So I didn’t just stop by the Ohio State Fair this year to write about it. I actually had the privilege of being invited to judge the Ohio State Fair’s Pork Rib Off. Ten barbecue shops around the state competed for top honors and the best ribs, the best pulled pork, and best barbecue sauce in the state, with serious bragging rights and some cash up for grabs. It was an outstanding experience to try the different flavors from around the state with the folks from Columbus Foodie, Columbus Food Adventures, and Ohio’s Country Journal.
None of us know exactly what we thought of which sample, but I can’t say enough how blown away I was by the quality of barbecue in this state. It doesn’t have the reputation of Kansas City or Memphis, but good barbecue knows no location. The depth of flavors were breathtaking. One sauce was a sweet and spicy pineapple and chipotle combination, another had what tasted like a raspberry base. Some were sweet, some tangy, and some spicy
Per my new friends at OCJ, here are the results:
Grand Champion Ribs: Wally’s Great American BBQ, Tiffin, OH
Reserve Champion Ribs: Hickory River Smokehouse, Tipp City, OH
Grand Champion Pulled Pork: Wally’s Great American BBQ, Tiffin, OH Reserve Pulled Pork: Velvet Smoke BBQ, Hilliard, OH
People’s Choice Award Winner: Tony’s Restaurant, Findlay, OH
Best BBQ Sauce containing Soy: Wally’s Great American BBQ, Tiffin, OH
In addition to $3,000 in prizes, top teams received commemorative banners and silver serving trays.
Congrats winners, and thanks for the opportunity!