55ºF

43rd annual World's Championship BBQ Cook-Off underway at Houston Rodeo

HOUSTON – The 43rd annual World's Championship BBQ Cook-Off is officially underway at NRG and for those 250 teams competing in it— this is serious business.

"It's extremely competitive," said Robert Becker, the chairman of the event.

"We're going to win, I know we're going to win," said Stewart Gagnon, chief bottle washer for the "Sharks R Us" team. Gagnon's group has been in the finals eight times and won the ribs competition once in the nearly 30 years it has competed in the event.

How many ways can you barbecue and do it well? That'll be the question 250 teams will try to answer in their own way.

"We brought a couple of secret ingredients obviously," said first-timer Scott Munro with Red's True BBQ.
In fact, Munro and his team from the United Kingdom are already making history before the competition gets fired up.

"This year we're truly a world's championship barbecue contest. We have three international teams competing. We have two from Great Britain and one from Japan," Becker said.

Everything from chicken to beef to ribs to how artsy can you be with your presentation are all categories that will be judged for a prize none of these guys can pass up.

"Beautiful trophy, buckle and bragging rights," Becker said. "The bragging rights is number one."

The cook-off will last all weekend long and if you want to come check out the barbecue at NRG, Becker said people should use public transportation because parking can be a nightmare.