Chow Town

Barbecue competition in Overland Park is a finger-lickin' good time

Teams predict winners of VFW Post 846 BBQ Challenge

Prior to judging, teams predict the outcome of the 10th Annual VFW Post 846 BBQ Challenge held Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Overland Park. Every team thinks they're the winner
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Prior to judging, teams predict the outcome of the 10th Annual VFW Post 846 BBQ Challenge held Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Overland Park. Every team thinks they're the winner

An important takeaway that backyard meat fire maestros and skilled competition barbecue teams will affirm after viewing Craig Remsburg’s new “Smoke & Ribbons” docQmentary is this: Regardless of your mastery of orchestrating fire, smoke and meat, achieving excellence in homestyle barbecue or winning Grand Champion at barbecue contests is elusive.

A competition takeaway from Remsburg’s cinematic barbecue masterpiece is that although you won’t win every time, just being there, enjoying the fun, food, beverages and camaraderie of competing in a temporary barbecue paradise village is worth the effort and expense.

Thus it was last Saturday for 46 competition barbecue teams at the 10th Annual VFW Post 846 Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned BBQ Challenge.

Cool temperatures, an overcast sky and one brief downpour as teams were preparing chicken entries for the first turn-in at noon didn’t put a damper on BBQ Challenge springtime fun. The VFW Post’s oasis of greenspace nestled in an Overland Park residential subdivision was filled with teams, judges and an enthusiastic public, celebrating springtime regardless of the weather.

When the VFW Post roomful of more than 50 KCBS Certified Barbecue Judges rendered their verdicts on the quality of appearance, tenderness and taste of all chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder and beef brisket entries, two hometown teams, The Original Smoke Ringers and Skunk River BBQ, emerged as Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion, respectively, with a difference of only .606 in their final scores.

Kudos to all 46 teams, and hats off to VFW Post 846 for a smokin’ great 10th Annual BBQ Challenge!

Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. He is author/co-author of 11 published barbecue books and is a 2016 inductee into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.

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