Exciting New Format for Competition Cook Teams in 2017

We are very pleased to have a dual sanctioned competition for our barbecue cook teams in 2017. The Friday-Saturday portion will be KCBS sanctioned and the Saturday-Sunday portion will be FBA sanctioned. We will also have a KCBS backyard competition on Saturday (back yard teams don’t have to cook brisket) and each of the two competitions will have $10,000 in prize money (total of $20,000 for the weekend). There will be at least one ancillary on Friday night, possibly an additional one on Saturday night if there’s interest. Space will be limited, and pro teams paying for both competitions get first pick on the “good” spots. You may also just enter one of the contests if you prefer. We are also members of the Alabama BBQ Association, too, and points will be awarded for both pro and backyard teams who are ABA members.

The paper entry forms are getting drawn up right now. If you prefer to pay with a credit card online, you can use the link/box below. Eventbrite charges a fee to process credit cards, so it will be a little less if you pay with a check. More details coming soon!

Who HASN’T Heard of This Guy?

If you’ve ever shopped in the store for seasoning, if you’ve ever had barbecue in the south, or if you follow the Food network, you’re sure to have heard of Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. One of the most-used pork seasonings in America for the past 19 years (we couldn’t find an updated logo, that’s why we used the “celebrating 12 years” logo above), Butt Rub barbecue seasoning coined the catchy slogan, “A little Butt Rub makes everything better” back in 1997.

Founder Byron Chism created Butt Rub in 1997 after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. To market his product, he began competing in KCBS sanctioned barbecue competitions, and was one of the top 10 cooks in the KCBS for 7 consecutive years (2000-2007). By this time, Butt Rub had developed a name for itself, and Byron competed in fewer competitions so he could manage and run his growing, successful and wold-wide Butt Rub company.

However, Byron occasionally will come to a great contest and compete just for old times sake and to prove his culinary chops are still sharp.  He’s chosen to come to PorktoberQue in Dothan, Alabama this year to participate int he KCBS sanctioned competition at the Houston County Farm Center. The event, September 23-24, features master smokers competing for $7,900.00 in prize money and the chance to advance to bigger world-wide competitions. You might be able to talk to Byron at the event and learn more about his story if you attend PorktoberQue (but please don’t bother the competitors between 11-2 on Saturday when they are busy getting ready for turn-ins). We wish the ButtRub.com competition team well, and hope you enjoy PorktoberQue!

Competition BBQ Teams map- updated

Here is the map so far for the teams for PorktoberQue (The food vendors in that section are also shown; a couple are also competition teams.)  If your team would like a specific spot and it hasn’t already been taken, let us know what spot you’d like either by calling us or by indicating the space number you’d like on your form. If you call or email is to let us know the spot you’d like, we’ll pencil it in, but spot assignment is pending payment. If someone shows up with money while we’re holding it, regrettably, you could loose your preferred spot. Spots that we are holding pending payment are generally indicated by an asterisk *.

PorktoberQue is a KCBS sanctioned bbq competition for professional barbecue teams, and it is held the last weekend of September, the traditional weekend for an Oktoberfest. For information, call 334-699-1475

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Football, Trucks, TV, Seating in Man Cave

Torn between spending the afternoon with your family at PorktoberQue and watching college football on TV? We’ve got the perfect solution! The Tri-State Truck Man Cave will be set up on the grassy area near the hog barn at the Farm Center. This large tent will feature several TVs showing football and tables and chairs so you can grab something to eat and drink, then sit and enjoy your favorite football game. Seating is limited but you can also bring a chair if you like.

There are lots of activities near the Man Cave as well, including the Continental Championship Wrestling Ring featuring local wrestling bouts throughout the weekend. Though there won’t be any big heavy hitters and it’s only a wrestling demo (no title matches) it will be entertaining and fun for all to see. Also near the Tri-State Truck Man Cave will be cooking demonstrations on the Wiley Wok (something you really need to see!), the Northview Cross Country Team People’s Choice Tasting Tent, the Corn Hole tournament and even the free KMX games area. The Man Cave is also just up the hill from the Saturday Classic Car Show.

DISH Network is powering the TV’s with their amazing satellites and we should be able to get the following games at PorktoberQue:

Alabama VS. University of Louisiana Monroe

Auburn versus Mississippi State

Plus, of course, there will be other other SEC and national games of interest. Also in the Tri-State Truck Man Cave will be some shopping opportunities for “manly” interests, including truck accessories, Yeti coolers, Komono Joe grills and smokers, and an assortment of other interesting items. Make sure you thank the folks at the Tri-State Truck Man Cave for sponsoring this part of PorktoberQue, because it’s one of the favorite areas of the event.

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Interested in Who is Competing in the KCBS BBQ Competition?

Contestants are entering almost daily, and the list of people competing in the $8,000 KCBS barbecue competition are on our web site, if you want to check it out. Visit http://porktoberque.com/kcbs-competition/confirmed-competitors/ and see who the teams are, and were they are from! Some of our more interesting competitors are:

Haulin’ Butt BBQ– What do you get when you take a race car driver and turn him into a competitive BBQ team? Haulin’ Butt. 

ET’s BBQ– They say it’s out of this world and you can even buy a plate and judge for yourself! This competition team from South Florida travels 8 hours to be in Dothan to compete, and they also vend BBQ for hungry festival patrons!  

Q-Fused from Tallahassee, FL. These guys came to Dothan to compete in the backyard division in 2010 and won the whole thing. They moved up to the pro level and have been scoring good ever since against major teams from around the country. They might be the “underdogs” but will lightning strike twice for them? 

Free Cooking Class Today At Academy Sports+Outdoors in Dothan

Take a few moments out of your schedule today to take your kids (between the ages of 8-18) to Academy Sports + Outdoors on Montgomery Highway. Between 12:30 and 2:30 students can try out their grilling skills on several grills. Academy has purchased a number of steaks to give to the kids to try out their skills (first come first serve on the steaks). Dothan Country Club Chef du Cuisine, Joe Whaley, will be on hand to assist kids in learning some finer points of grilling. Best of all, this event is FREE courtesy of Academy Sports+Outdoors!
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PorktoberQue is on the Alabama Barbecue Trail

Alabama is known for barbecue. Sure, Georgia and Tennessee think they have cornered the market on barbecue, but true fans of meats smoked low and slow know that the state that is between Tennessee and Georgia (Alabama) is truly the king of Que…

Alabama combines the best elements of both of those states and has created some of the best barbecue in the country. Alabama even has its own governing board of barbecue, the Alabama Barbecue Association, who sponsors a “Alabama Barbecue Trail” with the pro winners receiving the governors cup award at the end of the season.

The ABA was formed in 2006 to oversee the Alabama Governor’s Cup, which is awarded to the professional barbecue teams with the highest overall points in their top five contests on the Alabama Barbecue Trail, which consists of sanctioned contests throughout the state. For a schedule and links to the contests click here.

 

It’s easy to become a member of the ABA, and you can download your form here: http://alabamabbqassociation.com/forms/AlabamaBBQAssocMembAppl.pdf   Membership is $40 and any person or cook team can be a member and earn points through competitions to win the Governor’s Cup.

250 Years OF BBQ History in 1280 Words or Less

There is one practice, entirely Southern in tradition, that has left an indelible and irrevocable mark upon our nation. It has been a catalyst for politicians, a neutralizer of social classes, and a unifier of church congregations for centuries. It is a tradition that is the tasty heart and soul of the South, though its legacy has expanded north of the Mason-Dixon and into countries far and wide. Our Southern heritage owes itself to a short fat animal with pointy ears, a snout, curly tail and an oh-so-tasty flesh. The South was built on barbecue.

It is nearly impossible to travel in the South without seeing a sign with a happy, grinning pink pig advertising local barbecue. The origins of barbecue (also often spelled Bar-B-Que or BBQ) can be easily traced to the colonial days, when pigs were set out by farmers in nearby woods to forage for their food. These semi-wild pigs were a bit tougher and stringier than modern day pigs, so various methods of tenderizing had to occur to make the meat edible. A method that not only tenderized the meat, but also preserved it for future use was to rub the meat in salts and spices, then slowly cook it over a smoky low-heat fire.

In the years before the Civil War, the practice of holding neighborhood barbecues became very common in the South. Plantation owners regularly held large and festive celebrations, giving the ‘pig pickin’s’ to the slaves for their own use. Many historians believe that the pig shoulder— one of the toughest and less desirable cuts of pork— would have been among the pieces given to the slaves. Every bit of this pork was utilized, and even longer, slower methods of smoking and then pulling the shoulder meat were used to make these cuts tender and edible. Pulled pork as we know it originated from these cooking techniques.

Just before the War Between the States, regional patriotism made pork production more and more important. Relatively little of the pork produced was exported out of the South, and hog production became a way for Southerners to create a self-sufficient food supply– Southern pork for Southern patriots. Hogs became fatter and better cared-for, and farmers began to feed them corn to plump them up before slaughter. During this period, Southerners ate, on average, five pounds of pork for every one pound of beef.

Throughout the nineteenth century, barbecue was a prominent feature at church picnics and political rallies in southern communities. A barbecue was a popular and relatively inexpensive way to lobby for votes, and the organizers of political rallies would provide barbecue, thick slices of good bread, lemonade, and usually a bit of whiskey. These political rallies are often cited as the source of the expression, “Going whole hog.”

These gatherings were also an easy way for different classes to mix. Barbecue was not a class- specific food, and large groups of people from every stratum could mix to eat, drink and listen to stump speeches. Journalist Jonathan Daniels, writing in the mid-twentieth century, maintained that, “Barbecue is the dish which binds together the taste of both the people of the big house and the poorest occupants of the back end of the broken-down barn.”

Political and church barbecues were among the first examples of this phenomenon. Church barbecues, where roasted pig supplemented the covered dishes prepared by the ladies of the congregation, were a manifestation of the traditional church picnic in many Southern communities. These customs continue today across America.

Barbecue in modern day is very similar to its ancestral beginnings in its preparation and seasoning, though pricey stainless steel grills commonly replace crude dirt-pits of yesteryear. It has become a competitive sport, boasting contests in nearly every state, as well as several foreign countries, with millions of dollars in prize money awarded annually. Barbecue is now the basis for a reality TV show (BBQ Pitmasters), the subject of many Food TV shows, and the fodder of thousands of websites, blogs and podcasts.

Barbecuing is simple in theory but complex to master. Professionals who have spent decades perfecting marinating techniques and seasoning blends will be the first to tell you there’s always something more to learn. Though you may not be on an upcoming episode of BBQ Pitmasters any time soon, you can still learn the art of barbecue well-enough to impress your friends and family.

Most importantly, you’ll need a pit in which to smoke your meat. Though they come in a wide variety of materials and price ranges, basically a pit is a wood-burning container in which your meat can be cooked indirectly (from the heated smoke rather than directly over a flame.) Ideally, the pit temperature should be approximately 225 degrees, to provide for very low heat which, over the long cook time, will tenderize and flavor the meet.

When learning to barbecue pig, you will want focus on two main areas at first- ribs and ‘butt’ (which is really the shoulder). Though very different preparation methods and cooking times separate the two, these are the most common selections of pork to cook in the traditional barbecue method. Ribs are generally thought to be a better cut for a first-time barbecuer.

Here’s a tip from the competition pros— when cooking ribs, first remove the membrane on the backside of the ribs before seasoning. Gently insert a sharp knife along the tip of the membrane, and work the transparent covering entirely off the backside. Not only will this improve tenderness in the final product, but the removal of this film will allow smoke and seasoning to permeate the meat more thoroughly.

Next you should season the ribs with dry rub. A novice might want to consider a store bought pre-mix, such as Jack’s Old South Hickory Rub (www.jacksoldsouth.com) or Byron’s Butt Rub (www.buttrub.com and also sold at Winn Dixie), though many will mix their own blend of salt, pepper, paprika, turbinado sugar, onion powder and other secret ingredients.

The ribs are then rubbed with this mixture of dry seasonings, and laid to rest on a shelf in the pit. An average rack of St. Louis trimmed ribs (the ends or tips are cut off) will take approximately four hours to smoke at 200-250 degrees. During this smoke time, most pit masters will use a ‘mop sauce’ hourly to keep the ribs moist and add to the flavor profile. Mop sauce is generally comprised of apple juice, vinegar, butter or oil, and various seasonings of preference, though the folks in the Carolinas will argue that vinegar, pepper and yellow mustard work just fine. Always remember, the internal temperature of the ribs should reach 185 degrees prior to serving.

Though many people prefer a sauce added to their ribs after cooking, it is hardly necessary if they are cooked and seasoned properly. Commercially prepared sauces which have only sprung up over the last sixty years can be added as a final touch prior to serving, though there is no substitute for your own personalized home-made sauce. A quick and tasty sauce can be made with a little melted butter, sautéed onions, ketchup and brown sugar in a matter of moments. Additional additives such as cayenne pepper, minced jalapeño, honey, black coffee or lemon juice can add a tailored signature taste to your creation.

As is tradition in the South, barbecue pork of any kind signals a celebration and is best enjoyed with friends. Make sure you have some thick sliced white bread and lemonade (or whiskey!) handy, so you can go ‘whole hog’ just like our forefathers who began our fine legacy of friendly gatherings and smoked meats now known worldwide as Southern barbecue.

Dothan Alabama Ribs