Sure it’s fall, but Smoke in the Spring finally got here

Tebo Creek BBQ, of Belton, Mo., accepts their grand championship award from Smoke in the Spring organizer Corey Linton. Courtesy photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – It took its sweet time, but spring finally arrived in Osage City – on Halloween. For 93 barbecue teams from 10 states and Canada, and in despite of an ongoing worldwide pandemic, last Saturday’s spring-like weather provided the perfect atmosphere for cooking up some championship smoked meats.

Many of the teams closed out their season this year with Osage City’s Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship, which was postponed from the spring due to COVID-19 conditions at that time.

Facing the fierce year-end competition, Tebo Creek BBQ, of Belton, Mo., relied on a 180-scored chicken entry to give the team the Smoke in the Spring Grand Championship and $5,000 prize that went along with it. Tebo Creek, with head cook Greg Hastie, also placed second in pork, 10th in ribs, and 20th in brisket to tally their winning score of 706.2744 for the four main categories.

A score of 180 represents a perfect score given by a table of six judges, who score each entry based on appearance, taste and tenderness. A score of 180 indicates the judges scored a nine or excellent, the highest score that can be given, in each of the judging criteria.

In a social media post, Hastie noted it had been his first ever 180 in chicken. “We credit the REAL Man Meat BBQ sweet and smoky and Kansas City style for the win,” Hastie said.

He also praised Smoke in the Spring and organizer Corey Linton for holding the contest this year.

“We always love going to Smoke In The Spring,” Hastie said. “This contest year in and year out attracts 100 plus of the best teams in the country to this small town, Osage City, Kan., and is always the best run contest we attend. Corey Linton has such a passion for competition BBQ and the pride and effort he puts in to organizing is second to none. Thanks to Corey, his family and staff for what you do.”

Other overall top-five prize winners were: Triple H BBQ, Bill Heyen, Gillespie, Ill., second place; BYO Grill, Mark Cooper, St. Louis, Mo., third; High I Que, Randy Vanslyke, Gardner, Kan., fourth; and Boom Chicka Cow Cow, Justin McCabe, Overland Park, Kan., fifth.

Next year’s Smoke in the Spring has been scheduled for April 9-10, 2021.

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