*Challenge Update as of August 2018:
I’m changing my recommendation of this challenge to ‘avoid‘, reason being the price point vs reward. Having done it twice, I haven’t been able to collect the promised reward for either attempt despite following up multiple times.
I’m not changing my views on taste, tactics, etc. I still think it’s a good meal. But, at the steep price charged, versus the seeming uncollectibility of reward, I’d recommend you save yourself some money/hassle and avoid it in its current state. Instead opt for a meal you can enjoy at a leisurely pace and at a cheaper cost by ordering off the menu. If you’re dead set on the challenge, be my guest, it’s delicious. *
Ok, so it seems to be a recent trend now that I will do a challenge out of the blue. Initially I had a large challenge planned for Thursday. Having prepped on Tuesday, I was now feeling more than certain that the original challenge of the week would fall through. Bored, hungry, and prepared I set out looking for something to do instead. Then it struck me, it is Wednesday! That means Porky’s is doing their Iron-Pig challenges around their venues.
Now, this was one I had on the radar for a while, but was always saving it for a time when work would land me in a location near one of their venues. However, I figured now was as good a time as any to get this win under the belt. (This was in July FYI).
The challenge consists:
- An Ultimate Porky Burger – double beef patty, layered with pulled pork, bacon, and cheese
- Louis Ribs
- 6 Hot Wings
You have 30 minutes to complete to win a T-shirt. Fastest time of the month gets a meal for 2 on the house. The challenge is NOT free if beaten, and will set you back £33, plus service charge. Rather steep, but all else equal, fair for this amount of food in London. Unless you are really gunning for that time of the month, this is a pretty good sample platter in my opinion that you can enjoy at your leisure and still finish within the time limit.
For my attempt, I started with the ribs since they are my favourite and I wanted to give them the best taste without the other foods mixing in the palate. Props to Porky’s, I didn’t expect them to be this soft. I literally tore them apart with my hands. I expected more bite and was ready to sink into them, holding on to the bone and go to work. Instead, the bones just slipped out, and the meat was easy to break apart. The nice bit of fat was a good balance that kept them juicy and helped get them down fast. Nonetheless, this was still probably the toughest part of the challenge since, it’s actually a deceptively large portion size. The thought of ‘this is a lot of meat’ flashed in my mind during this stage.
Next up were the wings. By my standard, these are not hot, so anyone not good with spice need not fear. It is just a nice bit of tingle to add flavour, but that is about it. Easy going here, break them into drum, and flat, and just use my usual techniques. Part of me feels I have become rather decent at wings at this stage with the sheer amount of challenges and competitions that I have attempted that were wing based. Plus, the year supply of wings from a previous competition means that eating wings at a good pace has become second nature. Still, these were juicy, the bones and meat separated easily which to me again showed a good quality wing. Overall, great wings with good seasoning.
For last I saved the burger. Reason being my usual tactic is to do proteins first and carbs last since they tend to expand from liquids and fill you up more. I took this one apart and did the patties separately. Next up were the bacon and pulled pork. Now, I don’t know what it is, those two topping slow me down a lot, and they always seem to be on burger challenges. Luckily, the bacon wasn’t crispy, but the sort usually found in the UK. This meant I could get through it a bit faster. Finally, I did the buns. The bottom one was soaked in the sauce and salad greens, so I turned it sauce side out and it went down easily. Top bun was nicely toasted, but since I was using this partly as a test run for a future challenge, where I would need speed, I poured a dash of water on to it to see how that is to get down both speed and taste wise. Now, this was probably the weakest part of the challenge. I think at this point I have had so many burgers around the capital through challenges and otherwise that the bar has been set pretty high. Don’t get me wrong, patties + bacon + pulled pork + cheese is a solid combo executed well here, but I have seen it so many times that it didn’t stand out.
Throughout the challenge I used water generously to help me the food down. I have found water is exceptionally useful at helping improve eating speed. Since this challenge was well within my capacity, I had no fear the water would take up precious space. So, if you know you can get through a challenge, and want to get through it faster, go to town with water.
Overall, a great entry level challenge. Generous time limit, and a good selection of great tasting items. No flavour fatigue here, plus, I really appreciated the lack of chips. The only downside is probably the price point, but again, if you treat this as a nice, large meal, then it is fair. Take your time and enjoy. I on the other hand, flew through it in 5.52. A reasonable time. In hind sight, I could probably shave a few bits of time here and there by being more efficient, but it was a good learning experience of a mixed challenge, and left me feeling good.
Feel free to give this a try at one of their locations. The Boxpark location where I did it had great staff, so if anything, just head down for some good BBQ, and a good overall experience.
Boxpark – Unit 50 Boxpark,
2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY
0207 739 9861
Oh, and if like me you fancy something sweet after all the savoury, and you are in Boxpark, pay the folks at Dum Dum Doughnuts downstairs a visit. Since they are baked and not fried, it will save you some guilt when eating their cronuts, and doughnuts after a challenge. At least that is what I told myself after I got my crone (ice cream in a cronut cone filled with your choice of filling)… It was summer ok, and really warm… and….
I’ve actually gone and done this challenge again at their Bankside location. The ribs were still the toughest part of the challenge due to being a generous helping of meat. The wings here had a lot more sauce, which they could have probably toned down a bit. Still not excessively spicy though. Burger opinion remains the same.