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Samís Invitational BBQ Bash Exceeds Expectations

August 25, 2010
Twenty-five of the best teams in the world battled for $25,000 this past weekend at the Sam's Club Invitational BBQ Bash in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Not only did the teams show up with their "A" game, Sam's Club partnered with some of the biggest names in the industry to help host this event.

SCOTT, Tyson and Anheuser-Busch helped welcome the teams with a VIP reception at the Reed Center on Friday evening. The teams were treated to a bottomless supply of Tyson chicken wings, Parmesan chicken, cheesy potatoes, and trays of fresh fruit and vegetables. If the scrumptious food wasn't enough, Anheuser-Busch provided an endless supply of ice-cold Budweiser products too. For two hours, the teams enjoyed each other's company and indulged in the gratitude of the generous brands.

The generosity did not end with the VIP event. The teams were surprised after the cooks meeting with the largest "goody bag" in contest history. A large pallet was filled with Pepsi, Gatorade, Hefty plates, Kingsford Charcoal¸ Tones Spices and a plethora of products perfect for 'quers.

Saturday brought the heat — and not just the heat rolling off the smokers. With temperatures reaching 109°, the teams struggled to stay cool as they prepared their boxes. Judges began arriving early and were surprised to receive a goody bag of their own. Items included Scott Towels, Kingsford T-shirts, a contest t-shirt and other promotional items. It was evident no one was walking away from this contest empty handed. This included the crowds of people who showed up bright and early to experience the first Sam's Club Invitational BBQ Bash. Sadler's Smokehouse, who has earned the KCBS seal of approval for their brisket products, provided free samples of the mouth-watering brisket, while Tyson provided free shaved ice. Further down the row of vendors, Sam's Club supplier New Zealand Lamb provided samples of their succulent lamb products too.

Judge Bryan Kelly summed up his judging experience on Saturday by saying, "It was a judge's dream come true (except for the heat) and I was amazed at the quality of the samples. We didn't see the same flavor profiles on the meats and some had different presentations in the boxes so that was refreshing because usually when something works everybody tries to do the same thing. We saw and tasted a variety of combinations but they were all very good. I only heard praise coming from the judge's tent and the cooks about not only the quality of the teams but also by how well the contest was organized. That was truly an example of 'excellence in barbecue' all the way around. "

By awards time, the teams, judges and spectators shaded themselves under canopies and umbrellas to await the results. Rhythm 'n Que rocked the competition by winning 1st in Brisket, 5th in Chicken, 9th in Pork, 6th in Ribs before pulling it all together with an overall Grand Champion victory. Walking away with more then $6,000 in prize money and a pallet of goodies worth over $500, this Arizona team was ecstatic. Other winners included a 1st place Pork win for The Long Dawgs and 1st place Chicken for Little Pig Town. Munchin Hogs @ the Hilton walked away with a 1st place win in Ribs and the title of Reserved Grand Champion.

Team PigDawg said it best: "I hope this is a sign of things to come for KCBS competition BBQ. We were thrilled to be a part of this event and were truly impressed with the job that all of you did to make this a great contest!"

Carolyn Wells, our co-founder and Executive Director, summed it up with this comment: "With the fantastic support of Sam's Club, competition barbecue and KCBS are rising to new heights. Our favorite style of food is well on its way to its rightful place as America's Cuisine."

By Dawn Endrijaitis

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