2nd Place ($3000) - Bone Daddy's BBQ
3rd Place ($2000) - Famous Dave's BBQ
4th Place ($1000) - Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ
5th Place ($500) - Checkered Pig BBQ
Best Sauce - Porky 'N' Beans
People's Choice - Back Forty Texas BBQ
Rib Eating Championship Winner - This years reigning champ was the world's #1 ranked competitive eater, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, eating 9.27 lbs of St. Louis style pork rib meat in 12 minutes.
My friends and I tried 12 of the 23 cookers' ribs. Here's what we thought....
Carson City BBQ -
It was a tough decision at times but these guys were our favorite and who we voted for, for the Peoples Choice Award. Even though they are Nevada's most award winning barbeque company and won our vote sadly they did not place this year. These guys smoke their ribs around 225-235 degrees with hickory pellets in a southern pride smoker for 5 hours and let me tell you the end result is heaven. Super moist and tender meat, melt in your mouth fat with great smoky flavor and a killer sauce.
Out of Kentucky these guys were tied for 1st among my favorites. Although I was not a fan of their famous blue cheese coleslaw I definitely was a fan of their succulent ribs and delicious bbq sauce.
Back Forty Texas BBQ -
Based out of Pleasant hill, CA preparing my favorite style of BBQ, Texas BBQ, these guys were my 2nd favorite and also won the People's Choice Award this year. They too had a very moist and tender rib with a nice bold, smoky and peppery sauce.
The next 4 cookers were all tied for my 3rd favorite...
Chicago BBQ Co. -
Chicago BBQ Co. has been around since the 80's. They have a great smoky rib with great fat content and serve their ribs without sauce (which they really don't need anyway). An excellent rib!
Pork 'N' Beans -
Located in Port Saint Lucie, FL these guys won Best Sauce Award this year. I remember their sauce being on the sweet side and very good. Their ribs had a great chew to them and came clear of the bone.
Rasta Joe's -
From Rochester, IN Rasta Joe's uses a great dry rub and have excellent texture. We also tried some of their sides, a spicy cornbread, a tasty potato salad and baked beans that were mixed with shredded pork.
The Barbecue Co. -
From Phoenix, AZ these guys had a nice smoky rib with a slightly chewy texture but came clean of the bone and a raisiny BBQ sauce.
Our least faves of the group were...
Just North of Memphis -
The owner of Just North of Memphis was pretty bold coming out into the crowd boasting about his "dry rub only" ribs saying that they were the best in the competition because he doesn't "hide" behind his sauce. Although he did have a good dry rub the applewood smoked ribs were chewy and actually better when dunked into their vinegar sauce which was served on the side.
From Concord, CA these guys specialize in their sauces, marinades and rubs. Their ribs however were a little dry and in need of salt. They did indeed have a good sauce though.
BJ's Barbeque -
From Sparks, NV their applewood smoked ribs had good texture but were a little dry and were served with a thin vinegar sauce.
Joey's Texas Originals -
Texas BBQ is usually my fave but in this case the ribs were dry and tough. The BBQ sauce which tasted of white pepper and allspice was not my favorite either.
Johnson's Bar-B-Que -
I think the only reason these guys made my least favorite list is because their "thermo-nuclear" sauce was like explosive fire in my mouth and completely wiped out my taste buds. Needless to say I could not even taste their ribs. To the people of Chesapeake, VA my advise, order the sauce on the side.
The Best in the West Rib Cook Off happens every year in Sparks, NV for s week surrounding the Labor Day weekend. Besides trying some of the best ribs in the country there's also live bands, shopping, gambling, great bars and plenty of other types of food to choose from. The weather gets very hot so dress cool and look for the fountains near the retail section of the fair. We like to dunk our heads in it when the sun gets to be to much! See you all there next year!