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2014 American Royal Poster

The first weekend in October is always one of our favorite weekends of the year – it means we get to head to Kansas City for the American Royal, largest BBQ Contest in the world, catch up with lots of friends and eat at some of our favorite BBQ joints like Oklahoma Joe’s and Gates!

We had a very busy Friday at the Royal this year getting all of our meats trimmed and ready for two cooks and we cooked several hundred pounds of pork butts for a catering event for our sponsors Reser’s Fine Foods NASCAR Team and driver Matt Kenseth during the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

2014 American Royal Site

We were lucky enough to qualify to cook both the Invitational and Open contests at this years American Royal. Here’s how we did:


We finished 50th out of 165 teams with a score of 171.4288 in chicken. I was very happy with the chicken we turned in and finishing in the top third of this group of championship teams is nothing to be ashamed of.


As always, we proved once again that our ribs sometimes score well and sometimes don’t. We finished 96th out of 165 teams with a score of 166.2856. Someday we will get this thing called ribs figured out!


We finished 81st out of 165 teams in Pork with a score of 167.9656. We really liked our pork, but it looks like the judges didn’t share our view.


We didn’t have a very good day on brisket. I think it could have used a bit more time on the smoker as it wasn’t as tender as I would have liked it and it just didn’t have the flavor our brisket usually has. We finished 119th out of 165 with a score of 163.3828.


We ended up placing 90th out of 165 teams with a score of 669.0628 in the Invitational, not the result we were looking for. A big congratulations to our good friends at Smokin Hogz BBQ on their GC! Way to go guys! I’m going to want to start getting paid as your videographer if I film any more of your big GC’s!!

2014 American Royal Invitational Champs 2


2014 American Royal Invitational Champs


We came back with a very strong chicken box on Sunday for the Open and finished 11th out of 548 teams with a score of 178.2972. The whole team felt like we had a good chance at a chicken call when we tasted what we had. A huge thanks to Butcher’s for the assist with their great  Butcher BBQ Bird Booster products!

2014 American Royal 11th Place Chicken


Another middle of the road rib cook that placed us in 353rd place out of 551 teams with a score of 160.0000. We could be dangerous at this competition BBQ thing if we could just have some consistency in ribs. 


I’m not sure what happened to us in Pork, but it wasn’t good. We finished 466th out of 549 teams with a score of 153.6456. We were very excited when David Bouska from Butcher BBQ stopped by to give us a bag of his newest product – Open-Pit Pork Injection! We are certain this will help improve our pork scores!

Butcher Pork Injection


We finished 186th out of 546 teams with a score of 166.2400. We thought we had a much stronger brisket entry for the Open and it finished a bit better, but not where we’d like.


We finished 243rd out of 552 teams, right in the middle, with a score of 658.1828. 

A huge thank you to our sponsors – Reser’s Fine Foods, ICEHOLE Coolers, East Coast Smokin’ Wood, Butcher BBQ & Meyer Natural Angus – without your support we couldn’t be doing what we love to do so many weekends each year! Thank you for your support and for making such remarkable products! Be sure to support those who support BBQ by visiting our sponsors websites and ordering from them!

It was great to see a couple of our good BBQ friends enter into the BBQ Hall of Fame. A well deserved honor for both!

There is no better person in the sport of competition BBQ than Pat Burke. We had the honor to cook next to Pat and his Tower Rock BBQ Team at our first Memphis in May. Pat has become both a friend and a mentor to us and much of our success is a direct result of his guidance and support. A BBQ Hall of Fame without Pat Burke would be like a Baseball Hall of Fame without Babe Ruth. When people thing of competition BBQ, Pat is one of the first names that come to their minds. Congrats Pat, well deserved!!!!

Heath & Pat Burke - 2014 AR

Ray Lampe, AKA Dr. BBQ, is one of the most visible people in BBQ with numerous cookbooks and TV appearance to his name.  Who know how many miles Ray pus on each year traveling from coast to coast preaching the gospel of BBQ to the masses and being a large factor in the continued growth of our industry! I first had the chance to meet Ray at Memphis in May in 2011 and have been lucky enough to get to know him over the years and call him a friend. Congrats Ray, well deserved!!!

Heath & Ray Lampe - AR 2014

2014 BBQ Hall of Fame

A big congratulations to both Pat and Ray!!

I’ve been a Royals fan since I could walk growing up with hero’s like George Brett, Frank White, U.L. Washington, Dan Quisenberry, Bo Jackson, and so many more. I was 11 years old the last time the Royals made it to the playoffs and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to catch a playoff game while I was in Kansas City. On Sunday after we turned in our last entry we cleaned up and headed to Kaufman Stadium for Game 3 of the AL Divisional Series vs. the Anaheim Angels. It caused us to miss awards and hearing our name called for chicken, but it was so worth it! I’ve probably seen close to 250 games at Kaufman Stadium over the years, but I’d never seen it in this much glory with so much energy (it was way better than when I saw the All-Star Game at Kaufman Stadium in 2012). The Royals went on to crush the Angels and will now play the Baltimore Orioles for the American League Championship (I see more games in my future in Baltimore!!) Go Royals!!!!


Royals Playoffs vs. Angels