Piggin’ Whiskey O.G. claims grand championship at Smoke in the Spring 2021 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Piggin’ Whiskey O.G. claims grand championship at Smoke in the Spring 2021

Grand champion winner of Smoke in the Spring 2021 was Piggin’ Whiskey O.G.; accepting the award for the team are, from left, Ashton Smith, Jaxson Soerries, and head cook Josh Farley (presented by Smoky the Pig).

Smoke might still be lingering in Osage City from last weekend’s 18th annual Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship, but the grand champions headed back to Oak Grove, Mo. to celebrate.

Piggin’ Whiskey O.G., with head cook Josh Farley, of Oak Grove, earned prize winnings totaling $5,980 from the Osage City contest, after taking the grand championship with fourth place in chicken, 51st place in pork, second place in ribs, and 10th in brisket. The team also broke the 700 point barrier, winning the top spot in the contest with 703.44.

In Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned contests, membership in the “700 club” is achieved when enough points are earned in the four main categories, chicken, ribs, pork and brisket, to total 700 or more. A 180 is considered a perfect score in a single category. Piggin’ Whiskey picked up a 180 with their second place ribs entry, helping to secure their win with highest number of points. Adding to the team’s wins for the weekend, young team member Jaxson Soerries took fifth place in the 6-10 age group of Kids-Q.

The grand champs shared their 700 club spot with the reserve grand champions, Finger Leikham Good, head cook Chris Leikam, Wamego, Kan., with 701.7028, and the third place winner, The American Dream BBQ Team, David Qualls, Tecumseh, Okla., 700.5144.

Seven teams picked up a 180 pin during the completion, with two 180s awarded in chicken, two 180s in ribs, and three in pork.

The high scoring competition boosts Smoke in the Spring’s reputation as a world class contest, where some of the best barbecue cooks in the U.S. come to compete. During the weekend, 105 barbecue teams from 10 states gathered in Osage City’s Jones Park. The field included a number of top teams on the circuit, including KCBS teams of the year, Jack Daniels World Champion, and numerous grand champions from state championships.

Reserve grand champions Finger Leikham Good used their second place in chicken and 180 score, to anchor their $2,500 win. They added to their prize money with $400 for the chicken, $75 for 11th in ribs, and $100 for eighth in the Turkey Smoke category.

Other top five overall winners were fourth place 4 Legs Up BBQ, Kelly Wertz, Great Bend, Kan., 699.9312 points; and fifth place Who Dat BBQ, Brian Anglin, Vermillion, S.D., 698.8456 points.

Class champions taking home prize money included: Chicken, first place, KC Smoke Dawgs, Chad Amis, Olathe, Kan., with a 180; ribs, first place, Happy Grillmore, Joe Hewer, Edgerton, Kan., 180; pork, first place, Slaps BBQ, Joe Pearce, Kansas City, Kan., 180; pork, second place, Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Rub, Chris Hoisington, Olathe, Kan., 180; pork, third place, KC Smoke Dawgs, 180; brisket, first place, Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Rub; brisket, second place, Man Meat BBQ, Aaron Stoffer, Stilwell, Kan. Prize money was paid to the top 15 in each of the four main categories.

The contest also drew the national spotlight this year with the National Turkey Federation sponsoring a Turkey Smoke category, providing trophies and prize money, and 5 lb. turkey breasts for competitors. With 45 cookers competing in the Turkey Smoke, House’s Bar-B-Que, Regan House, Baldwin City, Kan., came out on top, followed by M Sqared Smokin’ Q, Mike Beam, Topeka, Kan.; third place, Show Me Mo Smoke, Zack Daughtery, Smithville, Mo.; fourth place, Rock N Blues BBQ, Daniel Masters, Topeka; fifth place, Sons of a Brisket, Dakota Weikel, Independence, Mo.

In the dessert category, with 18 competitors, Double T BBQ, Travis Thurston, Peculiar, Mo., took first; Smokin Dinger, Steve Rounds, Blair, Neb., was second.

The contest recruited 116 barbecue judges to judge the 105 competitors. Contest organizer Corey Linton reported that all judges at the contest were KCBS certified judges or KCBS certified master judges.

This year’s Kids-Q turned out to be a major competition on its own. Sponsored by longtime sponsor Conrad Carlson Foundation and Creekstone Farms, 26 competitors cooked 12 oz. premium ribeye steaks donated by Creekstone Farms. Judged by 21 local meat eaters, first place in the 6-10 age group was won by Sloan Bohannon, and taking second place was Jackson Davis. In the 11-16 age group, Aidan Wagner was first and Ryan McCabe took second.

With KCBS celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Smoke in the Spring joined the celebration with a visit from KCBS CEO Emily Detwiler, who met teams, judges, and barbecue lovers. The contest was also honored to have KCBS co-founder Carolyn Wells as one of the KCBS reps this year. Wells and her late husband, Gary, and friend, Rick Welch, founded KCBS in 1986. Contest procedures at Smoke in the Spring were overseen by six KCBS reps this year, Wells, Forrest Bruce, Dave and Peg Rogers, and Kim and Mark Collier.

The annual contest, postponed until Halloween last year due to the pandemic, is also a community celebration opening the barbecue season for Osage City, with Taste of Osage City on Friday, usually featuring a band and fireworks. A storm passing through Friday night canceled the band this year, but fireworks continued along with a large crowd of eager outdoor partiers in Jones Park. Linton reported that 11 cooking teams served food this year, and more than 15,383 BBQ Bucks spent during the gathering.

See Smoke in the Spring 2021 photo gallery here for winners’ photos and shots of the contest. Feel free to download and share.

Smoke in the Spring 2021 reserve grand champions Finger Leikam Good.

Smoke in the Spring 2021 grand champions Piggin’ Whiskey O.G. show all of their awards from the contest.

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