Smokin’ BBQ competition makes its return
Food: Lynnwood Ranch to host second annual event May 15
Thursday, May 12, 2016 01:58 pm
When: BBQ Bash - May 14 6 p.m. Smokin Q - May 15, gates open at noon
Tickets: BBQ Bash - $65 per person/ $480 per table. Smokin Q - free admission and $1 sample tickets.
Tickets available at lynnwoodranch.com/smokinq
It will take a full night of cooking, working over a barbecue and a smoker, for an Okotoks couple to create their signature beef brisket.
Slow-cooked, full of flavour and so tender it can be cut with a plastic knife, Danny Cooper hopes it will give him an edge in the competition at the second annual Smokin’ Q barbecue competition at Lynnwood Ranch on May 15.
“It’s really juicy and super tender and has a good mixture of salty and sweet,” said Cooper of the beef brisket he and his wife Suzanne plan to cook under the team name Fahrenheit 250.
Cooper and 32 other teams of pitmasters will have to impress judges from the Kansas City Barbecue Society with their samples of four barbecue staples – beef brisket, ribs, pulled pork and chicken – to claim the title at Smokin’ Q on May 15.
A Southern BBQ Bash, a dinner featuring appetizers prepared by several competitors, will be held a day early on May 14. Several of the pit masters will prepare appetizers for the dinner as part of a mini-competition where diners will vote for their favourite.
Competitors will then cook all night and turn in their final products for judging from noon to 1:30 p.m. on May 15 before the event wraps up at 5 p.m.
This is the second year Danny and Suzanne have competed in Smokin’ Q. The couple finished in the middle of the pack at the inaugural event in 2015.
This being his second competition, Danny said he’s had a chance to work out the kinks and he’s in it to win.
“We’re going in to win, we cook all night so it’s not something where you go in and cook to lose,” he said.
Danny said he was first exposed to barbecue in the U.S.
“I used to ride bucking horses and when I was in the U.S., barbecue culture is huge there,” he said.
Danny said he is a competitive person by nature and, a welder by trade, built several barbecue pits. He cooked barbecue for family, friends, church events and other activities, so he decided to try his hand in competing.
Danny has four sponsors and is partnering with the Okotoks Food Bank. Anyone who drops off food bank donations at his booth during the competition will be entered in draws for ‘swag’ from some of his sponsors.
“There’s lots of people who have no food,” he said. “The economy is poor, we’re cooking all this food and we should help others in need.”
Lynnwood Ranch owner Gus Leduc said the pit masters are open to meeting with people, answering questions, sharing a few tips and showing off their set up once they’re done cooking.
“You can wander around and rub shoulders with the pitmasters and see what their up to,” he said.
Leduc said he began hosting his own competition, in part, to build the business and culture of southern-style barbecue in the Wild Rose province.
“It’s to grow the sport and show the people what good southern BBQ can be like,” he said. “It’s a food genre that’s got lots of room for growth. It’s a great fit for Alberta and our beef culture, so we feel it can grow.”
It was important for him to build ties within the barbecue community to achieve this goal.
The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society is a qualifier for the American Royal Barbecue competition in Kansas City and the Jack Daniels World Championships in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Smokin’ Q is also part of a triple crown of Alberta BBQ competitions called the Alberta Cup along with BBQ on the Bow in Calgary and Pork-a-palooza in Edmonton. He said the Edmonton event draws as many as 50,000 people. Prizes are available for top competitors in all three events.
Leduc also wants to create something the whole family can have fun at by adding a variety of elements to the competition this year. There will be a show and shine held in conjunction with the River City Classics out of High River and PM Hobbycraft from Calgary will host a drone flying demonstration. There will also be hayrides, food demonstrations and the Lynnwood Ranch food truck will be open for business.
Admission to the competition on May 15 is free and sample tickets are available for $1 each and the number of tickets needed for individual samples will vary.
Tickets for the BBQ Bash on May 14 are $65 or $480 for a table. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the party continues until midnight. The country western-rock band Broomfield from the Foothills area is performing.
For more information on the event and tickets, visit ww.lynnwoodranch.com/smokinq