The S.C. Barbeque Association, which has been designated by the state Legislature to name the S.C. State Champion barbeque team, has declared a winner.
At a ceremony at the State House in Columbia recently, George King of Winnsboro, who is the pit master of the Can’t Quit Smoking barbeque team, was named the S.C. State Champion. This is the second year in a row that George King has been named the SC State Champion.
King and his team garnered the largest number of points in the year-long contest that the SCBA conducts. King and his team had the highest score of the more than 200 teams who competed statewide in 30 barbeque contests for the title. The SCBA presents three awards and cash prizes at the end of the barbeque year, which runs from January to December.
The First Runner Up trophy was captured by Up in Smoke, a cooking team that is headed by Brian Teigue who cooks out of Rock Hill. Brian Teigue was also took first runner up honors last year too.
Jeff Smith of Aiken, as the pit master of Smokin’ Stacks BBQ Team, was the Second Runner Up. This was Smith’s first time in the top three.
The South Carolina championship is a contest where barbeque cooking teams enter a number of different contests all across state. This year there were over 30 different contests the teams could enter.
The state championship is a cumulative award where contesting teams each earn points if they place in the top ten winning teams in the contests they enter. This system means they don’t have to win first place each time but rather their top scores might include several first place wins added to some second, third and fourth place wins.
Regardless of how they place in any one event, their total accumulated points determine who has the highest consistent scores in the many contests that are held all across the state.
South Carolina’s barbeque championship competition was the first such competition in the nation where teams are able to compete in a year long barbeque marathon. Now other states are following South Carolina’s lead in adopting this year-long competition format since it is a true test of cooking ability.
Lake High of Columbia, president of the South Carolina Barbeque Association said, “These three teams are truly the best of the best. They faced stiff competition from some of the best barbeque cookers from all over the South. Their accumulated scores show that they consistently cook top barbeque.”
The state barbeque championship has been a project of the S.C. Barbeque Association, which set it up and administered it. Approximately 200 teams from all over the state earned points in the 2012 competition. How each of those 200 teams faired in the contest can be found on the SCBA website, scbarbeque.com.
“Almost anyone can win one contest somewhere sometime,” said High, “but who is the unquestioned best? That’s always another question. This year it’s George King of Winnsboro. He’s demonstrated it over and over. And to prove that his barbeque abilities are no fluke George was also the number one pit master last year too.”
It’s only human for some South Carolinians to think that the best barbeque comes from their part of the state, but as High points out great barbeque can be found all parts of the state.
“If anyone thinks that good barbeque comes from only one area of the state they need to take a look at the hometown of these championship teams – Winnsboro, Rock Hill and Aiken, from one side of the state to the other,” High pointed out.
Lake High, co-founder of the SCBA, will pass out trophies and checks to the winning teams at the ceremony at the State House in Columbia.