If you’re like me, there’s nothing as good as the smell of a steak on the grill. Smoky, meaty, and rich, it’s the grilled food of the summer, better than burgers, dogs, or corn. But did you know that there’s a Steak Cookoff Association? These folks get together on weekends in select cities and compete to grill off the best steak. Here’s a sneak peak at the fun, at the SCA steak cookoff competition last weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas!
It all starts out with the steak. In an SCA steak cookoff competition, they lay out a hundred or so ribeye steaks and let the teams select them. There’s a round-robin process that orders who gets to choose their first steak first, and that team gets to pick their second steak last. That’s all they get: two beautiful steaks. Take a look:
The choices can be tough, sometimes.
Maybe this one instead?
Hmm. Maybe this one.
Yep. This one.
Only the judges get to touch the steaks.
Most folks find at least one that they’re happy with.
Now that you have two steaks to compete with, it’s time to prep them. That starts out with the trimming.
Once it’s trimmed, you want to tie it off. That keeps that nice circle shape.
Make sure you check your recipe. (This was from the kid’s cookoff, where they made a single bite wonder.)
There are lots of secret spices and sauces. Hope I’m not spoiling anything.
The kids had a great time. So did the Dads.
Even the dogs had a good time. Shoot. Especially the dogs.
Some people have been doing this a long time and are big time winners.
Some people are super big-time winners.
I really liked this guy. He knew what he was doing and still took time to explain it to me. He was the points champion last year. Won so many competitions he got a ring.
Here’s his buddy, also a champion.
If you win today, you get this good looking cooker.
Some people are super serious. Others are just here for fun. Some are a little of both.
There’s also a sides competition. People make all kinds of things. This team is making egg rolls:
This one was a winner. A seafood cup. It was awesome!
Bacon wrapped goat cheese dates!
I wish I could have tried these oysters. I really love grilled oysters.
I’m not sure what these were, but they look like smoked bacon donuts. And I love how that sounds.
Ok. Back to steaks. Most folks cook off their first steak as a test. Then they repeat what they did the second time and put it in their competition turn in box:
Pretty much everyone seemed to cook on a PK Grill, made right here in Little Rock.
I saw a lot of seasonings, since the game here is layers of flavor.
There are lots of cooking techniques, but everyone wants to get a great sear. You have to get the grill really hot to start. Most use these grill grates:
And it’s important to get a nice cross hatch as you go.
Make sure you check the temperature.
Sometimes it’s hard, but pick the right one.
Then you need to douse it in butter. Mmmn.
When you’re done, make sure the best eating part is in the front of the box. The judges cut it in half, and only eat the front part. Words to the wise.
Make sure you turn it in on time. A minute late means you get to take it home. They won’t judge it.
Then you wait. There’s lots of camaraderie.
Good family time.
And someone comes away with a win!
All in all, an SCA steak cookoff is a pretty fun event. I will make sure to attend next year. Because Steak.