Yesterday we got a small taste of the BBQ expertise of each team in the Kingsford Invitational One Bite Challenge, but today was the real deal. With four categories-chicken, ribs, Pork and Brisket, the team with the most points would take home the grand prize- $50,000, the Kingsford Ring and all the bragging rights of being the “Best of the Best”.
We met up with Blake Marcum from Team Sweet Swine O’Mine and chatted with him as he handed us handfuls of pulled pork and brisket to douse in the team’s own BBQ glaze. We loved his One Bite Challenge entry yesterday and this meat deluge was even better! We realized that this may actually be the best pulled pork and brisket in the country. How lucky we were to try it!
We ducked inside the hospitality tent to get warm and to indulge in some more meat. It was nice to meet some of the members of Team Smokey D’s BBQ from Iowa and talk to them about the long drives and hauling the trailer which houses their BBQ. What a feat these teams go through!
When it was time, we went up to the flight deck of the Intrepid to see who would be crowned the grand prize winner. It was freezing but we all were anxiously awaiting the news of who would walk away with the prize. Each team arrived one by one and were filmed as they walked in.
It was quite a turnout- even with the weather nearing snow! Not what you’d expect for a BBQ Challenge! But it just shows you, you can BBQ in any season!
Chris Lily, Corporate Pitmaster for Kingsford Charcoal and Vice President of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q and head of their competition team was the judge chosen to present the awards.
The other judges sat nearby… Below is the legendary Ed Mitchell, Master of Pit-Cooked Whole-Hog BBQ.
It was time to learn the winners of the four meat categories.
In the chicken category, 3 EYZ BBQ took the prize. Hailing from Maryland, this team has has won 22 Grand Championship, 16 Reserve Grand Championships and more than 360 Top 10 awards. They were also the 2012 Kansas City Barbecue Society’s Team of the Year.
Team Cool Smoke from Virginia not only was the 2013 Kansas City Barbecue Society’s Team of the Year but they also won the Grand Championship at both the American Royal World Series of Barbecue Invitational and the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. This team took home the prize for the best ribs at the Kingsford Invitational.
We were thrilled to hear that Sweet Swine O’Mine took the top prize in pork. And deservedly so! They have been named the Grand Champions of pork shoulder in the Memphis in May four times and have been in the finals six out of the past nine years. Well done to this team from Memphis!
Iowa’s own Smokey D’s BBQ took home the prize for Brisket. Smokey D’s has become known as Central Iowa’s place for championship barbecue. They have a won a combined 600+ category awards and more than 40 state barbecue championships, including their recent win of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue Open Contest in Kansas City.
With these four teams announced, it would just be a matter of minutes before the winner of the grand prize was announced.
Against the backdrop of the NYC skyline and with temperatures dipping into the 30’s, the hottest team in BBQ was about to be announced. Who would take home the $50,000 and the Kingsford ring?
Adding to their multiple wins, famous restaurants and home of the best BBQ in Iowa the team garnering the top prize…..
Smokey D’s BBQ!
How exciting for them!
After eating all that great barbecue, I am thinking it’s time to get my grill on….and maybe get a smoker too! Definitely inspired to do some low and slow cooking!
As you may have read yesterday, Kingsforld is matching the winnings with a donation to the Folds of Honor Foundation to aide the families of deceased or wounded veterans.
For those who are interested in donating to or getting involved with the Folds of Honor Foundation, please visit their website.
And in case you missed it live, you can catch all the action on Discovery Channel’s Destination America in March. Watch the judges determine who is the “Best of the Best”.