Grillin’ up some flavor

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First Posted: 9/16/2014

Rain didn’t keep grillers from the first Coal Cracker Smoke & Stoke BBQ competition held over the weekend at Montage Mountain.

More than two dozen teams competed for the coveted title of Grand Champion, but only one, Lo’ -N- Slo’ BBQ took home the prize.

Event organizer Karen Foster said she was pleased with the overall turnout of the event.

“Despite mother nature’s rain and wind, the competition went well,” she said in an email. ” The teams, judges and KCBS Representatives were very pleased with the venue and contest. All are committed to returning. However, the rain did chase away a few BBQ vendors and the general public.”

Despite a light audience, competitors were grilling up some tasty treats, vying to win in at least one of seven categories: best chicken, pork ribs, pork, brisket, backyard overall champion, backyard chicken and backyard ribs.

Mo’s BBQ earned themselves best overall Backyard BBQ.

Foster said the event drew competitors and judges from out of town.

Chuck Neth and his father Richard Neth came from Hartford, Connecticut and Rochester, New York, respectively, to compete.

“This was not our first competition,” Chuck Neth said. “I compete with my father and this is our third year. We typically do three to four competitions per year. We are not professionals by any means, it is more of just a hobby to us.”

A hobby that entails some pretty hefty driving. Neth said he and his father each drove more than three hours to attend the event.

“Overall I think the event was very well planned and went off pretty well for being the first year,” he said. “The weather didn’t help get the foot traffic you usually see at competitions and in general there wasn’t a whole lot for the public to do if they did come out, but that too may have been a byproduct of the weather. We plan to come back next year and will pack a few more tie-downs to combat the wind on the mountain.”

Foster said there will be another event next year. She said they are currently planning a date for the future event.