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Happy New Year – What Are Your 2016 BBQ Resolutions?

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2016

Happy New Years! We hope that 2015 was a great year for you and your family, and we hope 2016 will even be better! We want to know what your 2016 BBQ Resolutions are. Leave a comment on this post and tell us what your 2016 BBQ Resolutions are. On January 15 we’ll randomly pick a name from everyone who has commented on the post and send you a pack with bags of each of our 5 Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky flavors.

Our 2016 BBQ Resolutions are:

  • Win at least one Grand Championship in 2016
  • Get invited back to the Jack
  • Share our BBQ knowledge with folks that are just getting into BBQ more through educational blog posts, a BBQ 101 class and at contests
  • Get a cookbook deal
  • Have our Pork Barrel BBQ Bacon Jerky available for retail sale in more than 5,000 stores
  • Improve our Competition Ribs and finish in the top 5 in Ribs at half the contests we cook
  • Get a new grill or two

Happy New Year! We can’t wait to hear about your BBQ Resolutions for 2016!

Pork Barrel BBQ’s Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – Do You Agree With Our List?

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Top 10

We hope you’ve enjoyed the Pork Barrel BBQ countdown of the 10 biggest stories in BBQ in 2015. There is no question that BBQ continues to be HOT in America. New BBQ restaurants are popping up in ever part of our country, more people are firing up their grills and smokers in their backyard, the popularity of BBQ in pop culture, social media and traditional media continues to soar, and BBQ as a sport is getting bigger and better each year.

To sum up, these are the top ten stories we thought dominated BBQ in 2015:

#1 – Thanks to Aaron Franklin, BBQ is Equal Among Peer Cuisines – Franklin Wins James Beard Award

#2 – BBQ Takes Care of Our Own – #TEAMBURG

#3 – Show Me The Money, Stubbs Sells for $100 Million Bucks

#4 – We’ve Moved, The American Royal Moves to Arrowhead Stadium

#5 – You Don’t Know Jack, But Tuffy Stone Does – Cool Smoke Wins Second Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue

#6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Now we want to hear from you. Leave a comment below to let us know if you agree with our list. Let us know if we missed something that should have been in the top ten or if we included something that should have been left off, moved down the list or up the list. We want to know what your Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 are!

Have a safe New Years Eve and a Happy New Year! We can’t wait to see what BBQ and BBQer’s have in store for 2016!!

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #1 – Thanks to Aaron Franklin, BBQ is Equal Among Peer Cuisines – Franklin Wins James Beard Award

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Winning the Sam’s Club BBQ Tour would put some nice coin in your bank. Winning Memphis in May would be amazing. Winning the American Royal would put you on top of the BBQ world. Winning the Jack would make you speechless. Winning a James Beard award as a chef would be life changing. Winning a James Beard award as a pitmaster would make you a BBQ Legend. Austin, Texas based pitmaster Aaron Franklin did just that in 2015, he became a Legend, not just in the BBQ world, but in the culinary world, when he won the James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southwest Region.

Franklin, the owner and pitmaster of Franklin Barbecue became the first ever pitmaster to be recognized as “best chef” at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. The annual Beard awards for best chef have historically gone to chefs from well recognized culinary cathedrals serving “fine” cuisine in kitchens maned by sous chefs with serious culinary chops of their own, not by pitmasters cooking with post oak in smokers made from recycled steel tanks.

In his acceptance speech Franklin said, “This award is so much bigger than me and so much bigger than our restaurant in Austin, Texas. It’s pretty huge for barbecue in general.” After the awards ceremony he continued by saying, “It is a monumental shift for the culinary world to recognize barbecue like this.” Adding that “I think it’s more about barbecue than me.”

In a year filled with some pretty awesome BBQ stories, the significance of Franklin receiving a James Beard award can’t be understated. As he said, it is a monumental shift for barbecue to be recognized among the many fine cuisines we celebrate in America. After all, nothing is more American than barbecue and it’s about time the culinary elites recognize what pitmasters and millions of BBQ eaters have recognized for decades, nothing is better than a meat cooked low and slow over a stick of wood. Congratulations Aaron and thank you for helping move BBQ a few more steps forward in the American culinary lexicon!   

The Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 are:

#1 – Thanks to Aaron Franklin, BBQ is Equal Among Peer Cuisines – Franklin Wins James Beard Award

#2 – BBQ Takes Care of Our Own – #TEAMBURG

#3 – Show Me The Money, Stubbs Sells for $100 Million Bucks

#4 – We’ve Moved, The American Royal Moves to Arrowhead Stadium

#5 – You Don’t Know Jack, But Tuffy Stone Does – Cool Smoke Wins Second Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue

#6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #2 – BBQ Takes Care of Our Own – #TEAMBURG

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jim burg

A person’s true colors can best be measured in times of crisis and need, especially when their participation in an effort to help is purely voluntary. Of all the groups of people we have been associated with over the course of our lives, we can, without hesitation, say that none are more caring and generous with their time and resources than our BBQ Family.  Even as I type this, countless BBQer’s are deploying with Operation BBQ Relief to storm ravaged areas of Texas and Mississippi (if you want to donate to OBR click HERE). In 2015, the BBQ Family didn’t just help tens of thousands of strangers with a warm meal or shoulder to cry on, we helped one of our own.

Jim Burg, one of the best guys you’ll ever meet and one of our BBQ brothers, fell ill at a competition in April and after being rushed to the hospital was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and doctors weren’t sure he’d make it. The good news, Jim wasn’t listening to the doctors and wasn’t ready to leave his family and friends (I’m sure he had some briskets in the freezer that needed to be smoked too!). Over the past eight months Jim has been in and out of the hospital, but is making progress in the right direction. He even felt good enough to make the trek to Lynchburg, TN in October to cook the Jack!

As you can imagine, eight months of medical bills doesn’t come cheap and BBQ’ers around the country have been doing everything they can possibly do to help offset as much of the cost as possible. In July a group of BBQ’ers led the Burg BBQ Benefit and Concert and through the generous donations of many raised a large amount of money to help Jim and his wife. Donations came pouring in from the likes of Snake River Farms, Clark Crew BBQ, Hot Wachulas BBQ, Traeger, Meadowcreek,  Yeti, BBQ Superstore, Atlanta BBQ Store, BBQ Guru, Swamp Boys, Mojobricks, Thermapen,  Big Bob Gibson, Simply Marvelous, Smokin’ Hogz and Historic BBQ.

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The efforts continue. We noticed a few weeks back that Swamp Boys BBQ auctioned off a spot in one of their upcoming BBQ classes. Thank you to everyone in the BBQ Family for once again proving in 2015 that there’s no family like the BBQ Family to take care of their own! 

If you’d like to help the Burg’s out please send us an email at porkbarrelbbq@porkbarrelbbq.com and we’ll get your information to them.

The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on tomorrow.

To date we’ve announced the 3rd through 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#3 – Show Me The Money, Stubbs Sells for $100 Million Bucks

#4 – We’ve Moved, The American Royal Moves to Arrowhead Stadium

#5 – You Don’t Know Jack, But Tuffy Stone Does – Cool Smoke Wins Second Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue

#6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #1 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #3 – Show Me The Money, Stubbs Sells for $100 Million Bucks

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Stubbs

If you’re like us, and we know many of you are, you’re a BBQ entrepreneur who at some point was told by a family member or neighbor that, “your BBQ Sauce is the best I’ve ever had.” It doesn’t get much better than hearing those magical words. For many of us, it had led us to take our secret recipe, that was once only available at our backyard BBQ or as gifts packed with care at Christmas in recycled bottles, to the shelves of grocery stores around the country. It doesn’t take long for any of us to realize just how competitive the commercial barbecue sauce market is and how expensive it is to stay on the shelves while you build your brand. In the end we have one of two goals: 1) Build a powerhouse brand that becomes generational, something we can pass down to our children and they theirs or 2) Build a commodity that is sought after by larger brands and cash out. Both laudable goals, but easier said than accomplished. When we see a BBQ brand accomplish one or both of these goals, that’s reason for the rest of us to celebrate and know the hope remains alive for us to one day bask in the glory of attaining our goal.

In June McCormick & Co. agreed to purchase Stubb’s BAR-B-Q, for $100 million in cash. Congratulations to Stubb’s and here’s to the hope each of us BBQ entrepreneurs maintains that someday we may be so fortunate! 

On December 29th we’ll unveil the 2nd biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 4th through 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#4 – We’ve Moved, The American Royal Moves to Arrowhead Stadium

#5 – You Don’t Know Jack, But Tuffy Stone Does – Cool Smoke Wins Second Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue

#6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #2 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #4 – We’ve Moved, The American Royal Moves to Arrowhead Stadium

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The biggest news in the world of competition BBQ in 2015 had nothing to do with the winner of a particular contest, the rise of the table of death or the angel table, or even the race for Team of the Year. In 2015, competition BBQ’s biggest story was the American Royal moving from the West Bottoms to Arrowhead Stadium.

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The American Royal, the largest competition in the world of competitive BBQ and one of its most prestigious contests, began 36 years ago in the parking lot of the Golden Ox Restaurant in the West Bottoms. “We’ve enjoyed many great years in the West Bottoms. However, to continue to enhance the American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue for all competitors and patrons, we must go,” said John Mitchell, Jr., chairman, American Royal. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Arrowhead Stadium at the Truman Sports Complex.”

 “The American Royal is the crown jewel of the KCBS Sanctioned Contest Network. Kansas City has earned its reputation at the epicenter of the BBQ universe, and this union will only reinforce that reputation,” said Carolyn Wells, co-founder and executive director, Kansas City Barbeque Society. This years contest had 618 teams from 39 states and three countries, a sizable increase over the 562 teams hat competed in 2014. It is clear from the numbers that the move did nothing to hurt the contest, and may have helped to enhance it. In addition to the increased space, teams and attendees were provided with increased entertainment opportunities, including a concert by country starts Big & Rich, additional food options from the likes of KC’s own Plowboys’s Barbeque and Zarda Bar-B-Q, and a carnival with a ride and gigantic Jenga and Beer Pong games. 

I’ve got to include my favorite picture from this years American Royal – here’s my son Hudson (5 month’s old at the Royal) and I inside Arrowhead Stadium getting ready for awards.

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2016 is likely to be another interesting year of change for the American Royal as it is likely the event will have to move from its traditional first weekend in October dates due to the World Champion Kansas City Royals playing home games that weekend across the parking lot at Kaufman Stadium. 

Leave a comment on this post and let us know how you liked the Royal’s new home at Arrowhead.

On December 28th we’ll unveil the 3rd biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 5th through 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#5 – You Don’t Know Jack, But Tuffy Stone Does – Cool Smoke Wins Second Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue

#6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #3 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #5 – You Don’t Know Jack, But Tuffy Stone Does – Cool Smoke Wins Second Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue

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Tuffy - Jack

All sports have their pinnacle event, that one event that can define your career if you’re lucky enough to win it. In baseball it’s the World Series. In football it’s the Super Bowl. In track & field and swimming it’s the Olympics. In BBQ it’s the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue hosted every fall in the quaint Tennessee town of Lynchburg, a small town that packs a huge punch as the home of Jack Daniel’s. Just getting an invitation to cook the Jack is considered an often unattainable honor, but to win it is nearly the equivalent of getting a clear picture of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. It’s that hard to do. Winning it twice in three years, that would be like hitting .700 with 200 HR’s over the course of a baseball season or passing for 100 touchdowns over a football season. It could never been done, right? Wrong!

At the 2015 Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, BBQ’s Babe Ruth, Tuffy Stone, and his Cool Smoke team won their second Jack in three years. A feet as amazing as hitting two hole in ones, in not a round of gold, but over three consecutive holes. Certainly not new to winning the big games, Stone has previously won the equally prestigious American Royal Invitational, American Royal Open and the Kingsford Invitational. Three is no better “Big Game” pitmaster on the competition circuit today. If you’re betting your friends on who will win one of the big contests in 2016 we hope you’re money is on Cool Smoke, if it isn’t, their is a good chance you’ll be paying out winnings to your buddies. 

A huge congratulations to Tuffy and George Stone and the entire Cool Smoke team on another very successful and impressive BBQ campaign during the 2015 season.

On December 27th we’ll unveil the 4th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 6th through 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #4 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #6 – Merry Christmas Year Round, BBQ Gives Back

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BBQ Gives Back Collage

Merry Christmas to one and all. We hope your day is filled with family, friends, great food and a nice gift or two (Heck in the BBQ world getting coal in your stocking isn’t even a bad thing, especially if it is lump!). As you enjoy the day and reflect upon all the blessings that surround you we ask you to think about those who are less fortunate, those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one or those who aren’t able to be home with their families as they serve our nation at home or overseas.  It is a great day to be generous and spread some of your cheer and blessings with others.

If you’ve been involved in any aspect of BBQ for even the shortest amount of time you know that there are few groups of like minded people who are more caring and generous with their time and resources than BBQer’s. In 2015 that generosity continued to be a hallmark of the BBQ world with organizations like KCBS and Operation BBQ Relief and companies like Code 3 Spices and Mission BBQ, to name only a few, who give generously to many worthwhile causes and charities. 

KCBS – In 2014, KCBS announced a mission to feed America’s homeless and hungry with 100,000 meals through its 100KCBS Meals Mission and exceeded its goal by almost 15,000 meals. In 2015, KCBS is attempting to provide more than 250,000 meals through its new mission, the 250KCBS Meals Mission. If you’re at a KCBS event that is participating in this mission we encourage you to contribute your leftovers meat to the effort. If you aren’t able to contribute in this fashion another great option is to spend a day at a local food bank or soup kitchen.

Operation BBQ Relief – The mission of Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) is to provide compassion and to offer hope and friendship to those whose lives have been affected by disasters across the United States through their expertise in cooking and catering barbecue meals and their ability to quickly mobilize their teams into any area where nature disrupts and tears apart the lives of Americans. Since its inception in May of 2011, OBR has served more than 600,000 meals at disaster locations in 18 states. If you’d like to donate to Operation BBQ Relief click HERE.

Code 3 Spices – We’ve met a lot of great people through BBQ doing amazing things around the country and in their local communities, but we can’t think of anyone doing more than our good friends over at Code 3 Spices. They donate $0.50 of each bottle of Code 3 Spice Rub they sell to organizations that support Police, Fire, Medical and Military personnel, including The BackStoppers, Safe Call Now, and Operation Homefront. Order one of their gift boxes and try each of their five rubs (Sea Dog Rub, Grunt Rub, Rescue Rub, 5-0 Rub & Backdraft Rub) HERE and help support the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect and keep us safe each and every day!

Mission BBQ – A fellow Mid-Atlantic BBQ restaurant (although they’ve now grown to many locations in Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania & Virginia) making solid Que and supporting some very worthy military charities including Wounded Warrior Project, Simper Fi Fund, Navy Seal Foundation, USO, Honor Flight Network, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and dozens of local police and fire departments in the areas they have locations in. If you find yourself near a Mission BBQ location stop in for some Que and know you’re helping the men and women of our military, police departments and fire departments. 

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Be on the lookout for several exciting opportunities to support our charity, Operation Pork Barrel BBQ, in 2016.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas and don’t forget it’s not just about getting today, but more importantly about giving! 

On December 26th we’ll unveil the 5th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 7th through 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #5 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #7 – On Top of the World, BBQ Wins World Food Championships

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World

The World Food Championships is the largest competition in the food sports world, where champions from nine categories (BBQ, Bacon, Burger, Desert, Recipe, Pasta, Seafood, Sandwich & Chili) compete for a share of a $350,000 prize purse. 2015’s Championships, the fourth annual, invited champions from the largest and most prestigious food competitions around the world were invited to Kissimmee, FL in November to compete for a chance at the $100,000 grand prize. This years World Food Champion, The Smoking Hills, came from the BBQ category, making BBQ the supreme cuisine in the all the land!   

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 What a year 2015 turned out to be for The Smoking Hills. In addition to winning the World Food Championships, they were the winners of the 2015 American Royal Invitational. Congratulations to The Smoking Hills on their World Championship and shinning the light even brighter on BBQ.

On December 25th we’ll unveil the 6th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 8th through 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #6 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Top 10 BBQ Stories of 2015 – #8 – Fire Up The Grill, Steak Cookoff Popularity Sizzles

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SCA

Steak has always joined it’s colleagues hamburgers and hot dogs as Kings of the Backyard Grill, but until recently it was rare (not medium-rare, just rare) to find a steak cookoff in most corners of America. For as long as live fire competition cooking has been around ribs, chicken, pork shoulder, whole hog and brisket have been the undisputed Kings of the Competition BBQ and Grilling world. That seems to be changing as steak is asking the traditional competition BBQ cuts to make way and MOOve over! It is still to be seen if steak can unseat the standard competition meat categories found at a KCBS or MBN contest, but one thing is certain, steak is quickly making its move to at least join them as an undisputed King of the Competition BBQ and Grilling world.

The Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) is the organized body “dedicated to building the sport of steak cookoffs.” Much like KCBS or MBN, all SCA sanctioned cookoffs have a representative on site at each sanctioned cookoff who’s job it is to run the judging and support the teams. This combined with a standardized set of rules have lead to the growth of the sport of steak cookoffs. In 2015 there were sanctioned SCA cookoffs in 11 states with plans to expand to an additional 4-9 states in 2016. In addition to the sports rapid growth in the US in 2015, there were 3 SCA sanctioned cookoffs in the Netherlands and there are plans to increase international participation in 2016 with events in Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Belgium and the Caribbean. The SCA has set a goal of 100 events in 2016, which shows just how rapidly the popularity of steak cookoffs is growing.

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With world class BBQ pitmasters like Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson BBQ keep their smokers in storage for a weekend in favor of breaking out a grill to compete in a steak cookoff you know the future is bright for steak cookoffs in America. Don’t be surprised if you see a steak cookoff in your area in 2016 and beyond.

On December 24th we’ll unveil the 7th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.

To date we’ve announced the 9th and 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. 

#9 – Out of the Ashes Dave Anderson Rises With Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse

#10 – BBQ Continues To Be A Force On TV

Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #7 BBQ Story of 2015. 

Pork Barrel BBQ