Fighting For Jersey’s Crown

The search for a BBQ king commences at The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship.

The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship will be held July 10 to 12 in North Wildwood. The 17th annual throwdown, sanctioned by the top-dog Kansas City Barbeque Society, brings 72 teams from around the country to compete in four categories—chicken, pork ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket—with $10,000 in cash and prizes. The Grand Champion is invited to the American Royal World Series of BBQ in October in Kansas City, Missouri.

At all competitions, the meats the competitors cook go directly to the judges. “I’d say about half the teams also come as vendors,” says Steve Raab, leader of Neptune-based Local Smoke. “We could vend at these contests and make a ton of money, but it would be really hard to win at that point.” The state championship boasts plenty of food vendors, craft beer—and live music, thanks to the coinciding Anglesea Blues Festival.

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