Page 1

3rd Annual

Que’n in Cumming

The Largest Barbecue Competition in the Southeast is in Your Backyard!

Cumming Fairgrounds

November 15th & 16th

Competition putting down roots Participation, attendance continue to swell By Crystal Ledford

Get ready to go hog wild for some of the best barbecue in the world. The third annual National Barbecue Cup: Que’n in Cumming returns Friday and Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds. The event, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, debuted in 2011 to much success. That first year, the cup drew more than 12,000 people as spectators and some 90 professional teams and about 30 amateur teams competing for various cash prizes and trophies. The teams hail from states from all over the country. “The backyard teams are from primarily the Southeast, but the professional teams are coming from 25 to 30 different states

this year,” founder and lead organizer Randall Bowman said. Last year, the event drew about those same numbers of competitors and grew to about 15,000 spectators. Bowman said the event, in its short history, has become the biggest barbecue event in Georgia and one of the largest in the Southeast. This year’s festivities, he said, should attract close to 100 professional and around 45 amateur teams competing in a number of categories, including ribs, beef brisket, chicken and pulled pork. Other competitions include best chicken wings, Brunswick stew, dessert and, of course, sauce. They’ll compete for a total purse of prize money of nearly $25,000. Besides the categories decided by professional judges, the people will have their say in three

People’s Choice categories. From 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, people can sample Brunswick stew and chicken wings. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, pulled pork will be available for sampling. Bowman said the People’s Choice procedure will work just as it did last year. “People can buy five tickets for $5 and out of those five, they can vote for their favorite,” he explained. “There’s no limit on how many tickets people can buy.” Teams taking part in the People’s Choice categories will have flags flying at their cook areas. Patrons can walk around among the teams to get their samples. Besides food, the barbecue cup will offer a wide range of activities for families, including live music from local groups The Endless Energy,

About this section The 2013 National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming promises food, fun and fellowship Friday and Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds. Join the Forsyth County News as we take you behind the scenes and help you prepare for the big event.

• City rates high for barbecue culture, Page 3 • Event packs large economic impact for Cumming, Page 4 • Meet the Kansas City Barbecue Society, Page 4 • Three area bands to perform Saturday, Page 5 • Competition field wide open this year, Page 6 • Beer is here. Garden will serve up suds, Page 7


• What it takes to be a judge, Page 10 • Backyard bracket full of flavor, Page 11 • Event’s founder builds top-shelf smokers, Page 12 • Scenes from last year’s popular event, Page 13 • Inspired? Learn to make your own, Page14 • Much more than just food, Page 15

File photo

Tim Scheer injects ribs with sauce during the 2012 Que’n in Cumming competition at the Cumming Fairgrounds. This year’s event will be Friday and Saturday.

The Cassanovas, and Across the Wide. The groups will perform from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. In addition, the event will offer a kids’ zone full of inflatables and other activities and games for children, as well as dozens of foods and arts and crafts vendors. “It’s a very family-friendly event with plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy,” Bowman said.

He added that his goal for the event has always been to create something that the entire community can enjoy. “It’s definitely heading where I see it,” he said. “My goal is to really be able to bring something to my community where I live and have something here that we can all be proud of … something that all the merchants can be prosperous with and the community can take part in.”

City gaining rep for barbecue Nomination, listing signs of enthusiasm By Crystal Ledford

A Cumming barbecue competition was nominated for a regional honor in 2012. Randall Bowman, organizer of the National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming, said the event was nominated by the Southeast Festivals & Events Association for its Kaleidoscope award for best new event. According to the organization’s Web site, the Kaleidoscope awards recognize “the highest level of achievement in the festival and event industry throughout the Southeast region.” Bowman said he was especially pleased when he learned of the nomination for the barbecue event, which was held for the second time the weekend before Thanksgiving 2012 at the Cumming Fairgrounds. “This is the largest association for tourism groups, festivals and events here in the Southeast,” he said. “It’s part of the International Association of Fairs and Events groups.” The National Barbecue

File photos

Jeff Harvey, left, and Paul Holden unload their pellet fed smokehouse on wheels as they set up for last year’s competition.

Cup this year drew some 18,000 visitors, and nearly 150 professional and amateur barbecue teams from across the country. Bowman said the nomination is a reflection of the success he hopes the National BBQ Cup can sustain. “I’m extremely excited [about the nomination],” he said. “That’s exactly w h e r e w e ’ve a lwa y s hoped we’d be at this point in time. “Hopefully, we can continue to grow and make it even better each year.” Cumming has previously been named one of the top 10 cities for barbecue by a website that explores America’s best places to live and visit. In 2012, released its list of Top 10 Best BBQ Cities, which

focused on lesser-known barbecue destinations, avoiding hot spots such as Memphis, Austin and Kansas City. Cumming, which ranked 10th, was chosen because of “its incredible ratio of barbecue restaurants to residents” of about 1 to 1,000, based on U.S. Census numbers. The city also garnered some attention because of the National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming, which was held for the first time in November 2011 and returns to the Cumming Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday. According to a news release, editors purposely avo i d e d w e l l - k n ow n stops, instead concentrating on small to mid-sized cities with “a large and loyal local barbecue fan base.”

Jeff Brinker, left, and Joe Munsinger prepare barbecue at the 2012 Que’n in Cumming barbecue competition.

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Rooted in kinship and community Society about more than meat By Jennifer Sami

File photo

A line forms at one of the booths during last year’s Que’n in Cumming at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

Cumming savors economic impact

Gathering ‘gets the buzz going’ By Crystal Ledford

The National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming has made a big impression on more than just barbecue lovers. Large-scale events such as the competition, which this weekend will draw more than 130 teams from across the country, can carry a sizable economic impact. “The communities [that hold these competitions] benefit because the average competitor spends about $300 or $400 in each community they go to, so it’s astronomical when it comes down to it,” said Que’n in Cumming organizer

Randall Bowman. Besides the competitors, this year’s gathering will feature some 200 judges, who also hail from all over the nation. Besides hotel rooms, competitors and judges may need a range of local items while in town. “This brings a lot of spotlight to our community and really helps every merchant in town because we’ve all got to buy gas or grab dinner on the way out of town,” Bowman said. The 2012 Que’n in Cumming even helped local barbecue restaurants, he added, noting that many owners mentioned higher than normal sales after it. “Even those people that didn’t come to the event, they heard barbecue or they saw barbecue and got it on their minds, and that’s the kind of side effect that happens from events like this,” he said. “It gets the buzz going.”


In 1985, a handful of grilling enthusiasts were competing for a case of beer and bragging rights. The conversation shifted to creating an organization for fellow grillers and before long the Kansas City Barbecue Society was born. About 20 people joined. To d a y, t h e s o c i e t y — w h i c h strives to celebrate, teach, preserve and promote barbecue — boasts more than 15,000 members and sanctions more than 300 events a n n u a l l y. A m o n g t h e m i s t h e National BBQ Cup: Que’n in C u m m i n g t h i s w e e ke n d a t t h e Cumming Fairgrounds. “It really has gotten big in the last four to five years and some of that has been the expansion of the cable TV networks making this more mainstream,” said Randall Bowman, organizer of the local competition and a society member for seven years. “But even as community events … you can go nine months a year every weekend to an arts and crafts fair somewhere. It’s the same vendors, it’s the same setup … “But these food-style events tend to be more interactive, where there’s more for people to do and I think that’s really what’s grabbed a hold of this.” The society began its own newsletter, the Bullsheet, which eventually grew to a tabloid. Members’ recipes were used to create barbecue cookbook “The Passion of BBQ.” The society created the Hall of Flame giving awards for various barbecue accomplishments. During his time in the society,

On the Net For more on the Kansas City Barbecue Society, go online at

Bowman has seen the growth of the grilling sport, but also what it has accomplished for local communities. Not everyone can afford a vehicle to race in NASCAR, he said. Not ever yone can becom e a wor l d renowned musician. But for those with a grill, tongs and a dream, the barbecue society provides a network of friends and competitors to grow as a chef while competing. “There were just demands for this, and this is one of those things that mom and dad and the two kids can get together and do,” Bowman said, using his own family as an example. “And I think it’s amazing for this community … It just tells us about our community, that they want to be a part of it and that we’re here to support them.”

Music lineup boasts three area bands

All performances set for Saturday By Jennifer Sami

Because a barbecue just wouldn’t be the same without some blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll, Que’n in Cumming organizers have arranged three musical acts for Saturday’s festivities. The Cazanovas and Across the Wide will return again this year, but new to the lineup is the Endless Energy, a group of high school students from Forsyth County. Entertainment coordinator for the event, Mark Evans, was skeptical at first, especially after seeing their lineup of Rush, Led Zeppelin, Pat Benatar and Heart covers. “They’re not playing anything you’d think kids that age would play,” he said. “But these guys rocked out. We were going holy moly.” The group is made up of four West Forsyth High School students, who have also recorded several original songs. The band has performed at the Sweetwater 420 Fest, the Loft, Atlantic Station and Smith’s Olde Bar, among other venues in the metro Atlanta area. “I’m excited about it. These kids rock, they really do,” Evans said. “I worked with them at the Dawsonville beer festival they did a month ago and they’re just amazing kids.” Danny Vinson, guitarist for the Cazanovas, said he’s looking forward to Saturday. “It’s a lot of fun. Nice

Photos for the Forsyth County News

The Endless Energy are new to the lineup. The group from Forsyth County will perform Saturday.

The Cazanovas, top photo, and Across the Wide will return again this year to Que’n in Cumming.

stage, nice sound system, great people. It’s a great venue,” he said. Vinson and Maurice Nazzaro, the lead singer, have been performing together for about a decade, offering original blues music that Evans said reminds him of Memphis, Tenn. “They played last year a n d eve r y o n e r e a l l y seemed to enjoy them,” he said. “They’re local. They’re an Atlanta-based band and they play blues and they really do a good job of it.” Jody Abernathy, lead singer for Across the Wide has been performing at Que’n since the beginning. As a barbecue lover, the musician can’t resist the

opportunity each year. “Country music and barbecue … go together,” he said. “That kind of music just goes with that kind of crowd. We’re just a good fit.” Abernathy, a Cumming native, and Mark Mundy will feature the original country music they’ve performed across the South, including in Nashville, Tenn. Evans said the two grew up together and “play every Sunday at Good Ol’ Days doing their acoustic thing.” “Their music is more old school ... they fit right into this event and they’ve got a really good following and they’re really, really good musicians,” he said.









Cooking field is wide open this year 2012 champs, runners-up won’t be defending titles By Alyssa LaRenzie

The carved wooden cup for best cook at the National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming could go to anyone this year, with last year’s top two teams not returning to defend their titles. Munchin’ Hogs at the Hilton, the 2012 grand champion, has gotten out of the competition circuit for now to focus on opening up a restaurant in the members’ hometown of Kansas City. Rob Magee, head cook, said starting the restaurant is a dream, but the downside is that there’s been no time to compete. Magee credited their win last year to a slight change in recipe to adjust for the Southern taste instead of the Kansas City style. The second-place team, known in cup parlance as the reserve grand champion, missed first by a fraction of a point. Cook Dionn Lanton of Holy Smokes BBQ remembered that number a year later: .0004. “I still live the moment now,” she said. Holy Smokes, a Dublin-based husband-and-wife team, took second overall and first in pork — a category Lanton said they’d been “tanking” up until the Cumming cup. A change in recipe also worked for Holy Smokes, with a new sauce taking them to a surprise win. They came so close to winning grand champion last year, but they hadn’t even intended on competing. Lanton said another team had paid the entry fee but couldn’t

make it that day, so they passed the spot to Holy Smokes. This year, the Lantons are paying it forward. They received a free entry to the cup as 2012 reserve champion, but they’re going to hand it off to Spices Smokehouse out of Alabama. Lanton’s disappointed they’ll be missing Que’n in Cumming, which she said is one of the best events they’ve attended because it’s run smoothly and brings in great live music. The Lantons started entering barbecue competitions after watching the TV show “BBQ Pitmasters.” They enter about 10 to 20 contests each year, with their three daughters in tow. Lanton said her philosophy on good barbecue is attention to detail. “It’s the little things that count the most,” she said. “People that cook barbecue know that.” Another front-runner last year, also the 2012 team of the year for the Kansas City Barbeque Society, won’t be making the trip to Cumming this year. 3 Eyz BBQ, out of Maryland, is also pulling for another team to take the cup. Head cook Dan Hixon said he expects Mark Gibbs, a former student of theirs, will “surprise some teams” in Cumming. Gibbs is the cook for The Checkered Flag 500 Competition BBQ Team, which won rookie of the year in the Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association.


File photos

Shawn Leikam, left, and Rob Magee, members of team Munchin’ Hogs at the Hilton won the 2012 National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming. Foggy Bottom BBQ members Phillip Folsom, left, Landon Wilson and dad Stacy collect their award for best chicken during last year’s event.

Guests will be able to enjoy ’cue with beer Event first at fairgrounds since ordinance change By Crystal Ledford

this year’s festival will feature a “beer garden.” Randall Bowman, the event’s lead organizer, said patrons 21 and older will be allowed to receive wrist bands. They will then be able to purchase a limited number of beers for consumption in the designated area. The city’s rules allow for the purchase of up to four alcoholic beverages per day of any event that receives the special permit required. But with this being the first event to

O rg a n i z e r s o f t h i s year’s National Barbecue Cup say most things will be very similar to last year’s event. However, patrons will definitely notice one new addition. Following an addition to the city of Cumming’s alcohol ordinance earlier this fall that allows alcohol to be sold or served at certain events at the Cumming Faigrounds,

offer alcohol at the Cumming Fairgrounds, Bowman said customers may be limited to just two beers per day. “We don’t see this as the type of event where someone would be there long enough to really need more than two drinks,” Bowman said. The city’s rules also call for special security measures to be in place at any event with alcohol. But Bowman plans to have more security than is required. “With this being the first event with alcohol, we just want to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible,” he said.

“So while I think the ordinance says you have to have two security personnel on site, we’ll have double that.” While some details are yet to be worked out, Bowman said the beer garden will likely offer a couple of different products, even local craft beers. The beer garden will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Besides the addition of the beer garden, the Barbecue Cup will also have a change in its live music schedule. The previous two events have featured live music on Friday night, but

‘With this being the first event with alcohol, we just want to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.’ Randall Bowman Event organizer

more spectators with its People’s Choice tasting of pulled pork, compared to Friday night’s Brunswick stew and chicken wings. “Overall we just thought it would be a better fit to have the entertainment on Saturday,” Bowman said.

Bowman said this year’s event has shifted the concerts to Saturday (see related story in this section). “We mostly decided to do that because it’s just been so cold on Friday nights the past two years,” he said. Saturday also draws

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Writer relishes role as judge Categories, complexities make for evening of fun Staff writer Alyssa LaRenzie served as a judge during the opening night of the 2012 National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming. She shares her experience below. I never would have guessed the intricacies of barbecue until I learned what it takes to judge it. I got an invitation to be a celebrity judge for the Friday night side contests at the National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming. While unaware that “news reporter” qualified me as a “celebrity” (wonder what else I’ve been missing out on), I jumped at the opportunity to sample sauces, wings and desserts, as well as discover the intricacies of Brunswick stew. Figuring I’d be sitting with a table of fellow Forsyth County residents enjoying some delicious dinner, it didn’t bother me that I’d never tasted one of the categories. Then I took my spot at Table 4 and found out I was the only one of the five judges who wasn’t certified in the art of tasting barbecue. The judges and my table captain wore their badges from the Kansas City Barbeque Society, a worldwide organization that teaches classes on the evaluation standards for the meats and sanctions competitions such as the one at the Cumming Fairgrounds. The certified folks — who had come from Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia and North Carolina — quickly started swapping stories about other

competitions they had judged. One of the five at the table even had his PhB, which is the equivalent of a doctorate for barbecue judges. I felt way out of my league. But as I took my seat, I got a hearty welcome and learned the first rule from the experts — just have fun. Simple enough. Like barbecue, right? A society contest representative, Phillip Brazier, then explained the process of judging the cooks’ creations. Each category got a score for taste, appearance and texture or tenderness on a scale of 2 (inedible) to 9 (excellent). He shared some more rules: The entries aren’t comparative, don’t base your scores on what you like, consider the quality of the dish. OK, I can do this. I’ve got some well-versed folks sitting all around me. Then he told us: “No talking while tasting” and “limit your facial expressions.” OK, well, my mother did tell me not to talk with my mouth full. (Maybe she hoped I would grow up to be a barbecue judge.) As my table members offered some reassuring advice, out came the first course: Sauce. The room, which was just loud with the joking and laughter of the judges, quickly grew quiet as the food was presented. I gathered that it was time for the serious business. To judge the appearance, the table captain holds each entry in front of each judge until you nod that you’ve seen enough


File photos

Forsyth County News reporter Alyssa LaRenzie judges sauces, during the 2012 National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming

and write down a score. Then, each entry is set on a place mat with its corresponding number and the tasting begins. When I got to sauce number four of six on my plate, I tasted a lot of pepper. I hate pepper.

Then I realized I had no idea what I was doing, and it made me want to laugh. Finally, the first rule came to light. I want to laugh because I’m having fun. This is fun! As the remaining categories came out, I ate when there was food in front of me, and talked about food when there wasn’t any to eat. The company was great, and the food was delicious. I have no idea if anything I ate ended up winning the competition, since the food comes to the judges’ tables with just a num-

ber and not a name. By the end of the nearly threehour judging Friday night, I think I had a full meal and plenty of great stories to share. I still don’t feel qualified to judge the culinary creations, but I’d definitely welcome the opportunity to eat some top-ofthe-line cooking for free again. I also still don’t really know what Brunswick stew is. I think it’s got tomato soup and meat. But it’s delicious, and that’s what matters. — Alyssa LaRenzie

Backyard bracket filling with flavor Lets amateurs test their skills By Jennifer Sami

Shan Mize is back with a vengeance. This time, the griller is working with fellow Rotarians — instead of against them — in the backyard barbecue competition at National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming. “We’re going to combine our forces,” he said. M i z e ’s b a r b e c u e t e a m , P o p n Chubby’s, had a good showing at the first Que’n in Cumming. So good, he decided to go pro last year. “We came away with three awards that first year,” he said. “We won the people’s choice in stew last year at the professional level, but we did a lot better the year before.” Since Mize, his partner James Mundy and the Rotarians all work full time, he said it’s difficult to carve out practice time together, but he’s still fairly confident in his chances for the year, particularly in the sauce category. “It’s a tomato-based sauce, but it’s won first place in three different competitions, and then we have a mustardbased sauce that’s won the top-10 a couple of times.” Like Mize, many other local grillers will compete in the backyard barbecue event, including about a dozen from Forsyth County. It’s not about the prize money, said Randall Bowman, event organizer. “The backyard guys are really where most of your local teams are, and they’re in it more just for bragging rights and having a fun and enjoyable weekend,” he said.

“Backyard’s set up to kind of get your feet wet, to get some experience, meet some people and really ... see if taking the next step up to pro is a thing you want to do.” In total, Bowman said there will be about 45 teams in the backyard field, which he said has less pressure but still is competitive. It will be the first time for Fred Gates, on the Green Eggs and Ham team, made up of co-workers from a general contracting company. Gates is the pit master, due to his experience. “I’ve just always liked barbecuing or cooking in general,” he said. “I was nominated by the team members as the lead pit master.” Everybody is contributing to the team, however. Gates said even the sauce is a combination of the team’s suggestion. It’s tomato-based, tangy, sweet and spicy. Despite high hopes, Gates doesn’t expect to go pro. The event is “just for fun.” For Bryan Oliver, it’s also the first time competing in the event. He’s bringing along his teenage sons, Taylor and Cody. His team, Oliver and Sons, is an experimental squad. “I’ve been barbequing at home for seven or eight years. I wanted to compare my barbecue with everyone else’s,” Oliver said. “Now it’s just fun, but who knows what it will lead to.” He likes his odds in the ribs category, saying his are “tender, moist and have got a real good smoke flavor to them.” Regardless of how his barbecue fairs, Oliver said it will still be a great event with his boys. “It’s just quality time we can spend together to get away from the video games and the TV and get outside and cook some barbecue.”

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“Locally Owned and Operated and Serving Cumming since 1961” QUE IN CUMMING— NOVEMBER 2013 — PAGE 11

Cookin’ Up Success Festival organizer builds own top-shelf smokers By Crystal Ledford

It could be said that Randall Bowman has barbecue in his blood. The founder of the National Ba rbecue Cup: Cu e’ n in Cumming, which began two years ago as an annual professional and amateur competition and public tasting event, spends many weekends each year competing at other barbecue events around the nation. When he’s not on the road or organizing the local event, which this year will be held Nov. 15 and 16 at the Cumming Fairgrounds, Bowman can be found in his shop on Tolbert Street. There he builds custom smokers, which he sells to a wide range of clients. Among them are other barbecue professionals from the competition circuit, as well as restaurants and caterers. Bowman said he and his family built smokers for “years and years and years” for themselves, but a year ago began building and selling them to others. “Last June was the first one that went out,” he said. “And it’s pretty well taken off. I’ve got cookers in Hawaii, New York, New Mexico, Indiana, all over the place. And it’s growing quickly.” He said he soon will introduce a smaller version of the smoker for home cooks. “It’ll be in the Big Green Egg type of market,” Bowman said. “It’ll be around $1, 800 to $2, 000.”

Under the name Deep South BBQ, the company has a provisional patent for the heat distribution system used in the units. “It’s unlike anything out there. It actually keeps the heat even side to side and top to bottom,” Bowman said. “Most units have a 25-to 30-degree heat difference at different points. With ours, it’s 3, 4 or 5 degrees at most.” The units also use technology to help cooks get more sleep, he said. “They have a little computer control called the ‘barbecue guru’ and you can actually fill the shot with charcoal, light it and go to bed,” Bowman said. “That guru will keep the fire stoked or shut the oxygen off to keep it at the temperature you want it, as long as you want it to cook.” The device could make a huge difference to barbecue pros on the competition circuit, who traditionally have stayed up all night to make sure those ribs, butts and other cuts are cooked perfectly for the judges. “You can only do that staying up all night thing for so long, especially after you get out of your 20s,” Bowman joked. Besides the “guru,” Bowman said the smokers are also “a little different” from others on the market in their craftsman-ship. “Ours are a little heavier and a little more work goes into them,” he said. “We don’t have any screws or rivets holding anything together, we don’t have body filler. It’s all truly welded


Randall Bowman, owner of Deep South BBQ, points out features on a smoker that he builds for a range of clients, including other cooks on the professional barbecue circuit, restaurants and caterers. Photos by Crystal Ledford Forsyth County News

together. Where the fire burns is actually half-inch thick steel so it won’t ever burn through.” Also, the outside of the units remain safe since they are insulated. “Even when the inside is 400 degrees, the outside is cool to

the touch,” Bowman said. Bowman said he hopes the line continues to be successful, noting that his experiences haves shaped the business. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and have seen good and bad things with other

smokers,” he said. “In building our own, we played around and found things that worked and things that didn’t. “I think the reputation we established with the [National Barbecue Cup] helped build the company, too.”

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Check out pros, then try making some yourself Even though we’re half-way through fall, our weather is mild enough for year-round barbecuing. While most aficionados will contend there is a serious art to great barbecue, and there will be much of that on display this weekend during the National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming, my argument is anybody can do it as long as you follow some basic instructions and tips. Ask any expert, and they will tell you that great barbecue begins with a great rub. Add a great mop and some smoke, and you will make your mouth and tummy very happy. If you think a rub is something you get at a spa, and a mop is something your kitchen floor needs, read on. A rub is a blend of various spices, peppers and often herbs. You literally “rub” the meat with the spice mix. The rub flavors and tenderizes the meat, without making it mushy as some marinades do. Once the meat is rubbed and cooking, true barbecue is basted with a mop. The mop keeps the meat moist as it cooks and, of course, continues to add flavor. Another important component to barbecue is smoke.


Most of us are familiar with hickory or mesquite, but many other woods are becoming increasingly available. Apple wood is wonderful since its delicate smoky flavor does not interfere with the flavor of the meat. This rub and mop are also delicious on ribs, pork roasts, chicken or a brisket. I usually make it in bulk and store it in an air-tight container.

Classic pulled pork barbecue

For the rub: 2 tablespoons paprika (use a combination of smoked and sweet) 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons granulated garlic (or garlic powder) 2 teaspoons onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic salt 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)


Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Store in an air-tight container for up to four months. 1 boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), 5-7 pounds Hickory, mesquite, or other wood chips or chunks (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes) For the mop: 2 cups apple cider 1/4 cup minced shallots 1 tablespoon minced Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed 1/3 cup ketchup 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Dash cinnamon In small saucepan, combine apple cider, shallots and jalapeno. Bring to a boil, and continue boiling until reduced to about a cup. This will take about 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook another five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To make barbecue

Rub the entire roast with plenty of the rub. If possible, store roast in plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight or at least for a few hours.

For the Forsyth County News

Try making pulled pork barbecue at home.

Allow roast to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. Soak wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Place soaked wood chips in heavy duty foil on grill rack, off to the side. Grill the roast over medium, indirect heat. In other words, do not grill directly over the hot coals. Baste the roast with mop about every half hour. Grill for about eight hours, or until the internal

temperature of the roast is about 190 degrees. The meat should be very tender. Remove from grill and cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Thinly slice, chop, or “pull” the pork into shreds. Fingers can do this job well. Serve with soft hamburger buns, and a favorite barbecue sauce. Provide plenty of paper towels. Alternatively, you can

cook the roast on a smoker. Just follow the smoker’s directions as to how much liquid to use. We use a combination of apple juice, water and/ or beer in the liquid pan and usually smoke a big piece of meat for eight to 10 hours and then finish it in a low oven for another hour or two. Contact Forsyth County News columnist Adlen Robinson at

Other features draw children and families By Alyssa LaRenzie

alarenzie@forsythnews. com

For a side dish to the National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming, there also will be activities for kids and fun for adults at the Cumming Fairgrounds. As in past years, the kid zone will have a variety of activities for the little ones, event o rg a n i z e r R a n d a l l Bowman said. “The whole midsection of grass will be filled with inflatables,”

Bowman said. About 30 arts and crafts vendors from all over the country will be on site, and barbecue products will also be available for purchase. A favorite at the annual Cumming Country Fair & Festival, Brian Ruth, master of the chainsaw, will be doing shows making his uniquely carved wooden pieces. After getting their fill of the main course, Aaron Devries, right, straps families can also enjoy in Jayden Rimoldi, left, to jump on a ride. some tasty desserts.

Harper Lee, left, sister Margot, and mom Nancy browse craft items on display during last year’s event.

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Que 'n in Cumming November 2013  

Be prepared for the 3rd Annual BBQ Cup!