President’s Message

Greetings, MABA Family! I am so pleased to see the season in full swing with new contests coming on board for both BBQ and steak. It sure feels good to get outside, gather with friends, and enjoy some friendly competition.

Planning is underway for the 2022 Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, and we want your feedback on the banquet and all things MABA! Please visit to fill out the Membership Survey and share your opinions with the Board of Directors.

Elections are coming up and we encourage everyone to consider running for a seat on the Board of Directors. If you have a passion for fun and want to see MABA succeed, please consider running for the Board. We also have plenty of room on our committees for anyone who wants to get involved.

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


MABA Business Member Highlights!

DennyMike’s is a line of super-premium, all-natural and gluten free sauces and seasoning blends. Food enthusiasts from home cooks to professional chefs now count on DennyMike’s to enhance a broad range of meats, seafood, poultry, game, soups, sides and more. Thank you DennyMike Sherman for continuing to be a valued business member of MABA!


Meadow Creek specializes in serious outdoor cooking equipment for the serious cook. Since 1980, they’ve provided a growing line of handmade BBQ smokers, pig roasters, grills, and sinks to award-winning chefs, backyard enthusiasts, and food service professionals. Their mission is to provide quality barbecue equipment at the best value possible with industry-leading product innovation, manufacturing systems, and customer service. Each piece is still handcrafted in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country by their skilled team of craftsmen. We would like to thank Melvin and Jesse Stoltzfus as two of the founding members of MABA!


Pennsylvania MABA Cup Winner

With the second half of the BBQ season underway, one more MABA State Cup contest is in the books with two left to go!!

The fifth MABA State Cup contest of the 2021 season took place at the Smoke In The Grove BBQ Festival in Spring Grove, PA on July 31st, 2021 where Pitmaster Steven Sobuto and his Smokestack Redemption Competition BBQ team were crowned the Pennsylvania MABA State Cup Champion!

A huge congrats to Smokestack Redemption and all PA teams that competed!

Next up is the New York State Cup Championship in Lake Placid on September 4th. Good luck to all MABA New York teams!


Women in BBQ

By Jamie Fink

Only men cook BBQ…right?


As a man that is a member of a woman run competition BBQ team I’ve seen first hand the stereotype that people always assume I’m the head cook. While the majority of the teams out there do have men as the head cook, there’s an up and coming group of ladies making a stand to show they’re as good if not better than the men. You also find that there are a lot of husband and wife teams on the circuit where the duties are split. Mike and Lisa of Aporkalypse Now BBQ are a great example of this, Lisa (the Chicken Chick) has set the bar high for making great competition chicken. I know there are many more husband and wife teams out there I can use for examples but I can’t turn down an opportunity to get brownie points with the MABA President!

Schmoozing over now and back on topic… What is it about BBQ that makes people automatically think there’s a man involved? For as long as I can remember women have in most cases traditionally been the ones to cook meals at home for their families so why would anything to do with cooking food automatically be associated with men only? I guess my whole point to this is that the stereotype of men as the head cook in competition BBQ (if it exists as I believe it does as I get asked) is just not accurate. Anyone that knows Ree and I know that I can’t cook worth a flip and there are some great female cooks out there!!

I know that in the past few years we’ve come a long way in our region with women participating in competition BBQ. There are a lot of young ladies starting to get into BBQ now and we should be cheering them on! Denny Flint’s (D’s Butts-N-Beers) daughter Karlee has been practicing on her new smoker and I got a feeling we will see her make an appearance in the backyard division before long. Of course there’s my daughter Kenzie of KenzieLouQ who has had some great finishes in the backyard division as well. We’ve also caught wind that Lauren Murphy is going to split off from her husband, Travis Murphy of Gold-N-Blue Barbecue, to form her own team with her father next year known as Better Half Barbecue, and she may be just that! Sorry Travis!!! There are probably more ladies out there that have started or want to start cooking in the future and I want to be one of the first to welcome them to the fun hobby of competition BBQ as they are part of the future of BBQ as well! Don’t get me wrong I’m not looking for the sport to become a woman only sport, I just want to see the ladies get all the recognition they deserve (and bragging rights) whether it’s a lady run team or just a teammate that has a vital role in competition BBQ!

I know there have been women in BBQ for years like seasoned veterans Shannon Turner of Muttley Crew BBQ, Theresa Bell of Big Dog BBQ VA, and my wife Laree Fink of House of Smoke. These are just a few of the accomplished teams in the Mid Atlantic of ladies that have proven they can keep up with the demands of competition BBQ and be successful at beating the guys in this crazy game of competition BBQ!

The next time you come across a team at a competition where there is a lady on site, don’t be surprised if she’s the head cook is all I’m saying! With the growing popularity of backyard competitions in our region, don’t be surprised if we see more ladies making waves in the future in our region! Take a moment to cheer them on as I’m a proud husband and father for having my wife and daughter both compete which has its benefits too! I get naps often while they cook and I never go hungry at a competition!


Two More Teams Earn First GC in Mid Atlantic!

By Chris Schriver

In June, we saw Bar-B-Que Mayham earn their first GC at the York County BBQ Festival. In July, we watched two more teams earn their first GC!

On July 10th at the New Jersey State BBQ Championship, we saw Pitmaster Jim Johnson and team of Glazed and Infused NJ BBQ walk away with top honors over reserve grand champion Crescent Moon and 57 other teams!

When reaching out to Jim to reflect on that day, here’s what he had to say about his first ever GC. “I would say the best thing was just hearing our name finally called. It don’t hurt that it was at our favorite event and we had lots of friends there to celebrate with us. Some of the other teams were so nice as well. They were all coming up and congratulating us on it and it makes you remember why we love cooking in comp bbq to begin with. As for the cook we actually felt pretty good overall. Funny thing we felt we had one of the best chicken cooks we have ever had and of course that was was the worst category this time around.

We did York a few weeks before this comp and had a great cook except we we missed Rib turn in by a few secs. Needless to say we made sure we were early in Wildwood and you saw the result… our first ever first place ribs as well. Nothing like going from last to first.” Well Jim, if the secret to getting that first GC is to miss your rib turn in the comp before, the secret is out!

A few short weeks later at the end of the month on July 31st, we watched Pitmaster David Goss and his No So Famous Dave’s BBQ team take home their first GC, narrowly edging out smoking hot Top Gun Barbecue by just over 0.02 points at the Smoke in the Grove BBQ Festival as well as 52 other teams.

Catching up with Dave after he had a chance to let the victory soak in a bit, we asked him if he thought he had a good cook and he noted that “it went fairly well. We had some major issues a few weeks prior (Wildwood, NJ). But was able to make a few changes and it worked out! Still a few small tweaks to make, but I think we are dialed in now.”

When Dave was asked what was the best thing about winning your first GC? He replied, “Validation! We put so much time and effort into the sport and love everything about it. Winning GC validated our process and flavor profiles. But most of all over that, our friends were there to live the moment with us! Bill F. and Mike C., I am so happy you were there with me!”

Dave went on to say that, “this is and was very much a team effort. I am very fortunate to have been able to learn from and be friends with one of the BBQ beasts in our area, Mr. Dan Hixon from 3 Eyz BBQ. I am still learning from this man, and I will be for some time. I encourage anyone looking to up their game to reach out to him. Always be open to learning new things!”


MABA Teams Get Drawn for the Jack!

The Mid Atlantic BBQ Association Board of Directors would like to congratulate all the member teams drawn for the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee!

We are cheering you on! Good Luck!

Aporkalypse Now

Big Raz BBQ

Glazed and Infused New Jersey BBQ

Old Virginia Smoke

Redneck Scientific

Rhode Hog BBQ

Smokecraft – MD

Smokin’ Hoggz BBQ – MA

Top Gun Barbecue


Coach’s Corner – Pitmaster Tips

By Steve Dotson

This month’s tip will be a little different. Let’s focus on points tracking in the TOY/COY programs!

Teams, you will notice that MABA has started posting Master Series points updates in addition to the Backyard and Steak points updates on social media.

Please help MABA help you – check your score data and make sure it is accurate! While MABA has an automated system using to track Master Series points vs the manual tracking for Backyard and Steak, errors can and do happen. Add into the mix the Super Season and things can get quite confusing!

As noted, in Master Series, score data is tracked and can be checked through If you have a paid membership with them you can review your points there. If you do not, no worries, you can at least check the Tier 1 TOY standings on the MABA website to be sure you are listed and that your numbers don’t seem off.

For your information, every Master Series team is automatically part of Tier 1 so your team name should be listed there. The Tier 2 list gets shorter as the year progresses as some teams cook 8 or more contests and therefore drop out of Tier 2.

Please let MABA know if you think there is an error and they would be happy to look into it and resolve any potential issues. For Master Series points inquiries, please send an email to, for Backyard, email, and for Steak, email

Super Season Points Updates


Barbecue Teams And Friends Help Fallen Firefighter’s Family At Smoke In The Grove

By Ron Calloway – Pitmaster, Zoni-Q

The annual Smoke in the Grove Barbecue Competition is one of the most popular events on the Mid-Atlantic Barbecue Association’s calendar. The July 2021 event held a special place in one of our fellow competitor’s heart after the overwhelming support received for fallen Fire Fighter Lieutenant Thomas Royds. Pitmaster Rob Weber of Weber’s Backyard BBQ is a personal and longtime friend of “Roydsie” who was killed in the line of duty on July 24, 2021.

Firefighter Royds responded to a call of a vehicle accident on Interstate 76 in Lower Merion Township, and as the units were preparing to leave the scene of the accident another vehicle stuck Lt. Royds, two other firefighters and a state trooper. Unfortunately, Firefighter Royds did not survive the crash and passed away early morning on Saturday, July 24, 2021. After further investigation into the fatal accident, it was determined that Mr. Royds saw the incoming and out of control car and pushed his fellow firefighters to safety.

Rob Weber had mixed feelings about competing in Smoke in the Grove and after soul searching and discussion with friends and family he decided Tommy would have wanted Rob to compete. In fact, Rob had cooked several times with Mr. Royds at various first responder events. They also shared a mutual love of sports and played softball together for years. Rob is also partial to Smoke in the Grove as he is the defending Backyard Grand Champion from 2020.

Rob contacted SIG Event Coordinator Andy Schaefer about taking a collection for Lt. Royds’ family at the event. Andy Schaefer not only agreed to allow Rob to collect funds, he provided Rob a chance to address the barbecue teams during the cooks’ meeting on Friday afternoon. Scott Nemeth from The Fat is Where it’s At BBQ procured a bucket with details about Lt. Royds and a brief description of his final call. After the announcement, many teams donated and offered their condolences to Rob.

I had the distinct privilege to accompany Rob while we walked around the complex to address other attendees that weren’t at the cooks’ meeting. Hearing Rob tell the story of his good friend’s passing and requesting any support for Lt. Royds’ family was very emotional for me. As many of us know, Smoke in the Grove offers a First Responders competition. The support from that group was overwhelming.

At the awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon Rob addressed the crowd again after encouragement from his friends. There were many festival attendees who hadn’t heard of the accident and readily donated for Lt. Royds’ family. There was over $2,000 collected that weekend and Rob was speechless at the entire event’s generosity. In addition to collecting financial donations, we collected as many BBQ Team stickers as possible so that Rob can make a large posterboard for the Royds family.

I know that I hear a lot of comments about competition barbecue being a close-knit family and that we would all gladly help a fellow pitmaster in need. Being able to personally assist Rob with this support request literally puts cooking barbecue, and life for that matter, in perspective. It humbles me but also makes me extremely proud to be a part of the MABA Family.

If you would like to help the family of Lieutenant Thomas Royds, please donate through their GoFundMe page at Support the Family of Firefighter Thomas Royds.