Category Archives: Contests

Contest Bites: Dimples BBQ Sauce + T-Shirt Giveaway

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!  I’ve seen this contest mentioned over the last couple of days and wanted to get the word out.  Dimples BBQ Sauce is giving away a bottle of their totally awesome BBQ Sauce (which I’ve recently reviewed) as well as a t-shirt.  The contest ends today (November 6) at 8:00pm EST.

So how do you enter?  It’s simple!  You can enter in one of two ways:


Contest Bites: Char-Broil “Big Easy” Oil-less Infrared Turkey Fryer

Most of you know that one of my favorite BBQ and grilling people on the Internet is Robyn Medlin Lindars, aka GrillGrrrl.  She is a great source of information for tasty recipes that anyone can cook on their outdoor cooker.  She is also running a contest Nov. 5-14 to giveaway one of these beauties: a Char-Broil “Big Easy” Oil-less Infrafred Turkey Fryer!

Details on how to enter to win can be found on the blog post for this contest.  Let Robyn know that Big Wayner sent you!

The Jack Part 2: Amazing People

Finally, the euphoria and adrenaline from being in Lynchburg last weekend is starting to subside, and now I can really start to reflect on just what transpired in the hollow.  In my last post, I attempted to portray the general overall sense of excitement and sweet smoke at the Jack Daniel’s distillery.  Today I want to tackle another aspect of the weekend — the amazing people!


Prior to this past weekend, I published a series of blogs highlighting some of the teams that would be attending the event.  This weekend gave me the opportunity to meet those teams in person, along with many others.  But first, let me give a shout-out to my travel partner Jay Prince, the tech/gadget reviewer for BBQ Sauce Reviews.  He drove the entire time and was really good company!

After doing the tour upon arrival and checking out the hardware store, we headed down to the hollow to visit the teams.  One of the first teams we spotted right away was Mike & Debbie Davis of Lotta Bull BBQ.  It is always a pleasure getting to speak with Mike & Debbie, and today was certainly no exception.  I consider Mike to be a legend in competition BBQ, and rightfully so!

Jay and I continued our walk around the competition area talking to various teams.  We got to meet TippyCanoe BBQ (winners of the 2011 American Royal Invitational and 2011 Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour), Smokey’s Competition BBQ Team (our good friends Charles and Alli of C-Dub’s BBQ Rub were competing with them), and numerous others.  We even got the chance to meet Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson BBQ and the Man in Black himself, Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South.

One of the teams we enjoyed spending a lot of time with was Pork Barrel BBQ.  Brett and Heath were very gracious and gladly spent a lot of time talking to the two of us about many different subjects.  It was great seeing them again (I had the privilege of meeting Heath at a competition in Lexington, NC).  We would have stayed and chatted longer, but turn-ins drew near, and it was crunch time.  Jay was even able to snag a bottle of Que Cologne to try out.

In general, I had a great time just walking around and chatting with the teams.  They all seemed to be having a great time and enjoying the atmosphere — relishing in the moment.  I enjoyed talking with Kit Rudd of Degüello BBQ and Mike Peters of Here Piggy Piggy BBQ.  It was fun chatting with the guys from Hot Grill on Grill Action and watching Guy Fieri prepping a turn-in for Motley Que BBQ.

Another thing that I discovered while in Lynchburg was that Canadian teams are by far the friendliest teams ever!  We had the privilege of talking to all but one of the Canadian teams competing at the Jack, and every single one of them were absolutely friendly and welcoming!  I was especially excited to get to meet the Canadian teams I profiled as part of my “Teams that Do Know Jack” series.  The first team we met was DivaQ, and that was nothing but sheer awesomeness there!

In fact, we had such a great time that Danielle ended up making me an honorary Canadian for the day!



We also had the opportunity to visit with Rob Reinhardt and the team from Prairie Smoke & Spice BBQ.  With the time ticking close to turn-in, Rob was nice enough to come over and chat with us for a few minutes.  The whole team was super nice!

We also had the chance to visit with The Black Pig BBQ.  Wow!  These guys were the pure definition of friendly!  We chatted with various team members for at least a half-hour.  Even as chicken turn-in was approaching, we were taking team pictures and having a great time!

I also want to give a shout-out to Can’t Stop Grilling and Well Seasoned and the Canada Q Crew.  Thank you for taking time out to chat with Jay and myself.  We really appreciate it!

So there you go…  the mystique of the Jack is not only in the location and tradition of the competition, but also in the teams that are in the field.  I can’t wait to get back up to Lynchburg again next year!

I Survived The Jack!!!

If I had to describe this past weekend in one word, that word would be WOW!  Yes, in all caps.  It was just that awesome!  The hardest part about this trying to figure out where in the world to start.  I guess the beginning would be a good place…


The trip started at about 3am EST from Taylors, SC — near the Greenville/Spartanburg metro area.  My good friend Jay Prince and I were on the road for six hours before arriving at Lynchburg, TN.  After the fastest six hour car ride that I have ever experienced, we finally arrived at the distillery at 8am CST.  Because we arrived so early, we were fortunate enough to park at the visitor’s center.  And there to greet us was the gentleman himself!

Upon arrival, we immediately sign up for a tour and get in on the second tour of the day.  It was a good thing that we went ahead and did this, because after the tour ended around 9:30am, there was a very long line going out the visitors center!

Although the tour had to be somewhat rushed due to this being the busiest day of the year at the distillery, it was still an excellent tour.  Bruce did a great job of leading us through the hallowed grounds of the distillery, the still house, and the barrel house.  Unfortunately we did not get to sample the whiskey (with it being in a dry county), but we did get some tasty lemonade.

The population around the area really get into this event, and it is evident by the massive crowds seen dispersed throughout.  You really can’t put into words the dedication, passion, and love that locals put into this event — it’s really something that has to be experienced in person.  The layout is just amazing.

A word of advice: if you go, invest the money and purchase a commemorative whiskey barrel top.  Make sure to bring a black Sharpie marker, and take it to have the teams sign.  It makes for a great conversation piece, and it’s really cool to have teams sign it!  As you can see, the one I purchased is already on display at the office.

Whiskey Barrel Top

Oh yeah, I also got branded an honorary Canadian by DivaQ.  But I’ll tell more about that next time…

There really is so much more to tell, but I wanted to keep this brief.  Next time I will be talking about some of the teams that I had the privilege of meeting in Lynchburg!  If you’re interested in seeing some photos, you can check out the album on my Facebook page.

The Fan’s Guide to the Jack: What you Need to Know

So is this your first time to go to the Jack?  It’s mine too!  I’m seriously going to be like a kid at Christmas when I arrive.  I have had this date circled on my calendar for quite some time now.  Again, another big huge shout-out to my friend Jay Prince for allowing me to tag along on this trip.

There is a great article by Rod Gray of Pellet Envy talking about the must-do things for a first-time competitor at the Jack.  But what about the fan attending for the first time?  What should he or she do?  Well I’ve asked Rod to provide his insight, and he has gladly done so!

Free Samples!!

A unique thing about the Jack is that teams are asked to pass out samples of their turn-in meat to the public.  If they do not, a Jack Daniels representative will visit the team’s site to collect the leftover meat to distribute to volunteers.  This presents a unique opportunity for the public to sample competition quality barbecue.  But, please, be courteous.  If you aren’t completely stuffed on samples, some of the best barbecue vendors in the country are available to serve some downright tasty food.  If you leave the Jack hungry, it’s your own fault!

Judging Insight

Another unique aspect of this competition is that all of the judging takes place in an open air pavilion complete with bleacher seating for spectators.  This allows the public to get a glimpse of how the judging process works and sneak peeks at the ways that teams present their entries.  It gets especially entertaining during the dessert turn-in, with multitudes of elaborately created desserts.  Often international teams will decorate their entries to represent their countries, giving this contest a level of opulence and flair rarely seen at a barbecue competition!

See the Square

The focus is on the contest and the barbecue.  However, don’t forget to check out the town square.  Located just a stone’s throw from the competition, the square includes the Lynchburg Hardware Store.  Anything Jack related can be found in this two-story shop of logo’d goodies!

Do the Tour

Get over to the visitor’s center and sign up to take a tour of the distillery.  You’ll be glad you did.  If at all possible, request a gentleman named David Roper (lovingly known as Porky to his friends) to be your tour guide.  While his tours may be longer, they are also the most entertaining.  Unfortunately, the Jack Daniels distillery is located in a dry county.  So the only thing you’ll be tasting at the end of the tour is some homemade lemonade.

Don’t Stress the Crowds

Everyone in the area understands the magnitude of this event.  Luckily shuttles are organized to transport you from the high school and other large lots on the town edges into the heart of Lynchburg, TN.

Huge THanks

I want to give a big thank you to Rod Gray of Pellet Envy who passed this information on to me.  As many of you know, Pellet Envy is one of the premier teams on the competition BBQ circuit.  They have amassed over 60 grand championships, been a top nationally ranked team for the last eight years, and have participated in the Jack five times since the team’s inception in 2001.

Grillin’ and Chillin’ on Main in Waxhaw, NC

First off, I owe a great big thank you to my wonderful wife!  This contest fell on our wedding anniversary, and she was still okay with me going to judge.  She rocks!!

A few weeks ago, I was judging at the Sam’s Club contest in Greensboro, NC.  During the break between the judges’ meeting and the start of the judging, we were approached and asked if we wanted to judge a competition on the 9th of October in Waxhaw, NC (about 30 minutes from the Charlotte city limits).  I submitted my application, and before I know it I was in!

Sixteen teams competed in the professional division, while seven teams competed in the backyard division.  This contest was the first contest that I have experienced where there was not 100% KCBS certified judges.  The table I sat at had a 50/50 split of certified judges and non-certified judges.  It made for a very interesting dynamic.  I also had the pleasure of having George Goodyear as my table captain for this competition.  As Kevin Sandridge of got to experience first hand at a competition in Salisbury, NC, George is a vast wealth of BBQ knowledge and experience and did a superb job as our table captain.

As for the event itself, it was very well organized and put together.  The venue for the contest was right in the middle of downtown Waxhaw, a very picturesque and cute downtown area.  If I wasn’t on a schedule and forced to depart early, I could’ve explored the downtown area.  The contest itself was in its second year, but this year was the first as a KCBS sanctioned contest.  It was very well organized.  So to everyone who was involved with organizing the contest, thank you!

Taking Grand Champion at Grillin’ and Chillin’ on Main was Uncle Mac’s BBQ Crue, with Palmetto Smokehouse taking Reserve Grand Champion.  The full results of the contest can be found on the KCBS website.

Below are a few pictures I was able to capture from the venue.  Hope you enjoy them!

Contest Bites: KLB “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce Giveaway

This evening, I came across a tweet in my Twitter feed from Kevin Bobo of KLB’s BBQ Sauce promoting a giveaway of his “That’s Good Mustard” BBQ Sauce!  I was lucky enough to win a bottle in his last giveaway, and I wanted to let you know about this one.

"That's Good Mustard"

"That's Good Mustard"

Now I have not tried the sauce yet, but it is on my immediate “must try” list as soon as I get the opportunity.  I’ve also read nothing but good things about the sauce, as you can see from my good friend Wilfred Reinke’s review of the sauce.

So how do you enter?  It’s super simple.  Just go the Facebook page for KLBFoods LLC, the company behind KLB’s BBQ Sauce, and click the “Like” button at the top of the page.  Yep, it’s that easy.  One winner will be chosen at random to receive a free 17 oz. bottle of his sauce.

Let Kevin know that Big Wayner sent you.  Good luck!!

GrILLr Giveaway Drawing

Thank you to everyone who entered the GrILLr giveaway courtesy of The SKrAPr.  I want to send a super big thank you to Annette Penney, the director of social media marketing for The SKrAPr.  Without her, I would have never heard of the tool and never would have been able to offer it as a prize.  I wish I had one to give to everyone.  Unfortunately I only have one to give away.


The SKrAPr GrILLr, after some good use

So here, we go… without further delay, the drawing for the giveaway!  The winner was picked by random drawing using RANDOM.ORG.  And the winner of the giveaway…  Natalie J. Vandenberghe!  Natalie, you need to contact me at with your mailing address within 48 hours so I can get the prize sent out to you!

UPDATE: I did not receive a contact within 48 hours, so I have drawn a new winner: cjsorel! Contact me within 48 hours at

Thank you once again to everyone who entered!

Going to the Jack? Let’s talk…

Did your competition BBQ team get picked to compete at the Jack Daniels World Championship this year?  Are you good friends with a team that is going?  I’d love to hear from you!

Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to do a series of blog posts featuring different teams that will be competing in Lynchburg, Tennessee.  This is your chance to brag about your team.  Whether you want to talk about your team’s great history, talk about how hard all of your team members work, talk about all the grand championships you’ve won, or talk about just how plain awesome you are, this is your chance to shine!!

If you are interested in featuring your team in this blog series, please contact me as soon as possible!  You can email me by going to the Contact page on this blog, or you can email me directly at

Mmmmm chili cook-off…

Earlier this week, my good friend Cyndi Allison of Yes You Can Grill asked me if I would be willing to be a judge this weekend for a chili cook-off.  Of course!  I would be more than happy to do so.  Nevermind that I had never ever judged a chili contest in my life.  I figured my experience as a BBQ judge would benefit me in how I approach this.

The contest was this past Saturday (October 1st) at the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business at Catawba College.  A total of 14 teams participated in 2 different divisions, with the top 3 teams in each division receiving trophies.  There was also a People’s Choice aspect to the contest, with the winner receiving a quesadilla maker and an engraved platter.

I had a great time here at the event.  The event organizers did a wonderful job with managing this inaugural event.  We judges (all three of us) were all presented with some tasty chili to taste and definitely left with a full stomach.  I was very honored to be asked to participate in this inaugural event and would be honored to do so again next year.

Below are some photos from the event.  Some of the photos are courtesy of Cyndi Allison.  Enjoy!!