BBQ Adventure (2.0) Day 18: Saturday 16th May 2015 (Memphis TN)

After more than a few beers with Sam last night in memory of B.B.King, and after only a few hours sleep, it was certainly a struggle waking up this morning!


On Thursday I busted my finger whilst throwing a football. Last night our resident ‘Doctor’ and I both decided that the swollen and deformed tip of my finger should be cut off! It sounded good at the time when I was drunk on Apple Pie Moonshine, but it was throbbing like the Duracell Bunny this morning! 



Today is sadly the final day of Memphis in May. It is when judging takes place for all of the three pork categories, the Kingsford Tour of Champions and the overall Grand Champion will be announced for 2015.

Today is a bittersweet day. It is a day that promises to be full of excitement and anticipation in regards to how well your team places, yet sadness due to it being the last day of being together with your BBQ family for another year!

We called up Chris, and as we had some time, we stopped to take some pics on the way in!


Yesterday we had planned to eat at Gus’s Fried Chicken, however the line outside was way too long!

     Today we tried again and despite the line being longer, we were able to get served quite quickly! The secret was to order from the take out menu at the counter, rather than wait for a table inside!




You can’t beat the Fried Green Tomatoes!

We sat down for a fantastic lunch at our favourite gate high above the park, contemplating on what lay ahead for the team!


When we arrived, the booth was being set up for tasting and judging of the ribs by three different judges.

Basically, the upstairs was closed off and the bottom part of the booth is divided in two. The back half is used to prepare the ribs for tasting. 

Today is the day when all of Shane and the teams hard work is put into the hands of two judging methods.


The first is the blind box tasting, a team of six judges taste your ribs without knowing who they belong to!

The boxes are taken to the judges by ‘runners’, whose job it is to ensure that the box makes it to the judges not only intact, but more importantly in time! If the box is delivered too early or too late, then the entry is disqualified!

The front part of the downstairs section, was emptied and turned into a presentation area. The smoker was cleaned up, and a rack of ribs were placed on a splendid display inside.

The bar was converted into a private tasting table, complete with bar stool and condiments. The whole team took up residence outside on the banks of the Mississippi River, and we nervously waited for the first of three judges to taste the ribs!


It was important to ensure that those outside remained quiet during the visits. It was quite a tense time, as along with trying to listen and predict the judging, you didn’t want to be a distraction!


As each of the three judges arrived, they were met by Neil. He introduced himself and gave a brief description of Too Sauced to Pork and the teams history.


He would then hand over to Eric, who explained the cooker and method used to cook the ribs.


The final stage of the judging process was handled by Shane and John. They explained how the ribs were sourced and cooking method used.


During the last judging, I was honoured to have been mentioned as it was explained to the judge about how TSTP is made up of ‘team’ members from all around the world!

With judging over, Neil provided feedback on the judges, and there was nothing to do but wait!


The best thing about judging being complete, was that we got to taste the leftover ribs not required if we made it into the top three!


For Neil and the senior members of the team, waiting to hear back if we had made it into the top three, was a very anxious wait!


For the rest of the team, it was a quick chance to soak up more of the Memphis in May atmosphere! It was also a chance to say farewell to friends from other teams.



Sam was very pleased to find someone with a watch like his!


The rain arrived and put a dampener on things. After saying farewell to Carey and John from Peg Leg Porkers, and Ken, Don and Chris from Big Bob Gibson, it was time to head back to the booth.


The news wasn’t good, we didn’t make it in the top three!


Despite the bad news and the persistent rain, we still had hope that the team would place in the top ten. The rain kept up for the rest of the afternoon, and all we could do was wait in the booth until judging!



My BBQ ‘family’!

The rain stopped just before judging, and we all posed for a Too Sauced to Pork team photo! It was great to march up to the main stage as a team, despite the bad weather our spirits were high!

Being the last day, it was a good opportunity for teams to use up the remaking alcohol, our team included!


The team had finished 6th in ribs last year, and there was hope that we could equal that result, or do even better this year.


Sadly Too Sauced to Pork didn’t get a top ten place for ribs this year. Our only two trophies for MIM 2015, would be for the Boss Hog run and Poultry. Like last year, we came second in the Kingsford Tour of Champions! 

Another great effort by the team!

Despite not placing, the celebration of another Memphis in May continued on until the announcement of the Grand Champion!


I was pleased to see my friends from Big Bob Gibson Barbecue take out winner of the shoulder this year!


Well done Ken!

   The brother and sister team of Brad and Brooke from The Shed BBQ are good friends of TSTP. It was great to see them take out first place in Whole Hog. A very popular winner!




With two teams who were friends of TSTP up on stage, it was quite exciting waiting to see who would be crowned Grand Champion 2015! Last year, Big Bob Gibson took it out!


The Shed was named as Grand Champion 2015, and ‘everyone’ was jumping for joy!


Sadly it was time to head back home after another fantastic Memphis in May!


Memphis in Mud!


See ya next year!

We stopped back at the booth, had a few more drinks and said goodbye to everyone.  



   One of the Jims from Memphis BBQ Supply had promised me some of his branded rubs. He called by our booth and delivered some fantastic Greasy Creek Spices for me to try. I’m looking forward to trying them when I get home!

As the sun finally set over the mighty Mississippi, I was feeling pretty happy!

Paul gave us a lift home in his JEEP, and Sam and I sat down to a feed of leftover BBQ, and a few more beers! 

As we sat eating and drinking, I couldn’t help smiling and reflecting on what had been another magical Memphis in May.

It was soon time to hit the sack, as tomorrow will be a big day.

 The plan is to drive from Memphis TN to Atlanta GA via Tupelo MS, the birthplace of Elvis Presley! 



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