Monthly Archives / July 2013


Memphis in May: The Judging

Memphis in May, Apple City BBQ

Early Saturday morning prior to turn-in. Pat and Mike discuss timing. Every team is quiet and focused at this point.


Stoking the fire.


Consulting the watch again. Is it time to change clothes yet?


Building the blind box. Air is thick with tension. Too many people in the room — a camera crew, three photographers, and five team members. THAT will not happen again. People who don’t really understand Memphis-style judging love to talk about the “dog and pony show” aspect, but the blind box is where you win or lose this contest. We aced the outside … the blind box scores were our downfall.


Here’s Patty Burke Welten giving an update and a pep talk to our peanut gallery. We had the best crowd of supporters. We are so very grateful to all of you who came to cheer us on. Thank you.

MIM_Judging_6Here come the judges. The on-site presentation is the fun part. Three judges visit for 15 minutes each and we have our routine timed down to the second. We show each judge our pit and talk about the pit itself, wood, seasoning, and cooking process. Then we bring him over to the table and feed him ribs, talking all the while about the meat and the quality Compart Duroc pork they were tasting. We had three very good on-site judges and we were grateful that two came back to give us feedback. So helpful.

If you’re into barbecue, a visit to experience Memphis in May should be on your bucket list. Elaborate booths, late-night revelry, the chance to meet teams, and the delicious smell of smoke that permeates the air … it’s called the “Super Bowl of Swine” for good reason!

Read more about our Memphis in May adventures: filming The Chew, Lessons learned from Rocky III, and Danish National Team shirt exchange



Memphis in May: Lessons Learned From Rocky

MemphisInMay_Rocky3 So we’ve spent some time licking our wounds, watching Rocky III, and eating humble pie in the Apple City Barbecue headquarters. Have you seen Rocky III recently? You know, the one where Rocky gets so caught up with accolades and press that he doesn’t fare so well? Yeah.


The mood grew more somber as we waited … and waited … and waited some more for the results.

Memphis in May, Apple City BBQ

Sprinkled with our famous Magic Dust® dry rub, these Compart Duroc ribs were tender and delicious.

Our goal was to cook savory, delicious, authentic barbecue without relying on the current tricks of the trade, namely honey, agave nectar, brown sugar, and squeeze margarine. Thanks to our sponsor, Compart Duroc, we used the finest quality of ribs available. And they were delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we had very high hopes, right up until the end. However, when we heard one of the top three teams describing the peach preserves, applesauce, orange marmalade, fig preserves, and cinnamon they used on their winning ribs, I knew we weren’t even in the running.

That’s okay with me … Mike, however, is still not pleased. “I did not enjoy getting my ass whipped,” was the direct quotation.


Compart Duroc … the best pork ever!

It takes a village to put together an event and we feel very fortunate to have the best team of supporters ever. We cooked delicious pork donated by our sponsor Compart Family Farms. Townsend Spice & Supply blends our Magic Dust® and they have the best spices on the planet. Huge thanks to them for sponsoring our sharp team shirts. Arthur Agency designed our graphics and Silkworm, Ink. printed/embroidered our t-shirts and team shirts. We’re so grateful to all of you for being part of our team and helping us look good!


The Townsend Spice & Supply family and partners. Incredibly fine people.


No matter the outcome, we had a terrific time competing at Memphis in May. I’m pretty sure you’ll see the Apple City Barbecue team competing again.

Read more about our Memphis in May adventures: filming The Chew and Danish National Team shirt exchange