They came from Saskatchewan, BC and from all over Alberta with their BBQ pits smoking and ready to throw down in the fierce BBQ on the Elbow competition at Community Park South.

The event took place over three days and had some 23 competitive barbecue teams grill up their best chicken, ribs, pork and brisket in a culinary showdown judged by 24 Kansas City BBQ Society certified judges for their chance at sweet, finger lickin’ victory.

“Competitors were judged on taste, texture and presentation. The key to good barbecue is low and slow and our competitors are some of the best at that,” said Ken Black, president, BBQ on the Bow Society.

The event kicked off on Friday, July 6 and featured barbecue demos and toonie tastings. Saturday saw the auxiliary categories of Bush’s Baked Beans and the Chef’s Challenge – Midway Food on a Stick. Competitors brought the real heat on Sunday with a full-on four-category competition.

The competition took place at Community Park South.

“The competition began at noon and every half hour the teams had to turn in a barbecue item, if they were one second past the deadline they were disqualified,” said Black. “Each item submitted had to contain six samples and all entries were placed into Styrofoam boxes and went through a numbering system to ensure that judges were tasting completely blind.”

Community Park South was the perfect location and even saw vendors like Family Freezed, McDonald’s who offered free iced coffee and Heinz who had an interactive photo booth where guests could have their photos printed on a free bottle of ketchup!

“It was great to see so many people come out and enjoy the event, sample some barbecue and learn a little bit about what competitive barbecue is all about,” added Black.

Teams all had to hand in their submissions before the clock ran out!

One of the teams Frozen Toque was unable to attend due to a car accident injury and his pals from Barrel Q stepped in to take their place.

“The barbecue community is a terrific community of people who really care about one another so it was so inspiring to see Barrel Q step in and compete in honour of Frozen Toque,” said Black.

The winners were each awarded a one-of-a-kind plaque and the grand champion walked away with a cash prize of $1,200 and bragging rights.

The winners were:

Grand champion winners: Rocky Mountain Smokers

Reserve champion, Best chicken, Best Midway food on a stick and Bush Bean Challenge winners: BBQ Team NAIT

Best Brisket: Smellaque

Best Ribs: Elbow Grease

Best Pork: Red Boar Smokey

“We loved partnering with the Calgary Stampede for this event and look forward to doing it again,” added Black.