This past Saturday was a day that I have had circled on my calendar for most of the winter so far. It was the day that this BBQ judge came out of hibernation and got to taste BBQ from some of the best BBQ competition teams in the region. This past Saturday was the 16th Annual Kings Mountain Firehouse BBQ Contest. Forty three teams from the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and other states participated in this contest. The weather was perfect for the competition (with the exception of a small shower that came down well after turn-ins were complete).
For many judges, this was our first contest of the year. The judge’s meeting was a combination of reunion and mixer – catching up with old friends and quickly making new ones. It was also a chance to connect with the teams such as Serial Griller and Redneck Scientific.
Eventually for the judges, it was time to get down to business and start judging the entries.
If you are not familiar with a KCBS contest, four meats are judged: chicken, pork ribs, pork (shoulder or Boston butt), and brisket. Each meat is scored from a 1 to a 9, with 1 being a disqualification (that can only be authorized by a contest representative) and 9 being excellent. Each meat is judged on three different criteria: appearance, taste, and tenderness. Entries are assigned a random number and distributed amongst tables for each category – this ensures that not only do judges not know whose entries they are judging, but that judges will most likely not judge entries from the same teams in multiple categories.
The table I sat at for this contest was very pleased with the overall quality of the pork and brisket. However, our chicken and rib entries were not up to par as usual. In talking with other judges, the results were different – some had excellent chicken entries and some had good rib entries.
The top 10 results for each category are listed below.
1. Holy Smokes – 174.2856
1. Serial Griller – 175.4284
1. Up In Smoke – 174.8572
1. Serial Griller – 176.0000
Even with two 1st place calls, Serial Griller only managed a 3rd place overall finish. Two Old Men and a Grill rode the momentum of four top 6 finishes to claim the overall grand championship, with Pickin’ Porkers winning reserve.
Overall Finish – Top 10
1. Two Old Men and a Grill – 685.7140
2. Pickin’ Porkers – 682.2856
3. Serial Griller – 679.9996
4. A Taste Of Carolina – 678.2852
5. Holy Smokes – 674.2856
6. Redneck Scientific – 669.7140
7. FlameMaster G’s BBQ – 664.5718
8. Checkered Pig – 663.9998
9. Quenivorous – 662.2852
10. Pack-A-Smokes – 662.2850
The full results for the contest can be found on the KCBS website. Congratulations to everyone who received a call at this contest. If you are interested in seeing some additional photos from this contest, you can find them on the Facebook Page for Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog.