Smoke in the ’Boro not just for barbecue lovers | News | The Press and Standard

by | March 22, 2018 5:00 pm

Last Updated: March 21, 2018 at 12:45 pm

“Get the second best here,” J.T. Handy called out to those walking past his booth at the “Anything ****” portion of the fifth annual Smoke in the Boro, a fundraiser by The Colleton Center and Coastal Electric’s Operation Round Up.
On the evening of March 16, the 33 participants in the annual barbeque competition showed off their culinary skills to a panel of local judges and then to the general public. The only rule was no Boston butts allowed; that cut of meat was to be the star of Saturday’s competition.
Whether it was his boast or his skill, the Summerville resident and operator of JT’s BBQ sold out of his offering about two hours after the gates to the event were opened. Hand over a ticket and you got a scoop of Handy’s loaded baked potato salad that included, among other things, pieces of beef brisket smoked over a cherry wood fire.
So, what’s best? Handy was asked as he was shuttering his mobile booth. “It’s a marketing ploy,” Handy explained. Everybody else claimed their food was the best “Anything ****” had to offer.
His claim of second best went unchallenged.
With his 200 servings gone, Handy said it was glad he had sold out early. It would give him more time to grab a nap before moving on to his next task, working through the night to have his Boston butts and ribs ready for the barbeque judges.
Seconds after Handy said a nap was in his immediate future, the “Going to the Dogs” band ended their break and went back on stage.
Apparently Handy got his nap. When the Saturday judging was completed, his JT’s BBQ took first in Boston **** and fourth in the ribs category. In Boston ****, JT’s BBQ narrowly outscored Pimp My Pig with the top five rounded out with Backwoods Bar-B-Que, Ultimate Tailgaters and Smoke Central.
The competition between the cooks wasn’t something to be taken lightly. In 2017, Pimp My Pig was the South Carolina Barbeque Association’s Grand Champion; Backwoods Bar-B-Que was first runner-up and JT’s BBQ, second runner-up.
In the ribs competition, Backwoods Bar-B-Que took top honors with Smoke Central, S’Lowcountry and Ultimate Tailgaters joining Handy in the top five.
On the other side of the Coastal Electric Cooperative facilities that have become home to Smoke in the Boro, Casey Shoupe had no time to talk during Anything ****. He was working continuously to put together the brisket sliders that Walterboro’s Squealing Sow BBQ was offering to a rapidly growing line of customers.
Shoupe and Squealing Sow’s other members and volunteers spent the morning slow cooking six large beef briskets — for tender and moist brisket, low and slow is the only way to go. With the brisket cooked just right, the large hunks of meat were chopped up pulled pork-style and placed on miniature buns.
Squealing Sow’s effort paid off — its brisket slider captured the people’s choice award for Anything ****. Pimp My Pig got the judge’s nod for Anything ****.
The offerings at Anything **** ran the gamut. The barbeque team dispensing chocolate-covered bacon ran out quickly, and the catfish stew did a brisk business.
Another Walterboro competition team, Hogwire BBQ and Catering, went highbrow, offering a rosemary leg of lamb served on a pecan and cream cheese crosini.
Wayne Keith has headed Walterboro’s South Carolina Barbeque Association-sanctioned competition since its inception.

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