14th Annual Ozark Hawg BBQ State Championship - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Batesville, AR

14th Annual Ozark Hawg BBQ State Championship

It's no secret, bar-b-que is big business in the south and today's competition was smokin' at the 14th annual Ozark Hawg BBQ state championship in Batesville.

((Dr. Paul Hance/Judging Chair: We've got a lot of champion teams out there, the competition is very hot, but not heated!))

Today's cookoff raised more than $10,000 for the Batesville Kiwanis Club.

Cookers from 7 states served up what they thought was the best, but it was ultimately up to the judges to make that decision.

((Dr. Paul Hance/Judging Chair: You have to be open to constructive criticism, because your product is being judged, you have to have a competative streak....and most certainly because it's a team effort, you have to be able to play well with others.))

((Heather Flanigan: Now, judging all of this BBQ is no easy task. Judges come in from as far away as Washington, D.C. to make the tough decision to decide who will become the next Arkansas grand champion.))

((Carolyn Moffatt/Certified BBQ Judge: Everybody may have individual taste, so what I might like, the next judge might not like as well. However you do have certain things you judge on like the tenderness or appearance, you know your pretty stated on those, but taste is something that is individual.))

Jonesboro's own top deck grillers said it was definitely a learning experience.

((Anthony Ditta/Top Deck Grillers: This is our first competition, and it was a real learning experience that's for sure. We showed up here kind of blindsided on this thing, not really knowing what's going on. A lot of good cooks out here that helped us a whole lot on this stuff.))

The group stayed up all night cooking and made their presentation this afternoon.

((Anthony Ditta/Top Deck Grillers: You stand out here all night keeping your grill going, you got to keep your grill at a set temperature, keep your meat going, if your mopping or basting or rubbing, what ever your doing, you got to keep all that moving.))

((Heather Flanigan: So what's the secret to good BBQ?))

((Anthony Ditta/Top Deck Grillers: We don't know yet! We got to find out, some of these other people out here know!))

What ever the secret is, it's pretty good.... in Batesville, with Photojournalist J.R. Hargan, I'm Heather Flanigan for K8 news.

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