If you love BBQ and the smell of meats grilling and smoking on the old grill then the 2023 New Jersey State Barbecue Championship should be a priority destination.

The big event will be held July 14-16, 2023 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 and the Grand Champion of the New Jersey State Championship and the winner will get a spot in the invitation-only American Royale barbecue championship in Kansas City. This is the Super Bowl of BBQ

Some of the teams work year-round in preparing for this event. I have been fortunate to do my show from the Championship for a few years. I was blown away by the efforts, smell but most of all taste of some of the best BBQ that you’ll ever have. It really is a great event.

The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship is organized and run by the fine people at the Anglesea Fire Department and the proceeds from the three-day event go to the Anglesea Fire Department. They run this event with outstanding organization and have developed the event into a national status BBQ festival.

The event isn’t just about the BBQ, your family would enjoy some great live blues music, games, fun and plenty of the best food for the whole family. Speaking of food, most of the competitors have kiosks to sell their prize-winning BBQ along with their barbecue sauces and rubs which is absolutely worth the trip from anywhere in New Jersey.

This was by far one of my favorite appearances because the people are great and the competitors and organizers, particularly the Angle Sea Fire Company, 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 barbecue at each of

those fine locales. However, I truly believe that right here in New Jersey we have the best barbecue.

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 he 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.


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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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