An Unexpected BBQ Addiction

posted in: BBQ Competition | 1

Smokin’ Yankee’s BBQ was formed when Chris Juencke, Owner and Pitmaster of Smokin’ Yankee’s BBQ Competition Team, saw the “All Star BBQ Showdown” TV series on the Outdoor Live Network back in 2006 where all his future BBQ heroes were featured (Mike Davis – Lotta Bull BBQ, Chris Lilly (Big Bob Gibson's BBQ), Myron Mixon (Jack’s Old South BBQ), Eddie Maurin (Fast Eddy BBQ), Ray Lampe (Dr. BBQ) just to name a few.

Chris was intrigued with the idea that these professional pitmasters show up to cook on this show not knowing what they’ll be cooking on or what meat they’ll be cooking. While watching each and every episode several times over he was reminded every episode of the times growing up when he was smoking beef jerky with his Uncle Rube and how everyone would clamor for it at family gatherings.  It was like gold, making everyone happy and desperate to get some before it’s long gone. The longing to follow in his favorite Uncle’s footsteps by smoking jerky was strong and it far exceeded jerky. As fate would have it, he discovered that Chris Lilly, the host of the All Star BBQ Showdown and World Champion several times over, was hosting a BBQ Competition class in Los Angeles sponsored by the California BBQ Association, CBBQA,  .  So we became members of the CBBQA and registered for the class which led to ordering our first smoker.

Chris drove to Los Angeles to take the class and while there, he learned that the BBQ community is like a brother/sisterhood, family even. He was drawn to the friendly atmosphere and comradery they had with each other which fueled his desire to join the ranks of these fine pitmasters, we now call our BBQ family.

Not long after returning from the class in L.A, the new smoker arrived and the practicing began. After deciding we wanted to compete in Kansas City BBQ Society, KCBS, sanctioned contests only, we immediately started practicing the 4 meats that are required as entries in the KCBS sanctioned contests. Chris started with pork butt, aka, pork shoulder, brisket practice came next, then pork spare ribs, followed by chicken. We, and our families ate a lot of test chicken, pulled pork, brisket and ribs for several months and I must say, some of it was not great. It was trial and error, relentless experimentation…..And then ... we finally felt ready to compete, so May 2008 we headed off to Modesto for our very first contest.

Smokin Yankees BBQ teamWe had never been to a contest before and didn’t know anyone who had, so we were on our own! Our team at the time was, Chris, myself, my awesome father-in-law, Fred, our oldest son, Chris, and our good friend Joe. As we pulled into the contest venue we were instantly overwhelmed by all these other professional teams (47 of them).  Some of the teams had their fancy RVs, set ups and smokers and were well versed and experienced in competition BBQ.  We felt for certain we were going to get our butts thoroughly kicked, and not just our pork butts.

Smokin YankeesWe were star struck to see Ray Lampe, one of his BBQ heroes there as a guest judge for the contest.  Ray would also be presenting the trophy’s at the awards ceremony the following day.  One of Chris’ favorite California idols, Pitmasters Brent and Kim Walton from QN4U BBQ (CBBQA Team of the Year) were there, which made us even more nervous and intimidated to be among such BBQ royalty.  But we were in it to win it ,,, or at least win somethin’!

That night we prepped our meats and got our briskets and butts in the smoker to start cooking. By the next morning we were high on adrenaline and low on sleep but it was no matter because we had some nervous energy to get out and some serious BBQ ass to kick so we tackled each meat category, one entry at a time and were relieved after all 4 turn ins were completed and turned in on time. We finally collapsed under the canopy to take a deep breath and awaited anxiously for the awards ceremony.

We were thrilled to get a call for 5th place Pork, 7th in Chicken with a 6th place overall out of 48 teams. We were over the moon excited and got to accept our award from Dr BBQ, Ray Lampe himself.

We immediately became addicted to Competition BBQ. WE WON SOMETHING! OMG! WE WANT MORE! So it began ...

Contest results:

Happy Monday!!

posted in: News | 0
Happy Monday!! Hope it's going great so far!

I'm getting emails asking about our lead time for drop off catering. It's always best to book early to ensure you get the date saved BUT, if you need catering services in a hurry, if we aren't already booked, we can do it with 24 hr notice (delivery only) but 48 hrs is better.

Other commonly asked questions:

We DO cater weddings! And any other events you can possibly think of!

We DO rentals and set ups too!

We DO offer appetizer service as well as drink service (non-alcoholic)

Our weekday minimum order is 20 guests
Our weekend minimum order is 50 guests
On site cooking minimum is 100 guests

All our hot foods are cooked in the smoker.

We cook whole hog ONLY in conjunction with catering. We do not cook whole hogs alone. Sorry

We cater LARGE groups as well as smaller groups!

We cater benefit dinners for Project Heroes and United Way in addition to many others.

We DO have references.

We DO service Bay Area for parties of 75+

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Call us to get your quote and reserve your date.