President’s Message

The 2021 season is underway and our MABA teams are already making their mark! Congratulations to all who heard their names called at the NC BBQ Shootout. With vaccine rollouts underway we hope to see more contests moving forward as the year progresses. We look forward to seeing all of our MABA friends in person to share a hug and a toast to better times!

Please feel free to contact me at with any questions or concerns. I welcome all feedback from our membership. Be well and we hope to see you at a contest soon!

MABA President, Lisa Dommes

Virtual Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting of the Membership will be a little different due to the ongoing challenges of COVID. In lieu of an in person meeting as done in the past, a Live Stream is scheduled to be held on the Mid Atlantic Barbecue Association Facebook page (business page not the group page) at

The Virtual Annual Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, 2021 starting at 6:30PM EST. Feel free to tune in and catch up on all the latest news and events going on within MABA for this season! Please email if you have any questions or comments.


Establishment of the Steak Cook of the Year Points Chase

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the establishment of the Steak Cook of the Year Points Chase for 2021! Steak cooks are a growing segment of our membership and we look forward to recognizing their accomplishments at the Annual Meeting and Banquet next year, hopefully in person! Watch the website for updates on rules and details.


Char-Griller Sponsors Backyard Team of the Year Program

MABA is excited to announce that Char-Griller has partnered with us to sponsor the Backyard Team of the Year program! For 2021 and 2022, the backyard points chase will be referred to as the Char-Griller Backyard Team of the Year! Char-Griller has been generous to donate the following prize packages for the overall points chase winners.

â–ªFirst Prize Overall: Grand Champ Charcoal Grill OR Gravity Fed Charcoal Grill
â–ªSecond Prize Overall: AKORN Kamado Grill OR Grand Champ Charcoal Grill
▪Third Prize Overall: Smokin’ Champ Charcoal Grill OR Flat Iron Gas Griddle

Winning teams will have the option to choose at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place levels to make it a unique experience. The top three winners will receive an accessory pack as well. Char-Griller is also going to support MABA with promotional raffle items and giveaways for next year’s awards banquet as well! Thank you Char-Griller for your generous support!

Smithfield and The Butcher Shoppe Sponsor Ribs, Pork and Brisket Categories

At the awards banquet last year, both Smithfield and The Butcher Shoppe matched cash prizes for the Master Series Team of the Year program in the categories of ribs, pork and brisket. MABA is pleased to announce that both Smithfield and The Butcher Shoppe are again supporting MABA in the 2020 + 2021 Super Season Master Series Team of the Year program with cash prize matches for the same categories.

In addition, Smithfield will also be matching cash prize payouts in the newly created Backyard Team of the Year program for the ribs category. A sincere thank you to both Smithfield and The Butcher Shoppe for your ongoing generous support!


MABA State Cup & MABA Cup Finals Update

What is a MABA State Cup? One contest in each of the MABA member states is designated as the State Cup event for that year. The MABA member teams whose head cook resides in that state compete for that particular State Cup. Of those eligible teams, the team that finishes highest in the overall contest standings claims the State Cup and qualifies to compete for the overall MABA Cup against the other State Cup winning teams.

Congratulations to the following contests for being named a MABA State Cup event for 2021!

2021 State Cup Contests
– Delaware – Separation Day & Colonial BBQ, New Castle, DE
– Maryland – Interstate BBQ Festival – Day 1, Boonsboro, MD
– New Jersey – New Jersey KnoQ-Out – Day 1, Blairstown, NJ
– New York – I Love BBQ & Music Festival, Lake Placid, NY
– North Carolina – Currituck BBQ & Bulls, Currituck, NC
– Pennsylvania – Smoke in the Grove, Spring Grove, PA
– Virginia – BBQ Jamboree, Fredericksburg, VA
– West Virginia – Almost Heaven, Roanoke, WV

2019 State Cup Finals
Due to COVID in 2020, the 2019 MABA State Cup Finals were postponed until 2021. The host contest for the State Cup Finals is BBQ Gives Back in Urbanna, VA on March 27, 2021. Good luck to the below teams set to compete in the MABA State Cup Finals!

Bad Azz Mule BBQ – Maryland
Smokin’ Tex BBQ – New Jersey
The Good Cue Crew – New York
Muttley Crew BBQ – North Carolina
Wolf’s Revenge BBQ – Virginia

Master Series Super Season 2020 + 2021 Team of the Year Update

super season 2020-2021
With 2020 behind us, the Master Series Super Season is officially at its midway point. We’d like to take a moment to update you on the current standings and recognize the current top 10 teams overall in Tier 1 and Tier 2 as follows:
Tier 1 Overall
Tier 2 Overall

Coach’s Corner – Pitmaster Tips

By Steve Dotson

This month’s tip comes from the Coach himself, Steve Dotson. The old saying cleanliness is next to godliness is one we’ve all probably heard at one point or another. While I can’t verify the previous I can certainly attest to a clean pit is a happy pit, and more importantly to you and me, it’s a consistent pit. As competition BBQ cooks we try to be in control of every aspect of a cook at all times, and one of the variables that can sometimes get overlooked is how clean your pit is. We’ve all seen the cook who writes off a dirty pit as simply “seasoned” when we know that the “seasoning” they’re referring to is left over grease from pervious cooks. This leftover dirt and grease in a pit can get on your food either through direct contact on a grate or as an airborne particulate if it heats up and begins to burn.

Aside from not being very sanitary, if we choose to do this we allow a new variable to our cook that will affect it in an unknown way. That was a long way around to say, if you want to be successful, you need to be consistent, if you want to be consistent, your cook needs to be reproducible, and if you want to reproducible start with a clean pit every time.

Pitmaster Recipes

By Jamie Fink

Smoked Blueberry Cobbler
1 can blueberry pie filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick salted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 cup self rising flour

Light smoker and while it’s coming to temp at 300F place a stick of butter in a half pan or cast iron skillet and place on smoker for butter to melt.
In large mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
Once smoker is up to temp and butter is melted pour mixture from bowl into pan with butter.
Place on smoker and cook for approx 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before serving.

North Carolina BBQ Shootout Contest Recap

By George DeMartz

2021 is shaping up to be an interesting year within the world of competition BBQ! Covid-19 vaccinations are underway, states, cities and locales are starting to open, and it appears the BBQ season is well underway with quite a few contests scheduled and on the books within MABA territory and KCBS!

One of the first competitions within the MABA region was a new “Shoot-out” style, put on by Bob Johanns and held in Zebulon, NC. Teams were instructed to show up on Friday afternoon with your “injections, rubs and sauces”, and the contest organizer provided the proteins!

21 professional teams showed up to a rain-soaked venue with frigid temperatures forecast for this 2-day event! Each professional cook team was provided with 12 pieces of chicken, 2 racks of ribs, 2 pork butts and a brisket for each day of the Shootout! Several of the top teams in the country showed up to throw down and compete to become the 2021 NC BBQ Shoot Out Champion! Muttley Crew BBQ, Gettin’ Basted, Bald Hawg BBQ, Wolf’s Revenge BBQ, Lucky Charms, Redmule’s Bad Ass BBQ, Still Workin’ on It, Old Virginia Smoke, Hold Your Horses BBQ, Twisted Pair BBQ, Southern Q Competition Cook Team, Fallout BBQ, Blue & Gray BBQ, Redneck Scientific, Hot Wachula’s, Smoke Central BBQ, Elite BBQ Smokers, Smokin Skullies, Good Googly Goo BBQ, Poppa Pig and Big Bear’s BBQ were the teams fortunate to show up for this event – I don’t know about you, but there are some “Who’s Who in BBQ” within this field, including 8 of the top 10 teams in the world, not to mention 7 of the top 20 teams in MABA! What a field!

Friday evening at this event was like no other that I have been at! Our KCBS reps Bill Jones and Alan Rothrock held the cooks meeting at 7:30pm and then the fun started. The teams drew a poker chip with a number on it to set the order in which you would draw your protein! For example, if you drew number 5, you would go thru the line 5th for that protein, then reverse the order and go thru the line 16th on the 2nd round of picks for that protein. This was repeated 3 additional times until all teams had their proteins for both days of the competition. Muttley Meats provided all the proteins, and we were fortunate enough to be provided with quality meats to select from including fresh chicken from Wegmans, Prairie Fresh Ribs, Prairie Fresh Butts, and Brisket that came from Red Top Farms!

As cooks, we were fortunate to be treated to a lazy Saturday morning as turn ins were set back to 4:00pm thru 5:30pm, it was a brisk 28 degrees or so as meats were put on, pits or drums were lit, the air was clearing, and the smell of BBQ was permeating the air! You could feel the anticipation from the teams as they worked with proteins that they selected trying to provide the best possible entries to the judges. After turn ins, the teams went right back to work preparing the meats for day 2 as we anxiously awaited the awards presentation. When the dust settled, Muttley Crew BBQ took home the GC and Gettin’ Basted took home the RGC on Day 1. The category winners on day one were Chicken – Hold Your Horses BBQ, Ribs – Redmule’s Bad Ass BBQ, Pork – Muttley Crew BBQ, and Brisket – with a called “we’re going to win this” – Still Workin’ on It.

Day 2 rolled around with a crisp 18 degree temperature at sunrise, there was a beautiful hue of smoke rolling over the pasture, the donkey’s were braying and the pits were warming up! When all the dust settled, our Day 2 GC was Gettin’ Basted, RGC was Bald Hawg BBQ and our category winners were Chicken – Wolf’s Revenge BBQ, Ribs – Still Workin’ on It, Pork – Twisted Pair BBQ, Brisket – Hold Your Horses BBQ.

The overall 2-Day GC was Gettin’ Basted and the RGC was Muttley Crew – Congratulations!

In speaking with the judges and the teams afterwards it was noted that a lot of really good BBQ was had by all. It was also noted that the judges really enjoyed knowing that the teams all had been provided with and prepared the same product for turn in to be judged. Overall feedback on this format from both the teams and the judges is that this is a great format and should be considered for a couple more events throughout the BBQ season. If you are interested in hosting a shoot out style event, please reach out and let us know!

2021 Committee Updates

Current committees for 2021 have been updated and added to MABA’s website at MABA Committees. Please email if you have an interest in joining a committee to make a difference.

Want to help, but don’t feel that you can make an ongoing commitment? We always welcome volunteers who would like to contribute an article, photos or a video clip for our newsletter or social media platforms. Please email with your ideas for a contest recap, tips and tricks, team profile, recipe, or other item of interest. We welcome the assistance of our members to make the MABA experience second to none!