A look behind the masters at Evansville’s first BBQ Festival

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EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) — Barbecue masters from around the country are right here in the Tri-State this weekend for the first downtown Evansville barbeque festival.

“We’ve been doing it now for about 10 years,” says Jerry Hobgood. But like a musician who tires of his hit song…. “we don’t even like BBQ anymore!” Hobgood says, laughing.

Some of these masters behind the smoker have made sure their menus have plenty of variety. But that makes for long nights..

“About midnight we’re going to start cooking our brisket,” says Steve Clark from Just One Barbeque. “We’re going to go probably about eight and a half hours on that. And through the night, we’re going to start adding the butt and the ribs and the chicken.”

It also makes for early mornings for those like Hobgood.

“We’re gonna put our meat on about 9, 9:30. Our cookers are computer controlled and we get up about 4 in the morning.”

They do it all for their fans, who line up for a taste of the next big thing in barbeque.

“Dry rub, how bout that?”

For some like Clark, it is a matter of faith.

“We’ve really had a hit with our ministry, doing the cooking for the churches and their sales and everything.”

For others like Hobgood and those who work with Hobbie’s Competition BBQ, it is a matter of family.

“In 1942, the year I was born, my dad did the first barbecuing, and it’s been in the family ever since.”

But no matter why they do it, the competition is stiff.

“We’ve got a new weapon or two up our sleeves.”

“I’m ready for it.”

“It’s uh…. open game.”

“WE’RE GONNA WIN!”

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