PHOTOS: BBQ State Championship Smokes in Lexington Center
Thirty vendors competed for best barbeque.
Savvy diners at last weekend’s barbeque left with a belly full of good ole southern barbeque, accented with spicily secret sauces paired with sides of mild to fiery baked beans, crisp coleslaw and, of course, thick slabs of crusty yellow corn bread.
The second annual Lexington Battle Green BBQ Festival, sponsored by LABBB Collaborative School and sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, wasn’t held for visitors with barbeque-stained shirts and fingers.
Nope, this was a do-or-die-trying State Championship BBQ Cook-Off. Last Friday, May 18, 30 New England teams dragged black wrought iron ovens, mini home kitchens, one on-wheels diner and every form and sort of smoker onto the turf green off Mass Ave and Woburn Street.
Once competitors were tethered to the grounds, fires were lit in the long black ovens and smokers – all with the secret blends of wood that produced the aromatic smoke that wafted throughout the center all weekend.
Barbequing is a serious business, and Kansas City Barbeque Society’s certified judges, Kathy and Ken Dakai of Clinton, Mass., were there enforce the KCBS’s rules.
On Sunday, May 20, the crowds sampled varied flavors of beef brisket, pork shoulder and butt, pork ribs and chicken. By noon the judges began eating samples from each vendor. By 4 p.m. they had winners.
Methuen’s Lakeside Smokers came in first and took overall winner. New England BBQ & Catering, from Malden, took second and the Howling Hog from Randolph, Vermont took third.
Although they took the top trophies, it was clear everyone won.
Visit KCBS for last weekend’s competitors and results. Interested in becoming a judge? Roam the site and learn how.