Memphis in May BBQ Scene
Memphis in May holds THE WORLD BBQ Competition annually, with a cash prize of $8000 for the winner! The BBQ Pit teams, are serious BBQers, with smoky aroma abounding. The teams build camps along the Mighty Mississippi, and hunker down with BBQ rigs that are so huge, only a semi-trailer could pull, and others have made specialty shapes like pigs, bulls, boats and even an Air Force Fighter jet. Each Pit team has their own secrets of spices, woods, charcoals, time, turning, and not one Pit team is telling any of their secrets.
Definitions of BBQ and grilling as I see it: BBQ IS NOT GRILLING! BBQ is a slow cooking method over, or indirectly near, mature coals and wood, and generally the meat BBQed has no bbq sauce on it, rather the meat has a dry rub of spices, salt and pepper and if sauce is added, it is mopped near the end to give it a nice thin shine without the acrid taste of burnt sauce. Many of the top BBQers do not use sauce because why cover up the amazingly delicious and subtle smoky flavors with a heavy bbq sauce? Grilling is what you do at home to a steak or burger, usually a quick cook over hot coals.
We took the tour of the Memphis in May BBQ competition. Inside the competition we ate Wilingham's 2 time Memphis World BBQ Champion dry ribs. These ribs were moist, smoky flavorful, good color profile, and the secret dry rub was an exacting thin layer of flavor. I can see why they are a 2 time champion.