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


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