Beaver Bar hosts BBQ Battle at the BeachProceeds benefit Outreach Farm

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014

Anita Crone/For Inlet Outlook Lake High explains the rules for the contest.


Like your barbecue saucy? Check. How about dry? Check. Vinegar based? Check.

Some of South Carolina’s — and a bit beyond’s — best barbecue was on display and available for tasting Saturday as South Carolina Barbecue Association competitors.

The first BBQ Battle at the Beach event was aimed for bragging rights — and a few dollars — at the Beaver Bar to benefit The Outreach Farm.

The Beaver Bar was the logical place for the event, said organizer Christine Fette, who with a volunteer staff put the entire weekend together in about five weeks.

“There are a lot of chili and chowder cook-offs, so we wanted something different,” she said.

“Because barbecue is so desired in this state, it seemed a natural choice.”

So, too, did the location. “We needed power and water for up to 15 cookers. This place had it.”

Outreach Farm provided each cooker — there were 14 — with 20 pounds of chicken wings for Friday night and a number of Boston butts for the main event on Saturday.

The competitors brought their favorite cookers, recipes and cooking tools. The judges came from the barbecue association, which trains its judges to consider five different areas — aroma, appearance, tenderness, taste and overall, with an emphasis on tenderness and taste, explained Lake High.

The judging is done blind, with the raters having only a color or a number on the boxes of food they are given.

But the SCBA judges aren’t the only ones rating the competitors. The attendees also get a vote, and chose Swine Time and Everett Brown for the People’s Choice.

That gave competitors such as Mike Pond of Augusta, Ga., and Lyle Hogue, of Washington, D.C., who are relative newcomers to competition, an equal chance with more seasoned cookers.

“We both like to cook on the Big Green Eggs, and this was close, so we thought we’d give it a try,” Hogue said.

Buck Allen says his recipe has been handed down for three generations and he uses the same ingredients whether he’s cooking pork or chicken.

“I had to learn to cook,” he said. “My wife can’t boil water.”

When events are close to his Conway home, he loads up his smoker and hits the road, where he will often run into old friends or make new ones.

It takes hours to cook a butt exactly right, and some competitors have modified their cookers so they can get some sleep while the meat is cooking.

But in the end, they say, it’s worth it.

Rookie competitors Ultimate Tailgaters took third place in both the wings and barbecue categories.

In barbecue, All Smoked Up earned second place, behind winner Buckwheat BBQ. In the wings category, Brother Barbecue won and S’lowcountry Q was runner-up. The real winners though, were The Outreach Farm and the public, which got a taste of South Carolina’s best.


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