This Saturday’s barbeque competition at Newport Dunes will be so hot, it’ll temporarily melt away that winter chill. Attendees can expect $10 general admission, with BBQ tastes going for a buck a ticket. For options like unlimited beer ($35) and a BBQ & beer tasting ($50 online), folks need only inquire at www.newportbeachbbqcompetition.com. Also included: samples, classes and demonstrations throughout the day.
Of the 50 regional teams competing at this KCBS sanctioned event, the San Clemente-based Rad Fondo BBQ caught our attention. In the days leading up to competition, Mike Morrill (Head Cook and Team Leader) spent a few minutes discussing strategy with us. [Editor’s Note: Shout out to our former Weekling dining co-hort, Shuji Sakai— listed as their mentor in all things ‘que. We miss you, man!] Good luck, fellas!
Describe your competition BBQ:
Our competition BBQ is a balance of sweet, spicy and savory flavors. Our goal is to “wow” the judges with our flavor profile and perfect tenderness. We have one bite to make an impression and get the highest score possible.
What is it about your BBQ that sets it apart from the other competitors?
We believe our processes allow us to repeat our flavor profiles from competition to competition. Our strength is consistency.
How do you prepare for these competitions?
We typically cook every weekend. We additionally set up test cooks, replicating a competition environment to ensure we are ready on game day. We chronicle each cook, share the results, and (as a group) refine our processes.
Best tip for BBQing at home?
Apply your dry rubs the night before, and allow the salt and spices to penetrate deeply. The most important part of the cook is the rest. You must ensure that the meat has ample time to rest after cooking to produce the best product.