The weather may be cooling off, but the competition is heating up in Raleigh where the best Whole Hog Barbecue cook teams will compete this weekend for the right to be called state champion. The cooks have qualified to compete by winning a local North Carolina Pork Council-sanctioned competition since the last championship in 2019. Last year’s event didn’t take place due to the pandemic.
Certified judges evaluate the finished pig following stringent rules based on overall appearance, color, skin crispness, taste and completeness of presentation. The pigs cannot be sauced or seasoned prior to judging. During the blind judging portion of the event, cooks will have the opportunity to present a finished product to a second panel of judges who will rate the meat on taste, tenderness and appearance. A small panel of non-certified judges have been selected to select the People’s Choice winners. A sauce award and a crispy skin award will also be presented to the top cooks in those categories.
Competing from Goldsboro for the title are: John Kearney, Jason Baker, Jeffrey Parkhurst, and John Kantenwein.
The championship this year is not a public event. All the cooked barbecue will be donated to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to be used in local feeding programs.
The N.C. Pork Council has organized and sanctioned the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship since 1985 as the culmination of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series local competitions statewide. The barbecue series raises more than $114,000 each year for select local charities. The Whole Hog Barbecue Series and championship is one of the ways the N.C. Pork Council supports local communities and events throughout our region. To learn more about the Whole Hog Barbecue Series, visit wholehogbarbecue.com or follow the series on Facebook and Instagram @wholehogbarbecue.