Ryan McBreen in Sam's Club National BBQ Tour Championship

Good Luck to Ryan McBreen in National BBQ Competition

October 11, 2012

Good luck to Norris Design's Ryan McBreen this weekend as he competes in Sam's Club National BBQ Tour championship in Brentonville, Arkansas!

Denver Post's Megan Quinnn recently featured Ryan in an article about the competition:

Each summer, Ryan McBreen and his family turn backyard barbecuing into a competitive art.

In the back yard of his McKay Landing home, McBreen has neatly set up several barbecues and a large smoker, ready for a sizzling rack of ribs or seasoned chicken.

Inside, a shelf in McBreen's living room tells the story of a successful team that has brought back medals and trophies from barbecue competitions in Wyoming, New Mexico, Tennessee and Kansas.

This weekend, McBreen will compete in the second annual Sam's Club National BBQ Tour championship in Bentonville, Ark. His team, 2 Lil' Macs BBQ, cooked up its best chicken, ribs, pork and brisket against 150 other regional teams to qualify for one of the top 49 spots in the national championship.

Just three years into the hobby, McBreen estimates the team competes locally and nationally eight to 10 times a year.

The team is named after McBreen's own "little Macs." His children, 6-year-old son Bryson and 2-year-old daughter Kayleigh, go with him to most of the barbecue competitions, along with his wife, Jayme. His parents and his in-laws also are part of the team.

"We do this as a family," he said.The Sam's Club competition is one of the bigger competitions 2 Lil' Macs will take part in. The team first began the competition season against 676 other teams, then advanced to a regional competition in Thornton this summer. After placing fourth overall, second in chicken and third in brisket, it won a spot on the Sam's Club national competition.

McBreen said competition requires planning and attention to detail. The team will submit chicken, ribs, pork and brisket to be judged by a panel of 48 Kansas City Barbeque Society certified judges on taste, tenderness and appearance.

"There's a lot of organization and planning and getting stuff done in the right order," he said. "You only get one shot with the judges. They take just one bite."

Winning the Sam's Club competition could mean getting a share of a $500,000 prize. Yet McBreen said his main interest is meeting other competitors, cooking tasty food and having a good time with his family. He describes the atmosphere of most competitions as "a giant tailgate party without the game."

Connecting with other barbecue enthusiasts means 2 Lil' Macs always has friends to hang out with while at the competition.
"You want to win, but you're excited when your friends win, too," he said.

The competitions also are a good time to get tips and tricks about cooking methods, rubs and sauces.
"There's so much knowledge out there," he said.

Cindy Garritt, a spokeswoman for Sam's Club, said teams competing in the barbecue tour also will get a chance to get advice from nationally recognized barbecue expert Troy Black. Black is the director of the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour and an author of "The Big Book of BBQ."

"The most important step to creating a great meal on the grill is buying quality ingredients that can hold their flavor under the heat," Black said in a letter to competitors.

McBreen said he will stock up on choice cuts of meat before the competition, then load a trailer with two of his best barbecues, all his sauces and spices and other equipment. This year, the team is bringing a brand-new smoker that can hold 20 racks of ribs.

"This is our last competition of the season, and then we'll take a break until next year. I just really like to barbecue, so I think it will be fun," he said.

[Read the online article here]

Good luck this weeknd, Ryan! From all your fans at Norris Design!