A Look at Memphis in May | Food and Beverage Today Magazine
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For barbeque lovers, Memphis in May is a don't miss weekend extravaganza.

 


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Memphis in May

If you love barbecue then the pilgrimage to Memphis in May is certainly on your list of things to do this spring.

We wanted to know more about the event so we asked J.B McCarty from the Charleston based Blackjack Barbeque team to fill us in on what the event is all about.

I

f you love barbecue then the pilgrimage to Memphis in May is certainly on your list of things to do this spring. We wanted to know more about the event so we asked J.B McCarty from the Charleston based Blackjack Barbeque team to fill us in on what the event is all about

A lot of folks call it the Super Bowl of Swine. We just know it as Memphis in May

Every spring, more than 100,000 people gather along the banks of the Mississippi River for Memphis' World Championship Barbecue Contest. It's a barbecue pilgrimage of sorts, bringing together the nation's best pitmasters for prize money and bragging rights.

blackjack barbeque, barbeque, memphis in may

Our BlackJack Barbecue team, led by Jimmy Hagood, has participated in the competition for almost 10 years. It's a honor just to attend -- only three or four teams from South Carolina are invited to the championship annually. To gain invitation, usually a team has to win a Memphis in May sanctioned event, such as a state barbecue championship.

But the best honor is visiting Memphis, and prevailing. The festival has three official meat categories: pork ribs, pork shoulder, and whole hog. We cook in the shoulder category, and in 2005 and 2006 we had a pair of top-5 finishes. Those years, we could say without equivocation, we cooked some of the best barbecue in the world.

Traveling from Charleston to Memphis in May takes every bit of a day. We will leave the lowcountry before the sun rises and arrive in Memphis just in time to see the sun set across the Mississippi River. It's a trip we make towing our "Big, Red Rig," a 27-foot long, double-decker cooking platform. The rig is equipped with two grills: a five-rack rotisserie Jedmaster, and a barrel drum cooker, which is capable of cooking two 150-pound hogs simultaneously. We also have a 500 watt stereo, satellite radio, and hot water. Seating upstairs offers a real treat: a view of the barbecue landscape like you've never seen.

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