Appetizers

Dishing the news about the Sacramento area food scene

Seven cooking teams took honors at Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

09/02/2014 9:57 AM

09/02/2014 9:58 AM

A Rib Nation of 500,000 ‘cue lovers converged on the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev., last Wednesday through Monday for the 26th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, the biggest such throw-down in the country. Along the way, the hungry crowds took on 240,000 pounds of St. Louis-style pork ribs, rubbed, smoked and sauced by 23 professional cooking teams that travel a national circuit.

All along Victorian Avenue over the extended Labor Day “weekend,” thousands of people lined up at the cookers’ massive storefronts to buy ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. Fragrant wood smoke filled the air, beer flowed, onion rings and funnel cakes sizzled in hot oil, endless ears of roasted corn were plunged into melted butter, and live music played on several stages.

On Sunday, a panel of judges sampled ribs and sauces from all the competitors, and scored them according to strict criteria in order to choose the winners. The six-day event — considered the most prestigious rib-cooking contest in the U.S. — culminated Monday on Victorian Square at the Nugget, when hotel officials announced the winners to a cheering crowd.

More valuable than the cash prizes and trophies are the braggin’ rights that accompany the victories; they translate into big-time rib sales to the public down the line.

This year’s winners were:

First place: Desperado’s BBQ & Rib Co. of Hinckley, Ohio: $7,500

Second place: Bone Daddy’s BBQ of Midland, Mich.: $3,000

Third place: Famous Dave’s BBQ of Plymouth, Minn.: $2,000

Fourth Place: Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ of Mt. Laurel, N.J.: $1,000

Fifth Place : Checkered Pig BBQ of Martinsville, Va.: $500

People’s Choice Award: Back Forty Texas Barbeque of Pleasant Hill, Ca.

Best Sauce: Porky-N-Beans BBQ Company of Port St. Lucie, Fla: $500, the second year in a row for the honor.

The 27th annual rib cook-off is scheduled for Sept. 2-7, 2015. For reservations, event history and information: (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300, or www.nuggetribcookoff.com.

About This Blog

Appetizers brings you the latest restaurant happenings, interesting tidbits on good food and events, and -- of course -- great specials and deals.

Regular contributors

Chris Macias
Food and wine
cmacias@sacbee.com
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni
Counter Culture
apierleoni@sacbee.com
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Debbie Arrington
Food and cooking
darrington@sacbee.com
Twitter: @debarrington

Blair Anthony Robertson
Restaurant reviews
brobertson@sacbee.com
Twitter: @blarob

Key links

Dining reviews
Restaurant guide
Recipes
Mike Dunne's wine picks
Beer Run
Nosh Pit
Restaurant inspections
 

Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service