Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown Continues to be a Tasty Delight for Rocky Mount

bbq throwdown rocky mount nc championsIf you’re from the South, barbecue is a part of your heritage as much as church potlucks and sweet tea. In October, Rocky Mount held one of its most popular annual events: the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown. The event, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, included over 50 cooking teams and 60 certified judges, drawing thousands of participants and spectators, according to the Rocky Mount Telegram.

While participants came from all over the country, this year Tar Heels netted the grand prize. Muttley Crew BBQ of Apex earned the grand prize of $5,000. The overall reserved grand champion was the Smokehouse Bandits, who hailed from Durham. 

The People’s Choice Award went to Stem and JQ, of Durham.  In order to cast a ballot for the People’s Choice Award, attendees had to buy “BBQ Bucks.” All proceeds from the sales went to the Special Olympics.

The Top Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown Winners


Following are the top three spots in different divisions. For a complete list of winners, visit the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown webpage.

Overall Winners:

bbq throwdown rocky mount nc winners

Grand Champion - Muttley Crew BBQ

Reserve Grand Champion - The Smokehouse Bandits

3rd - The Smokehouse Mafia


2017 Chicken Winners: 

1st - Muttley Crew BBQ

2nd - Sauced! BBQ

3rd - Who Cares BBQ


2017 Pork Rib Winners:

1st - Muttley Crew BBQ

2nd - North Meets South BBQ

3rd - The Smokehouse Bandits


2017 Pork Winners:

1st - The Smokehouse Mafia

2nd - The Smokehouse Bandits

3rd - North Meets South BBQ


2017 Brisket Winners:

1st - Old Virginia Smoke

2nd - Grate Smoke

3rd - Prime Barbeque


2017 People’s Choice

1st - JQ

2nd - Suppertime BBQ

3rd - Sauced! BBQ


bbq throwdown rocky mount nc winnerThis year also featured a new addition to the event. The Hogs & Hot Rods Cruise-In gave classic car enthusiasts something to smile about. 

So….which is best: Eastern NC barbecue or its Western NC cousin?

We’re not touching this one! 

The barbecue debate in North Carolina is a spirited, healthy rivalry. However, if you trace the roots of barbecue, you’ll find that Eastern North Carolina’s version is closer to the original dish discovered by Spanish settlers in the Caribbean in the 1500s. 

Well, when we say closer to the original dish, we don’t mean THAT close…the original barbecue featured alligator meat with lemons and red peppers. It wasn’t until the Spanish introduced pork to the area that “modern” barbecue started to develop. This recipe was brought to the South by 19th-century slaves and Hatian refugees.

Want to know more? Check out our previous article, Rocky Mount, NC: Where Barbecue is a Tasty Tradition.
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