Saturday, November 09, 2013

Fun and Good Food

It wasn't BBQ but Chuck Wagon cooks that gave us a fun and tasty time today. This is the third year we have attended the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off. Tickets for lunch went on sale at 10 am. The event is becoming so popular that the ticket line looked like this when we arrived at 9:30. The ticket booth is under the small red tent on the far left in this photo.

By 10, this many more people had joined the line.

Each of the 10 competing wagons prepared 50 meals, meaning 500 people got lunch. The tickets were sold out somewhere between 11 and 11:30.

It takes a lot of pans and a lot of heat to prepare 50 meals, cooking with open fires and coals.

Contestants were given the meat and dried apples (and maybe pinto beans and potatoes). They provide the rest of the ingredients. One wagon prepared pan fried steak.

The dried fruit was soaked, then made into some kind of dessert.

Onions were friend to mix with meat or beans. Did these ever smell wonderful!

Beans had to be stirred.

Biscuits prepared for cooking.

This is what the menu board looked like at about 11 am. A little later, every single wagon was sold out.

Cook-off volunteers visited each wagon to pick up their entries for judging.

Here are the judges, waiting, with water close at hand, to taste and evaluate 10 different meat dishes, beans, potatoes and desserts.

While everyone waited for lunch, Chef Tess demonstrated how to cook with a hay box or solar oven.

Each contestant was also judged on their chuck wagon. This is just one of the 10 that were there.

Finally, it was time to eat. This was my plate of smothered steak, scalloped potatoes and cowboy beans from the Cannon Family.

This was John's pan fried steak with cream gravy, pecos beans and potatoes with bacon and onions, prepared by Rockin' RR.

We always buy food from two different wagons and share our plates so we get to taste more of the dishes that are prepared. Everything was good, but if we were the judges, Cannon Family would come out on top.

It was a warm sunny day with good food. We had fun. Tumbleweed Park in Chandler is where the event is held each year and we were able to go for a good walk while waiting for lunch. It was a good day and a good diversion from making our RV into our home and buying a new truck.


  1. Sure looks delicious.

  2. Was it hard to choose which lunch you were going to have? I liked the looks of John's choice. :)

    1. That was my thought at the beginning, as well. However, his meat wasn't as tender or as full of flavor as mine. And my beans were better, too.