Dark Horse Spring Smoke-Off Rules & Sign-Up: Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thank you for your interest in our 8th annual spring smoke off.  We will once again be benefiting MACS (Marshall Area Community Services), a local charity that provides food baskets to the needy at Christmas, along with adopt-a-family programs and other services to local needy families throughout the year.  There will be two divisions again this year-Pro & Amateur.  If you placed in the top three in last year’s Pro Division, you must enter the Pro Division at least once.  Additional entries may be in either Pro or Amateur categories. 

PLEASE USE A SEPARATE SIGN UP SHEET FOR EACH ENTRY.

Pro Division-Pork Butt and Pork Ribs-capped at 40 entrants  

Each entry in the Pro Division is $250.00 and includes:  six slabs of ribs, one packer bone in pork butt, $150.00 toward the prize pool, cash and trophies as described below.  If all 40 entries are taken, the prize pool will be $6,000.00 with cash payouts as follows:  First Place Ribs-$900.00, Second Place Ribs-$600.00, Third Place Ribs-$300.00; First Place Pork Butt-$900.00, Second Place Pork Butt-$600.00, Third Place Pork Butt-$300.00; Grand Champion-$1500.00, Reserve Grand Champion-$900.00.    This same percentage payout (15/10/5, 15/10/5, 25/15) will be applied no matter the amount of entrants in this division-get the word out to your smoking friends and fill this sucker up-that’s real good money!  First Place in each division, along with Grand & Reserve Champion also receives trophies.  For anyone interested, I will sell you extra ribs @ $8/slab and pork butt packer @ $50, but I have to know in advance so I can order enough-mark the entry sheet and make your payment accordingly. 

1.     Ribs/Pork Butt:  All ribs and pork butt entered in the contest must be purchased from us in advance (it is part of your entry fee).  All six slabs, minus the five (5) ribs you will give the judges, along with whatever part of your butts you did not send to the judges must be available for sale to the public after judging.  If you want to eat ribs or pork butt, you must also purchase tickets like the public (buying tickets and trying other competitors’ entries is encouraged).  The cooking area will be open at noon on Friday, April 21 for set up (see “What you provide” below).  Ribs and butts will be available starting at 2pm on Friday, April 21** with all prep and cooking to be done on site.   

2.     Beer:  All entries must use Dark Horse Beer somewhere in the prep or cooking process for ribs and butt-drinking while you cook does not count.  Don’t lose 10 free points for not using Dark Horse beer!  You may use it as an injection, in the sauce (if using sauce), in the liquid pan, as a basting agent, etc.; when I ask you which of our beers you used and how, I’ll expect a quick, knowing response.  We will be open to buy beer if you need it and a “Smoker’s Discount” will apply both days.  

3.     Weather:  This is a rain or shine event.  Plan accordingly.

4.     Fuel:  You may use any type of heat source.

5.     What we provide:  Meat, electricity (if needed for electric smoker only-not for your TV), water, wash station.  If you need electricity, you must note it on your entry form as that affects where you will be set up-if it is not noted, you may be out of luck if you need power.

6.     What you provide:  Your fuel source, all utensils, tools, rain gear (if necessary), towels, pop up tent (and something to hold it down if it’s windy), smoker (duh!), meat thermometer,  sanitizer, latex or equivalent gloves for cooking/prepping/serving and anything else you might need for your day of cooking- don’t forget a prep area (folding table, etc.) and chair(s).  We will not be providing either.

7.      Please note:  you will not be able to park your vehicle at your smoking station-you must unload as necessary and then park across the street.  IF YOU HAVE A COVERED TRAILER YOU COOK OUT OF, I NEED EXACT DIMENSIONS NOTED ON THE ENTRY FORM SO I CAN PLACE YOU ACCORDINGLY-THERE WILL BE LIMITS AS TO WHAT SIZE IS ALLOWED!    

8.     Teams:  Teams are limited to two people per team per entry.  A three person team would actually have to have two entries, etc.  Each member of the team will receive a wristband qualifying them for the “Smoker’s Discount” the whole day of the event.  Make sure both teammates’ names and email addresses are clearly written on the entry sheet.  These are the only people who will receive wristbands; everyone else donates to get in the event-wives, friends, kids, etc.  It’s a great cause.

9.     Judging:  Each division will be judged by a separate five-judge panel.  They will be given strict parameters for what they are looking for in perfectly cooked ribs and butt. See attached “Judging Parameters and Schedule” sheet.

10.Fun:  All contestants must agree to have fun and not take themselves or this competition too seriously.  We are here to have a good time, make a few bucks for a great local charity and possibly yourselves-this isn’t the World Championships.  Come out, cook some meat and start kicking the winter blues in the ass.

11.Deadline:  All Pro-Division entries must be turned in to the taproom with entry fee(s) by Friday, April 7, 2017.  Cash or check only-no credit cards.

**Butts will be given out on a first come first served basis-you can pick your own butts, so the earlier you get here, the more choices you will have. 

 Amateur Division-Pork Ribs-capped at 100 entrants

Each entry in the amateur division is $60.00 and includes:  six slabs of ribs, a $10.00 donation to MACS, the Grand Prize of a custom built Drum Barrel Smoker, trophies and Dark Horse gift certificates for 2nd through 5th places

1.     Ribs:  All six slabs of ribs entered in the contest must be purchased from us in advance (it is part of your entry fee) and must be available for sale to the public after judging.  You may enter as many times as you wish.   Ribs will be given out the morning of the competition with all prep and cooking to be done on site.   Gates to the cooking area will open at 7am; ribs will be available to pick up at 8am.

2.     Beer:  All entries must use Dark Horse Beer somewhere in the prep or cooking process-drinking while you cook does not count.  You may use it as an injection, in the sauce (if using sauce), in the liquid pan, as a basting agent, etc.  We will be open to buy beer if you need it, and a “Smoker’s Discount” will apply all day.

3.     Weather:  This is a rain or shine event.  Plan accordingly.

4.     Fuel:  You may use any type of heat source.

5.     What we provide:  Meat, electricity (if needed for an electric smoker only-not for your TV), water.  If you need electricity, you must note it on your entry form as that affects where you will be set up.

6.     What you provide:  Your fuel source, all utensils, tools, rain gear (if necessary), towels, pop up tent (and something to hold it down if it’s windy), smoker (duh!), meat thermometer, sanitizer, latex or equivalent gloves for cooking/prepping/serving and anything else you might need for your day of cooking- don’t forget a prep area (folding table, etc.) and chair(s).  We do not provide tables or chairs.  PLEASE NOTE:  YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARK YOUR VEHICLE AT YOUR SMOKING STATION-YOU MUST UNLOAD AS NECESSARY AND THEN PARK ACROSS THE STREET.  COOKING TRAILERS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE AMATEUR DIVISION UNLESS THE TRAILER FITS IN A STANDARD PARKING SPOT.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

7.     Teams:  Teams are limited to two people per team per entry.  A three person team would actually have to have two entries, etc.  Each member of the team will receive a wristband qualifying them for the “Smoker’s Discount” the whole day of the event.  Make sure both teammates’ names and email addresses are clearly written on the entry sheet.  These are the only people who will receive wristbands; everyone else donates to get in the event-wives, friends, kids, etc.  It’s a great cause.

8.     Judging-All amateurs who enter the contest are eligible to win first through fifth place prizes.  Winners will be decided by public vote.  Remember, this is the Amateur Division and if you just have to find out how good you are at cooking BBQ, enter the Pro Division. There, your meat will be judged by a panel of food experts-and you could possibly win up to $3,300.00!!!

9.     Fun:  All contestants must agree to have fun and not take themselves or this competition too seriously.  We are here to have a good time and make a few bucks for a great local charity-this isn’t the World Championships.  Come out, cook some ribs and start kicking the winter blues in the ass.

10.Deadline:  All Amateur division entries must be turned in to the taproom with entry fee(s) by Friday, April 7, 2016.  Cash or check only-no credit cards.

**If anyone in the amateur division wants to do pork butt or extra ribs, I will sell them to you @ $50/pack or @ $8/slab.  If you do butt, you will be able to enter the cooking area when the pro division does (See Pro Division Rules Above)-but, heck, if you already pay the extra money, enter as a pro and maybe win some serious cash!  If you decide to do a butt as an amateur, or extra ribs, please know the entire brisket and all the ribs MUST be available for sale to the public-I provide them to you as cheaply as I can, not for your consumption, but to make more money for MACS.  So, basically, just consider extra meat a larger donation to the cause.

 

 The following cleanliness and safety rules will apply:

 a. No use of any tobacco products while handling meat.

b. Cleanliness of the cook, assistant cooks, cooking device(s) and the team’s assigned cooking space is required.

c. Shirt and shoes are required to be worn.

 d. Sanitizing of work area should be implemented with the use of a food grade sanitizer. Each contestant will provide a separate container for washing, rinsing and sanitizing of utensils.

f. Prior to cooking, meat must be maintained at 40° F or less.

g. After cooking, all meat: Must be held at 145° F or above OR Cooked meat shall be cooled as follows: Within 2 hours from 145° F to 70° F and within 4 hours from 70° F to 41° F or less.

 h. Meat that is cooked, properly cooled, and later reheated for hot holding and serving shall be reheated so that all parts of the food reach a temperature of at least 165° F for a minimum of 15 seconds.

Staff inspectors will be present.  Don’t get disqualified for not being clean and safe.

 

Smoke Off 2017 Sign-up Sheet, Pro Division, $250.00

 Name(s):_____________________________________

 Phone(s):_____________________________________

e-mail(s):_____________________________________

Does your smoker require electricity?:_________

Size of covered trailer, if applicable:_______________

# of extra ribs @ $8/slab:_____________________

# of extra butts@ $50/pack:_________________________

Total $ owed: __________________

 

Taproom Use Only

Paid in by ________

Date ____________

Total Cash __________

 Total Check _______

Check #_________

 

Please fill out this entry form completely and legibly, especially your name(s) and email address(es) as this is how any and all contact will be made after entering the contest.  All entries must be turned in to the taproom/received by mail by Friday, April 7th, 2017.  Cash or check only.  No credit/debit card payments will be accepted. 

You may download this form and send it in with a check made out to Dark Horse Brewing Co.-once your check clears, you will be officially entered.

The mailing address is:

Dark Horse Brewing Co.

Attention:  Allen

511 South Kalamazoo

Marshall, MI49068
 

Smoke Off 2017 Sign-up Sheet, Am Division, $60.00

Name(s):_____________________________________

Phone(s):_____________________________________

e-mail(s):_____________________________________

Does your smoker require electricity?:_________

# of extra ribs @ $8/slab:_____________________

# of butts @ $50/pack:_________________________

Total $ owed: __________________

 

Taproom Use Only

Paid in by ________

Date ____________

Total Cash __________

 Total Check _______

Check #_________

 

Please fill out this entry form completely and legibly, especially your name(s) and email address(es) as this is how any and all contact will be made after entering the contest.  All entries must be turned in to the taproom/received by mail by Friday, April 7th, 2017.  Cash or check only.  No credit/debit card payments will be accepted. 

You may download this form and send it in with a check made out to Dark Horse Brewing Co.-once your check clears, you will be officially entered.

The mailing address is:

Dark Horse Brewing Co.

Attention:  Allen

511 South Kalamazoo

Marshall, MI49068

 

Spring Smoke-Off Judging Parameters

Pro Division

The meats will be judged by the following parameters:

Dark Horse Beer used in the product/process-10 points

Presentation-the meat itself; is there a smoke ring; does it appear evenly cooked, etc.-Up to 10 points

Texture-see below-Up to 10 points

Flavor-see below-Up to 10 points

Overall product quality-Up to 10 points

Five judges can award up to 50 points per entry, with 250 possible points per meat and 500 possible points for combined totals to determine overall winners.

Total points for each meat will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd places; Grand and Reserve Champions will be determined by total combined score of ribs and butt.

RIBS:  When cut, there should be a smoke ring around the outside of the meat.  The ribs should pull off the bone cleanly without falling off the bone or being mushy.  The bone itself should retain slight moisture, or sweat, once the meat has been pulled away, but not have pieces of rib meat clinging to it; the bone should not be completely dry after the bite is taken.  The meat should have a degree of smoky flavor without being harsh or acrid.  The ribs may be either sauced or un-sauced, but there should not be “puddling” of sauce in the presentation container.  If you want to make a bed of lettuce or parsley or some other presentation, feel free, but it WILL NOT be a judging parameter.

Butt:  Butt can be money muscle, pulled or sliced and should exhibit a defined smoke ring around the outside of the meat.  The meat should be juicy and tender, not dry or tough; but should pull apart with a gentle tug. The meat should be evenly and uniformly cooked and should not be tough or mushy.  The meat should have a degree of smoky flavor without being harsh or acrid.  The butt may be sauced or un-sauced, but there should not be “puddling” of sauce in the presentation container.  If you want to make a bed of lettuce or parsley or some other presentation, feel free, but it WILL NOT be a judging parameter. 

You will be given two food trays with your contestant # on the inside of the lid.  For butt, 5-6 portions must be in the container and ready for judging at 4pm sharp.  The rest of the butt should be prepared for public consumption. Rolls will be available to the public to make sandwiches. For ribs, all contestants must have five individual center-cut ribs ready for judging in the container at 5pm sharp.  The rest of the ribs in your racks must be cut into individual ribs (count and cut the two little end ribs as one rib) and be ready for public consumption at 5:30pm sharp.  At 5:30, the public will be able to “buy” ribs or butt with tickets purchased at the door-you must be at your table and you must take 1 ticket for each rib or portion of butt given out as the number of tickets sold will be nearly equal to the number of meat portions given to contestants. 

Schedule Review-Pro Division

Noon, Friday, April 21-gates open to smoking area

2pm, Friday, April 21-butt and ribs available to Pro Division and Amateurs doing pork butt

5pm, Saturday, April 22-rib turn-in

5:30pm, Saturday, April 22-ribs and butt available for public purchase

7:30pm, Saturday, April 22-announcement of winners, presentation of money,

trophies and gift certificates

 

Schedule review-Am Division

7am, Saturday, April 22-gates open to smoking area

8am, Saturday, April 22-ribs available

5:30pm, Saturday, April 22-ribs and butt available for public purchase

7pm, Saturday, April 22-announcement of winners, presentation of money, trophies and gift certificate  

5:30 pm - Ribs and Pork Butt available for purchase by the public ($1 a ticket, 10 ticket maximum) - all proceeds go to MACS.