The Competition is Heating Up!

September 2015

By Julia Colborn •

There are only a few weeks between Rolesville’s Hot Pick’n Finger Lick’n Barbeque and Bands Festival on September 12 and the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship October 2 and 3 in Raleigh.

Over 20 teams will be competing in Rolesville’s chicken, ribs and whole hog competitions, many of whom will be participating in all three. First, second, and third place, plus a People’s Choice, will be awarded for each, and the first and second place whole hog teams will be eligible for the October championship.

Some of the early bird registrants show a promising array of skillsets, each bringing a little something different to the table.

Larry and Joh SneadLarry Snead of Granny’s Pit Crew (left with son John) has been around barbeque his whole life. His grandparents worked for Brown’s Barbeque in Selma with Grandpa cooking the meat and Grandma cooking the sauce – and it’s the same recipe Snead uses for competitions. After a friend invited him to be part of a championship competition team in 1987, Snead “got hooked.” His team has changed over the years, from Grandma and Grandpa to this year’s participating wife and oldest son, and they have acquired 90 trophies to date.

“Every time I go,” Snead said, “I do the best I can and try to not make the same mistake. I try to do the same thing every time.”

BBQ-Pic 1Husband and wife Diane and Donald Sauls of Sauls Fired Up! (left) are newer to the game. Donald Sauls’ brother-in-law sells grills, which inspired their hobby. As the grills have gotten bigger and better, so have their skills, with this year being their first whole hog. In previous years they have done well with ribs, and a trial run with the same recipe turned out “better than expected,” according to Donald.

In previous years, Diane Sauls competed with her sister, Melissa Cress (both shown below), but this year Cress is going it alone as the Smokin’ Ribette. She has participated in four competitions over the past five years, doing well with a rib recipe she found online and tweaked to perfection.

Sauls & Cress“The thing that stands out the most about her ribs is that there never seems to be enough,” Cress said. “People always want more.”

This year she will be using that same recipe and feels confident it will be just as delicious as a whole hog.

Earl Perry of Real McCoy’s restaurant and The Squeal Deal team (below) won the People’s Choice award last year and many times before, having participated repeatedly in the past five years. His old family recipe with a personalized touch, which has done so well, is the same one featured at the restaurant. This year, however, he has shifted his focus to the chicken competition and created a blend of Eastern and Western North Carolina barbeque with peach, which he feels will set him apart from the crowd.

Earl Perry & The Squeal Deal TimeWith many more teams gearing up for this year’s competition, it could be shaping up to be a close race!

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Photo of Larry and John Snead by Judy Snead.
Photo of Diane and Donald Sauls by Teri Sauls.
Photo of  Melissa Cress and Diane Sauls courtesy of Diane Sauls.
Photo of Earl Perry (center) and The Squeal Deal Team by Nathalie Fuerst.