Ready to get smoked?

Published 5:21 pm Monday, September 16, 2013

The smell of smoke will fill Jennings Park Nov. 2 as the Greater Brewton Chamber of Commerce hosts “Smoked” — the city’s first barbecue cook-off competition.

Judy Crane, executive secretary for the chamber, said the plans are still being made and some parts of the event are still being considered and ironed out.

“We aren’t really doing this as a fund-raiser event,” Crane said. “We wanted to have a fall event that would give people in the community something to do and to enjoy. After having such a good response to our spring crawfish boil in the park, we knew this was something we wanted to do for the community.”

Crane said teams will compete in one of three categories for the event and will be cooking up samples for those who attend the event.

“Those who come to the event will be able to purchase a taster’s ticket for $10,” Crane said. “The ticket will give the taster a chance to sample barbecue from five different competitors. The top of the ticket will be used as a ballot for the taster to vote for their favorite team.”

Crane said judging will be by popular vote with the winner being dubbed Best BBQ during closing ceremonies.

“Contestants will have samples ready for the crowd beginning at 3 p.m.,” Crane said. “Sampling and voting will continue until 6 p.m. We will have representatives gathering votes each hour and counting them. The final vote box will be counted at 6 p.m. and we expect to have the winner announced by 6:30 p.m.”

Crane said teams may consist of up to five cooks, with the chief cook on each team responsible for the conduct of the entire team and guests. Categories for competition are beef, chicken and pork with competitors entering only one category for the challenge, Crane said.

“We want our teams to do all of their cooking on-site on the day of the competition,” Crane said. “No pre-cooked, pre-boiled or prepared meats can be brought to the competition site. Fires need to be of wood or a wood-substance, but gas and electric grills are fine, too. The teams also need to make sure they have all of the equipment and supplies they need to prepare their competition entries. We will be providing the portion or sample bowls for tasters at the event.”

The entry fee for each team is $25 with a portion of the proceeds going back to the competitors to help defray costs of the competition, Crane said.

“If competitors have more food than is needed for the samples for tasters, they will be free to sell the food following the close of competition,” Crane said. “Anything they charge for left overs is theirs to keep.”

To find out more on the rules and requirements for the competition or to reserve a team space for the event, contact the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce. The office can be reached by phone at 867-3224.