Best BBQ Festivals and Competitions

When we think of barbecue, beer, bourbon and even blues come to mind. Here are some of our favorite BBQ festivals and competitions that deliver on all of the above.

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Gene's Sausage Shop, Chicago
Gene's Sausage Shop, Chicago

Gene's Sausage Shop, Chicago

Gene’s Sausage is a European market that specializes in 40 different varieties of smoked meats and sausages. 960 1280

  

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

These legendary links spend 40 minutes in the oven before they’re dropped into a red sauce made with fresh tomatoes, fennel seed and a secret mix of spices known only to the restaurant’s chef-owner Francesco Buffa. 960 1280

  

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn is home to one of the oldest, most venerable sausage specialists in the country -- Ferdinando’s Focacceria. 960 1280

  

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Many customers stop by the Southside butcher counter to take home some of the finest sausage that Texas has to offer. 960 1280

  

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Elgin, TX, is known for just one thing -- sausage. Elgin sausage is so sensational that it’s sold all over America, but the best is still served at the oldest barbecue joint in the Lone Star State: Southside Market. 960 1280

  

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Sweet peppers and onions are a welcome topping to an already succulent Wurstkuche sausage. 960 1280

  

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Wurstkuche restaurant custom-designs 20 sausages, including classics such as Bockwurst, Hot Italian and even Vegetarian varieties. 960 1280

  

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

The Polish Village cooks its succulent sausage in beer sauce. 960 1280

  

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

The cooks at the Polish Village come straight from Poland or learned their craft from someone who did. 960 1280

  

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Like everything else on chef Robert Stehling’s menu, the star of this party is prepared from scratch, using only fresh, locally farmed ingredients. 960 1280

  

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Hominy Grill opened in 1996 as a Southern neighborhood restaurant in a great Southern neighborhood. 960 1280

  

Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR

Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR

The bangers at the Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR, offer a trip to England without the passport. 960 1280

  

Horse Brass Pub, Portland, Oregon

Horse Brass Pub, Portland, Oregon

For those who prefer their pig in a blanket, the Horse Brass also serves up a banger sausage roll. 960 1280

  

Old German Beer Hall, Milwaukee

Old German Beer Hall, Milwaukee

The sausage that owner Hans Weissgerber serves up is much the same as what’s been served in Germany for over 500 years. 960 1280

  

Outlaw Grill
Outlaw Grill

Outlaw Grill

The owner and builder of the “Outlaw Grill," Brett Enright, poses in front of his masterpiece, a 20-foot-high, self-contained barbecue. 960 1280

  

Car-B-Que

Car-B-Que

Dave Anton’s Car-B-Que was once a Hot Rod, but now it’s got a different kind of fire under the hood. 960 1280

  

"Bling Bling" grill

"Bling Bling" grill

Barbecue pit builder Dave Klose couldn’t be prouder of his "Bling Bling" grill, complete with a beer cooler and satellite TV. 960 1280

  

Beer-bottle-shaped smoker

Beer-bottle-shaped smoker

Nothing goes better with barbecue than a nice, cold beer. Dave Klose takes that idea to the next level with this custom-built, beer-bottle-shaped smoker. 960 1280

  

Fire Up Freedom fire truck

Fire Up Freedom fire truck

Want to make your party the ultimate barbecue celebration? Then rent the Fire Up Freedom fire truck with its 4 grills, 2 soda fountains, 100-foot ladder, 4 flat screen TVs and more! 960 1280

  

A hybrid full-service bar and BBQ smoking trailer

A hybrid full-service bar and BBQ smoking trailer

Victor Howard and George Shore from Pitmaker built this hybrid full-service bar and BBQ smoking trailer for the “Sauced Up Kookers” competition cooking team. 960 1280

  

Pitmaker's train grill

Pitmaker's train grill

Texas’ own Pitmaker custom barbecue building team prides itself on unique, over-the-top grills, smokers and trailers, including this train grill. 960 1280

  

The X-Grill

The X-Grill

The X-Grill, a converted tanker truck, visits events throughout Cape Cod helping non-profits and other organizations raise funds. 960 1280

  

The Big Rig barbecue pit

The Big Rig barbecue pit

The Big Rig barbecue pit cooks the whole hog at once. The problem is moving the pig once it’s ready to be eaten. 960 1280

  

"Meat Missile"

"Meat Missile"

The 90-foot-long "Meat Missile" mobile barbecue trailer makes its home at Big Boy Toys in Magnolia, AR. 960 1280

  

Photos

Gene's Sausage Shop, Chicago

Gene's Sausage Shop, Chicago

Gene’s Sausage is a European market that specializes in 40 different varieties of smoked meats and sausages. 960 1280

  

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

These legendary links spend 40 minutes in the oven before they’re dropped into a red sauce made with fresh tomatoes, fennel seed and a secret mix of spices known only to the restaurant’s chef-owner Francesco Buffa. 960 1280

  

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn is home to one of the oldest, most venerable sausage specialists in the country -- Ferdinando’s Focacceria. 960 1280

  

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Many customers stop by the Southside butcher counter to take home some of the finest sausage that Texas has to offer. 960 1280

  

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Southside Market & BBQ, Elgin, Texas

Elgin, TX, is known for just one thing -- sausage. Elgin sausage is so sensational that it’s sold all over America, but the best is still served at the oldest barbecue joint in the Lone Star State: Southside Market. 960 1280

  

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Sweet peppers and onions are a welcome topping to an already succulent Wurstkuche sausage. 960 1280

  

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Wurstkuche, Venice, California

Wurstkuche restaurant custom-designs 20 sausages, including classics such as Bockwurst, Hot Italian and even Vegetarian varieties. 960 1280

  

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

The Polish Village cooks its succulent sausage in beer sauce. 960 1280

  

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

Polish Village, Hamtramck, Michigan

The cooks at the Polish Village come straight from Poland or learned their craft from someone who did. 960 1280

  

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Like everything else on chef Robert Stehling’s menu, the star of this party is prepared from scratch, using only fresh, locally farmed ingredients. 960 1280

  

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Hominy Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Hominy Grill opened in 1996 as a Southern neighborhood restaurant in a great Southern neighborhood. 960 1280

  

Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR

Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR

The bangers at the Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR, offer a trip to England without the passport. 960 1280

  

Horse Brass Pub, Portland, Oregon

Horse Brass Pub, Portland, Oregon

For those who prefer their pig in a blanket, the Horse Brass also serves up a banger sausage roll. 960 1280

  

Old German Beer Hall, Milwaukee

Old German Beer Hall, Milwaukee

The sausage that owner Hans Weissgerber serves up is much the same as what’s been served in Germany for over 500 years. 960 1280

  

5 Photos
Triple Threat Pork Sandwich

Triple Threat Pork Sandwich

Did You Know? Pork was introduced to American soil in 1539 when Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed with America’s first 13 pigs on the coast of Florida. Ever since then it has become a chow down staple.

Dish 1: Triple Threat Pork Sandwich
Where: Slow’s BBQ, 2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216-1305
960 1280

  

Apocalypse Now burger

Apocalypse Now burger

Did You Know? The ancient Chinese were so enamored with the succulent swine that they buried their departed with hogs to ensure fresh pork in the afterlife.

Dish 2: Apocalypse Now Burger
Where: Nosh, 551 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
960 1280

  

Oak-Roasted Pork Loin

Oak-Roasted Pork Loin

Did You Know? In the 1800’s raising swine was essential to the success of Midwest farms. Using the new Erie Canal farmers, were able to ship their hogs back East, leading them to nickname the pigs "mortgage lifters", since their sales kept the homesteads afloat.

Dish 3: Oak-Roasted Pork Loin
Where: Iron Barley, 5510 Virginia Ave, St Louis, MO 63111
960 1280

  

Roast Pork Sandwich

Roast Pork Sandwich

Did You Know? Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world. 36% of all meat consumed is pork, following by 33% of poultry and 24% beef.

Dish 4: Roast Pork Sandwich
Where: Dinic’s/Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
960 1280

  

Whole Hog BBQ

Whole Hog BBQ

Did You Know? President Harry S. Truman once said "no man should be allowed to be president who doesn't understand hogs."

Dish 5: Whole Hog BBQ
Where: The Pit, 328 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
960 1280

  

ribs in spencer, nc

ribs in spencer, nc

Host Chuey Martinez smothers chef Jack Moore's ribs in Blowin' Smoke BBQ Sauce in Spencer, NC. 960 1280

  

JMueller BBQ

JMueller BBQ

Chuey Martinez loves the rib sandwich at JMueller BBQ in Austin, TX. 960 1280

  

JMueller BBQ

JMueller BBQ

At JMueller BBQ in Austin, TX, restaurant owner John Mueller explains different cuts of ribs to host Chuey Martinez. 960 1280

  

BBQ ribs

BBQ ribs

BBQ master Jay Vantuyl shows off his ribs to the All You Can Meat crew. 960 1280

  

Western-style smoker

Western-style smoker

Host Chuey Martinez checks out BBQ expert Tommy Dippel’s Western-style smoker on his ranch near Austin, TX. 960 1280

  

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

Austin, TX, is a quirky city full of unique eateries. 960 1280

  

JMueller BBQ

JMueller BBQ

Chuey builds himself a rib sandwich at JMueller BBQ. 960 1280

  

Freshly-barbecued ribs

Freshly-barbecued ribs

Chuey savors the wonderful aroma of freshly-barbecued ribs. 960 1280

  

Rock Store Bar-B-Q

Rock Store Bar-B-Q

People come from all over North Carolina to try Bubba Chavis' smoked ribs at the historic Rock Store Bar-B-Q. 960 1280

  

JMueller BBQ

JMueller BBQ

John Mueller and Chuey Martinez add some wood to the smoker's fire at JMueller BBQ in Austin, TX. 960 1280