Smithfield BBQ Classic, Smithfield, VA
by Brian Walrath, MABA Board Member and Pitmaster for Brown Liquor BBQ
When Arlie Bragg promotes an event and gets Sterling “Big Poppa” Ball and Tuffy Stone involved to be hosts, it’s a pretty big deal event. Now put that event in the hometown of hog, the parish of pig, the city of swine…Smithfield, VA, and you’ve got something special! In fact, Smithfield’s presence was huge, being the title sponsor and contributing meat to the competition teams. Texas may know a little something about beef but when it comes to pork, Virginia is where it’s at! To sweeten a nice purse of $10,600, Sterling Ball kicked in a spot to this year’s King of the Smokers (KOS) event in California later this year. Not only did this bring out the big guns of the Mid-Atlantic, it also attracted marquee teams from all over the country.
The setting in Smithfield was a nice flat open park and shortly after teams got settled in, it was time for an early cook’s meeting. Another feature making this a truly unique event was that each team got a cooler with their competition meats. Snake River Farms provided the brisket, Springer Mountain Farms the chicken, and all the pork was Smithfield! And just like that, teams swiftly moved back to their sites to start trimming and preparing their meats for the competition cook.
Now, word around the water cooler is that there was to be a pretty kick ass pot luck dinner featuring some entrees being prepared by Tuffy and Big Poppa themselves. But on this weekend I had the honor and privilege of helping out pitmaster Mark Gibbs of Checkered Flag 500 BBQ. We discovered a local gem called Captain Chuck-A-Muck’s Sandbar and Grill. More than just a hokey name, this waterfront treasure had great cocktails and killer seafood!
Fast foward to day two. When the dust settled and the winner declared, it was Pavone Brothers BBQ who bested the competition on this day and took home the big check and perhaps more important…an invitation to compete in California at KOS!!!
Chicken – Bub-B-Q
Ribs – 3 Eyz BBQ
Pork – Smoke-aholics
Brisket – Burnt Bean Co.
RGC – Wolf’s Revenge BBQ
GC –Pavone Brothers BBQ
Full KCBS results here.