One of the things I really wanted to do with The BBQ Beat is give greater coverage to BBQ Competitions outside of my home state of Florida. So to keep that focus rolling I waned to give a shout out to the Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel in Tupelo, MS.
The fourth annual Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel will be held next weekend, March 14-15 in Fairpark in Downtown Tupelo. The event is a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned competition that looks to be as big as ever. Last year, more than 10,000 people and 100 teams attended.This year, Link Centre says teams and judges from 15 states will once again be spending the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day in Tupelo.
All told, one hundred professional BBQ cook teams will compete for more than $15,000 in prize money. It’s a popular event, and very well run as per some of the testimonials from past competing teams.
Among these are many of the nation’s top teams, including Johnny Trigg’s Smokin’ Triggers from Alvarado, Texas;Que’n Stew’n & Brew’n from Kennesaw, Georgia; Pellet Envy from Leawood, Kansas; Jiggy Piggy from Decatur, Alabama, Warren County Pork Choppers from Bowling Green, Kentucky, 2012 BBQ Duel Grand Champion Killer Hogs from Southaven, Mississippi, and 2013 BBQ Grand Champion Brew ‘N’ Bar-B-Que from Shawnee, Kansas.
Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel Promoting BBQ History
One thing I think is really cool is that the folks at the Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel place a great deal of focus on promoting the history and culture of BBQ. I talked about this a bit in a recent post on TrueCue.org, and it’s just great to see more of this aspect of barbecue culture being highlighted.
Thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council, Clark “Smoky” Hale will be at the Duel on Saturday, March 15, to make two presentations.
“Southern Barbecue: America’s Oldest Art Form” (10:30 a.m.), addresses the origin of barbecue, its history, and its growing popularity and “Grillin’ with Smoky” (3:00 p.m.) will offer cooking tips interspersed with information about the “culture of barbecue.”
Clark “Smoky” Hale’s BBQ Wisdom
Smoky knows BBQ, as is evidenced in an article here where he goes into depth regarding the history of BBQ. Here’s a snippet that shows a little of BBQ history Smoky imparts:
When barbecue crossed the Mississippi River, it ceased to mean predominately pork. But meat was still cooked as it should be, around 200 degrees, over glowing embers in an open-pit. In the 1950’s, welders blossomed and welding shops sprung up like daisies on a new lawn. The ubiquitous 55 gal. drum was cut and welded into thousands of grill designs, the most common being sliced in half lengthwise and mounted on legs. This was fine for broiling ‘burgers and steaks and weiners, but required some knowledge and skill to barbecue with. Read more…
The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual
If you enjoy reading about BBQ history and the more technical aspects of BBQ and Grilling, Smoky has a book out written in 2000 called The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual. The book boasts 416 pages of BBQ knowledge and stands as one of the most comprehensive pieces of BBQ know how out there.
Here’s what a few folks who “know ‘cue” had to say about Smoky’s Book:
“I read this book twice before putting it down. It is great!” — Jim Baker, World Championship Barbecue Cook-off team, 1999, and Managing Partner of Owen Brennan’s restaurant, Memphis
“If you could only have one book on barbecuing, this is the one you should have, but if you already owned a dozen, you would still have to have this one” — Joe Phelps, Publisher, The National Barbecue News
“This book would be an entertaining and informative read even for a confirmed vegetarian who never intends to own a grill” — Evelyn Beard, Literary Editor
In any case, it looks like this year’s Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel is shaping up to be a great event. If you’re in the Tupelo, MS area around the middle of this month, definitely make you way out there!
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