Mike and Beth Wozniak, Brimfield, Ill., have received top honors in the 21st annual Great Pork BarbeQlossal contest. The event was held June 7 in conjunction with the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. The Wozniak's were awarded cash and prizes including the grand prize of $10,000. The Wozniak's also won BarbeQlossal in 2004.
The grand champion must cook in all four categories -- whole hog, loin, ribs and shoulder. The 2008 grand champion team placed second in the loin category, fifth place in the rib category and ninth place in the whole hog category. Reserve Grand Champion honors and $3,000 went to Darren Warth and Shad Kirton of Iowa's Smokey D's BBQ in Des Moines. The team placed fourth in the loin category, sixth in the rib category and tenth in the whole hog category.
"BarbeQlossal is unique. It is one of the only contests in the country that allows competitors to cook four cuts of meat," Wozniak said. "This allows us to showcase to consumers how easy it is to cook great tasting pork." The contest is sponsored by the National Pork Board and funded by pork checkoff.
A total of 61 teams from 13 states competed in the annual pork barbecue contest. Of those, nine were competing for the first time. Teams competed in one or more of the four categories. Monetary prizes are awarded for first through tenth places in each category, as well as the top five overall scores.
Each year, the top score from a single state also is honored. Special recognition was awarded to the top team from Kansas -- Neal Dunker of Dodge County Purple Porkers from Mission, Kan.
Teams that were not recognized as a top-10 winner had an opportunity to win a Horizon smoker, donated by TNT Landscaping and Horizon. Dennis DiPietre, Dad's Best, from Columbia, Mo., was awarded the smoker.
Sponsors for the BarbeQlossal contest included Cargill Meat Solutions, John Boos Company, W&G Marketing, Electronic Engineering, Miller Beer, Iowa Beverage, Pepsi America, Dibs ice cream and the Iowa Machine Shed.