By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ
By day, CoServ Employee Craig Scoggins stays busy procuring materials – electrical lines, power poles, transformers, meters and pipes – that a fast-growing electrical cooperative needs to maintain 400,000 electric and gas meters.
But outside of work, Scoggins has taken his love of grilling to a new level by competing in steak cookoffs. His perfectly seared ribeyes earned him a Golden Ticket to the Steak Cookoff Association World Championship in Fort Worth in March.
There, Craig finished tied for 17th in his division of about 50 other competitors from around the country. He was just three points shy of advancing to the finals.
“It was so exciting to qualify in my rookie year and experience a world championship,” Craig said. “You’ve got to season it for one bite. You’ve got to have a wow factor there where the judge wants to take another bite.”
He got his first taste of competitive steak cookoffs when his neighbor in Ponder challenged him a few years ago. He wanted to follow rules, even for a neighborly competition, and that’s how he found out about the Steak Cookoff Association. It escalated from there as he bought a new grill and other equipment he’d need to compete in real cookoffs.
First, competitors draw numbers to choose their steak – Craig looks for perfect marbling and other traits. Preferring locally-produced spices, he adds a combination of Azle-based Papo Joe Spices and Cleburne’s own B Xtreme BBQ Seasoning. Steaks are judged on appearance, doneness (medium), texture, taste and overall impression.
Craig also competed in the Cowtown Classic where his team, Red Hot Rails, finished 18th out of 152 teams and he had his highest score to date.
The cookoffs are competitive but also fun and they typically support great causes. At the SCA World Championship, the untouched portions of the steaks were donated to feed the hungry in Fort Worth. They’re also family-oriented.
“I love it because it’s something my son Knox [Scoggins] can do with me,” Craig said.
His fellow teammates include Will Ramsey and Tim Kuykendall.
Papo Joe Grilling Supplies
Based in Azle
B xtreme BBQ
Based in Cleburne