Tag Archive: NC

  1. Polar Pig BBQ Cook-Off Duel Concord, NC

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    The BBQ universe focused itself onto Concord, NC on Veteran’s Day for the first ever duel turn in contest in MABA-land.  Teams from all over the country came to town to try and chase points in this one-of-a-kind format, including Boomerang BBQ from Texas and the Smoking Hills from Kansas.

    It was raining (of course it was) for much of Friday, but that didn’t stop teams from enjoying a pizza party on Friday night hosted by Luke Darnell and the Food Network’s Jerry Stephenson.  No trout were harmed during the cooking of the pizza.
    On Saturday, the clouds broke and it was go time for the teams.
    Congrats to the winners!
    Duel A – Rooters n Tooters TN GC, Old Colony Smokehouse RGC
    Duel B – The Algood Bar-B-Q Pit Crew GC, Contagious Q RGC
    Word is this might be a traditional double next year…so stay tuned!
    Full KCBS results, Duel A here.
    Full KCBS results, Duel B here.
  2. Peak City Pig Fest Apex, NC

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    By Luke Darnell, MABA President and Pitmaster of Old Virginia Smoke

    The annual Peak City Pigfest is always a blast! Held in the quaint downtown of Apex,NC, Graham Wilson and his Rotary put on a first class contest.

    This year’s contest was no different, but had to deal with some massive thunderstorms that came into the area on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

    Despite some pop ups and other minor destruction, everyone came out no worse for wear. With a cramped awards moved inside, the contest saw The Smokehouse Mafia claim RGC, with Old Colony Smokehouse winning their first ever GC! Way to go, Adam!

    Congratulations to the winners:

    GC: Old Colony Smokehouse
    RGC: The Smokehouse Mafia

    Chicken: Redneck Scientific
    Ribs:Rocky Smokin Skullies
    Pork:Redneck Scientific
    Brisket: Evel Que-Nievel

    Full KCBS results here.

  3. Jiggy With the Piggy Kannapolis, NC – May 5-6

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    By LaRee Fink, Pitmaster – House of Smoke BBQ
    Entry Fee: $300.00
    Payout: $22,750
    Cook all four categories, plus People’s Choice, wings, and pork
    Jiggy with the Piggy is a KCBS sanctioned event and is a HUGE festival type of event.  Seventy-five teams cooked this event and the weather was a mix, from beautiful to chilly, and back to beautiful again.  The organizers, staff, and volunteers were extremely helpful and made everyone feel welcome.
    Eddie Smith and company did an awesome job putting this event together.  Turn-ins were about a five minute walk from the furthest most site.
    Sites were a big 25 X 50 and if you needed more, like Eddie says, “you need to downsize!”  Breakfast was provided and there was a choice of a boxed meal.  Lots of rides and freebies to keep the kids entertained and tons of vendors linked the festival grounds.  It was an amazing contest and I  definitely  recommend it to anyone that can come, put it on your calendars for next year folks, you DO NOT want to miss this one.
    Congratulations to the winners:
    Chicken: Southern Q Competition Cook Team
    Ribs: Baloney Joe’s BBQ
    Pork: Redneck Scientific
    Brisket: Macadoo Heights BBQ
    Reserve Grand Champion: Muttely Crew BBQ
    Grand Champion: Wolf’s Revenge BBQ
    Full KCBS results here
  4. Uptown Lexington BBQ Capital Cook Off Lexington, NC – April 28-29

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    By LaRee Fink, Pitmaster – House of Smoke BBQ
    Entry Fee: $300.00
    Payout: $15,900
    Cook all four categories, plus People’s Choice, wings, and pork

    The Uptown Lexington BBQ Capital Cookoff is a sanctioned KCBS event and is a nice festival-type of event.  Thirty-eight teams cooked and the weather was beautiful!  The organizers, staff and volunteers were extremely helpful and made everyone feel welcome.  Turn-ins were a short three to four minute walk from the furthest most site and flowed very smoothly the way it was set-up.  Friday night dinner and Saturday breakfast were provided and were buffet meals that included wine and or beer.  Also, if you didn’t want to cook your own meals, Southern Lunch was a short 2 1/2 block walk away for a sit down meal as well as plenty of food vendors on site for a grab and go.  The festival provided lots of rides and freebies to keep the kids entertained.  It was a good contest and definitely worth doing, I would recommend if you can put this on your calendar for next year.

    Congratulations to the winners:
    Chicken: Mcadoo Heights BBQ
    Ribs: North Meets Sounds BBQ
    Pork: Carolina Smokin John’s BBQ
    Brisket: Muttely Crew BBQ
    Reserve Grand Champion: Smoking Butt Heads
    Grand Champion: Mcadoo Heights BBQ
    Full KCBS results here
  5. MABA State Cup Contests for 2017 Officially Announced

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    The highest finisher from the native state where these contests take place will be eligible for additional prizes from the Mid-Atlantic Barbecue Association including a $250 check, attractive trophy, and possibly other great gifts, TBD!

    Boo-B-Que Rehobeth Beach, De

    Maryland State BBQ Bash Bel Air, MD

    New Jersey:
    Que by the Sea Seaside Heights, NJ

    New York:
    The Great Adirondack BBQ Old Forge, NY

    North Carolina:
    Tilley Harley-Davidson Biker Blues BBQ Rally and BBQ Classic Salisbury, NC

    Keystone Classic BBQ State Championship Harrisburg, PA

    BBQ Jamboree-Day 1 Fredericksburg, VA

    West Virginia:
    Almost Heaven BBQ Bash Weston, WV


  6. Jerry Stephenson, Pitmaster of Redneck Scientific Opens The Redneck BBQ Lab

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    by Brian Walrath, Pitmaster of Brown Liquor BBQ and MABA Board Member

    Time to eat!

    I know we’ve all dreamed about it…or to some had nightmares.  What is “it?”  Taking that plunge from competition barbecue and/or barbecue catering to opening your very own barbecue joint!  Well, Jerry Stephenson of Redneck Scientific fame (yeah, the team that finished fourth overall in KCBS in 2016!), took the plunge in January!  Jerry opened The Redneck BBQ Lab in Benson, North Carolina.

    An impressive line-up of trophies for sure!

    I happened to be not-too-far away from Jerry’s restaurant the first week he opened visiting some friends to attend a Tarheel/Syracuse basketball game and we decided to stop in for lunch the day after the game.  The Redneck BBQ Lab is nestled in next to a gas station in a busy intersection on highway 210, just off of interstate 40.

    You can’t miss the The Redneck BBQ Lab!

    The first thing you notice pulling in is the big painted logo on the side of the building.  The rumor is that this impressive visual landmark was hand crafted by the Sean Manley, aka, “The Guv,” Jerry’s brother-in-law and husband of Roxanne Manley, Jerry’s secret weapon on the barbecue trail!  The front of the joint is equally impressive with a bold series of words that make you want to see what’s inside…PROVEN. WINNING. COMPETITION. BBQ!  The interior has a homey look with wood grain throughout and a country feel as local, historic pictures and signs with country slogans adorn the walls on your way to the counter.  The other thing you can’t help but notice is the trophy shelf that sits right above the windows to the food service line where your order is plated.  This trophy case is flat out impressive and I couldn’t help but look up and wonder about the times I’ve competed against Jerry and Roxanne and think of all the times they whipped my ass!

    Lucky to grab a snapshot of Jerry while he was still relatively still!

    After a handshake and some pleasantries with Jerry, he was off to run an errand as busy restauranteurs often do.  My buddies and I decided to get a sampling of several barbecue meats that included smoked spare ribs, pulled pork, and brisket burnts ends and slices.  The Redneck Barbecue Lab only sells burnt ends on certain days, and we were glad we hit the right one!  Our sides included local collards and the jalapeno mac ‘n cheese.  As a competition barbecue cook, sometimes our opinions are flawed when it comes to restaurant barbecue.  But I can tell you confidently, Jerry is doing it right!  The brisket was perfectly smoked and tender as a mother’s love.  The pulled pork was true to this region and succulent with great mouth feel.  The burnt ends literally melted in your mouth.  The spare ribs were done just right…not overcooked and falling off the bone, but just the right doneness to give you a great bite and chew.  The impressiveness didn’t stop there.  The collards and mac were among the best I’ve dug in to as well.

    Brisket, ribs, pork, mac, and collards were the order of the day!

    Perhaps what’s most impressive about The Redneck BBQ Lab however, is the people.  Our service was quick, friendly, and with the southern charm that always makes me come back to these parts!  The joint is just that…a joint.  It’s not a big place and if you want to be sure to get some tasty ‘que, you better get there early.  As with all of the best BBQ hotspots I’ve found, they sell a finite amount and when they’re sold out, that’s it!

    All in all, it was a great experience and the food was killer.  It’s right off 40 and not too far off of 95.  If you get a chance, go, you won’t be disappointed.  Jerry and his team are doing it right.  I will be back for sure the first chance I get!

    Have you eaten great barbecue at a Mid-Atlantic barbecue joint lately?  Tell us about it and we’ll feature other restaurants in the newsletter and the MABA website.  Just email your review/story to me at brnwlr@aol.com.

    Impressive crowds flock to the The Lab!
  7. Hog Happnin’ Shelby, NC

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    by Stephanie West, “The Neck” Pitmaster with 270 SMOKERS

    screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-4-23-05-pmFifty-six pro BBQ teams arrived in Shelby for the 25th Annual (and final…) Hog Happnin’.  That’s right, Jerry & Joyce have decided to go out on a high note, while the Hog Happnin’ event has emerged to be one of North Carolina (and MABA-land) favorites!  This year’s event was a true celebration of their team’s tremendous work to raise over $250,000 for the local children’s home charity.  (Please note, if you’d like to purchase a commemorative item, contact the Hog Happnin’ organization thru their Facebook  page – they recently published a cookbook ($12) and also have sweatshirts, pins, hats, etc. – all proceeds go to the children’s home.)

    screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-4-23-23-pmOne of the more popular activities during Hog Happnin’ is the Simply Samplin’ competition where participating teams engage with the judges on Friday evening for on-site judging of their desserts, gumbo/stew, seafood, pizza, vegetables, and meat.  Whew!  This year, the crowd favorite proved to be 7-year old Kenzie Fink of team House of Smoke who captured 1st Place in Dessert with her Salted Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes!  She is now completely hooked on competitive cooking and will surely become a staple on the ancillary circuit!

    Grand Champion:  Rocky Top Barbecue
    Reserve GC:  Sauced! Barbecue Team (who also won People’s Choice Pork!)

    1st Place Chicken:  Wolf’s Revenge
    1st Place Ribs:  Rocky Top Barbeque
    1st Place Pork:  Smoking Butt Heads
    1st Place Brisket:  Sauced! Barbecue Team

    Click here for the full results from Shelby!

  8. Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge Newton, NC

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    By Stephanie West, “The Neck” Pitmaster of 270 SMOKERS

    This relatively new competition has quickly catapulted into the territory of “one of our favs”, largely due to the awesome enthusiasm and participation of the locals in this event.  Noel Kay is the organizer and as an experienced competitor, Noel really understands the needs of the teams.  The event is held at the fairground on flat, grassy spots that are a minimum of 30’x50′ (ours was close to 80′). Now that’s just downright dreamy.

    The comp is a fundraiser for the local emergency responders and included a full-on auction that consumed much of Friday evening.  (Bring some extra cash with you to Newton, as between the auction and raffles you will indeed discover a few items that you really NEED to buy, trust me on this!)  Saturday morning starts with Cook’s Church, followed by one of the best team breakfasts that we’ve ever had.  Thank you, Noel!
    Jerry and Roxanne of Redneck Scientific take GC again in Newton, NC!
    Jerry and Roxanne of Redneck Scientific take GC again in Newton, NC!
    GC:  Redneck Scientific
    RGC:  Smokin Skullies

    1st Chicken:  Redneck Scientific
    1st Ribs:  Foothills BBQ Company
    1st Pork:  Elite BBQ Smokers
    1st Brisket:  Smokin Skullies

    See complete results here.
  9. Mountain High BBQ Festival & Car Show Franklin, NC

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    By Stephanie West, MABA Vice-President and “The Neck” Pitmaster for Team 270 Smokers

    Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.49.53 AM

    Thirty-four pro and 12 backyard teams vied for ~$12K in cash at the 9th annual Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show in Franklin, NC.  The competition was held at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center, with 46 teams nestled on the grass between the livestock arenas.  (Likely rather unsettling for the cows who were snuggled in their pens just 25 yards or so from the smokers!  Rest assured, they were all safe and accounted as we departed on Sunday morning!)

    Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.50.15 AM
    Smokin’ Hot Reps!

    This was one of the stronger showings for a dual pro/backyard event in the MABA region, and it was heartening to see the enthusiasm and talent of these backyard teams – many of whom also participated in the 3 ancillary events!  The Franklin Chamber of Commerce aptly rewarded with huge trophies for the Backyard competitors, along with ample cash.  For those who heard their name called, they are now certainly hooked on our sport of competitive BBQ!  Grand Champion of the Backyard contest was Sunnyside Smoke, a protégé of Two Old Men & A Grill.  RGC was The Smokin Hot Reps, in their very first contest as cooks rather than as KCBS Reps!  Julie & Rusty Cook, Doug Reid, Tom & Angela Morris, and Wayne & Rachel Harper have a new appreciation of the work involved “on the other side of the table”!

    Franklin’s reputation along with the promise of cooler mountain air lured teams from near and far, including the host and two of the featured teams from the latest BBQ TV series “Smoked”.  In parallel, the Chamber hosted a competitive Car Show and a fundraiser – teams provided pulled pork for the Tasting Tent that raised $1,000.  The hospitality was excellent, electric and water lines were plentiful, indoor bathrooms & a shower were provided, and rarely did more than 10 minutes pass without a volunteer asking if we needed anything.  Garbage bags barely had a chance to touch the grass before a volunteer was there to pick them up.  Overall, we’d definitely recommend Franklin on your “to do” list.

    First place winners:
    Chicken –Hickory Prime
    Ribs –Rocky Top Barbecue
    Pork –Midnight Burn
    Brisket –270 Smokers

    Grand Champion –Hickory Prime
    Reserve Grand Champion –Midnight Burn

    Check out the full competition results here.

  10. Pigs & Pedals Asheboro, NC

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    By Stephanie West, MABA Vice-President and “The Neck” Pitmaster for Team 270 Smokers

    SUPERHEROs prevail!!  Once again, the brother-sister power house of (MABA Board Member) Jerry Stephenson and Roxanne Stephenson Manly knocked it out of the park to capture their 5th Grand Championship of the year, secure their lead in the Old North State Series, and propel them into the Top 10 KCBS teams in the world!!   What an awesome run for Redneck Scientific!!

    Picture of Redneck Scientific with their awards
    Redneck Scientific wins again!

    This was the 3rd year for Pigs & Pedals in the charming town of Asheboro, NC and 47 BBQ teams turned out to vie for $12K in prize money.  The BBQ comp is coupled with cycling and foot races, and you can feel the energy and enthusiasm for this event throughout the entire town.  Local sponsors generously donated a dozen or more “door prizes” for the BBQ teams along with an ample goodie bag, and the City provided breakfast at nearby HOPS BBQ.  They opened the city pool for BBQ teams, including free use of indoor showers.  Live music was provided on Friday and Saturday, with quiet hours fully respected (thank you!)  Contest organizer Pam Morgan and her team of volunteers were awesome, shuttling ice and other necessities to the teams all weekend.

    A few tips:  If you plan to attend next year, get there at 8am on Friday as team placement in the parking lot is pretty much sequential to your arrival time – the later you arrive, the further away you’ll be from the judging tent.  (Teams are not allowed to set up on Thursday night as the event is held downtown.)  Meat inspection was conducted roadside (not at your site) where teams queued up on a side street for check-in, so pack your meat cooler where it is readily accessible.  And, if you can, bring a large misting station and an extra garden hose.  It’s August, it’s North Carolina, it’s steamy hot in a beautifully paved parking lot.  You get the idea!

    First place winners:
    Chicken – Contagious Q
    Ribs –Wolf’s Revenge BBQ
    Pork –Redneck Scientific
    Brisket –Wolf’s Revenge BBQ

    Grand Champion –Redneck Scientific
    Reserve Grand Champion –Smoking Butt Heads

    Check out the full competition results here.