Pitmasters Take Over Newport Dunes for Winter Q

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By Victoria Kertz | NB Indy

Smoke poured out of the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort on Saturday, but there was no cause for alarm—it was just 50 world class barbecue teams from around the country (and even Canada) competing in the 2107 Newport Beach Winter Q & BBQ Expo on Saturday, Jan. 28.

As ribs slow-cooked over fires and brisket basked in smokers, thousands of attendees waited in lines to sample prize BBQ under a cloudless, warm January sky.

The wait for parking, entry and food paid off as carnivores sampled award-winning ribs, pulled pork, chicken, brisket, grill-roasted desserts, and heart-stopping delicacies like candied bacon.

Pulled pork entry from the Rude Not 2 BBQ team ready for judging (photo by Chris Trela)
Pulled pork entry from the Rude Not 2 BBQ team ready for judging (photo by Chris Trela)

Walking away with the $10,000 grand prize was the team from Big Poppa Smokers, a BBQ rub-maker, led by founder Sterling Ball. With top scores in both the Pork and Pork Ribs categories, Coachella-based Big Poppa Smokers edged out 55 other teams. Big Poppa was followed closely by Simply Marvelous BBQ and Lady of Q.

This competition had three perfect scores, which is like bowling a 300 game.

A team from Fountain Valley, Smoking Harts, received a perfect score of 180 for their beef brisket. They also scored 180 in the dessert category.

Sterling Ball, founder of Big Poppa Smokers, slices brisket (photo by Chris Trela)
Sterling Ball, founder of Big Poppa Smokers, slices brisket (photo by Chris Trela)

Contest organizer Steve Bender received a perfect score as a “Kansas City Barbeque Society Organizer” for the third year in a row, which makes him one of the top organizers in the world.

Zach McCune won the kids’ steak competition and Trent Paterson won the kids’ burger competition.

A portion of food sales and additional proceeds supported Free Dental Clinics for children in Orange County, through AYUDA International, in partnership with Doc in a Box 360, a Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club project.

Sterling Ball, founder of Big Poppa Smokers, holds a prize slice of brisket (photo by Chris Trela)
Sterling Ball, founder of Big Poppa Smokers, holds a prize slice of brisket (photo by Chris Trela)

 

Winners by Category

 CHICKEN

  1. LADY OF Q
  2. 2ZZYZX BAR B Q
  3. BLAZES BBQ

PORK RIBS

  1. BIG POPPAS SMOKERS
  2. FU MAN QUE CREW
  3. MEAT CANDY Q

PORK

  1. BIG POPPAS SMOKERS
  2. LADY OF Q
  3. SMOKIN IT UP BBQ

BRISKET

  1. SMOKIN HARTS
  2. SMOKIN’ MONEY
  3. PORKCHOP AND BUBBAS

DESSERT

  1. SMOKING. HARTS
  2. JOLLEY’S BAD TO THE BONE BARBEQUE
  3. BOB’S MORNING WOOD BARBEQUE

KID’S Q- 5-11

  1. ZACH MCCUNE
  2. TRAVIS PETERSON
  3. SMOKIN JAYDEN

KIDS Q-12-15

  1. TRENT PATERSON
  2. MATTHEW DIAMOND
  3. ETHAN LIN
Mayor Kevin Muldoon, grand prize winner Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers, Winter Q founder Steve Bender (photo by Jim Collins)
Mayor Kevin Muldoon, grand prize winner Sterling Ball of Big Poppa Smokers, Winter Q founder Steve Bender (photo by Jim Collins)

 

Young grill master Peter Kertz flips a burger in the kid’s competition
Young grill master Peter Kertz flips a burger in the kid’s competition

 

Rookie of the Year team
Rookie of the Year team
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