• 68°

Smokin’ Jacks smokes rest of competition

Smokin’ Jacks has been a favorite in Demopolis since it opened its doors. Recently, they expanded their list of admirers to the Gulf Coast by winning first place in the chicken competition at the Greater Gulf States Cerebral Palsy cooking competition at the Mobile Fairgrounds.

The competition was held on March 4 and 5 where Smokin’ Jacks owner Jacky Poole and Craig Seale blew a stiff field of competition away. An estimated 89 teams showed for the competition that had many fun activities including a battle of the bands. Poole said they have seen success in the past with their chicken, but this time they were truly firing on all cylinders.

“We usually place in chicken, but this year we really hit on chicken,” Poole said. “We were real pleased.”

Poole said as they announced the winners they initially thought they were being left out. There are normally 15 places for each competition and Poole said as they began to roll off the names they assumed they had come up short. Poole said all that changed when they got to the end of the list.

“When they started announcing the winners from 14 to 13 to 12 we started thinking we must not have done anything,” Poole said. “But then they called our name for first place and we were real excited.”

Many barbecue competitors have turned to elaborate equipment to travel and compete. Poole said his team has continued to do things the old fashioned way. While this got a few laughs it proved to be the most effective means in the end.

“People kind of laughed at our rig because when you go down there most of them are sitting on a $20,000 to $30,000 cooking rig,” Poole said. “We have an old backyard grill and we just cook the old fashioned way, but it works.”

For their efforts, Smokin’ Jacks received a plaque, which is on display in the restaurant, and $1,000. Poole said they were happy with the award, but even happier to have been able to enjoy themselves and help out a good cause.

“It paid for our trip,” Poole said. “You can go down there and have fun for two days cook and enjoy it and of course the money goes to a good cause.”

Poole said his team is looking to enter an upcoming contest in Birmingham to test their skill further.