The Black Iron Bar-B-Que group based from The Telegraph region won the Grand Champion and Kingsford Challenge honor recently in Murphysboro, Ill., and are headed for a chance to compete for a national title.
The group, which consists of local men Rob Honke, Jeremy Wrigley and Billy Stork, won the $1,000 Kansas City Barbecue Society Grand Champion prize, placed third in the pork shoulder category and won $1,000 for the Kingsford Challenge. The Black Iron men beat Gilly’s BBQ by a slim margin in Murphysboro. Gilly’s was crowned KCBS Reserve Grand Champion.
“The key to cooking good barbecue is being consistent,” Honke said. “We all have different jobs, but we all love cooking barbecue. Winning this championship was our finest hour. We enjoy getting out there and being a part of the barbecue community.”
This win at Murphysboro makes the Black Iron Bar-B-Que group eligible to compete in both the American Royal Invitational in Kansas City, Mo., next year and an automatic qualifier for the World Food Championship in Las Vegas in November.
Honke said the local barbecue group had a humble beginning and didn’t do too well in its first contest, but they kept working and learning from the different competitions before they developed a recipe that would work.
“You get to know most of the community of barbecue competitors when you take part in the events,” Honke said. “People know your names and you are happy for your friends when they win. It is just a big community – like a big