Got BBQ Bucks? Get in line for good eatin’ – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Got BBQ Bucks? Get in line for good eatin’

The Reckin-Crue Bar B Que team, Osage City, applies special rub to ribs they entered in last year’s Smoke in the Spring barbecue competition.


Just ask the judges. In a barbecue contest, it’s all about the food.

And in most barbecue contests, the judges are the lucky few that get to enjoy the mouth-watering fare cooked up by competition barbecue teams. But in Osage City, during its now famous Smoke in Spring State BBQ Championship, everyone gets the chance to sample the world class barbecue that is usually reserved for competition barbecue judges’ taste buds.

In its 11th year, the popular Smoke in the Spring contest has become almost as famous for its Friday night community barbecue party, billed as a Taste of Osage City, during which anyone with BBQ Bucks can taste the smoked meat and other backyard cuisine served up by a select group of competitors.

During the Taste, which runs from 5 p.m. until “the food runs out” on Friday, April 11, BBQ Bucks can be exchanged for a variety of food items offered by 24 of the 77 competition barbecue teams that are scheduled to compete on Saturday.

Usually the favorites are there – pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, ribs, pork chops on the bone – but also available will be some unusual victuals in addition to good Osage County-cooked chow. Of the cooking teams participating in the Taste of Osage City, a third are from Osage County.

Some of the delectable menu items offered by local gastronomy experts include: Funnel cakes, from Bittersweet BBQ, Osage City; ribs, pork or brisket tacos, by Tipsy Pigs, Osage City; ribs, pulled pork and chicken, by Rubbed Raw, Osage City; bacon brat chubs, bourbon smoked chicken wings, Barkin Dawgs BBQ, Osage City; smoked ham balls, pork and brisket sandwiches, R&M Smokin Meat Wagon, Melvern; Scottish eggs and bacon wrapped pork loin, Partycrowd BBQ, Scranton; pulled pork, ribs, Hillbilly Smoke Club, Osage City; and chicken, pork sandwiches, and ribbon potatoes, by Reckin-Crue Bar B Que, Osage City.

So as the dinner bell rings Friday night, the place to be is Jones Park in Osage City. Serving begins sharply at 5. Latecomers will likely find something to fill their dinner plate somewhere among the smokers, RVs and campers lining the north parking areas at the park, but the lines form early for crowd favorites.

All serving teams’ locations are noted on a map available at the site. To sample the giant outdoor smorgasbord, all that is needed are BBQ Bucks, which can be obtained in advance from Edward Jones, 516 Market St., Osage City, or at Osage City Hall, 201 S. Fifth St. BBQ Bucks will also be on sale beginning at 4 p.m. Friday at the Osage City Parks and Recreation building.

When everyone has their fill of outdoor delicacies, the community party continues in the recreation building, with a performance by Downward Spiral. The free show, sponsored by Skydive Kansas, begins at 8 p.m., with refreshments for sale by the Osage City Lions Club.

Also Friday night is the Kids-Q Contest, in which kid competitors of all ages can show off their cooking talents. The contest is open to all kids, but sponsorship by a competing barbecue team is required. Kids-Q cooks’ meeting is 5:30 p.m. at the community building. Competitors are each given one pound of ground beef to prepare on site. Meat is provided by Santa Fe Trail Meats, of Overbrook. Contact OCPR director Corey Linton to register.

For more information about Smoke in the Spring or the weekend’s activities, contact Linton at 785-528-4610 or [email protected], or see

Smoke in the Spring is located at Jones Park in Osage City: From Market Street or K-31, and Martin Street, K-170, go four blocks south to Safford Street and the park entrance. Visitors are advised that parking is available in the football stadium parking lot, a half block south of the park.

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