BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sam's Club and Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) awarded a cash prize of $35,000 and the title of Grand Champion of the inaugural Sam's Club National BBQ Tour to TippyCanoe BBQ Crew of St. Ansgar, Iowa. TippyCanoe BBQ Crew was among 50 of the nation's top professional barbecue teams that traveled to Northwest Arkansas to compete in the national championship event at the Sam's Club home office Oct. 14 and 15.
The Sam's Club National BBQ Tour, sanctioned by KCBS, kicked off local competitions in April 2011 in 23 states, where competitive barbecue teams battled for a spot in the national championship event. A total of $400,000 in prize money was awarded to winning teams throughout the course of the tour with $100,000 in prize money distributed to the top teams at the championship event.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Joe Beland of TippyCanoe BBQ Crew. "I can't thank Sam's Club enough. This has been an unbelievable event. Everything just came together for us. It was our pork that put us over the top. No doubt about it, the pork category has been really rock solid for us the last month and a half and today was no different."
The reserve champion title and $15,000 prize went to Grog N Hogs of Richmond, Va. Third place overall and a $6,000 prize went to Big T's Q Cru of Ames, Iowa. First place finishers in each category received a $5,000 prize. Uncle Kenny's BBQ of Winter Garden, Fla. finished first in ribs. First place brisket went to Fowl Butt BBQ of Decatur, Ind. First place chicken went to The Smoking Hills of Overland Park, Kan., and first place pork went to TRUEBUD of Tonganoxie, Kan.
"As the provider of quality meats for professional and amateur pit masters alike, Sam's Club was thrilled to host the inaugural Sam's Club National BBQ Tour Championship," said Bob Fields, senior merchandise director for Sam's Club. "We are proud to have hosted some of the top professional barbecue teams from across the country, and to serve thousands in our communities by offering samples and sharing tips on how to be better grillers in their own backyards."
Each team submitted chicken, ribs, pork and brisket and were judged by a panel of 48 certified barbecue judges on taste, tenderness and appearance. The public was welcome to view the competition and enjoy complimentary samples and cooking tips from tour sponsors, including Bush's Baked Beans, Coca-Cola Zero, Tyson, Cavanaugh, KC Masterpiece and Kingsford. A special appearance by barbecue enthusiast and country music star Craig Morgan rounded out the event.
"The Sam's Club National BBQ Tour is as much about delicious competition as it is barbecue education," said Troy Black, professional barbecue expert and author. "This tour is an opportunity for barbecue lovers to sample recipes and learn from the nation's best barbecue competitors at local Sam's Club locations all over the country."
Sam's Club has the high-quality meats and side dishes to make every backyard griller a winner. You don't have to be an expert to find a great cut of meat at Sam's Club. To learn more about the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour, or for tips and recipes, visit "National BBQ Tour" at SamsClub.com/meals.
About Sam's Club
Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation's eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 30 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made Simple(SM), visit SamsClub.com, and look for Sam's Club on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE Sam's Club