Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Blazin' Butts-n-Brisket BBQ Competition is Saturday in Brooksville

Times (2007)

Times (2007)

BROOKSVILLE — To outsiders, it may seem like a casual barbecue festival — a relaxing, smoky way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But to the folks who handle the tongs, competitive barbecuing is a serious trial by fire.

What comes off the grill is a matter of honor and glory — but, most important, bragging rights.

The fourth Blazin' Butts-n-Brisket BBQ Competition promises all of that and more. As a qualifier for the prestigious Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue contest, the event has already drawn 20 professional teams, plus several "backyard" amateur entries.

For years, the barbecue competition was held in October as part of the annual Brooksville Founders Week. But parks and recreation director Mike Walker said that date proved to be too much in demand for pro grillers, many of whom plan their events months, even years, in advance. As a result, it was often tough to attract high-quality teams. Last year's event had to be canceled after organizers failed to draw enough entrants.

"Having a May date seems to have done the trick," Walker said. "We've got a great lineup this year. People are going to love it."

Professional barbecuing is judged on three criteria: appearance, tenderness and, of course, taste. The first two are pretty straightforward. The last is much more subjective, which often brings an element of edginess when it comes to determining who will take home the $1,500 grand prize.

Rob Bagby knows this well. His barbecued pork recipe won him world champion honors at the 2009 Jack Daniels competition. But what works fine in one event may not in another, so he's constantly adjusting spices to achieve a more balanced flavor.

"It's always best to play to mass appeal when it comes to competition," said Bagby, whose Swamp Boys barbecue team hails from Winter Haven. "Getting six judges to agree on anything is tough. If you have too much of one spice in your rub, you're bound to find someone who doesn't like it."

For visitors, of course, the thrill comes with a sampling of what's left over after the judging, Bagby said.

"I'd have to agree that the next best thing to cooking barbecue is eating it," Bagby said. "There's just nothing else really like it."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

.If you go

Blazin' Butts-n-Brisket
BBQ Competition

The competition will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Tom Varn Park, on Darby Lane off W Jefferson Street in Brooksville. Admission is free. Barbecue samples will be available for sale. Call (352) 540-3830.

Blazin' Butts-n-Brisket BBQ Competition is Saturday in Brooksville 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Here kitty, kitty ...

    Blogs

    In a toned down version of the annual rookie dress-up day based on MLB's new anti-hazing policy, Rays rookie players and staff - plus second-year LHP Blake Snell - donned DJ Kitty onesies for the trip to New York.

    Rays rookie players and staff - joined here by Alex Colome - sporting their DJ Kitty onesies before the flight to New York.
  2. Pasco residents affected by Irma invited to town hall meeting

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Representatives from Pasco County Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will play host to a town hall-style meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in the first-floor boardroom of the West Pasco Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive, New Port Richey

    Sandra Cunningham assesses the damage a water oak did to her Church Avenue home when it crashed into her bedroom roof during Hurricane Irma.
  3. Lightning's Nikita Kucherov has a lot to say — about moving on to a much better season

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov sits back in his stall and smiles.

    Laughs a little, too.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) prepares for a faceoff during the first period of Friday's  (9/22/17) preseason game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Clearwater man shot, seriously injured

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — A shooting Sunday morning in unincorporated Clearwater left one man seriously injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

  5. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)