Grillers from all over the west coast to compete in Penn Valley |

Grillers from all over the west coast to compete in Penn Valley

Kristian Hockinson during one of the Backyard BBQ competitions.
Submitted photo to The Union |

United Way of Nevada County will be holding its 11th annual BBQ fundraiser, “Grills ‘n’ Grilles” on Aug. 26 at Western Gateway Park.

The annual Backyard BBQ contest and car show has expanded to include a professional-level Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned BBQ Championship. Kansas City Barbecue Society teams from all over the western United States come to Nevada County to compete for the State Championship BBQ contest and prize money.

You’ve probably seen these types of competitions on The Food Network, the Travel Channel and TLC, but this is the real deal, the ultimate barbeque experience. Samples from some of the Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ teams will be made available during the event.

The Kansas City Barbecue Society entries are judged on their standards and weighting factors for appearance, taste, texture and tenderness. This competition is expected to have at least twenty Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ teams showing up at Western Gateway Park to compete from all over the western states.

Along with the Kansas City Barbecue Society competition, United Way’s 11th annual Backyard BBQ competition will also be taking place.

This is a fun local competition that gives the public the chance to vote on their favorite local BBQ team. The public will choose the “People’s Choice” and a group of judges will vote for “Critic’s Choice.”

The team with the most spirit will also be awarded a trophy.

Local Backyard BBQ teams can contact United Way to sign up to compete.

During this fun event, a car and motorcycle show will also take place with every make, model and year, including electric vehicles.

There will also be beer and wine, fun raffles and a special play area for children.

The 3rd annual Derek Sorensen Memorial Disc Golf Tournament will take place early in the day, with disc golf demonstrations during the event.

Admission is free.

Q & A

Some past Backyard BBQ winners, like The Rib Doctors, headed up by Team Captain, Kristian Hockinson, will be defending their title at this fun and spirited event. Kristian Hockinson, of The Rib Doctors answered a few questions and shared a recipe for Rib Doctor’s Pulled Pork below.

What is your preferred method of grilling/special type of grill?

In competitions I use a BBQ/Grill I made out of a 55 gallon steel drum. I found that I needed more grill space and control of the heat so I fabricated my own BBQ that can hold two cases of ribs.

What is your favorite item to barbecue, and why?

My favorite meat to grill is pork baby back ribs. Ribs are a fun finger food that works well for these competitions because one rack can be cut up into 13 tasters. With the volume of people that come to this event I always run out of ribs.

What made you decide to compete in the United Way event/how many years competed in BBQ Contest?

My friends and I were having one of our many summer cookouts when we discussed entering this competition four years ago. We decided we could be competitive and it would be fun, so we organized the team. United Way of Nevada County is an organization that supports needs in our community, and we support them.

Do you have a recipe you would like to share with the public?

I will not share my winning recipe for ribs; however, I will share the following:

Rib Doctor’s Pulled Pork

I start with the brine. This is where the flavor comes from.


1 quart apple cider plus ¼ cup of rub (below)


5 tbsp sugar

5 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp white pepper

1 5-7 lb. pork shoulder (bone-in)

Combine rub ingredients, measure ¼ cup for brine, set aside remainder. In a large plastic container, combine the brine ingredients and stir until the salt and sugar crystals have completely dissolved. Be sure the pork is almost fully immersed in the brine (add water to cover). Cover and refrigerate for no more than 12 hours.

Reserve brine liquid.

Apply the rub liberally to the pork, massaging it in. Put the pork directly on your grill grate, fat-side up, and cook for 3.5 hours at 225 degrees, mopping or spraying with your reserved brine every hour after the first hour.

Transfer your roast to a large disposable aluminum foil pan and pour about 1 cup of the reserved brine liquid in the bottom of the pan. Increase your grill temperature to 250 degrees F, tent loosely with foil and cook for 4 additional hours, or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat (but not touching bone) registers 195 to 200 degrees.

Remove roast, let rest for at least 20 minutes. Pour the juices from the bottom of the pan into a liquid measuring cup and separate any fat that rises to the top. Now it’s time to pull the pork into lovely shreds. You can use your hands, or whatever method you like. Season the pulled pork with additional rub (if desired) and moisten with the reserved pork juice. Serve on buns with BBQ sauce, if you like!

For more information on entering a BBQ team, visit or call 274-8111.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User