Date: Sunday, Sept. 7
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Well Seasoned parking lot, 20771 Langley Bypass, Langley
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All right, you carnivores. Step right up. The meat lovers Dream Team is in Langley this weekend for a big, macho cookoff barbecue. And you're invited.
We're not talking limp-wristed grilling here. No sirree, Bob. We're talkin' real barbecue, a smokin', chokin' endurance sport that only real men indulge in and real women -- well, they love it too, s'long as they're not salad-eatin' types who put fruit on the grill and call it (gasp!) barbecue.
"Veggies are what the food eats," jokes Wayne Fettback, a barbecue pit boss, two-time champion of the Alberta barbecue circuit and last year's champion right here at home at the Langley-based BBQ on the Bypass. That's where you will find him and 17 other "real" barbecue teams this Sunday.
These folks burn with the drive to turn crappy cuts of meat into something awesome, says Angie Quaale, the organizer of BBQ on the Bypass, so named for its location on the Langley Bypass (not for the surgery it might induce).
Barbecue originated in the southern states where the locals found it to be a great way to tenderize the half-wild pigs they ate in abundance.
"It is the ultimate in slow cooking," says Quaale, who is also the owner of Well Seasoned, a gourmet food store in Langley.
Big, tough cuts of meat, such as pork butt and beef brisket, and smaller cuts of chicken and pork ribs, are put in the "pit," a rig that smokes and slowly heats the meat until it breaks down the collagen and tastes fantastic. It can take up to 16 hours.
If that was all there was to it, heck, even a limp-wristed vegetarian like me could do it.
But for these guys, that is just the basics. They've got their dry rub, their wet rub, their injectables and their sauces. They invent liquid mixes (Mad Cow's includes coffee) and, using a syringe, squirt it right into the meat at hourly intervals right through the night.
T'ween times, they shoot the breeze with the other competitors.
"They are the nicest people you'll ever meet," says Fettback. "A lot of them have become my best friends."
He recalls how his competitors helped him move his massive pit set-up at the Alberta contest when rain flooded his site. Good people.
This is the third annual BBQ on the Bypass, but this year they raised the stakes (not steaks), joining with other contests around the province to form our own B.C. barbecue circuit and trophy. The winner, the team that accumulates the most points at five barbecue contests around the province-- Trail, Squamish, Kelowna, Whistler and Langley -- gets announced at the Bypass and is entered into a draw for a spot at the big leagues. That would be the invitation-only barbecue competition in Lynchburg, Tenn., home to Jack Daniels whisky and the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world.
Fettback's team, Mad Cow Barbecue, which consists of his wife and kids and a nephew, has already won an invite to the "Jack," thanks to his first win in Alberta. They get to go again next year because of his win this summer. He's already signed his wife up for a game of pork butt bowling, a tradition at the Jack in which the players toss frozen pork butts at some pins.
The former chef, now part owner in a family electrical biz, has so many blue and silver ribbons from his seven-year --ahem, obsession -- you'd think he'd be a shoo-in at the Bypass.
But this crazy hobby in which grown men hitch up their barbecues and drive all over the region to spend the night turnin' and injectin' and rubbin' pork butts and beef briskets, well, it's got drama too. It takes hours to finesse these tough cuts of meat into something edible and sometimes even the favourites can mess up. That happened to Fettback in Trail this year.
"I made some bad choices," he admits, adding he ended up 13th. His mistakes put Barbecue Bob and the A-team in first place with a 77-point lead, too big for Mad Cow to catch them by just cooking their best.
"He's going to have to mess something up to lose the lead," says Fettback, who has one advantage over Barbecue Bob.
"My barbecue pit is probably the nicest around," he modestly states.
Most of the contestants use four portable Weber barbecues, one for each cut of meat. But Fettback admits to having a case of "look-at-me syndrome." He designed and had built a 3,300- pound pit of gleaming chrome and black iron. It can cook for 200 people and he needs a tandem trailer to transport it.
So, carnivores, indulge your senses. Head on down to the Bypass. You'll know you're there when you can't see the pits for the smoke. Taste the entries, listen to the live music and see who wins the inaugural B.C. Cup.
Who knows, Barbecue Bob might mess up.
COOKING FOR A CURE IN CANADA !
It was a beautiful Sunny Saturday on May 1st when Wayne & June Fettback from Team Mad Cow gathered approximately 20 PNWBA teams in their backyard in Langley, BC to help raise money for a fellow Canadian BBQ competitor by hosting a good old fashioned Rib-off!
April Lunn is an integral part of the Porkaholics BBQ Team from Langley, BC and has been battling cancer for almost 2 years. April & her husband Kevin are great competitors, really good sports, excellent cooks and enthusiastic supporters of BBQ in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve all been touched be cancer in one way or another, April & Kevin are part of our BBQ family and if there is something we can do to help them or anyone in our BBQ family, we need to do it !!
The entry fee was $100 and included the meat...
Wayne & June provided each of the teams with the ribs, both sides & backs. With the help of Jackie & Mayben Amos, they assembled a bunch of willing victims, I mean judges to preside over the festivities.
A great time was had by all...in the end the Grand Champion was Cock & Bull BBQ and the Reserve Grand Champion was Dale Groetsma from Ciderhouse. But, the real winner was the BC Cancer Agency where April continues to get her treatments.
Special thanks to Wayne & June Fettback for their brilliant idea, their generous hospitality and for going over and above to make sure the day was great for everyone. Thanks to the members of the PNWBA for their generous donation, and to all of the teams that participated - more than $2500 was raised for April and her fight for a cure. Livestrong April.
Published: September 19, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: September 19, 2011 3:29 PM
The tantalizing smell of roasting beef, pork and chicken overpowered the parking lot of Well Seasoned gourmet food store on Sunday for their annual BBQ on the Bypass competition.A total of 23 teams from across the Pacific Northwest set up shop and prepared their best recipes of beef brisket, pork butt, chicken, pork ribs, and turkey.Many members of the public also entered The Great B.C. Bake Off competition for amateur pie and tart baking.BBQ on the Bypass requires participants to use a Southern style BBQ technique, cooking their meat at low temperatures in charcoal or wood smokers for long periods of time.Teams are then judged based on the taste, texture and appearance of meats. Some of the dishes can take anywhere from 12 to 18 hours to cook, meaning the competition begins long before the 10 a.m. start time.“There’s no money in it and we could never make a living off it, but we love it,” said June Fettback of Mad Cow Barbeque in Langley.“It’s like a free vacation for me, and I’ve got helper monkeys to do the work,” she joked. The Fettback family has been entering barbeque competitions for 10 years and have travelled as far as Tennessee to have their original recipes judged. They were the first prize winners in the ribs competition at BBQ on the Bypass this year.