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UWA offers “learn to Q’

Professional cooking teams will teach the basics of competition barbecuing during a pair of BBQ 101 classes offered at The University of West Alabama.

The classes will take place Oct. 17-18 and Nov. 14-15 on the UWA campus, giving participants the opportunity to learn about the rules, equipment, meat preparation and other aspects of competition cooking. Students will also prepare entries in each of the four competition categories, which include chicken, ribs, pork and brisket, while working alongside the professional teams. The barbecue will then be evaluated for taste, appearance and texture by Kansas City Barbeque Society certified judges.

“This class is a great opportunity for anyone interested in competing in barbecue cook-offs to see firsthand what it takes,” said Dr. Haywood Mayton, a barbecue competition veteran who will oversee the class. “Using KCBS guidelines and judges, we will simulate a real cook-off and give participants the chance to learn how to make the best brisket or the perfect pork.”

Both weekends, the class will begin Friday night and run until Saturday morning, with participants staying up to prepare the meat just as they would in a real cook-off. On the second weekend of BBQ 101, participants will be divided into teams to compete against each other with their new barbecue skills. UWA and the professional teams will provide all meat and other supplies needed for the class. No smokers or grilling equipment is needed to take part in the class.

“At least four professional teams will be on hand for BBQ 101, and each team will have different equipment for cooking the meat,” Mayton said. “We want people to know they can compete without investing a fortune in equipment. Barbecue competitions, such as Livingston’s Sucarnochee BBQ & Blues Cook-off, are great fun, and we want to encourage anyone who is interested to try his hand at cooking.”

A $75 fee covers both weekends of barbecuing, including meals and all competition supplies. The registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 13.

BBQ 101 is the first of several local events planned to give great cooks the opportunity to showcase their talents on a larger stage. UWA will also host a Kansas City Barbeque Society judging school Jan. 17, 2009, and the KCBS-sanctioned Sucarnochee BBQ & Blues Cook-off is set for April 17-18, 2009, in Livingston.

For more information or to sign up for BBQ 101, please contact Monica Moore at 205-652-3497.