1st Annual King of the Smoker Cook off - Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson BBQ (photo courtesy of Abel Tirre)
December 7-8, 2012
| 2013 Big Poppa Smokers ‚ÄúKing of the Smoker‚ÄĚ
I am sitting at my desk thinking about my weekend ahead. Tomorrow morning my wife and I are heading out to the Palm Springs area to enjoy the Big Poppa Smokers ‚ÄúKing of the Smoker‚ÄĚ invitational BBQ competition held at the beautiful La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, California. We missed last year‚Äôs event, but we are excited to see this great event in person this year.
Participants to the ‚ÄúKing of the Smokers‚ÄĚ are individually selected, according to Sterling Ball, the event promoter, by many different factors. Current success on the national BBQ scene is important, but not the sole determining factor. Mike Mills, from Apple City Barbecue, for instance, rarely competes anymore but his early contributions to competition BBQ and his legendary status make his team an obvious choice. The same goes for Jamie Geer. Jamie‚Äôs pits are considered amongst the finest BBQ smokers available and many of his customers are here this weekend. Anyone with an eye for art has to appreciate the Jambo Pits for their sleek lines and sexy appearance. Even last years Champion, Chris Lilly, spends more time at his restaurants than behind his smoker at competitions these days.
I started to list and tabulate the 24 teams for their accomplishments on the BBQ circuit, but after only considering 5 of the teams the list was longer than one page. It is amazing the awards these teams have earned. Cumulatively, the 24 teams have earned nearly 300 Grand Championships. Many Team of the Year State Champions. Thousands of individual meat category wins. A handful of World Championships at the American Royal, The Jack, Memphis in May and The Kingsford Cup. Needlessly to say, this is a well-honored field of competitors.
Promoter, Sterling Ball, has a tough job selecting the field of competitors for this invitational event. There are so many deserving teams from across our great Country. As many know, Sterling is the operator of one of the best online BBQ stores anywhere, Big Poppa Smokers. Through his online store, Sterling has established what he calls the ‚ÄúBig Poppa Smokers Elite Team‚ÄĚ. Now this is the cool part, based on how his ‚ÄúElite Team‚ÄĚ performs throughout the year, Sterling donates big money to charities on behalf of his teams. I have heard people talking that this was just an elitist club, but I am here to tell you, the BPS Elite Team is in place for the benefit of many disadvantaged people across our Country and is a great way for this great Man to give back. I highly commend BPS, the Elite Team and Sterling for their great work. To honor his Elite Teams, they are all invited the event, most are here.
Furthering the giving idea, the ‚ÄúKing of the Smoker‚ÄĚ is all about Charity. The main beneficiary for this event is the Casey Lee Ball Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit organization where 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to pediatric kidney research. The foundation was founded about 15 years ago. Sterling had just donated a kidney to his third son, Casey, who was only five at the time. While recuperating at the hospital at UCLA, they decided to form the Casey Lee Ball Foundation. The foundation is now a leader in the research for a cure in pediatric kidney illnesses.
For years, the foundation hosted a celebrity golf tournament that featured guests including Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Joe Pesci, Andy Garcia, John Brodie, Robert Urich, Wayne Gretzky, Christopher Guest, Scott Hamilton, Cheech Marin, Chris Myers, Meatloaf, Steve Vai, Steve Lukather, Alice Cooper, Dweezil Zappa, George Clooney, and many more. Sterling tells me the cool thing about the tournament is there never has been an entry fee. Instead the celebrities just write a check to the foundation.
The King of the Smoker is a KCBS Invitational series event. As such, things are different from a normal competition. Besides being invited, teams have special cooking procedures that must be followed. Teams are going old school, with no electrical assistance during cook. No pit minders, Gurus, or pellet cookers are permitted. Furthermore, the four meats are being supplied to the competitors to provide an even playing field. Pitmasters will be judged on their individual skill set, not on the quality of the starting product or the fancy equipment to cook it, but simply on the end result that will be judged by an elite team of judges. Judges selected for their abilities by the west coasts finest KCBS Reps, Kelly and Kathleen McIntosh.
Fans are paying $20 per person to enter the event. However, the fans are not invited into the venue until 1:30pm after the last turn-in. While I understand this is being done for the privacy of the teams, as most of the fans will be from other competition teams. If there were one change I would make, this would be it. I would love to walk around and see the best of the best preparing their ‚ÄúComp Q‚ÄĚ. I think the die-hard fans that will be coming to this event would appreciate watching the Pitmasters pulling their meats and doing their finishing touches as they make their boxes.
The King of the Smoker does offer educational opportunities, as 10 of the Pitmasters will be giving lectures. Jamie Geer will be speaking about his pits. Leftcoast Q will be talking about California competition BBQ. Wine Country ‚ÄúQ‚ÄĚ will be talking about ‚ÄúHot & Fast‚Äú cooking. Mark Lambert will speak about his win at Memphis in May. 2012 KCBS Chicken champ, Harry Soo will speak about Backyard Competition Chicken. Steph Franklin will be talking about his Simply Marvelous Rubs. Iowa Smokey D‚Äôs will talk about their Championships at the 2013 American Royal Open & Kingsford Invitational GC. Smoke on Wheels will talk about BBQ marinades and Injection. Rub Bagby of Swamp Boys BBQ will demonstrate his skills with turkey Breast. And the 2013 leader in Brisket, Hog Tide will give tips and tricks about his brisket success.
Next week I will report back on the contest and the results.
| CBBQA APPROVED EVENTS |
- (KCBS) King of the Smoker Cook Off, La Quinta Ca
- (CBBQA) Veterans Holiday Celebration, Veterans Administration grounds, West LA
- (CBBQA) 1st Annual Sparta-Q BBQ Competition, San Jose
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Cowboy Up Rodeo and BBQ, Lancaster
- (KCBS) A Smokin' Good Time, Prescott Valley, AZ
- (CBBQA) Feather Falls Casino 3-Meat Series #3, Oroville
- (KCBS) 3rd Annual Dana Point BBQ Championship, Dana Point
- (KCBS) AVI Resort & Casino Music Brews & BBQ, Laughlin, NV
- (CBBQA) 3rd Annual Classic BBQ Cook Off, Grass Valley, CA
- (KCBS) 1st Annual Rubstock BBQ Championship, Cameron Park, CA
- (KCBS) 5th Annual Smokin' on the Water, Lakeport, CA
- (KCBS) 4th Annual Golden Acorn BBQ Fest, Campo, CA
- (CBBQA) 1st Annual San Carlos Grill Off, San Carlos, CA
- (CBBQA) Feather Falls Casino 3-Meat Series #2, Oroville, CA
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Ribs, Pigs and Watermelons, Huntington Beach CA
- (KCBS) Brentwood Cook Off & Car Show, Brentwood CA
- (KCBS) 3rd Annual Ontario Best Backyard BBQ contest, Ontario CA
- (KCBS) 5th Annual Vista Smokin' Q Classic, Vista CA
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Siskiyou Beef Country Cook-Off Montague CA
- (KCBS) The Great American Cookoff, Woodlake CA
- (KCBS) 4th Annual Smokin' For Gold, Placerville, CA
- (KCBS) 3rd Annual Wine Country Big Q BBQ Championship, Santa Rosa, CA
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Silicon Valley BBQ Championships, Santa Clara, CA
- (CBBQA) Feather Falls Casino 3-Meat Series #1, Oroville, CA
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Pechanga BBQ Championship, Temecula
- (KCBS) 1st Annual California Honey Harvest Festival, Filmore, CA
- (KCBS) 3rd Annual Blues Brews & BBQ, Brentwood, CA
- (KCBS) Biggest Baddest BBQ, Bakersfield
- (KCBS) 2nd Anuual West Coast BBQ Classic, Long Beach, CA
- (KCBS) High Desert Music Festival & BBQ Showdown, Victorville, CA
- (KCBS) 2nd annual Smoke on the Mountain, San Jose
- (KCBS) The Ultimate BBQ Showdown East vs West IIII, Wildomar, CA
- (KCBS) 1st Annual Kings of the Que BBQ Championship, Sacramento, CA
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Santa Anita Park Winners' Circle BBQ Championship, Arcadia
- (KCBS) Backyard on the Lake 2013, Patterson
- 8/9/10 QFest at East Shore RV
- (KCBS) 3rd Annual Wild Wild West BBQ State Championship, Lake Elsinore
- (KCBS) 2nd Annual Little Engine that Could State BBQ Championship, Vista, CA
- (CBBQA Endorsed) 2012_Butcher's BBQ Tell All BBQ Class, Orange Co. CA
- (KCBS) 3rd Annual Wild Wild West BBQ State Championship, Lake Elsinore
Join the CBBQA
| Our mission is to teach, enjoy, preserve, and promote barbecue as a true American food and to help various children‚Äôs charities by conducting barbecue events throughout the state of California.
Join Us Today!
New BBQ Contest/Event Information
| The California BBQ Association would also like to help promote your BBQ event. We work hand in hand with all the national sanctioning bodies for BBQ events each year here in California. Information on what options we offer the event promoters of California can be obtained by contacting our Chairman of the Contest Committee.
Please send all BBQ event inquiries to-
- List of what specific info you may be looking for.
If you have a charity that is interested in putting together a BBQ fundraiser, we would also like to hear from you.
CBBQA Team of the Year
| 2013 STANDINGS
1- Left Coast Q 491
Matt Dalton ~ Banning, CA
2- Burnin and Lootin 455
Jerry Aguilar ~ Corona, CA
3- Simply Marvelous 441
Stephan Franklin ~ Ventura, CA
4- The Pit Crew ~ 410
Steve Wilson ~ Anaheim Hills, CA
5- ZZYZX Bar B Q 396
Jason Miranda ~ Rancho Cucamonga, CA
6- Hog Island Pitmasters 392
John Hendrickson ~ Discovery Bay, CA
7- Big B's Down & Dirty BBQ 389
Bill Souza ~ Pacifica, CA
8- Who's Smokin Now 382
Raymond Porter ~ Banning, CA
9- All Sauced Up 376
Dave Malone ~ Valencia, CA
10- All Hogs Go to Heaven 375
Steve Madaule ~ Lancaster, CA
11- Butchers Daughter 363
Donna Fong ~ Alameda, CA
12- Big Poppa Smokers 356
Sterling Ball ~ Coachella, CA
13- Knock UR Sox Off BBQ 352
Ryan Moore ~ Fontana, CA
T14- Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ 341
Harry Soo ~ Diamond Bar, CA
T14- Smokey Luv BBQ ~ 341
Kevin Barteaux ~ Novato, CA
16- Ridge Route Boys 337
Curtis Trigueiro ~ Bakersfield, CA
T17- Funtime BBQ ~ 334
Benny Adauto ~ Whittier, CA
T17- Smokin Mo's 334
Mike Lindley ~ Yucca Valley, CA
T17 Too Ashamed To Name 334
Scott Hares ~ San Jose, CA
20- Lady of Q 333
Sylvie Curry ~ Ramona, CA
21- Rooftop Barbeque 330
Andy Allen ~ Menifee, CA
22- Smokin' Yankees BBQ 329
Chris Juencke ~ Stockton, CA
23- Loot N' Booty 325
Sterling Smith ~ Scottsdale, AZ
24- Bowling Over Pigs 317
Chuck Collondrez ~ Brentwood, CA
25- Hound Dog Barbecue 310
Bob Christensen ~ Sacramento, CA
How to get sanctioned:
ToY Event Application
® = 2013 Rookie Team
-Visit the Complete Official 2013 Standings for all categories.
-ToY Rules can be found at Team of the Year page