barbecue competition

Photo by Robert J. Lerma from Tuffy Stone's Facebook page

Memphis Dismay

“It needs more dust,” I said. Tuffy Stone, whose Cool Smoke barbecue team is one of most prolific in the country, was about to close a styrofoam box full of pork shoulder that was bound for the judge’s table. Our team, most of which I’d first met the day prior, surrounded the table preparing the pork “blind box,” and Stone handed me a piece to try. I offered my critique, and Stone obliged. My advice might have sunk…

American Smoke

“This is my crack habit right here.” That’s how Tom Bera of the Philly Blind Pig BBQ team describes competition barbecue in a new documentary, American Smoke. Bera’s comparison is not only a comment on how addictive the competitions are and the high of winning one, but he’s also telling us that it costs a lot of money. If you watch BBQ Pitmasters, you might be familiar with some big names like Myron Mixon and Johnny…

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party took over part of Madison Avenue in New York City.

Competitions and Convocations

Two weeks ago I was bathed in hickory smoke in the middle of New York City. For two days the streets surrounding Madison Square Park in Manhattan were taken over by pitmasters who had been invited to cook at the annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Eighteen barbecue joints from around the country had packed up huge mobile rigs and metric tons of raw pork and beef and driven into Manhattan from as far away…