Here are the winners of the second annual Wine Country Big Q, held Saturday, July 14, 2012 at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa. The KCBS-judged event ranked some of the top national and local barbecue pit masters against each other in a smoky tete-a-tete of pig, beef, lamb and sauce.
- Judging is serious business. Unless you’ve got your KCBS credentials, don’t expect a spot at the judging tables. However, the leftover table outside the judging room is not a bad place to hang out.
- 56 Stairs to Hell: What the contestants called the 56 steps they had to climb to the judging area in the brief 10 minute window before dropping off their meats. Watching BBQ pitmasters do a dead run up nearly six flights of stairs is impressive. Especially when the head judge is yelling “30 seconds!”
- Pignut Barbecue rocks. This local team, on their maiden voyage, does some stellar ‘que and even more stellar sauces. Let’s hope we see more of these guys.
- Eating a pound of meat isn’t as easy as it sounds.
- Woodhouse BBQ are serious competitors, especially when giving out their world-famous chocolates with tasty ribs.
- Ringers don’t always win.
Top 5 placings in Chicken (any cut)
1. Hog Island Pitmasters, Discovery Bay, CA
2. Woodhouse Barbecue, St. Helena, CA
3. Smoke Slayers, Sunnyvale, CA
4. R&R BBQ, Taylorsville, UT
5. I.A.B. 30 BBQ, Gilbert, AZ
Top 5 placings in Pork Ribs
1. R&R BBQ
2. Bad S. BBQ
3. Tex Wasabi’s All Stars, Santa Rosa (Ray Lambe head cook from Florida and Gorilla of Gorilla’s Barbecue is from Pacifica)
4. Big O’s BBQ 2HOT4U, Meridian, CA
5. I.A.B. 30 BBQ
Top 5 placings in Pork (can be pulled, chunked or sliced) typically shoulder or boston butt
1. Smokey Luv BBQ, Novato, CA
2. R&R BBQ
3. Woodhouse Barbecue
4. Casual Smokers, (from Kansas City, MO) now live in Dublin, CA
5. Smoke Slayers
Top 5 placings in Beef Brisket
1. I.A.B. 30 BBQ
2. Casual Smokers
3. Hog Island Pitmasters
4. Woodhouse Barbecue
5. R&R BBQ
Lamb – Niman Ranch and American Lamb Board donated bone in leg of lamb for all contestants. The winner of this class received a perfect score 180 points. This is very uncommon, but this is the 5th perfect score for Mary Odor. And this is her first time cooking lamb plus she didn’t even take a taste of it.
1. Biq O’s BBQ 2HOT4U
2. Smokey Luv BBQ
3. Dads Doing What they Love, Los Altos, CA
Mystery Meat was Pork Bellies, each team received 2 pork bellies provided by Niman Ranch and co-sponsored by American AgCredit.
1. Smoke Slayers
Reserve Grand Champion
I.A.B. 30 BBQ of Gilbert, AZ (they have family in town, on their way here from Arizona they were hit by a drunk driver that shoved their motor home into a 18 wheeler (just past the Grapevine). They had to be towed to a location to get their rig fixed so they could compete at Wine Country Big Q. Their motor home is their prep station.
R&R Barbecue of Taylorsville, UT
The Grand Champion qualifies to attend the Kansas City Royal this October one of the Grand Daddy’s of competition.
People’s Choice Award for Bold Bean Challenge
Baird’s BBQ of Santa Rosa
People’s Choice Award for the Winery Big Beef Challenge
Kendall-Jackson Winery of Santa Rosa
People’s Choice Award for Barbecue
Barbecue Bob and the Smokin’ Banditos of Cloverdale (Hamburger Ranch)