Pot Bellie Cookers Give Behind-the-Scenes Look Into Barbeque Contest

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The grill gloves are coming off at Tom Lee Park to figure out the best of barbeque!

The Pot Bellie Cookers Memphis Barbeque Team joined “Wake Up Memphis” Friday morning on day three of the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

“I think everyone was excited that it was back down at Tom Lee Park. This is where this festival should always be,” Shannon Velloff told KWAM

The last time the cooking contest happened at the downtown park was in 2019 due to its $60 million dollar face-lift, which made the home of Memphis in May 60 percent smaller.

“I’m not gonna lie, it has been a big challenge with the way everything has been laid out,” Velloff said, explaining how much equipment it requires to get a team on the road. “I think we can overcome those challenges going forward. There’s always hiccups in the beginning when you change something.”

The contestant said planning for Memphis in May is a year-long project and smoking the pork during the festival is an around-the-clock task.

“We’ve had our overnight guys stay for the night because they have to man the grills…but all I can say is what happens in the tent stays in the tent,” she joked.

Saturday marks the final day of the competition. Here is the schedule: 

  • Judging Day!
  • Gates Open: 10:00 a.m.
  • Park Closes: 10:00 p.m.
  • BBQ Alley with Big Green Egg and Friends: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • Home Depot Demo: 12:00 p.m. – Breeo
  • Grill Mates Demo: 1:00 p.m. – Sweet Jalapeño Grilled Chicken Breast (samples available)
  • Home Depot Demo: 1:00 p.m. – Doug Scheiding – Traeger
  • Home Depot Demo: 2:00 p.m. – Jason Pruitt – Weber
  • Home Depot Demo: 3:00 p.m. – Bama Grill Master – Jealous Devil
  • Grill Mates Demo: 4:00 p.m. – Montreal Steak Tri-Tip Flatbread (samples available)
  • Home Depot Demo: 4:00 p.m. – Twisted Oliver – Royal Oak
  • Awards Ceremony – Grand Champion and Ribs, Whole Hog, Shoulder: 6:30 p.m.
  • Featured Entertainment after awards, times are approximate:
    • Nolan Taylor: 8:00 p.m.
    • Dale Watson: 9:15 p.m.

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