It’s great to see some major events come back to full strength this year after the pandemic caused rescheduling, cancellation and in some cases downsizing of all local and national events.

One of my favorite events is back to full strength, the 2022 New Jersey State Barbecue Championship held July 8-10 in North Wildwood.

It’s a big legitimate barbecue championship that is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The judging is overseen by the Society. The Grand Champion of the New Jersey State Championship will get a spot in the invitation-only American Royal World Series of Barbecue championship in Kansas City. This is serious stuff.

Many of the teams work hard in preparing and cooking their barbecue and I can tell you first-hand that the smells that permeate the air in North Wildwood are mouth watering and inviting.

The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship is organized and run by the fine people at the Anglesea Fire Co. and the proceeds from the three day event go to the department.

The event has food, music, games and fun for the whole family, some great blues music and most of the competitors have kiosks to sell their prize winning barbecued meats along with their barbecue sauces and rubs which is absolutely worth the trip from anywhere in New Jersey.

For years I would head down to North Wildwood to do my radio show from the New Jersey State Barbeque Championship. It was by far one of my favorite appearances because the people are great and the competitors and organizers, particularly the Angle Sea Fire Co., do an outstanding job.

Through going down there and through my travels I have become a student of the art of good barbeque. I have spent quality time in Memphis, Nashville, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, The Carolinas, Atlanta, New Orleans, Mississippi and Oklahoma and I have had great barbeque at each of those fine locales. However, I truly believe that right here in Jersey we have the best barbeque.

I met a guy who has broken the myth and the notion that anyone north of the Mason-Dixon Line can’t cook good barbeque. I met Butch Lupinetti from Butch’s world-famous Smack Your Lips Barbeque! The guy had won over 700 barbeque competitions and hundreds of awards for his sauce and ribs and won a barbeque “throw down” with renowned TV chef Bobby Flay.

I have had many sauces, made my own, too, for years, but his is the best, bar none. It’s over and he was the king. Butch and I became fast friends and sadly he passed away a few years ago. His daughter Ally has carried on the tradition so successfully.

Go see Ally and the competitors of the New Jersey State Barbecue Championship, it’s a great time. For Butch’s sauce and products, go here

Looking for an easy recipe? Check out these tips from Dennis:

Dennis Malloy’s simple pico de gallo recipe

Delicious ‘Jersey Fresh’ jalapeno poppers

Dennis Malloy’s easy tomato sauce recipe

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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