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Monday, October 06, 2008 

The American Royal: The Superbowl of Barbecue

I was finally able to scrape together the cash for a little practice this weekend. Between Friday night and Saturday morning I cooked up two pork butts and a pair of our own, freshly processed chickens. No pictures, unfortunately, as we misplaced the charger for our cameras battery. It has been recovered, but not in time to capture the porky goodness!

While I was enjoying the fun of practice, several other members of the New England Barbecue Society were doing the real thing, competing at the Superbowl of Kansas City Barbecue - the American Royal (AR). The AR has two contests over the championship weekend. The first, is the invitational, which you can only be invited to if you've won a state championship (in the instance where there are multiple "state championships" the AR representative is chosen by drawing names out of a hat). The New England Barbecue Society had two teams participating in the invitational this year, perennial NE circuit winners I Smell Smoke and IQue. In a field of 106 of the best teams on the KCBS circuit, our local teams did very well. Overall the teams came in 20th and 30th respectively, including a first place chicken entry for I Smell Smoke!

The second day of the AR is the "open" which is, as you can imagine, open to any teams willing to pay to get in (at least this is how I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong). This contest features not only a mix of the teams that are in the invitational, but a number of others, with a total team count of a whopping 459 teams! Again, ISS and IQue were very successful, with ISS again coming in 20th overall. Chris Hart's team, I Que were more successful in the open placing 8th overall! Also representing NEBS in the Open was Transformer Barbecue, who were in the upper quarter of the pack at 119.

I'd be lying if I told you I don't get awfully tired of hearing I Smell Smoke or IQue get called for a grand champion trophy at any of the events that we compete at. This summer at Harpoon ISS again took home the NEBS Team of the Year trophy. But the reality is that there's a reason that the folks from ISS and IQue (and now Transformer) are beating the crap out of the rest of the pack - they're damn good at cooking barbecue! And as much as it pains me to say so - they all deserve the success they've had. Someday I hope our little team can achieve some of the success these hard cooking folks have achieved. Until then, I'm glad they're out there representing us yankees in the American Royal!

And, most importantly - Congrats to I Smell Smoke and IQue! You guys are the tops of NEBS!



True dat. Congrats Transformer, ISS, iQue and all the rest who treked down to KC and did so well!

- SmokeInDaEye

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