Teams on tap for Ham Jam barbecue contest
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:00 AM
Over a dozen teams are competing in the Ham Jam Arts Festival's barbecue contest, including the 2012 Memphis Barbecue Network Team of the Year, Boars Night Out from Olive Branch.
Thirteen teams signed up for the annual Memphis Barbecue Network-sanctioned barbecue contest with winners announced at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Competing this year are:
Pickin & Grillin, Diamond D Cooking Team, Chimneyville Smokehouse BBQ Team, Cotton Patch Cooking Crew, Fireman John's BBQ, SlapJo Mama Championship BBQ, Magnificent Redeyed Smokers, Burned At The Steak, Rosser's BBQ, Casey's Calibrated BBQ, Barnyard Roasters and Boars Night Out.
The Ham Jam Arts Festival begins Friday and continues through Saturday in downtown Philadelphia.
The barbecue competition this year will be fierce as top contenders and longtime attendees vie for the top spot.
Allen Smith, a pitmaster with Boars Night Out, is excited for the chance to finally compete in the contest.
Boars Night Out, the 2012 Memphis Barbecue Network Team of the Year from Olive Branch, will be competing in the hog, shoulder and rib categories.
Their whole hog is a Berkshire hog, while the shoulder and rib entry is a Compart Duroc hog from Minnesota.
"We're aiming to prepare the best hog we can for Memphis In May," he said.
On being the team of the year last year, Smith said they had an excellent year and are looking to repeat that success.
The Ham Jam competition will be their fifth for this year.
"We've wanted to come for years," he said.
After Ham Jam the team will compete in the Southaven Springfest competition followed by Smoking on the Water in Arkansas.
An eight-year-old team, Smith said the team started out as a "big party team" but for the last four years started focusing on the cooking.
They have 13-14 members in all with four pitmasters: Smith, Eric Hodson, Bib Denton and Kendel Adair, an 18-year-old rib cook. There are also 9-10 helpers made up of girlfriend, wives and friends.
"We're coming as a small team to do the best we can," Smith said.
The 2013 Ham Jam Arts Festival officially begins on Friday in downtown Philadelphia.
The festival area will be blocked off by 6 p.m. on Friday Main Street barbecue will be on sale by 7 p.m.
The Friday night concert will begin at 7 p.m., featuring Bad Habit.
On Saturday, Mayor James Young will officially open the festival at 8:15 a.m. with a welcome.
Over 70 arts and crafts vendors will also set up downtown on Saturday. There will also be musical entertainment throughout the day.
The annual Jesus Jam will begin at 3 p.m., featuring Altar'd.
Other entertainment includes a children's area, open on Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Visit www.hamjamartsfestival.com for complete festival information or call 1-877-752-2643 or contact Howell at 601-656-1000.