The Gold Ribbin’ BBQ Fest of Greater Green Bay was held at the Brown County Fairgrounds and featured a barbecue competition, BBQ food truck vendors, eating competitions, live music and more. This post was sponsored by Smithfield, Walmart and the National Pork Board. As always, all recipes, ideas and content are my own.
This past weekend, Marc and I attended Green Bay’s Gold Ribbin’ BBQ Fest. It’s a huge barbecue festival and competition that’s held at the Brown County Fairgrounds each year. For some reason, we had never gone to the event before, but now that I’ve experienced it, I think it’s going to be an annual thing for us. There was so much to do, see and, of course, eat.
We decided since it was all about eating, that we should arrive at lunch time and eat our way through the festival. There wereBBQ food trucks from all over the state serving their pork specialties, from pulled pork sandwiches to BBQ nachos and everything else in between. So we picked a few trucks and shared all differentBBQ dishes and sides – because you can’t have a good BBQ meal without all the fixin’s. My favorite side, by far, is cornbread, but the coleslaw and potato salad were pretty impressive, too.
We saw demonstrations from pit master, Darren Warth, and we sampled St. Louis style ribs from Smithfield, which were prepared by Founding Fathers BBQ from Kaukauna, Wisconsin. We also watched some truly brave people compete in pie and rib eating contest. But, nothing compared to the samples we tried when we stopped by to visit with the BBQ competitors. We tasted bites of competition entries from the best of the best that this country has to offer. It was so inspiring to see all the dedication and hard work that goes into creating an award winning entry. And it was so cool to get to know the competitors themselves. They are truly great people.
Of course, we had to ask for some cooking advice from the real experts, and we got so many great tips. They all spoke about how much they love cooking pork, and how easy it is to cook. But, the theme of the day seemed to be clear. “Don’t overcook your pork.” or “Invest in an accurate meat thermometer.” came from each and every person we spoke to. 145˚F – 160˚F followed by a three-minute rest (I always aim for 145˚F unless I’m using ground pork. The National Pork Board recommends to cook ground pork to an internal temperature of 160˚F). This is something I already live by, but it’s so great to hear it from the best pit masters in the country.
I left feeling so inspired by all the amazing barbecue we experienced while we were at the bbq fest, and I came home determined to show you have easy it is to grill delicious pork at home. I even decided to try a completely new cut of meat at home – pork ribs. They were something that I had long been intimidated by, but, with the smell of hickory smoke still in my nose, I went to Walmart to get some of Smithfield’s hand-trimmed, extra-juicy baby back ribs. The result was nothing short of extraordinary, and I can’t wait to share the pork recipe with you next week.