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'Up in Smoke' brings 'Backyard BBQ' to downtown Lincoln

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[August 20, 2013]  Do you enjoy grilling and barbecuing? Do you think you have what it takes to compete with your neighbors and win? If so, you have the opportunity to show your cooking prowess in the "Lincoln Backyard BBQ" competition this weekend.

The Backyard BBQ is a special side event being held for the first time this year. It is for the novice barbecuer and will take place downtown during Lincoln's third annual "Up in Smoke on the Square," a Kansas City Barbeque Society nationally sanctioned event that is part of the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival.

According to Shane Alley, who is overseeing the new competition with Josh Merreighn, the idea came up during an Up in Smoke committee meeting. The committee wanted to do something new, something that would open the door to local participation in the barbecue competition.

Alley said the idea gelled, and they began working toward making it a reality about four months ago.

He noted that the event will be sponsored by Royal Oak, which has been a supporter of the KCBS-sanctioned event in Lincoln for the past three years. They asked Royal Oak to be a part of the new event, and the company was happy to do so.

Alley said the competition will take place on Saturday in the 200 block of South Kickapoo. There are currently 20 spaces available for cooks, and 10 have signed up to participate. Alley said he is hopeful that the other 10 spaces will fill up by the day of the event.

The Backyard BBQ will serve as an introduction to the bigger sanctioned event and give local folks a taste of what it would be like to compete with the big boys.

In addition, the grand prize winner will be given that opportunity. Alley said the grand prize winner in this year's competition will have their entry fee into next year’s Up in Smoke waived, so they will be able to go head-on with nationally known cooks.

For the most part, the contest will follow the same rules as the KCBS event, with just a couple of exceptions.

In KCBS, gas grills are not allowed in competition, but for the new event, they will be allowed.

In addition, each contestant in the KCBS competition is required to serve up four meats. The new competition will require only two: pork ribs and chicken.

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The Backyard BBQ will be a "bring your own everything" event. Electricity and water will be available nearby but not provided to the individual cooking spaces. Competitors will need to bring buckets or a hose for cleanup and sanitation.

Meat will be inspected upon arrival. It must be iced and raw, not marinated, injected or pre-rubbed.

Teams should plan to bring a small grill or smoker of some kind, a pop-up tent, maybe a small table to work on, utensils, lawn chairs, snacks and a cooler of refreshments. Each team will be given a box used specifically for turning in their entry.

Competitors are asked to arrive at 7 a.m. Saturday for check-in at the corner of Clinton and Kickapoo streets.

The cooks will meet at 8:45 a.m. under the Lincoln Theater marquee. During the meeting there will be a review of the competition rules.

Prize money, sponsored by Royal Oak, will total $500, with first, second and third paying $75, $50 and $25, respectively, plus $200 for the highest combined totals from both categories. In addition, every entrant will receive a free bag of Royal Oak charcoal.

Alley finished up talking about the new event by saying: "We just hope everyone will come out, have a good time, meet a few new people, eat some really good barbecue and win some nice cash."


Up in Smoke on the Square

Lincoln Backyard BBQ

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