BBQ Community Unites on the Ice
by Ross Bowen, Tastemaker in Residence
Sub-zero temperatures could not keep the Minnesota BBQ Community from joining together for the first midwest BBQ competition of 2015. “Fire on Ice” is the world’s only competition BBQ held on a frozen lake, in Isle, MN on Mille Lacs. Tony Korthaus of Quetopia BBQ Supply in Minnetonka put together the contest for its seventh iteration.
Being from the South, I was somewhat concerned about driving my truck and BBQ rig onto a lake. The ice was reputed to be three feet thick, but when the Two Little Pigs BBQ team arrived, we were far from the first on the lake, which emboldened me. Nary an ice crack was heard as we set up at our rented ice-fishing house.
Old friends were reunited for the first time since last fall. Moods were good, since despite the cold, the sun brightened the day and there was little wind. Like all BBQ contests, we cooked chicken, ribs, and pork. Instead of brisket, we cooked Beef Tri-Tip, and there was even an “Anything Alcohol” category, won by some type of Smore’s cocktail.
The crowd gathered around the outdoor bar after sunset. Shots of Fireball Whiskey were the preferred drink, and reputedly six two-liter bottles were finished! The highlight occurred when Tonia from the Rub My Rack BBQ team performed her “Fire Dance”, a belly dance enhanced with flaming sticks!
In the end our Two Little Pigs team trophied in Ribs and Pork, but suffered a chicken disaster and disappointed in Tri-Tip. Eggspert BBQ won the contest, and will advance to the World Food Championships in Orlando in October! We will be cheering them on!