Third Annual Great American BBQ Tour Kicks off in Newport, N.C.

Grilled ChickenThe third annual Kansas City Barbeque Society Great American Barbeque Tour kicks off this weekend, continuing a tradition of educating and sharing tips and techniques about “America’s Cuisine” at 25 select barbeque competitions and festivals across the country. And the Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest in Newport, N.C., April 9-10, is a prime example of the diverse events the Tour will be visiting this year.

“Newport’s Pig Cookin’ Contest is the largest whole hog cooking contest in the country, and we’re excited to bring the Tour to Newport for the first time,” said Carolyn Wells, executive director of KCBS. “This festival joins some of the big stops on our tour, including Memphis in May and the Kansas City Royal. Along with other more intimate festivals on our schedule, like Smokin’ on the River in Jeffersonville, Ind., and the Murphysboro (Ill.) Barbecue Cook-off, the Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest represents what we love so much about barbeque: an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy ‘America’s Cuisine.'”

The cross-country tour features the husband-and-wife team of Mike and Chris Peters, who share grilling tips and tasty food samples with event attendees. During these presentations, two lucky audience members are chosen for a Grill Master cook-off. Participants are tasked with cooking a piece of chicken with KC Masterpiece or Weber Seasonings and Kingsford Charcoal, three of the tour’s national partners.

Using the official cooker of the tour, Good-One Smokers/Grills, as well as the tour’s official grilling accessory, GrillGrates, the participants are judged by the audience on the KCBS standards of appearance, taste and texture. At stake is a prize pack loaded with goodies from KCBS, Master of Mixes, Redwood Creek, Scott Shop Towels and other tour partners.

It’s estimated that more than 4,500 teams compete on the KCBS barbeque circuit. With more than 13,000 members, KCBS has been sanctioning events and training certified barbeque judges nationwide for more than 20 years. Using an objective, blind judging process, the society sanctions approximately 300 barbeque competitions throughout the nation each year. For more information about KCBS, visit To learn more about the Great American BBQ Tour and its full schedule, visit or follow the tour on Twitter at