes, for that same purpose, we find ourselves wandering the aisles of a Walmart or a Wegman’s the night before the competition, exhausted because we cooked three categories in a contest that day, entries that we began prepping the evening prior. We were on our feet all day, possibly concrete but, if we’re lucky, grass. The boys are likely functioning on a few hours of sleep because they only got intermittent sleep and/or they’ve been up late with the smoker. That supermarket might be a short distance away as it was last weekend (a 5 minute drive) or it might be a 30-60 minute drive. You would think that the most creative ideas come to an exhausted mind but it doesn’t always work that way.

Tangent complete.

S’more success

Pork Ninja's winning s'moresImagine a grown woman (me) at Wegman’s jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store. I spotted Teddy Grahams! Then I found the lynchpin of our plan: A chocolate cup. A reverse s’more with chocolate on the outside? Lots of team brainstorming ensued. The result: Chocolate cup filled with Nutella and a marshmallow rolled in melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Chocolate Teddy Graham on top, buoyed by a marshmallow.

Those smores won us 4th place, with a trophy. Go team.

On Sunday we cooked the entire contest on two Cobb cookers. More about these impressive little cookers another time.

A word from a sponsor:

The Pork Ninjas is sponsored by Basques Hardwood Charcoal. We use their 100% Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal. This was my third competition as a Pork Ninja. During each of the competitions I’ve been at I’ve seen some interest in our charcoal display. This competition had many inquiries. People wanted to know if we sell it and were disappointed to learn we don’t.

Nature's Own Quebec Maple Hardwood

What’s so great about this charcoal? Their website says,

  • Wood-grilled flavour of northern hardwood maple logs.
  • Made from trees (trunk and limbs) which do not meet lumber specifications.
  • No trees are expressly cut for this charcoal.
  • Faster lighting and higher heat; burns cleaner and longer than briquettes.
  • No starch or petroleum taste.
  • Caramelizing natural sugars and protein for fullest flavour.
  • Trees are harvested only as part of a government reforestation program.

No additives either. We buy it at Costco.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) we’re driving back to the U.S., making it to Memphis for the weekend, but this time instead of cooking we’re eating and stopping off to see some of Jason’s competition BBQ friends – those with restaurants – along the way. I’m way excited. Some of my blog posts will be scheduled for later this week.

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