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FrankBoyerFrank Boyer

BBQ Photo Journalist

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All photos courtesy of Frank Boyer


30th Annual Jack Daniel’s Invitational World Barbecue Contest

October 26-27, 2018


Rocky DannerRocky Danner

World Barbecue Organizer

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I loaded up my Lang 84 & 36 Smoker, my trailer-mounted Backwoods Piglet, and the other necessary equipment for the international cooking teams, Salzburger Barbecue Bulls of Austria and The Crazy BBQ Team of Denmark. When I arrived, the A-Team, (Wayne Lohman, Bill Gauge, Mike Garrison), and a host of volunteers were busy setting up the international team area. Many of the teams were pulling in. As in every year, each team has hopes in taking home their share of awards and bragging rights.

Once again, the Jack Daniel’s Barbecue staff consisting of Debbie Christian; Jeff Arnett; Steve May; Chip Chapman; Carolyn Wells; Debby Gauge; Maria Lohman; Marge Plummer; and a host of volunteers set the stage for the 30th Jack Daniel’s event.

There were 75 KCBS teams, 27 International teams and 41 Backyard teams. Ardie Davis, AKA Remus Powers was ever present passing out to the competitors his magical nuts, which some say has magical powers to enhance the cookers’ products. He, along with Debbie Christian also receives letters containing cooking woes from the past year, to be burnt and laid to rest in Jasper, the Pig. Primo Grills brought 50 ceramic grills for the international teams.

Primo Grills and Cowboy donated the charcoal. Backwoods Smoker also provided two smokers for the International teams, Along with my Lang and Backwoods, two other Lang owners brought their grills for the international teams. Also Randy Kieffer, president of Stone Bros. Welding brought five of their smokers.

Special thanks to Bob Trudnak and Lisa Jo Goetter of BBQ Guru for the generous gifts of 26 Party-Q controllers, complete with all necessary equipment and spare parts to the International teams. The teams were allowed to use the Party-Q and take them home as a gift from BBQ Guru. The international teams were also provided five dozen heavy duty cutting boards by the BBQ Guru. I passed out 10 of the Party-Q units to the International teams. Some of the teams mentioned they had never cooked with the Primo ceramic. The teams thought their scores were higher by using the Party-Q; thus allowing them more quality cooking time. Byron Chism of and I invite international teams to come to the USA a week early to our farms to practice American-style bbq. This year, I had the honor of hosting the Danish team, The Crazy BBQ Team. They fired up the Backwoods piglet on Sunday and it did not cool off until the trip to the Jack on Thursday morning. Danny Montgomery of Tuscumbia River Bottom Barbequers coached the Danish team on the aspects of KCBS BBQ judging for appearance, taste and tenderness. The team was open to our style of cooking and soon mastered appearance and tenderness. The appearance of their turn-in box and the tenderness of the product was spot on. What hurt the Danish team and most of the other international teams is they failed in the taste category. Most American judges are not familiar with international flavors and sauces.

The volunteers on the A Team were Wayne Lohman, Bill Gauge, Ken Nelson; Mike Garrison; and Steve Rowen. Bill and Debby Gauge, and Wayne and Maria Lohman are the International Outreach Team for KCBS. Debby and Maria hand out all the supplies and garnish….they write schedules and also teach at our cooking class ….they also help with the International dinner on Thursday. Debby and Maria also work with any new cooks on presentation.

Great food is always on hand at the Jack Hospitality tent. Those assisting in the preparation were John and Kathy Swift (The Wild Bunch Butt Burners Cooking Team), Eric & Georgette Phares of Hammond, LA. Everything from Crawfish Etouffee, Jambalaya and hamburgers, white beans, a full course breakfast, fruits and sweets. Kathy’s homemade cake was super delicious. Another special treat was the Baby Back Ribs cooked the same morning on site along with some pulled pork served with “Wild Bunch’s” own special BBQ sauce. As usual, Kathy Swift did a super job of decorating the hospitality tent. I enjoyed the brisket gravy by Chef Tommy Masaracchia of Topela Restaurant in Hammond, LA. I heard a lot of good comments on it.

This year’s Judges Choice award was given to Chip Chapman. We caught Chip “with his pants down”. Chip said that he was supposed to give out awards, not receive them. Congratulations, Chip on receiving such a deserving award. The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Mr. James Reynolds. Special thanks to Danny Montgomery of the cooking team, Tuscumbia River Bottom Barbequers for their generous donation of sauces and rubs for the international teams.

Thanks to the KCBS reps: Carolyn Wells; Mark Haggitt; and Charlie Brinza. For the Backyard competition, the LCBS reps were Larry Voth and Lynda Voth. This is a very special time of the year for me. I have a chance to meet and greet old friends from around the world, many who I have cooked with, against or judged in several world barbecue contests. This is one prestigious competition. Teams from around the world work and cook their best in order to be invited. Mark your calendar for next year’s competition.

Grand Champion – Butcher BBQ

Reserve Grand Champion – Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ

First in Chicken…….. Rocky Top Barbecue (180)

First in Ribs………… .Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ (180)

First in Pork………….Gettin’ Basted (180)

First in Brisket ……….Grillin’ Beavers

First in Dessert……….Smoking Joint (Seven 180’s)

Sauce Winner………..Drilling & Grilling BBQ

Backyard Grand Champion…… Bull & Bones

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