Today’s BBQ Team Spotlight features Lance Moore and the crew from West Texas Pit Masters. I’ve known Lance through social media now for a few years. Hailing from Plainview, TX, West Texas Pit Masters began its competition BBQ run back in 2011, when Lance built his first trailer and smoker. While you by no means have to be this handy or DIY with your cooking setup, I sure do appreciate the talent and skill it takes to fabricate at this level.
Here’s what Lance had to share about what the West Texas Pit Masters team is all about, where they’ve come from, and where they’re headed.
Pay special attention to the end of this post as Lance provides a quick tutorial write up on his Hot and Fast Brisket recipe – one he credits with increased numbers of walks and wins.
West Texas Pit Masters Team Spotlight
1. What’s the background of your team – where did you meet up, how did you start, etc.
For over 20 yrs I’ve been barbecue/smoking for friends, family and events. The barbequing started as back yard fun and experimenting. Over the course time it has become a passion of mine to make the best tasting foods. Our entry into the competitive circuit has always been a dream of mine.
In the fall of 2011, I started to make the dream become a reality with the construction of my first mobile pit mounted on a trailer. The pit was built out of a 250 gal propane tank.
In March of 2012 our family started competing as a team with a goal to compete in 4 to 5 contests for the year, but after placing in our second contest in the top 10 that quickly changed. We competed in 18 contests that year and had several top 10 overall finishes along with 26 top 10 finishes in categories.
We just finished our 4th year in competition cooking 13 contests this year. The West Texas Pit Masters BBQ team consists of me, my wife Kristi, and my daughter Lexi, who has been competing in Kids Q events since she was 8 and just turned 12. Family members and good friends help round out our crew.
West Texas Pit Masters Stats for 2015: 13 contests
- 4 KCBS contests
- 9 IBCA contests
- 2 Grand Championships
- 2 Reserve Grand Championships
- 6 top 5 overalls
- 20 Top 5 categories
- 30 Top 10 categories
Overall stats for the last 4 years:
- 66 contests
- 130 top 10 cat
- 50 top 5 cat
- 22 top 10 overall
- 14 top 5 overall
- 3 Reserve Grands
- 3 Grands
- 2013 Oakridge BBQ Team of the year
- 2013 starred on the Grill of Victory aired Sept 2015 Episode #3 Lonestar Smokers
- 2013-current full line of award winning rubs
- 2013,2015 competed in the American Royal Invitational and open
- 2013 competed in Sams club region 4 regional competition in Las Vegas, 4 place pork
- 2013-present Host of The West Texas Pit Masters BBQ Show
- 2012-present Catering and Mobile food trailer have catered up to 700 ppl in a single setting.
- 2 time top ten Mobile food truck of the year!! (Mobile-Cuisine.com)
2. What do you guys cook on? Has your setup changed over time or are you still rocking your original smokers?
We Started out on the pit I built, but changed to our current pit in Dec 2013 while filming Grill of Victory.
Frank Cox with SmokerBuilder.com built our current pit, which is a hybrid reverse flow offset pit mounted on a 22’ custom built porch trailer that a group of friends and I built for the show in 14 nights after our regular jobs.
3. What can you most attribute to the improvement you’ve seen since you started? Is there a process or mindset you’ve applied that has been helpful to you?
I have been cooking since I was very young – probably around 10 years of age. I’d say my biggest strength is the familiarity I have with the cooking process. I started out competing with time lines I came up with and still follow them to this day, I think they are very Important.
4. If you could point to one simple change you made to see improvement in a specific category that initially gave you fits, one you feel a lot of new teams make, what would it be?
One of the best tweaks we applied was to our brisket. It had always been a problem category until this last year. We went from low and slow to hot and fast and have seen our scores improve a great deal.
A quick overview of our Hot and Fast Brisket Recipe goes like this:
I start with a 15 lb. brisket minimally trimmed and rubbed down with some West Texas Pit Masters Brisket Rub. I then inject it with some beef injection from Jim Elser over at SweetSmokeQ.com.
I start my fire and let my pit come up to temp in the 325 F range. I put the brisket on fat side up and let it smoke for about two hours and I flip it fat side down until it gets to the 180 range. At this point I wrap it until gets to around 205, remove it, and let it rest.
5. What competitions do you guys have lined up for the rest of the current BBQ Season?
At this point, our current competition BBQ season looks like this:
- Sam’s Club – Fort Worth, TX
- LaVedera BBQ Cook Off – Lamesa, TX
- Bynum Schools Best of the Basin BBQ Championship – Midland, TX
- Texas Shoot Out – Andrews, TX
- Mark Marley Memorial C/O – Plainview, TX
- Homer’s Backyard Bash – Amarillo, TX
- Breast Fest – Lubbock, TX
- 15th Annual Knights of Colubus Council – Brownfield, TX
- Who Burnt the Beans – Novice, TX
- San Luis Valley Beat the Heat – Alamosa, CO
- Smoking on the Park – Post, TX
- Bedford Blues & BBQ – Bedford/Ft Worth area, TX
- BBQ In Boonies – Amarillo, TX
- Levelland Fire Department Annual BBQ Cook-Off – Levelland, TX
- American Royal – Kansas City, MO
- World Championship Wild Hog Cookoff – Crowell, TX
West Texas Pit Masters – Final Thoughts
It’s clear that Lance and his family are flat out working it BBQ wise. Love to see their competition docket so full, all while he’s working and they are running the BBQ food truck!
If you enjoyed this post, please comment and share with others. I know these guys would get a kick out of seeing their name spread around a bit. And hey – if you have a cook team and a good story on how you got started, what you began cooking on gear wise, how that’s changed, and some tips to share with others who are maybe just starting out in competition BBQ – drop me a line! You can always reach me via my contact page here.