Perfect atmosphere for BBQ competition

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The sun was out and spirits were high Saturday as 86 barbecue teams fired up their grills to compete for the Mississippi barbecue title and $14,000 in prize money.
The second annual Don’t Be Cruel BBQ Duel was held in Fairpark as a fundraiser for the Link Centre. Seven teams from Tupelo were among those competing, most more for fun than money. Hog Jam was the highest placing team from Tupelo, ranking fourth in the chicken category.
Team member Daniel Logan said they started the team because they like to get together and cook.
“It’s more for entertainment than anything,” he said.
The other members are Frank Hodges and Kevin Rose.
“I don’t think we’ll win, but we’re having fun,” said Gunner Goad of the Tupelo Pork Sox. “We competed last year, and it’s gotten bigger and is a lot of fun.”
The Pork Sox were cooking more than just competition ribs On Saturday afternoon, they also had crawfish, crappie, deer and duck.
Rob Lesley and Nat Grubbs of Tupelo’s Star Board team had a lounge set up next to their grill.
“This is one of the best things Tupelo has ever done; the town has gotten so progressive,” Grubbs said. “Thirty years ago, this was a livestock barn, and now we’re on beautiful landscaped ground with beautiful spring weather, cooking barbecue and drinking beer.”
Grubbs was confident in his team’s food.
“We’re probably going to win this deal, and we won the party last night,” he said. “I think our intergalactic meat probably takes the cake.”
The People’s Republic of Swina, made of members from Memphis and Tupelo, placed 10th in the world championship last year.
“It started as a party thing for our friends, but it’s gotten big,” said Harris Ray. “We usually do Memphis in May, and this is a new circuit for us. We’re doing spare ribs, and I’ve never cooked them in my life because we do baby-back ribs in Memphis.”
BBQ Pitmasters hosted its tournament on Saturday, with three teams competing for the TV show.
“Tupelo attracts the best of the best,” said Ron Simon, Pitmasters’ executive producer. “This is a wonderful barbecue event. Just look at how many teams are here, live music and people showing up from near and far. It’s a perfect backdrop for this tournament. Our teams are surprised by what we gave them, and we hope to be surprised by what they give us.”
jb.clark@journalinc.com

BBQ Winners
GRAND CHAMPION
1. Killer Hogs – Southaven
2. Pit Bulls “Up In Smoke” – Kennesaw,
Ga.
3. McFrankenboo BBQ – Glendale, Ariz.

CHICKEN
1. Killers Hogs – Southaven
2. Smoke Me Silly – Madison, Ala.
3. Jiggy Piggy – Decatur, Ala.

PORK RIBS
1. Brew ‘N’ Bar-b-que
2. Smoke Me Silly – Madison, Ala.
3. Killer Hogs – Southaven

PORK
1. McFrankenboo BBQ – Glendale, Ariz.
2. Big Ed’s MSU BBQ
3. Jack’s Old South

BRISKET
1. Que’n Stew’n & Brew’n – Kennesaw, Ga.
2. Pit Bulls “Up In Smoke” – Kennesaw
3. Saucy Swine-O’s

SAUCE
1. Blues Hog

PEOPLE’S CHOICE
1. Saucy Swine-O’s