When all the smoke cleared away at the end of the sixth annual Arcadia Valley Bar-B-Que Battle held this past weekend on the grounds of the Iron County Courthouse in Ironton, the Meat Me in St. Louis Team was declared Grand Champion of the heated — and delicious — competition with a total score of 880,000.
A total of 38 teams participated in the St. Louis Barbecue Society-sanctioned event. They competed in the categories of chicken, pork, pork ribs and beef brisket.
Finishing this year's competition as Grand Reserve Champion with a total score of 879,7060 was Two Butts and a Ham BBQ.
Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Two Bubs and a Rub, 878,2355; M&K BBQ, 873,5290; Heavy Smoke, 869,1165; BYO Grill, 861,1765; Sweetmeat, 860,2945; Code 3 Spices, 859,9990; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 859,4110; and Big Boots BBQ, 857,9415.
Other participating teams were Uncle Bub’s BBQ LLC; Two Krackers Kookin; Triple H BBQ; Baby Boy BBQ; Mother Porkers; Hot Mess BBQ; Muley’s BBQ; Bushwood Smokers; In the Red Zone BBQ; Bill Frog BBQ; Smokin Bullets BBQ Team; Twisted Smoke BBQ; Wholly Smoke BBQ; Hog Brown BBQ; Pork Swords; Double J BBQ; Lousy Mess BBQ; Missouri Shark Fisherman Club; Shot in the Dark; Outlaw BBQ; Fire & Smoke Rebel BBQ; Don’s Sweet Meat BBQ; Squealin’ Swine BBQ Boys; Shad-Rack, Meshach, and A Slab-To-Go; Iron County Smokers; Smokehouse Blues; All Up In Smoke; Good Greif BBQ; Brew Hawgs BBQ and Bubba A’s.
Asked if the weekend had turned out as had been expected, event co-coordinator Don Barzowski said, “No — exactly the opposite. Last Tuesday we had an emergency meeting discussing whether we should cancel it, postpone it or do it because we were supposed to get 4-5 inches of rain. It rained for seven minutes at the BBQ Battle this weekend.
“My wife said the finger of God was on the BBQ Battle. I was just relaxing after finishing cleaning up everything around 4 o’clock [Sunday] and it just flat out rained on us. We got soaking wet and that was the worst we had. So, what I’m saying is that it went way better than ever expected. It was the best BBQ Battle, I think, of all six.”
Barzowski complimented the quality of the teams participating this year and said they were posting great comments about the event on social media.
“We had a lot of new teams, a lot of great music and we didn’t lose any money,” he said. “It was excellent. We were all very pleased after it was all said and done. I think the community was, I think the competitors were, as well as the hundreds and hundreds of people that came into the valley who had never been here before, I think they were pleasantly surprised.
“I want to give a huge thank you to everyone for coming out and to the rest of the committee for their hard work and selfless dedication to make the BBQ Battle a success every year. We’re looking forward to another great event next year in 2020 when we hold the seventh annual AV Bar-B-Que Battle."
This year’s sponsors included Victorian Sales; Mark and Suzi Williams; Loners Concrete and Construction; Auto Plaza Group – Farmington; Fresh and Clean Restrooms; Bob Lourwood and Pam Leach; Show-Me Shaved Ice; Heritage Hills Assisted Living Facility and Hillside Living Center; Iron Mule; Sam’s Service Center; Fisher Furniture; First State Community Bank; Brad Wooten Auto Body; Celebrations Awards & Recognition Gallery; Stricklin Waste Disposal, LLC; Music Makers; Adam’s Heating and Cooling; Parkland Pharmacy; AAA Zoeliner Materials, Inc.; Ozarks Federal; Dragon Fly-In; D&M Storage; Nate Dawg Enterprises; Fisher Auto Parts, Bryson’s Funeral Home; Buckley Financial; Elders Construction; Arcadia Sporting Goods; Spurs ‘n’ Furs Taxidermy; Diamonds and More Jewelers; Shelter Insurance; Baylee Jo’s BBQ; Politte Ready Mix; Casey’s; Lowe’s of Farmington; Kevin Perry; Fort Davidson Café (FDC); Strothmann Livestock; Sassy the Mule; Brockmiller Construction; Quality Transportation Services, Inc.; Ronnie Gibbs Insurance, LLC; Farmington Dental Care; RH Masonry; Iron County Farm Bureau; Tony Harbison Tree Service; Lady Queen; Parski; and Ameren Missouri.