A Pitboss Stands Next To His Smoker In Meridian Texas

A Pitboss Stands Next To His Smoker In Meridian Texas

It’s only 550 miles from New Orleans to Meridian Texas but we had to sit out the 2016 National Championship Barbecue Cook Off held this past weekend on the rich soil of Bosque Bottoms. We had a long run of perfect attendance when we lived and breathed barbecue over two decades of hard living in Austin.

We traded brisket for soft shell crabs and pork ribs for oysters on the half shell when we pulled up stumps for Louisiana a few years back. As we all know, there is precious little Texas-caliber smoked meat in the Pelican State.

We piled up the smoker behind our 9th ward home and kept our eyes on the internet over the weekend so we could vicariously enjoy the shootout as it’s one of the best food parties Texas throws all year long.

Sadly, the folks at the competition were too busy to update their social media with results so we reached out to the sanctioning body: the International Barbeque Cookers Association to see if we could find out who emerged from the dust, fire and smoke as winners.

Here’s what we discovered:

In the brisket category, Randy Valentine of Crist Propane was deemed the king. As all y’all know, this is the most important meat served in the great state and if you’re the brisket champ you get serious bragging rights for the next year.

In the second most important category, pork spare ribs, Craig Sharry of Texas Pepper Jelly took home first place. We’ll be posting an interview with Mr Sharry later this week.

In chicken, Kelly Curtis of Panther Creek Cookers, came in in the top slot.

Over-all champ was Kelly Curtis, and reserve champ was Craig Sharry. Despite winning brisket Randy Valentine came in third in the over-all category.

Tyler Cannon of Cannonball Express was People’s Choice champion.

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