Basics of barbecue

By Sheena Barnett / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – People from throughout the South traveled to Tupelo to sit in a classroom at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
As a part of its upcoming Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel fundraiser, the Link Centre hosted a barbecue judging class on Saturday, and about 35 attended.
The six-hour class was taught by Frank Horner of the Memphis Barbecue Network, and the students can now judge any MBN barbecue competition.
“You learn all aspects of pork, all of the different cuts and the rating system,” said Bev Crossen of the Link Centre Board of Directors. “You learn about the appearance, texture and taste.”
Horner used a PowerPoint for much of the class, and then around lunch, the tasting began, with the students learning what to look for in a great piece of meat.
“Judging gets in your blood,” Horner told the class.
Students came from north Mississippi and all over the Southeast. Most of them were men, but there were several women taking the class too.
One of those students was David Campbell of Columbia, S.C.
He already judges in the South Carolina network, so he thought he’d see what the Memphis network has to offer.
“Plus,” he said, “I’m a big foodie.”
Campbell said it’s the meat, not the sauce, that’s the star of any good barbecue.
“The sauce is more of an enhancement,” he said.
Campbell said he’ll return for the Link Centre’s Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel.
The competition is April 1-2, and there are still open spaces for amateur and professional teams.

Contact Sheena Barnett at (662) 678-1580 or

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