When it comes to barbecuing, Frank Flores of El Campo isn’t giving away any secrets – even to his wife.
“He has secrets he won’t even share with me,” wife and cooking partner Brandy Molina-Flores said. “We compete against each other, too. He knows if I learn his secrets, I will beat him.
Frank’s secrets are so good, he has been named the second best cook in the state.
“He was ranked No. 2 in the state for our organization IBCA,” Brandy said.
IBCA stands for International Barbeque Cookers Association and the name of their team is the Texas Heavy Smokers.
“For the year, my husband earned 502 points, which was good enough for second in the state,” she said. “We had five grand champions and four reserve grand champions, with a total of 30 top 10 finishes overall. We were recognized and awarded at our banquet in Kerrville in August.”
There are no monetary prizes for the top 10 cooks’ line-up, just “mainly bragging rights. We win money at the cook-offs,” Brandy said.
Frank received an engraved spatula and for second in state, he received a director’s chair embroidered with second place overall top cook.
Each year, the organization tallies up the winning points to come up with the top 10 cooks in the state. One has to be a member to participate in IBCA cooking events and be considered for the award. Only the head cook of a team receives recognition.
“IBCA recognizes a cook of the year based on points earned July 1st through June 30th of each year,” Brandy said. “Cook of the year points are accumulated based strictly on the points that are earned at an IBCA event. At the end of the contest year, the top 10 winners will be awarded a prize.”
Tie-breakers are broken the same as cook-off events are. Brisket is the first tie breaker, then ribs, chicken and lastly the pork butt. Overall points are determined by a summary of points from the primary categories.
For Frank, he especially enjoys the challenge of cooking a good brisket.
“Brisket is his favorite meat to cook,” Brandy said. “It is one of the hardest meats to master when cooking in regards to taste and tenderness and he loves the challenge of getting it perfect each time.”
Frank Flores has been cooking competitively for close to six years with the last couple of years in the IBCA cook-offs.
“Last year in region two he finished first in chicken, first in ribs and first in brisket,” she said. “Last year in state he finished with second chicken, third ribs and second brisket.”
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