World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest teams prepare for big judging days Friday and Saturday

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Everyone who’s anyone in barbecue is in Memphis at Tom Lee Park.

Teams are prepping for a busy weekend and hoping to take top prizes!

Teams were out today grillin’ and smoking Thursday. Teams come from all over the world to be here, but we wanted to chat with some hometown teams, some who have been cooking here for decades!

We all know, Memphis teams know good barbecue.

Woody Coleman and his team have been competing since the start.

“We hope we cook the best barbecue for our friends and everyone has a good time,” said Coleman, the founder of Redneck BBQ Express. “That’s where we started. That’s our main concept right now. Friends and family and having a good time and watching it grow.”

Coleman says the best part of coming back year after for the team and family.

Mike Rude and his team agree. He’s been in the competition since 1998.

“It’s just like being on a sports team,” said Rude, the head cook and pitmaster of BCBC. “You all each have a job and you work together. A little bit more tired than any sport I’ve ever played. That’s the fun and thrill of winning and it keeps you going.

Jack Woods is competing for a fourth year with this team and told us their secret to winning the shoulder competition.

“The rub that we use is real sweet,” said Woods, the head cook for Wood’s Custom Cooks. “It’s savory. It’s just a perfect win for pork. It’s got a little bit of salt in it and it just carries it across the finish line like you wouldn’t believe it!”

Thursday’s Miss Piggy Idol contest was MC’d by a familiar face, Action News 5′s Kym Clark.

“The amazing and just down right interesting competition, and the first competition of this barbecue cooking contest this year, the Miss Piggy Idol contest,” said Clark.

Day 2 ending with a bang with Memphis’ own Al Kapone and The Sugarhill Gang ahead of the first set of awards on Friday.

Awards for sauce, wings and Anything But Pork competitions begin Friday.

Gates open at 11:00 Friday morning! Tickets are available online now. You can find them here.

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