For those of you who don’t know, I have a standing invite out to any team who has either a Reserve Grand or Grand Champion award at a professional level competition to send in a request for being featured in a spotlight post on the BBQ Beat. The team must not have won more than 2 Grand Champion awards, however. The reason being is that I want to show some of the newer teams some love.
Today’s BBQ Team Spotlight features Justin and Lindsey Vose of Jugs BBQ.
I love to see the fire of relatively new competition BBQ teams lit early and and burning bright. Sometime ago I received an email from Justin Vose who, with his wife Lindsey, compete as Jugs BBQ out of Springfield, Illinois. Competing for a couple of years now, Jugs BBQ has already tasted the spoils of victory with a Reserve Grand Champion award and one of those cool Hand Blown Glass Apples for a 2nd place Chicken prize at the 2013 Praise the Lard Murphysboro BBQ Cook Off.
As usual, I sent Justin and Lindsey some questions for them to answer. Here are their responses. Great folks, as I’m sure you’ll agree!
1. What’s the background of your team – where did you meet up, how did you start, etc?
We are a husband and wife team and watched a lot of BBQ Pitmasters on tv and found ourselves watching them over and over and over and we already loved cooking BBQ in the backyard so we thought we would put two and two together and found a backyard BBQ competition that was near us in Taylorville, IL.
We had not one clue at all what we were doing. We took our XL green egg that we cooked 4 racks of ribs on and our small green egg that only held 6 pieces of chicken!! We placed 1st in chicken and 2nd in ribs. We couldn’t even taste our chicken…..6 in a box and only 6 for on the grill! After that, BAM, we were sold!
2. What do you guys cook on? Has your set up changed over time or are you still rocking your original smokers?
We had an XL Green Egg and a Small Green Egg that we used at home and decided to transport them around and use to do our cooks. We got to a point where when we got to competitions, we cringed at the thought of looking in the trailer for fear there would be giant piles of green ceramic laying on the ground. We needed something different!!!
So we searched and found the ever great St. Louis BBQ Store where we met Ron, who knows a lot about smokers and grills! And that’s where we found it…. a HUMPHREYS!!! We currently have a Pint and a Half Pint that we cook on, and wouldn’t have it any other way! (Please see this article featuring Shane Draper of Drapers BBQ for more on Humphreys BBQ Smokers.)
3. You guys are starting to get more and more calls, you have at least one RGC under your belt, and things appear to be clicking. What can you most attribute to the improvement you’ve seen since you started?
Definitely practice, practice, practice! We have about 1,000 different spices, rubs and BBQ sauces that we are constantly tasting and testing. We have had some amazing help from a few other competitors and hope to take a BBQ class sometime soon.
4. If you could point to one simple change you made to see improvement in a category, one you feel a lot of new teams make, what would it be?
For us, I think it would improving the appearance of the turn in box. That is one criteria that you really do have some control over. Just taking the extra time to make sure everything is proportionate and looks delicious!
5. What competitions do you guys have lined up for the rest of 2015 so far?
We have already cooked in Washington, MO and Dwight, IL. Like a lot of others teams in not having sponsors and with as expensive as competitions are, we are hoping to make it to:
Brimfield, IL (5/30)
Lincoln, IL (6/6)
Quincy, IL (6/20)
Wellsville, MO (7/11)
Morton, IL (7/25)
Murphysboro, IL (9/26)
Arthur, IL (10/10)
Is Your Competition BBQ Team On the Rise?
If you’re just now starting to see RGC or GC calls and would like to have your team featured here on the BBQ Beat, contact me here so we can see about making that happen!