Women's Competition is Hot at this Weekend's Giant National BBQ Battle
By Susan Able, EdibleDC
Jenny Windsor is ready to rumble this weekend and step up to win points toward the Cowboy Charcoal Women's Fire & Ice Championship BBQ Series, part of the 24th Annual Giant National BBQ Battle held Saturday and Sunday, June 25 & 26 in on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown DC. Jenny, a national competitor for 9 years, is owner of Black Cat BBQ from Severna Park, MD and is passionate about grilling on her Big Green Egg. A member of the Kansas City BBQ Society and the head cook for Black Cat BBQ, Windsor is one of a growing number of woman-led BBQ teams. She'll be competing both days and encourages people to stop by the Black Cat BBQ trailer at any time to say hello.
Windsor started off competing locally, her first win at the Chesapeake Jubilee in 2009. She and her husband, Jack Windsor, took a 4th place finish in Ribs and an 8th place in Pork with a 7th Overall finish. And Windsor was hooked on BBQ competiton.
But she already had competition in her blood--Windsor and her brother had been competing in national chili cookoffs, and in fact, she met her husband at a chili competition. In January this year, she and Jack were members of the winning “High Sierra Cooking Team” at the US National Open Championships in Terlingua, TX.
We asked Windsor for any pro tips that a competitor from the national stage was willing to share with home grillers.
“Not sure this is a secret, but really the biggest key to winning is cooking the meat properly. If you aren't focused and don't have a schedule it's easy to loose track of where you are at a competition. Know your cooker and cook the meat perfectly. A real secret for me is that I actually do use Dizzy Pig Seasonings on every category.” [Dizzy Pigs is a local BBQ company producing rubs and seasonings, and also does classes. In Manassas, VA.]
“At home it's the same thing - don't loose track of where you are in the cooking process because you have guests. My Dad was up for Father's Day, last weekend and I cooked chicken and ribs for him. I had written out my timeline the night before, had all my meat prepped, all my spices out and was ready to go! “
What will Windsor's grill-centric menu be for her family for the 4th of July?
“Fourth of July will be brisket burgers on the egg cooked over the Cowboy Charcoal's Southern Style Lump! I am using it this weekend for the chicken category too! I am really impressed with how hot it burns. It's perfect for getting the bite thru skin that judges want and the perfect grill marks on burgers. I also like grilled corn on the cob with a jalapeño butter. Anything you make traditionally (streamed or in the oven) can be cooked on a grill!”
And Windsor's favorite BBQ sauce or marinade?
“Favorite BBQ sauce would have to be Blues Hog Tennessee Red. I make my own brines/marinades so I'm not sure what commercial one that I could recommend. Sorry about that."
Good luck to our local pit-mistress, well pit-master!
The Giant National BBQ Battle is celebrating its 24th year, and benefits the USO and the Capital Area Food Bank. It will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, June 25 and 26th starting at 11:00 a.m. For tickets and more details, go here.