Russell’s BBQ able to defend world wings title

Russell’s BBQ able to defend world wings title

Might 2—LINESVILLE — With a World Championship title on the road this month, Jon York is a bit jittery.

“I am extra nervous this yr than final yr — we did properly, however the expectation (of profitable) is there,” stated York, who heads Russell’s Dam Good BBQ Group of Linesville.

In 2023, the workforce did greater than properly — it received a World Championship within the rooster wings class on the Memphis in Might World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Tennessee.

The smoked rooster wings of Russell’s BBQ earned first place out of 111 groups competing. Within the ribs class, Russell’s earned seventh place out of 80 groups.

Final Might was the primary time Russell’s BBQ had ever entered a aggressive barbecue occasion — not to mention the one billed as “essentially the most prestigious barbecue cooking contest on the planet.”

Round since 1978, the competitors this yr has 129 groups representing 22 states and 5 international nations competing from Might 15 by 18.

Greater than $150,000 in prize cash is offered within the contest which options championship pork classes of ribs, shoulder and entire hog, in addition to competitions of scorching wings, sauce and “Something However Pork,” in accordance with the Memphis in Might’s web site.

A barbecue-focused restaurant since 2017, Russell’s BBQ, 11107 Hartstown Street, Linesville, began as an area diner in 2007. It is the place York’s father, Russell, supplied do-it-yourself meals, and Jon’s sister, Janna Black, developed a rub in 2007. In 2011, the elder York started providing smoked pulled pork as a menu merchandise on weekends.

York senses different groups on this yr’s competitors could also be concentrating on Russell’s BBQ due to its robust displaying final yr.

“We’ve had folks ordering our sauces and rubs they usually’re being shipped to Memphis. My conspiracy idea is there are different groups making an attempt our product,” York stated with a wry smile.

“Which is okay, that was the aim of us going (in 2023),” he continued. “We had been there to get our title on the market. However now we now have different groups seeing ‘Why did your wing sauce win the prize?'”

Profitable at Memphis final yr was proof that good barbecue is not simply out there in Memphis, or Kansas Metropolis or within the Carolinas, in accordance with Black, additionally a member of the Russell’s BBQ Group.

“We belong,” she stated of final yr’s wins.

Russell’s Dam Good BBQ Group and Russell’s BBQ are named for his or her father. The workforce is a household affair with greater than a dozen members going.

Judging is completed by a blind field entry (the place whose entry it’s is not identifiable) and an in-person by a go to from three judges.

“They do not simply decide your meals however the general look of your sales space,” Black stated. “They wish to discuss to you and see the general workforce effort.

“Final yr, we handled it like a restaurant, we had been quiet,” she stated. “One of many judges stated, ‘The place’s all of your workforce? You must have folks cheering you on.’ We wished to be targeted, we did not need any distractions. This yr, we’ll must be targeted and distracted on the similar time.”

York says he will probably be extra assured this yr, particularly with the judges after they arrive on the sales space.

“We will brag — brag about how we made it. There will be some ‘schmoozation’ executed,” he stated with fun.

As a warmup for Memphis, Russell’s BBQ will function competitors barbecue at its restaurant Saturday.

Keith Gushard may be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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