Steve Wilson of The Pit Crew BBQ of Arizona competition barbecue team

About the Sponsored Team Series: Dizzy Pig Sponsored Teams are professional competition BBQ teams that depend on Dizzy Pig seasonings to flavor their meats. Getting the judges to give the entries high scores is the name of the game, and we asked these teams to tell us a little about what they do to achieve success.

The Pit Crew BBQ of Arizona Team’s Story

Your Team Is… My team is The Pit Crew BBQ of Arizona.

Your Team Members Are… Steve Wilson and Pam Wilson.

How long have you been competing? Six years.

Why did you start competing?
We started competing after watching the first season of BBQ Pitmasters.

Why Dizzy Pig?

Many West Coast teams use the same line of rubs and injections, all with similar flavor profiles. Dizzy Pig makes our profiles stand out amongst the competition. I believe judges get bored with the repeated profiles, and ours stands out.

Favorite Dizzy Pig rub?

My favorite Dizzy Pig rub is Cow Lick. It’s my base rub on brisket, ribs, and butts.

What’s your competition BBQ process like – before, during, and after?

Preparation is key to a successful barbecue competition. I start with a plan. I have made a spreadsheet of my process that has a detailed timeline of everything I do. Everything.

I order briskets in bulk and freeze them.

Before
My timeline begins about a week and a half prior to the contest, when I begin defrosting a brisket.

On the Monday before the contest

I prepare all my rubs, taking just a little bit more than I know I’ll need, and store the rest in a cool, dry, dark area to help preserve the freshness of the rubs. I combine several rubs for each meat, carefully measuring each rub used, and thoroughly blend them together to avoid over-seasoning the meats at a contest.  When I used to apply rubs one at a time before, I had the tendency to over season once in a while. When I blend, it seems easier to get the right amount on the meats.

On Tuesday

I shop for butts and spares. Once home, I refrigerate them and work on preparing my injections, marinades and sauces. As with the rubs, everything is measured – I am looking for consistent results by preparing consistent rubs, sauces, marinades and sauces. The beauty of using a spreadsheet is everything I did at the last contest is listed. Every once in a while, I will make a change to a flavor profile but those changes are always recorded. It is critical to only make slight changes. Hopefully your profile is great and by making a small change you are just fine tuning a proven recipe.

On Wednesday

I start trimming the brisket, 3 butts and 5 racks of spares. Trimming is extremely important. Take your time and do it right – it’s too expensive to make mistakes. I put the trimmed meats in jumbo size Ziploc bags and place them in the cooler full of ice.

On Thursday

I buy chicken and trim it for competition. It too goes into the ice cooler. I pack the trailer using a checklist that includes all my gear, rubs, sauces, injections and sauces. I have only forgotten something once, and that was because I didn’t use a checklist.

On Friday morning

I leave early enough to arrive at the contest around 9am. This gives me time to set up camp, see old friends, get my meat inspected and eat lunch. My competition timeline stars at 2pm Friday.

During
I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. No, just kidding.

My competition process has been developed over our 6 years of competing – the key is I have a timeline for everything we do.

My wife has 6 jobs at a contest:

  • Prepare the boxes Friday night,
  • Perfect the turn in box once I put the meats in them,
  • Be my taster and help me determine the best parts/pieces to turn in,
  • Keep me on schedule using the timeline,
  • Turn in the boxes, and
  • Wash the tools

I rely on her greatly, because there is no way I can remember everything I’m supposed to do. We have developed a process that works for us, and we want to repeat it exactly, time after time.

After:
After the last turn in, we will evaluate our cook and make notes of possible changes. When we get home we will go over changes we want to implement for the next contest.

What is most important to us is our detailed timeline. Repeating what you do consistently produces consistent results.

What’s your success record like?

Our 2018 accomplishments:

  • RGC @ Lake Pleasant
  • 4th @ Freedom RV
  • 10th @ Santa Anita
  • GC @ Show Low

We are in the process of building a new home, so our comps have been limited. We have 3 more competitions planned for this year.

Our most significant win was the 2014 USA BBQ Championships in Laughlin, Nevada, when we won a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro, which my wife still drives today. That was a great day!