Posts By / Amy Mills


We're getting the band back together.


Our rigs are loaded and we’re heading to Memphis tomorrow.

Mike and Pat Burke are getting the Apple City Barbecue band back together and competing at Memphis in May for the first time in 18 years. The team extinguished its fire in May 1994 after going out in a blaze of glory as four-time World Champion and the first three-time World Grand Champion of Memphis in May. While there are several teams that have racked up impressive cook-off statistics, there is no team that can match Apple City Barbecue’s storied record achieved in just 69 competitions.

Flavor profiles, styles, and cooking methods have evolved in the competition barbecue world. I can tell you that there will be NO foil, Parkay, honey, or brown sugar in the Apple City Barbecue tent. We’re going old school all the way and cooking on the pit that Mike and Pat made out of an old propane tank – the same pit on which they won many contests. We’re attempting to bring back the old-fashioned way of cooking that results in a distinctive style and flavor profile. That will either work for us or against us; I guess we’ll find out. Thoughts? Are we brave or crazy?



OnCue: Brisket Bonanza

Back in January we held our second-ever Whole Hog Extravaganza/Brisket Bonanza/BBQ MBA. This year we added the brisket component to the event.


Photo by Ken Goodman

Mike prepped and cooked brisket the way we do it every day at the 17th Street.  In an effort to showcase different regional styles, Mike was joined by …


Photo by Ken Goodman

Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas and …


Photo by Ken Goodman

Barry Sorkin of Smoque in Chicago.


Photo by Amy Mills

Wood provides a distinct flavor to meat and we brought in truckloads of the indigenous wood that each pitmaster uses at home. This trailer bed is filled with post oak for Wayne Mueller.


The rubs, seasoning, wood, and temperature used by each person resulted in three very different and equally delicious brisket flavor profiles.


Carving a brisket is an art form and the pitmasters gave a few tips and tricks for proper slicing. There’s a huge difference in texture and tenderness when brisket is not sliced properly. {I was surprised to get some brisket sliced with the grain just last month at a popular undisclosed Central Texas barbecue joint.}


The lucky participants sampled pounds and pounds of delicious meat.

In addition to tending the meat, each pitmaster shared his personal story and business acumen as part of the BBQ MBA portion of the seminar.

Mark your calendar now – we’re already planning next year’s event which will be held January 19–21, 2014.

Click here to see more pictures, taken by the fabulous Ken Goodman, of this event.