FACT: There's been an 18% increase in contest participation by members in the past year    
FACT: 64% of KCBS members own three or more grills/smokers    
FACT: 70% of our members grill-out/cook BBQ more than 25 times per year    
FACT: 56% of Americans report having a smartphone, 77% of KCBS members do    
FACT: 70% of KCBS members use Facebook    
FACT: 55% of members choose charcoal when cooking for leisure    
FACT: 23% of KCBS members work in the food service industry as a restauranteur or caterer    
FACT: Learning from friends, family and at competitions is the best way to improve cooking skills    
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February 16, 2017

Young Harris, GA - The 2017 BBQ season has started for the Braziers and it started with a Bang!

For the 5th year, we traveled to the beautiful town of Young Harris, GA, to the Brasstown Valley Resort. This year we had 41 teams, many of them kicking off their year as well, braving the cold temps to provide the judges with that perfect bite of barbeque.

Organizer, Bobby Brumley, and his staff there at the resort again seemed to bend over backwards to make everyone welcome.

Friday afternoon, team members and judges were invited to a Celebration of Life for Sue Reid, KCBS rep from North Carolina, who lost her long, brave battle with cancer last year. Sue’s husband, KCBS Rep Doug Reid, along with many members of their family, as well as her many friends, shared remembrances and stories of Sue. We could all feel her presence with us, see that infectious smile and hear that contagious laugh. It was a bittersweet time, with lots of tears and laughter. Thank you Julie Cook for orchestrating the event.

I fear the resort might have lost money Friday night as their restaurant offered an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. While we were there, we saw lots of cooks and judges also pigging out. The restaurant does this every year, so I guess they know what they’re doing.

Since this contest doesn’t use the standard turn-in times (turn-ins started at 3:00 p.m.), Phillip and I didn’t have to get up too early to take the clock around. It was funny to see how many teams just turned their clocks back 3 hours to adjust for the time difference.

The morning seemed to last forever, but finally it was time to start judging. With the four meat turn-ins, plus dessert, we finished up about 5:30. Thanks to lots of WONDERFUL help, we were waiting for awards by 6:00.

The following winners got to hear their names called:

Dessert – with a score of 180, Philly Blind Pig

(2ND & 3rd place finishers, also with 180 scores, were The Algood BBQ Pit Crew and Uncle Bud’s BBQ, respectively)

Chicken – Shade Tree BBQ

Ribs – Roast Beast BBQ

Pork – Bald Hawg BBQ

Brisket – with a score of 180, Bald Hawg

Reserve Champion – Sauced! BBQ

Grand Champion – with a score of 701.0972, Bald Hawg BBQ

Congratulations to all the teams who participated. Great job under some difficult conditions.

Great job, again, to Bobby Brumley, Jan Jeup-Wilson, Karen Rogers and his staff. We never thought 5 years ago that this contest would ever reach this size. It is a testament to you and your efforts that so many teams disregard the cold to come and participate in your event.  We thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.

Feb. 4, 2017
By Phillip and Kathy Brazier
Our Best of the Best 700 180 100+