The National Barbecue News hails this film as “rich, satisfying, informative, and fun”, and the Library Journal writes: [IWCB] “makes a nice companion piece [to BBQ Secrets: The Master Guide to Extraordinary Barbecue Cookin’] for those who wonder just what it takes to become a world champion barbecue cook.”
For those familiar with the art of competition, you know that being a great barbecue cook is only a part of the challenge to winning. Inside the World of Championship Barbecue shares proven methods, and advice that will help you compete more successfully.
Studio: Potter Productions, Inc.
Original Release: 2004-01-15; 2010 Re-release: 18-minutes of added bonus videos
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Number of discs: 1
Original language: English
Running time: 60 minutes
Expert BBQ Competition Advice from Many Champion Cooks
Provides a Behind-the-Scenes Look What It Takes To Compete
Tips for Building Winning Presentation Boxes
Checklist of Important Ingredients and Supplies
Cooking Tips from a Number of Serious Competition Experts
Now You’re Cookin’ makes a nice companion piece for those who wonder just what it takes to become a world champion barbecue cook. –Library Journal
The story told in Now You re Cookin: Inside The World of Championship Barbecue is rich, satisfying, informative and fun. –National Barbecue News
If You’re new competition team, seasoned veteran, or somewhere in-between, this video has something for all. —homebbq.com
“I gave my husband this video for his birthday. He thinks it is one of the best BBQ videos he has seen. The video quality and content is excellent. He said he got quite a few tips and info from it. We have been to the American Royal as judges…and this video shows how it really is.”
“I thought the video was very informative & had a great sense of reality. It was well done & not “over produced”…”
“… I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn as much as they can about this sport.”
“Great Video! Even an experienced cook can pick up a few pearls of wisdom”.
“…This video is a great inspiration to new cook’s to get them involved.”
“Thank you for the “BBQ Secrets” and Now You’re Cookin’ videos. After toying with the idea of doing my own competition cooking, the videos have given me the confidence that I need to enter contests….Tell everybody to look out. A new boss hog is coming to town!”
“…the DVD and video were awesome. I have learned more from these documentaries and it is getting me more excited about competing and bettering my overall BBQ”…
“This is an excellent video. I find that this video appeals to both the novice and the pro. Good tips from 2 Fat Larry’s and an excellent guideline for the beginner looking to compete.”
“Very informative. I gained some useful knowledge that will be incorporated into my cooking. Great Video!”
“Both videos were great. Very informative and both backyard and competition cooking.”
Now You’re Cookin: Inside The World of Championship Barbecue DVD Reviews:
by Tim Budlong
January 16, 2006
BBQ Secrets: The Master Guide to Extraordinary Barbeque Cookin’. 74 min. with booklet. DVD $19.95. Now You’re Cookin': Inside the World of Championship Barbecue. 80 min. VHS/DVD $24.95. ea. vol: color. Potter Productions, 800-755-6995; www.potter-productions.com. 2004. set $44.90. COOKERY
These two videos will get barbecue lovers salivating and ready to run out to their favorite barbecue joint for a fix.
The interactive DVD BBQ Secrets allows the viewer to watch the presentation in its entirety, select the separate segments of the three featured cooks, or go straight to a particular food within a segment, such as“brisket.” Three world champion competitive barbecue cooks—Mike “Sarge” Davis, founder of Southern Gentlemen’s Culinary Society and Whole Hog Café in Arkansas; Terry Black and his Super Smokers BBQ team of Memphis; and Jeff Stehney, eight-time Grand Champion and owner of Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue Restaurant in Kansas City, KS—share their secrets for rubs, marinades, equipment, types of wood used, firebuilding, timing, and techniques. A variety of meats, such as pork ribs, pork shoulder, whole hog, beef brisket, and chicken, are featured, along with side dishes. An 18-page recipe booklet accompanies the DVD. This is the most useful and versatile of the two programs, as its clear and concise instructions and demonstrations will help all home barbecue chefs improve their product.
Now You’re Cookin’ makes a nice companion piece for those who wonder just what it takes to become a world champion barbecue cook. It focuses on two teams attending the “World Series” of BBQ contests, the American Royal Barbecue in Kansas City, MO. We follow the experienced team 2 Fat Larrys and “newbies”Northwoods Mesquite-Toes as they prepare, buy meat, set up their tents, build their fires, cook their barbecue, and package it for the judges. We learn some of the secrets of successful competitors and the criteria used for evaluation. The emphasis is on how teams learn from each other and the dedication and attention to detail necessary to become a champion. Techniques and recipes are not overly detailed with the focus on the contest. Both programs are recommended for all audiences and library cookery collections, and both will make you hungry! [The DVD of Now You’re Cookin’ contains an additional 20 minutes of material; it was not available for this review.—Ed.]
by Kevin Bevington
“Inside The World of Championship Barbecue” was shot on location at the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri. It was also filmed in Memphis, Tennessee with a veteran cooking team, and two certified judges.
The journey focuses in on serious veterans of the competition bbq arena, as well as the newbie bbq team cooking in their very first contest. Many great tips are revealed, and it truly captures the willingness of the veteran cooks to help the new cooks, and this is what makes this great sport grow. It also captures the love, and passion, the thrills, and the disappointments of competition bbq…
If your a new competition team, seasoned veterans, or somewhere in between, this video has something for all. I would highly recommend this video if you are, or plan on getting involved in competition bbq. And that goes for cooks and judges alike..!
Portals and KM Blog
by Bill Ives
January 15, 2005
Do you want to create award winning barbecue and succeed at the contests? This is the video for you. Being a barbecue fan, I greatly appreciated that Potter Productions sent me this video, “Now You Are Cooking: Inside the World of Championship Barbecue” to review. It is an excellent documentary about competing in barbecue contests. It is quite an involved deal and I learned a lot that will be useful in just cooking, even if not for a contest.
This video documented the American Royal show at Kansas City. Contestants said that presentation is a key factor and you see them very carefully selecting the green garnish with detailed explanations on their rationale for each decision. The tips continue. Find a cooker that maintains a consistent temperature. Cook what you like. Brisket is the hardest. Some cook them for twenty hours and stay up all night to make sure the temperature stays correct. Rubs are critical. I use cardamom, cumin, and brown sugar in my slow cooked ribs. One tip, after a crust has developed, is to spray apple juice on the meat every hour.
The experts experiment but only change one variable at a time and keep careful logs.
Some people travel around the country to the many contests. It is a very passionate subject. They say to talk to people at the contest. The barbecue people like to share their ideas. The video conveys their passion and their willingness to help each other.
Another recommendation for competitors is to go to the judging school to see what the judges look for. They teach about all the traditions and how to be open new ideas.
You can get the video at the Potter Productions site. I enjoyed it for the content, barbecue, but even more for the portraits of the people. I think, in this sense it transcends barbecue as it provides some rich profiles of people who are very committed to their interest. If you like barbecue, I recommend it. Also, if you like to meet some interesting and genuine people who like to talk about their passion, I recommend it.
The Portals and KM blog covers music and food on the weekends and is found high on Google searches related to BBQ. During the week it shares ideas on portals, blogs, and knowledge management. The author’s new book, Business Blogs: A Practical Guide will be out early in 2005.
Reviewer Rating: Full Slab!
by Ardie A. Davis
National Barbecue News
As far as I’m concerned, there can never be too much barbecue or too many cookbooks, history books, theses, dissertations, photo books, cartoons, drawings, videos, DVDs, movies, documentaries, radio programs, TV shows, art shows, songs, poems, photos, paintings, sculptures, novels, mysteries (have you read Revenge of the Que Queens?), comedies, plays or musicals about barbecue.
On the other hand, if a plate of barbecue or, in this instance, a barbecue documentary commands my attention, it better be good. I know that’s true for you too, because you’re reading National Barbecue News.
Now You’re Cookin’ is fresh out of the box, and I guarantee you it’s good. No, it’s better than good. It’s excellent. Experienced cooks, new cooks, and anyone who is curious about barbecue will enjoy and learn from this expertly crafted video.
Unlike documentaries which tell you what you’re seeing by way of studio voice-overs or— worse yet, with host interviewers like Mike Wallace, Michael Moore, Oprah Winfrey, or Barbara Walters—Now You’re Cookin’ lets the camera, the contestants, the officials and the judges tell the story. Sometimes they are talking at you. Sometimes they are talking while the camera is illustrating what they’re talking about.
The story told in Now You’re Cookin’ is rich, satisfying, informative and fun. The drama unfolds before, during and after a major cooking contest, the American Royal in Kansas City. After a few teaser shots of ribs and cookers, the program begins with glimpses of at-home preparations of an experienced team and a newbie team before their trip to the Royal complex. It ends at the Royal awards ceremony. Between home and the awards ceremony you’ll chuckle, get hungry, pick up some valuable barbecue cooking tips and get a full measure of inspiration. Don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly checking the cookoff calendar in the latest National Barbecue News to decide where to sign up for the next contest after your first viewing of Now You’re Cookin’.
The first at-home scene is with 2 Fat Larry’s cooking team, consisting of Larry Mayes, his wife, Ginny, and their lovely daughter, Windy. Seeing how they prepare and what they pack is a lesson in itself for seasoned and wannabe sport barbecuers. The other “Larry” is a hefty smiling plastic pig mascot. This family team does a superb job of portraying the hard work, fun and spirit of competitive barbecue, by being themselves. Nothing is rehearsed or scripted. They just do what they routinely do when preparing for and competing in a contest. 2 Fat Larry’s are true to the spirit of barbecue sportsmanship to the end, when they admit disappointment at not winning or placing in the top 48 of the more than 400 competing teams, but they’re happy for the Grand Champion winners of this particular contest, Grillas. “Goodbye, America,” Larry is heard to say with a chuckle as they leave the American Royal complex Saturday night.
The other at-home scene is with a newbie team from North Kansas City, Scott Jones and Wayne Hurst, Northwoods Mesquite-Toes. They discuss the rationale for their team name, their ambition to win, their plans, their seasonings, and their meat selections. After they pack up and leave for the Royal, their next stop is at one of the most popular meat markets in Kansas City, McGonigle’s, where they pick up their order of beef brisket, pork ribs, pork shoulder, and chicken.
The day and night progress of 2 Fat Larry’s and Northwoods Mesquite-Toes, is sprinkled throughout the production. They talk about lessons learned, and offer advice for new teams,
If you’ve been on the barbecue circuit for awhile you’ll recognize some or most of the barbecue star personalities in this show. These folks wax eloquent with sage advice, offer a cooking tip or two and share several fun moments of barbecue humor. You’ll see and hear:
Jeff Stehney of the multiple award-winning Slaughterhouse Five, and proprietor of the popular Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue in Kansas City.
Joe Don “Oklahoma Joe” Davidson, winner of two Best Barbecue Sauce on the Planet awards from the American Royal and creator of a legendary line of now heirloom barbecue cookers that bear his name. Joe and Jeff were on the Royal Oak Cooking Team at this particular contest.
Seven-time world champion and best-selling barbecue cookbook author, Paul Kirk, KC Baron of Barbecue, with his Baron and the Pitmasters team.
Outstanding California pitmaster and barbecue photographer extraordinaire, Frank Boyer of Sweetime Barbecue.
The witty go-to man for ribs, Rib Doctor Hayward Harris, Jr. of California.
Frequent champion, including world champion, Johnny Trigg of Smokin’ Triggers.
Chef Chris Lilly of the world champion Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que team, star of a popular barbecue video instruction series, and who, with Don McLemore and other family team members is an ambassador of Southern hospitality and barbecue at its best.
You’ll also enjoy encounters with pit stars Fred Edwards of Hoosier Hogs, Mike Davis of Lotta Bull, Conrad Haskins of teddybear.com, Jeremy Smith of The Right Call, Ray Lampe, Dr. Barbecue, Bill Milroy of the Texas Rib Rangers, Robert C. Bredemyer of We Don’t Cook Sheep, Ben Bartlett of Best of Britain, plus Contest Coordinator Carolyn Wells, and judging pointers with veteran Master Certified KCBS and MIM Barbecue Judges, Bill Gage and Wayne Lohman. They each have something important to say, so you’d best listen.
Now You’re Cookin’ is a polished, professional job of filmmaking. It frees you from distractions common to home-style videos, such as wind noise, blurs, bumps and bloopers. I have seen few other barbecue-related videos that are on par with the exemplary quality of Now You’re Cookin’. This one is definitely up there with Lolis Eric Elie’s award-winning classic barbecue documentary, Smokestack Lightning.
Don’t wait until Now You’re Cookin’ is archived as a national treasure at the Smithsonian and the American Barbecue Hall of Fame. Get your own copy and enjoy it today. It costs less than you should have spent on your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. Plus, you can opt out of the sticky-floored mall cinema scene , sit down with a bowl of bbq rub-seasoned popcorn and watch Now You’re Cookin’ whenever you want and as many times as you want in the comfort of your own home.
In conclusion, I should fess up to having one minor moment of impatience with a scene in Now You’re Cookin’. This particular scene almost led me to take a rib off the full slab rating, but in the end I decided that would be too picky.
When Ginny Mayes prepared beds of lettuce in lidded Styrofoam contest turn-in boxes for 2 Fat Larry’s, she was very thorough in showing and discussing what works and what doesn’t. Among several important tips she offered on the proper selection and arrangement of lettuce in the box was that she doesn’t want any brown spots on her lettuce. Then she said it again. And again. After she said it the fourth time, I was fixin’ to reach for my salad shooter. But that’s when the camera moved to Johnny Trigg.
In fairness to Ginny, lettuce and parsley arrangement is a big deal to many cooks in the KCBS competition circuit. They have definite ideas about lettuce quality, as well as the best way to arrange lettuce, parsley, and/or cilantro in a KCBS turn-in box, and they go to great pains to get it right. Therefore I decided that the filmmaker was correct in leaving that segment in as is.
Enough said. Now it’s time for you to buy Now You’re Cookin’, view it, and draw your own conclusions. Be sure to watch it all the way through to the final credits and beyond, with humorous wrap-up visual action bytes, and a perfect closing line from Johnny Trigg.
I look forward to the planned release of two more videos in the Now You’re Cookin’ series, Barbecue Tips from the Top, and The World of Competition Judging.Applause and a tip of the hat to Rebecca Gerendasy and her Potter Productions team of top-notch professionals for a job well-done!
Ardie A. Davis, also known as Remus Powers, Ph.B., founded the Diddy-Wa-DiddyNational Barbecue Sauce Contest in his backyard patio in 1984. Three years later the contest was married to the American Royal Barbecue, and is now known as the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste Contest. Davis is the author of The Great BBQ Sauce Book (Ten Speed Press, 1999), and Kansas City BBQ Pocket Guide (Pig Out Publications, 1992).