This is the first in a series of blog posts on our adventures at the 2010 Memphis in May World Barbecue Championships. Over the course of 4 days we racked up 4 top 15 finishes (we even managed to place 4th in the World Championship’s beef catagory with our brisket) and several hours of amazing videos from some of the most interesting and influential folks in BBQ. We thought we’d kick off our series with a bang – our first entry into our 2010 Memphis in May scrapbook is an interview with TLC BBQ Pitmaster and down right nice guy Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke and Q Barbeque fame.
Over the course of the past year we’ve had the chance to get to know some of the great legends of BBQ, including guys like Pat Burke and Mike Mills – the founders of the Legends of BBQ Club. Tuffy, a friend and fellow Virginian, is a guy who has made a name for himself and risen to “Legend” status in short order. Tuffy is pitmaster of the Cool Smoke competition BBQ team and owner of Q Barbeque (two locations in Midlothian, VA and Hampton, VA). If the name Tuffy Stone is ringing a bell in your head but you just can’t quite place where you’ve heard it before it is probably because you saw him on TLC’s hit show BBQ Pitmasters.
For a guy with celebrity status and the ability to make anything placed on a smoker taste like a five star meal you might think he’d be working in the distance and shadows of his Jambo Pit built by legendary smoker builder and artisan Jamie Geer (Tuffy’s pit looks more like a cherry red Corvette than a smoker – it performs more like one too!), but he isn’t. Tuffy is as approachable as they come and loves to talk BBQ with fellow competitors, customers and fans.
The best part of the Competition BBQ circuit isn’t the great barbecue found around every corner, it is the chance to meet and become friends with some of the best folk around – like Tuffy. BBQ teams from around the country compete in contests sanctioned by a number of barbecue societies including KCBS, MIM, and MBN. These teams use everything from Weber Grills to Jambo Pits to homemade smokers to compete for prizes and tropies in catagories like chicken, beef brisket, pork shoulder, pork ribs, and whole hog. If you love to grill find a contest near your home and sign up – you’ll have a blast and meet some great folks!
Now sit back and enjoy our interview with BBQ Pitmaster Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke.