Alabama BBQ joint takes home top prize for pork shoulder at global championship

Alabama’s famous barbecue joint emerged victorious in the pork shoulder category at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis. The restaurant showcased its exceptional skills, outshining competitors to claim the top spot in the highly contested event.

Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ in Decatur is no stranger to success. With an impressive track record of 15 previous world barbecue championships for pork, brisket, ribs, and chicken, it’s clear that they know a thing or two about creating mouthwatering barbecue. And this year was no exception.

Executive Chef Chris Lilly, a true master of his craft, brought home yet another accolade for Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ. He secured a third-place win in the highly coveted Kingsford Tour of Champions category, a distinction that is determined by the general public.

This latest achievement adds to the long list of honors that Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ has received over the years. Their dedication to delivering exceptional flavor and quality has made them a true force to be reckoned with in the world of barbecue.

So, if you’re craving some award-winning barbecue, look no further than Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ. Their expertise and passion for the craft are evident in every bite, making it an experience you won’t want to miss.

In 1925, Bob Gibson founded Big Bob Gibson’s, a renowned BBQ restaurant. He began his culinary journey by cooking for his loved ones using a hand-dug BBQ pit in his own backyard. One of the most popular dishes at Big Bob Gibson’s is the smoked chicken served with their signature white sauce. In fact, it was recognized as Alabama’s top BBQ restaurant by the Food Network last year.

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The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, emerged as the grand champion of this year’s Memphis competition. Many Alabama residents may already be familiar with this renowned establishment. After rigorous competition and intense efforts from numerous pitmasters, The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint was crowned the grand prize winner on Saturday. They claimed victory in the whole hog division and earned the prestigious title of grand champion in Memphis, Tennessee.

The cooking competition, known as one of the top culinary contests in the United States, has a rich history dating back to the 1970s. However, with the growing popularity of culinary sports and the participation of home cooks from all over, the competition has become incredibly intense in recent years.

Over $150,000 in prize money was distributed among the 129 cooking teams from 22 states and four foreign countries who participated in the event. These teams competed in three main categories: ribs, shoulder, and whole hog. In addition to these categories, there were also ancillary competitions such as hot wings, poultry, beef, and seafood.

In Memphis, the star of the show is always pork.

Brad Orrison and Brooke Lewis, siblings from Ocean Springs, have been competing for 17 years with their team, The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint, which is named after their restaurant. They have achieved the remarkable feat of winning the grand championship three times.

“It’s like the ultimate championship for pig farmers. This trophy is the one that everyone dreams of,” Orrison expressed enthusiastically.

Orrison, Lewis, and their team took the time to prepare two Duroc hogs on Friday. They injected the hogs with marinades and placed them delicately on a bed of butter and bacon. This is a tradition for them, as they return every year to the cooking contest at the Memphis in May festival. It’s a special event that feels like a family reunion, where they get to see friends from all over the country who share the same love for barbecue.

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“It’s like having close friends who are also extremely competitive. We all support each other, but when Saturday comes, it’s a whole different story,” Lewis explained. “On Saturdays, the park becomes so quiet that you can hear a pin drop.”

According to Orrison, the challenge of judging Memphis in May lies in the fact that every team prepares the most incredible food. He explains, “What makes it difficult is that everybody cooks the best food in the world, and they’re all here. So a judge could encounter three teams that have created the most heavenly bite of barbecue.”

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