Pitmasters and grilling enthusiasts flock to KC - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Pitmasters and grilling enthusiasts flock to KC for American Royal


For decades, pitmasters and grilling enthusiasts have flocked to Kansas City for the World Series of barbecue - the American Royal.

The tradition continued Saturday with some new events and old favorites at Kemper Arena.

Over 500 teams compete in the barbecue contest that consists of the four meat categories of brisket, chicken, pork shoulder and ribs. The American Royal is the largest open barbecue contest in the world.

This year, the American Royal is celebrating its 25th year in the barbecue sauce contest. The sauce contest is open to anyone with a sauce that is available commercially. Sauces are judged in the following five categories: tomato hot, tomato mild, vinegar, mustard and specialty.

The American Royal contest judges follow guidelines for blind judging, judging the meat without knowing which teams submitted the entry.

Those competing said the trick to winning is all about timing.

"The judges want it (the meat) to come cleanly from the rib so it's about a five minute window cook time that you've got to try to dial those in where they're not done enough or too done," said Jim McCullough with Wabash BBQ out of Excelsior Springs, MO. "So yeah, the judges are pretty technical, a little too technical sometimes."

The competition isn't just for adults. The 6th annual Kid's Que contest for youth ages 6 to 10 and 11 to 15 kicked off Saturday. This year, Guy Fieri, a 2012 Barbecue Hall of Fame inductee and founder of the Cooking with Kids foundation kicked off the Kid's Que contest.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly