The American Royal World Series of Barbecue – 2018

The American Royal World Series of Barbecue®, the premier barbecue contest on the planet, took place at the Kansas City speedway in September this year.


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The American Royal World Series of Barbecue®, the premier barbecue contest on the planet, took place at the Kansas City speedway in September this year. Originating in 1980 the event rapidly grew in popularity to where this year, hundreds of teams from all over the world travelled to the Royal to compete and show off their mastery of all things ‘low and slow’ smoking. Qualifying for the ‘Invitational’ saw you pitted against 184 other world class teams, and the ‘open’, against 466 of the best teams on the planet.

Testing their metal this year was the Australian team, Barbecue Mafia, who qualified after winning the 2017 Australasian BBQ Wars. Armed with three Weber Smokey Mountain Cookers™ (57cm), Australian Weber barbecue briquettes, Weber smoking woods and their own rubs and sauces, they set out to put on a show, and a show they delivered. Andrew from Barbecue Mafia discusses exactly what went down at the World Series of Barbecue here.

“One year to the weekend from when we won the 2017 Australasian BBQ Wars, Barbecue Mafia descended upon Kansas City for the American Royal ‘World Series Of Barbecue’.

We had qualified for the ‘Invitational’ contested by 185 teams from all over the US and World, The Best of The Best. We were also contesting the ‘Open’ which was 467 of the best teams on Earth.

Two Competitions back to back, 8 hand in boxes in 24 hours, a real war of attrition. Thanks to the Amazing Team at Weber Australia, we arrived to 3 Brand New ‘Smokey Mountain 22s’ the King of Bullet Smokers.

Australian Hardwood Briquettes (First time used at a BBQ comp in the US) was our fuel of choice. We set the smokers up using the ‘Minion’ Method, raw briquettes in the bottom basket (under half a bag’s worth) leaving a hole in the middle for 3/4 chimney of lit briquettes. Two nice sized pucks or chunks of Weber branded Pecan and Cherry wood and we were ready to rock n roll.

Once lit, our smokers were at 250f in about 10 minutes and then sat between 250f and 275f for the entirety of the cook. Absolutely amazing yield from the Aussie Briquettes and they burn nice and clean too.

We only filled the water pan with 2 litres of cold water initially and topped up along the cook.

Our Beef Brisket and Pork Shoulder both took only 6 hours to smoke and Pork Ribs were done in 3.5 hrs. We smoked our Chicken thighs in about a hour. You hear so much about the UDS Style cookers being quick but the WSM is very much in the same league. Yes you can run cooler at 225f for a longer cook but 250f-275f seemed to be the sweet spot.

The contest was on concrete in the centre of the Kansas City Speedway in temperatures topping 33 degrees Celsius. These Weber smokers didn’t miss a beat. We were lucky enough to finish 5th in Beef Brisket in the Invitational Contest and 7th in Beef Brisket in the Open Contest.

We used Weber Smokey Mountains, Australian BBQ Briquettes, Weber Cherry & Pecan chunks, our own Barbecue Mafia Steakout and La Familia rubs plus our Mafia Mobster BBQ Sauce.

Thanks so much to Weber Australia for their support, we certainly turned some heads with our results.”

An incredible result all in all for the Barbecue Mafia team, congratulations to all!

If you’ve ever considered exploring ‘low and slow’ smoking and what it’s all about, the entire range of Weber barbecue products, fuels and smoking woods, accessories and thermometers, as well as expertise advice, can all be found at your nearest Weber Specialist Dealer or Weber Store!