I had a great time cooking with Bubba and Sabrina Knapp (Bubba-Q's) and I was extremely happy with our chicken, pork and brisket. Ribs were a bit tough and Bubba felt the quality of BBQ fell short as compared to the last few comps. Bubba said there is absolutely no room for even the slightest imperfection today. The competition is just that tough.
The competition? Fierce! Top teams will compete against top teams. There is no predicting who will win. Each team is quite capable of winning this competition. The bottom line: You have to be at the top of your game and land a successful cook and pray your entries land on a good judge table. Crunch time went fast as teams rushed their turn-in boxes to the judge tent.
A few weeks ago, I was in Hayward, Wisconsin and met Famous Dave Anderson. Now I am back in Wisconsin again, this time in Madison and I had the honor to meet other fine cooks who I communicate with online. Richard Parker (co-owner of TheBBQSuperStore.com) ended up our next door neighbor and John Cossman (Bringin' the Heat) camped on the other side of us. It was great talking Q with these guys.
John built his own smokers (quite impressive and very well-built). Richard's goal with his online BBQ store is to have “the best products and the best prices but also give the backyard cooks access to the rubs, sauces, injections, and accessories that the competition cooks use on a regular basis.” The site features a rare variety of BBQ products not usually found in stores. Check it out. I am always fascinated by the creativity and abilities of cooks. The BBQ community is filled with talented people from all walks of life.
While the competition is the main focus here, Pitmaster Michael McDearman also presented free backyard barbecue demos and samples were given to customers. People enjoyed the food and walked around the competition team area talking to cooks asking questions about smokers and BBQ.. A few people said they were interested in competing, especially after watching shows such as BBQ Pitmasters. Oh howeasy it is to get caught up in competition BBQ!
Awards time finally came. Mike and Theresa Lake (KCBS REPS) were ready to give out some money to the lucky trophy winners. Congrats to Big Brother's BBQ (GRAND CHAMPION) and iBQ'n@TheBBQSuperStore.com (Reserve Grand Champion).
Here is the list of the Top 10 winners. In the spirit of Sam's Club, they will arrive in bulk at the Sam's Club BBQ Tour National in Bentonville, AR.
Congrats to all teams who competed here. You are all top teams in my book.
Big Brother's BBQ
RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION
Going to the national in Bentonville, AR
1 BIG BROTHERS BBQ
3 SMOKIN ACES@THEBBQSUPERSTORE.COM
4 IOWA'S SMOKEY D'S BBQ
5 ABLE ACRES BBQ
6 SMOKIN' IN THE D
8 BRINGIN' THE HEAT
9 TIPPYCANOE BBQ CREW
10 SECOND CITY SMOKE