The Smoke Ring - All You Need to Know About BBQ

Search over 1,200 BBQ websites

2011 Contest Reports
Pork N Brew - Grand Junction, CO PDF Print E-mail

Early morning smoke in Grand Junction, Colorado

We had beautiful early fall weather at the Pork n Hops BBQ competition in Grand Junction, CO. It was warm, but not too hot, during the day and crisp and cool at night. The organizer, Arlie Bragg, puts on a great contest and this year's event was no exception. The cooks are well taken care of with carts coming around frequently distributing ice and water. The contest was a little smaller this year with only 38 teams, down from 48 last year. The competion was no less intense, however, with top teams like Smokin' Triggers, Rhythm n Que, 4 Legs Up, Sweet Peppers, Burnin' Bob's Butts and Bones, and Smoke N The Rockies in attendance.

We finished 3rd in chicken, 7th in ribs, 3rd in pork, 10th in brisket,  and 3rd overall, the same as our overall finish last year. We were the only team to finish in the top 10 in all 4 categories, but a couple of other teams managed to take some firsts and seconds and beat us out on overall points. Congratulations to Smoke N The Rockies for Reserve and Webber's Old West BBQ from Craig, CO for their first Grand Championship.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Bert Fraser, and his lovely daughter Christina, from our sponsor Fruita Wood Chunks. Our scores have improved this year and their excellent quality fruit wood chunks have certainly helped.

Click here for more pictures

Smokin' Brew BBQ - Parker, CO PDF Print E-mail


This was the third year for the Smokin' Brew BBQ Competition in Parker, CO and our third time competing at the event. In 2009 and 2010 we finished 6th overall. This year, the 3rd time was a charm and we managed to pull off a Grand Champion win against a field of 42 great teams. We finished 7th in chicken, 5th in ribs, 7th in pork and 6th in brisket. My teammate, Sandy, also took 2nd place in the Anything Butt category. It was one year to the day since our first competition with our awsome Pitmaker BBQ Vault smoker. We cooked on it for the first time at this contest last year. We would also like to thank our sponsor Fruita Wood Chunks for the high quality BBQ smoking wood. It really puts out some sweet smelling fruit wood smoke.

This year's contest was bigger and better than ever. The weather was perfect with clear, sunny skies and daytime temperatures in the 70s and 50s at night. Congratulations to Biggin's BBQ for their Reserve Champion finish, and to Courtney and her team for another well run event.

Ace In The Hole BBQ Contest - Holbrook, AZ PDF Print E-mail


On July 9th we competed in the first annual Ace in the Hole BBQ Shootout in Holbrook, Arizona. It was a great first year event and we enjoyed our stay in Holbrook. According to the Phoenix Examiner, Navajo County was known for its railroad, lumber, farm and ranch businesses as well as trade with the Indians. It also attracted cowboys and criminals chased out of Texas and other areas of the country. Holbrook became a typical Wild West town with brothels, saloons, and gambling houses. It was once said Holbrook was “too tough for women and churches”.

My first encounter with Holbrook, AZ was in 1972. We were moving from Dallas, TX to Portland, OR. Our van, towing a Uhaul trailer, broke down at a rest stop on I-40 east of the Petrified Forest National Park. I hitchhiked to the visitor's center at the park and called a tow truck from Holbrook. It was a Saturday and we checked into a motel while our van was towed to the shop. The next day was a Sunday so we didn't expect to see much action repairing our van and prepared ourselves for a weekend stuck in a motel in Holbrook. To our surprise, the mechanic came into the shop on Sunday, tore down the engine and found the problem was with the timing chain. The owner of the local auto parts store came in on a Sunday and sold the mechanic the parts he needed. By late Sunday we were once again on our way. Being at a disadvantage in such a situation, you would expect to be gouged and ripped off at every turn, but that wasn't the case. The amount we were charged for the towing, repairs and parts were quite reasonable.

We were treated respectfully, and taken well care of by the citizens of Holbrook in 1972, and again this year at the BBQ competition. The contest was well organized and it seemed that someone from the city was contstantly stopping by to see if we needed anything. The BBQ contest is part of Holbrook's Old West Days where the town gets together to celebrate its rich, and sometimes violent old west history. With a population of only 5,000, it seemed the entire town turned out for the festivities with numerous vendors on the 1898 courthouse lawn, a talent contest, a dance contest, and a re-enactment troupe re-enacting some of the town's more violent shootouts complete with muzzle loading rifles and shotguns. After the turn-ins, and while waiting for the awards ceremony, we toured the courthouse, which was built in 1898, and is now a county history museum. The courthouse even claims to be haunted by George Smiley, a murderer and the only person ever hanged in Navajo County, and a prostitute named Mary who died while imprisoned in one of the jail cells.

We finished 15th in chicken, 9th in pork, 4th in brisket, 2nd in ribs and 5th overall. Congratulations to Slap Yo Daddy BBQ for Grand Champion and Big Poppa's Smokers for taking Reserve.

The town is committed to bringing the event back next year. If you want a small town, Americana experience, visit Holbrook.

Visit the photo gallery for more pictures

Sam's Club Local - Santa Fe, NM - April 22 PDF Print E-mail

Bubbq Q - Grand Champion
Bubba-Qs - Grand Champions

Sam's Club is sponsoring a nationwide tournament of BBQ contests held at Sam's Club locations around the country. The country is divided into 5 regions, with local qualifying contests in each region. Local qualifiers are limited to 30 teams. The top 30 teams from the qualifiers compete in a regional cookoff and the top 50 teams from the regionals will compete in a national contest at the Sam's Club headquarters in Bentonville, AR later this year. One of the our local qualifers for our region was held right here at home in Santa Fe, NM. It was nice to not have to travel for a contest for a change.

The weather was a little chilly and windy, as is usually the case in April in Santa Fe with a few light sprinkles on Saturday. We managed to take a First Place in ribs along with 18th in chicken, 24th in pork, and 4th in brisket finishing 6th overall out of 30 teams competing. Our 6th place finish qualified us for the regional to be held in Las Vegas on May 7. Congratulations to Reserve Champion Jumpin' Jim's BBQ and Grand Champions Bubba-Qs both from Iowa.

Sam's Club Santa Fe

Click here for more pictures

Holy Smoke BBQ Showdown - Cañon City, CO - June 4 PDF Print E-mail

4 Legs Up Grand Champion

This was our first year attending the Holy Smoke BBQ Showdon in Cañon City, CO but I don't think it will be our last. Held at the Holy Cross Abbey and winery, this has to be one of the most cooker friendly events in the country. Each team is assigned a personal "monk" who makes sure that you have everything you need. The site is on grass in the center of an athletic track field which is a welcome relief from the usual asphalt parking lot or street. The competition was fierce with a lot of good teams participating.

We finished 4th in chicken, 14th in ribs, 12th in pork, 7th in brisket and 5th overall out of 28 teams. Congratulations to Johnny & Trish Trigg of Smokin' Triggers for winning Reserve Champion and Kelly Wertz & 4 Legs Up for his 3rd weekend in a row to take Grand Champion.

Smokin' Triggers - Reserve Champion

Click here for more pictures

Boats, Bands & BBQ - Pueblo, CO - June 11 PDF Print E-mail

The Smoke Ring - 6th Overall

We had beautiful weather this year for the Boats, Bands & BBQ competition in Pueblo, CO. It was in the low 80s during the day and in the 50s at night. This was our 3rd year competing at one of our favorite contests. The setting is beautiful, on the revitalized Riverwalk along the Arkansas River in downtown Pueblo. The public really turns out for this event to enjoy the food, entertainment and Colorado sunshine.

We finished 16th in chicken, 7th in ribs, 2nd in pork, 19th in brisket and 6th overall out of 47 teams competing this year. Our 6th overall was the same as our finish last year. Congratulations go out to 4 Legs Up for Reserve Champion and Colorado's own Burnin' Bob's Butts and Bones for taking Grand Champion. The tradition in Pueblo is for the Grand Champion to take a swim in the Arkansas River and this year was no exception as Bob took the plunge.

Burnin' Bob - Grand Champion

Click here for more pictures

USA BBQ Championship - Las Vegas - May 22 PDF Print E-mail


The inaugural USA BBQ Championship in Las Vegas was a huge success. Ronnie Cates, and the Smoke on the Water team, did an outstanding job organizing the event. It was our first time competing in a Smoke in the Water contest and I must say it was one of the best organized contests I've ever attended, especially considering the size - 95 teams. The Orleans Casino was a great host and it was nice to be able to go inside and take a shower while at a BBQ cookoff.

We didn't collect any of the big bucks, but it was great seeing some old friends and making some new ones. Steve Farrin and Charlie Pine from the I Smell Smoke team came out and cooked with us. It was a lot of fun spending time with our New England friends. We also got to socialize with Mike Compton, President of the Caribbean BBQ Association, and the BBQ Freaks team from Puerto Rico. Sponsored by Rums of Puerto Rico, they conducted rum tasting classes throughout both days. Congratulations to the BBQ Freaks for their 18th place call in the brisket category.

We finished 59th in chicken, 24th in ribs, 40th in pork, 6th in brisket and 17th overall. Given the caliber of the competition at this event we didn't feel too bad. We look forward to attending again next year.

Click here for more pictures


SoEzzy Web Designs, we have an eye for design.