By Lorrie Warfield
You might see some of the competitions on TV, teams hurrying to “plate” their dishes. For George Hensler it all began with a trip to the Bel Air BBQ Bash a couple years ago. He was attending the competition as a spectator and decided that competitive barbequing looked like it might be a good deal of fun. The team started out pretty innocently as a bunch of friends barbequing in the back yard but quickly turned into a full fledged BBQ team. When beginning competitive barbequing the team had to rely on the assistance of other teams to point them in the right directions as there was no printed information widely available at the time. Luckily although the barbequing is competitive most teams were willing to take a new team under their wing and show them the ropes. Their team out of Street, Md named “Who Are Those Guys?”, began competing under the Kansas City BBQ Society. The society lays out some of the ground rules for competition including; the types of barbequing meats, the double blind judging method, and contest rules.
When beginning to barbeque competitively George Hensler searched for information on how to begin the team. He was unable to find any books to help so once the team got started he decided to write his book “Startin’ the Fire”. This book is an absolute necessity to anyone considering starting a BBQ team or someone just wanting to know more about BBQ teams. There are chapters including; building your team, selecting a cooker, and how to handle your first contest. There are also a wealth of stories intermingled into the text of events that have occurred. At the end of the book there is a glossary of BBQ terms so that even a newbie can understand what is being said. The book is available at Amazon.com along with other book retailers, including www.startinthefire.com. “Startin’ The Fire” will also be available at a book signing event at Barnes and Noble in Bel Air, Md on June 12th. You can also find George Hensler and the rest of the “Who Are Those Guys” at www.thenewguys.blogspot.com/ or on their Facebook page. George also writes for a number of BBQ related publications including; National BBQ News and Smoke Signals. This year “Who Are Those Guy’s” will be at the competitions including; Bel Air BBQ Bash on August 13th & 14th and Salisbury, Md April 16th & 17th so come down and cheer this local team on.
There are many ways to get involved in barbequing . You can become a judge through classes that are available throughout the year at various locations. You can be a contestant in the competitions and compete locally or travel the country. Or you can just be a spectator and enjoy the wonderful smells and flavors.