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Feats of Smoke (11)



Shortly after Miller collects the final sauce-stained judging slips from the Table Captains, the CBJs are gone. Their work is done, the Oath fulfilled.

The judges return to their civilian lives with bellies full of meat and coolers stuffed with barbeque, content that a vital tenet of American culture is secure.

Later the Judges Tent will slowly fill again, only this time with cooks.

When the teams are assembled at the closing ceremony, they look a little haggard.

Some are covered in smoke and ash.
 

Many appear bloodied — sauce and glaze splattered on their t-shirts.

Once final scores are tallied, winners from each meat category are announced along with an overall champion. There is money involved, too.

Top prizes in these championships can net a cook a few thousand dollars or more. National event winners are looking at six figures.

Awards and accolades aside, most might speak of the camaraderie of battle. Of fire and friendship. Of their own bellies full of meat.

 

Online Extras

A Short History of Cooked Meat

Pig Lexicon

Barbeque Events in Iowa

 

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