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Grilling Competition Fierce, Fun at Rio Rancho Pork and Brew

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The secret to the art of barbecue is “low and slow,” the meat cooked on wood chips or charcoal without lighter fluid, the meat treated with a good “rub,” or seasoning combination.

For tasty goodness’ sake, never use a match to light charcoal, and never guess if the meat is done; use a thermometer.

These were some of the tips dispensed by Bill Taylor and Steve Wilson of B. S. Barbecue of Albuquerque.

For you backyard grillers today, here’s another tip: Marinate for flavor, don’t put sauce on the meat before cooking.

Every good barbecue master develops his own proprietary seasoning mix, not to be shared with anyone.

Wilson and Taylor have been a part of the annual Pork & Brew barbecue championship since its inception eight years ago, and, every year, the competition gets stiffer and the flavor gets better.

“This particular barbecue championship has been very good from the beginning,” said Wilson.

“There are many well-rounded competitors, as well as a lot of new barbecue cooks, who are also very good at what they do,” Taylor said.

Reaping the culinary benefits of good competition were up to 35,000 people who attended the eighth annual Pork & Brew State Barbecue Championship over the weekend, held in a parking lot outside Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

A festival atmosphere prevailed; the aroma of barbecue pork, chicken, ribs and brisket filled the air, as the sound of dance music and children squealing on carnival rides added to the fun.

Ryan Drinkard was there with Karen Thompson, both of them from Albuquerque, and he said the barbecue he had sampled “was really good.”

“We don’t have a lot of really good barbecue in Albuquerque, so I like to come here,” Drinkard said.

The best barbecue he’s found was in North Carolina, the sauce based on a vinegar that gives it a more tart flavor compared with the sweet sauces found in Texas or New Mexico.

“And this is a fun thing to do,” Thompson said.

“It’s something different from fireworks, which is not a good thing to do this year,” added Drinkard.

Art Perez, sports and event coordinator for the city of Rio Rancho, said it was the best-attended event in eight years.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal