Monday, May 3, 2010

Poll of the Week - 5.03.2010

This weekend, Little Scarlet traveled up to Maynard, MA to complete a barbecue judging course with the Kansas City Barbecue Society. That’s right, I’m now officially a Certified Barbecue Judge with KCBS - certificate and everything! The course was such a fun experience and I feel so lucky to be part of such a wonderful group of cooks, judges, and all-around barbecue enthusiasts! Of course, the KCBS representatives were very careful to distinguish between true barbecue and “backyard barbecue”, which is oftentimes just grilling. Both have their merits and can be delicious, but true barbecue needs to be cooked for several hours over indirect heat, and KCBS requires the use of wood as a heat source - no gas or propane allowed.

During the course (as with actual competitions), you’re only permitted Saltines and water in between samples and categories. Eventually, all that meat (at least 2 pounds during a regular competition!) leaves you wanting a little something else, so this week’s “Poll of the Week” is about barbecue sides.

When you sit down to a rack of ribs or a heaping portion of pulled pork, what do you want on the side of your plate? Whether you have fancy barbecue equipment or you’ve built your own smoker, or even if you just like to fire up your grill every so often, Little Scarlet wants to know what’s your favorite barbecue side dish?

If you have any great stories, recipes, or memories about summer barbecue, please leave a note for everyone in the Comment section!


  1. Though I said baked beans is my favorite side, coleslaw is absolutely fundamental to have with your barbeque--atop a pulled pork sandwich of course!

  2. I agree with anon. Coleslaw on top of a pulled pork sandwich is required, whereas everything else is *just* a side.

    Now that you know about the judging side of things, let me know if you would like to learn more about the competitor side. I'd be happy to show you everything that is involved in competing, or hook you up with someone else who can. (You were sitting next to my wife at the class in Maynard.)

    Welcome to the world of barbecue. It's addictive!

    NEBS Board of Directors
    Insane Swine BBQ

  3. I miss sweet corn. The corn in Bulgaria is flavorless and blah. I can make my own BBQ, potato salad and slaw, but growing my own corn takes patients and time.