What with the announcement of this year's Meat Fight date (more on that in a minute), and the sad fact that said date is way off toward the end of the year, we thought it might be time to have a quick poke around the internet to see what we could see. And what we saw was a bounty of barbecue events.
Barbecue events are, of course, a delicious excuse to both be outside and to eventually slip into a meat coma, slumped on the floor, back pressed up against the vegetarian friend or relative you persuaded to come along and be designated meat-free driver. Also, you could probably use a reminder that the weather won't be like this for long, and the endless Texas summer will soon make us all wish for thundersleet. We've tried to stick with ones near the DFW area, but there are a few worth driving for, no doubt.
Fort Worth Cops 4 Kids Barbecue Cook-Off, March 21-22 An annual barbecue cook-off sanctioned by the International Barbecue Cook-Off Association, which is of course a real thing, the Fort Worth Cops 4 Kids Cook-Off raises money for disadvantaged kids in the Fort Worth area via FWPD, forging stronger bonds between the kids and the cops via toys and brisket.
You can even enter to cook your own barbecue, if you're man or woman enough, and last year saw 111 teams competing in the ol' Stockyards. Entry for those who just want to eat, dammit, is via donation through the website linked to above. Oh, and they're raffling off a gigantic custom smoker, for $25 per ticket. You probably want that.
Pink Soles In Motion, Carrollton, March 28-29 If you ever wanted to attend a barbecue contest that takes place at a Harley-Davidson showroom, then here is your chance, and all in exchange for a short drive up I-35E. Broader information is thin on the ground, but there is even a contest for something called "Jackpot Beans" that is completely separate from the meat contest.
Each barbecue sandwich is $5, entry is seemingly free, and it'll cost you $75 if you want to competitively cook your meat, this time under the Lone Star Barbecue Society rules. There's a guaranteed $1,500 jackpot for the meat winner. All proceeds go to benefit cancer victims and their families.
Head over to the next page for information on the State Championship Goat Cook-Off. Yes.
Goldthwaite State Championship Goat Cook-Off, April 25-26 Yes. This is a real thing. Welcome to Central Texas. Information on this is even thinner on the ground than before (as you can see, the above link takes you to a Facebook page not updated since 2013's installment), but the thriving Mills County Chamber of Commerce assures us that the event is taking place this April.
We really wish there were more information on this, because it sounds amazing. The town is the best part of three hours southwest of Dallas, but when there's a whole barbecued goat festival in the offing, what's three hours spent in a car on a Texas weekend? There's even something called a "Washer Pitching Tournament." Anyone? Anyone got any idea what that is? Are we throwing washers now?
Heart of Texas Triple-Crown Barbecue Cook-Off, Waco, June 27-28 If you'd like to spend your weekend with these fine strapping young men at something called, in a totally non-terrifying way, The Karem Shrine Campgrounds in Waco, then the only chance you've got is this barbecue cook-off with an unwieldy name. Their website doesn't work any more, and their Facebook page has little more than a date for this year's contest. All the best things are disorganized, right? Either that or those guys are still communicating via handwritten notes.
There had better be smoked goats. Until the previous entry, we had no idea a Goat Barbecue Cook-Off was a thing, but we know what we'll be telling Alice to make the Wild Card Category this time.
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Meat Fight, November 16 The event that is rapidly becoming Dallas' Big Kahuna of Barbecue just announced that it'll be back at roughly the same time in 2014 that it happened in 2013. You might even get a ticket this time, if you have superhuman reaction times and a 1 terabyte Internet connection. No word yet on venue or celebrity judges, but Alice is going to have to go some way to top last year.
Good luck with that, Alice.