Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Saveur's BBQ Nation

Reading Saveur magazine's BBQ Nation is like being instantly transported to some gritty, hole-in-wall BBQ joint in Kansas City or North Carolina. The kind of place where it's not corporate, but family owned, where you can smell the aromatic smoke a mile away. The photos and videos capture so much -- the friendly smiles behind the counter, the old equipment that's been used for generations, and the relaxed atmosphere from patrons waiting in line to get their fix of home style 'Q. There's even a recipe for Chicago-style rib tips. I might give it a whirl sometime.

I've also been checking out websites like the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) and the California BBQ Association. Ever wonder how people become a BBQ judge in those competitions? If you want to become a BBQ certified judge, you have to go an all-day judging class taught by KCBS. I think it's around $80 and it includes a year membership to KCBS. They hold several classes each month, but the problem is finding one close enough to Southern California. I would absolutely go. I'm sure once you get certified, you still have to snag a coveted judging spot -- sitting inside this white tent, shrouded in secrecy, tasting dozens of different BBQ? Sign me up.

Judging area tent at OC BBQ Festival in 2010