Tupelo, Miss.(WCBI) – Barbecue lovers are heading to Tupelo this weekend. The fourth annual Don’t Be Cruel Barbecue Duel takes place at Fairpark and WCBI’s Allie Martin is there and joins us live…Allie?
Thanks…more than 10 thousand people are expected to come to Fairpark for the Don’t Be Cruel Barbecue Duel. There’s music, souvenirs, lots of food, like kettle corn, boiled peanuts…and oh yes, lots of barbecue.
They come from all over the southeast and they are ready to cook.
Nearly 100 teams are signed up for this competition. Most team members have full time jobs and view cooking as a hobby.
“it’s an expensive hobby.”
Pete Moon’s team is called “Bean Bandits” In fact, Pete travels solo, living out of his custom designed trailer during competition weekends and using another custom designed item, his cooker, known as the “Moon Box”
“It’s got a little small firebox in there and it has an adjustable gauge inside the cooker, heat comes in low on one side through the firebox and through adjustable gauge I can direct it on top of product, or across the product or down on the opposite side of the cooker.”
Pete travels to about 15 competitions each year and has been to Tupelo’s the past three, ever since it was a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event.
Across the lot from Bean Bandits, Mississippi State University’s cooking team is set up for its first time at the Don’t Be Cruel Barbecue Duel.
“We wanted to try our hand with the big boys and we will see what happens.”
It’s also an opportunity to visit with alumni and friends from the area.
“We just wanted to have an event where all the alumni and friends of Mississippi State could come by and taste what we’re cooking.”’
Then, there are a few pros in this competition. The most famous, Johnny Trigg of the Smokin Triggers team.
“I come to win, I do not come to lose.”
He has won two Jack Daniels World Championships and says there are several secrets to award winning barbecue.
“Got to have a lot of luck , and good recipes and rubs that will compliment the meat, and definitely have to have good quality meat.”
Whether they’re pros or amateurs, all teams we spoke with had high marks for the organization at this event, especially the police escorts as the competitors come to town.
Competitors tell us Tupelo is the only city to provide police escorts for teams. As you can hear, the music is cranked up on the mainstage at Fairpark, it doesn’t cost anything to come to the event, you can buy food and refreshments here, along with these shirts, that are sure to be a big hit… we are live in downtown Tupelo we will send it back to you in the studio.
The even continues through Saturday. From 11 till around 1 the public can purchase tickets for people’s choice awards and you will get to sample some of the competitors barbecue. There is 15 thousand dollars in prize money up for grabs