A bunch of bikers decided to turn their goal toward being successful with another kind of “Chopper.”
As a result the Warren County Pork Choppers was formed to compete with the best of the best barbecuers from across the U.S.
Their first stop this season is in Little Rock, AR, March 19-20 for the Smoke on the Water sponsored USA Barbecue Championship.
Considered the world’s richest contest with a guaranteed purse of $100,000, the Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned USA Barbecue Champion’s purse of $20,000 is the largest on the competition circuit.
The Pork Choppers decided to go hell bent for leather when they committed to becoming BBQ competitors. As the local newspaper reported…
These bikers turned barbecuers are revving up to hit the road for an Arkansas cook-off contest with $100,000 in prize money at stake. That is serious cash, but then competition barbecue is a serious endeavor, according to lead Pork Chopper Donny Bray, a Bowling Green electrical contractor by day, pitmaster extraordinaire by night.
The Pork Choppers got into competition barbecue almost a year ago, novices still by some standards. But they didn’t go about it timidly. They jumped from the frying pan into the fire pit, picking up some pretty impressive prizes so far, Bray said.
The USA Barbecue Championship will be featured on the hot new barbecue show “BBQ Pitmasters” on the TLC cable network, will be the true test.
The Brays live north of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and refer to the homestead as “barbecue central” The recently added a new trophy room and test kitchen.
There are six members of the Pork Chopper team, including Tracy Bray, pit assistant, and her brother, Jeff Nicholas, who said he provides “the moral and beer support.”
“Donny is proudest of his brisket because it is the hardest to cook,” Nicholas said. “His specialty is probably chicken because that is what has won the most, but the ribs are killer. He’s got barbecue down, no question.”
“This is the most fun you can have,” said Donny Bray. “It’s a weekend party with the best group of people, concert and food. I’d go every weekend if I could.”
Even as novices, the Warren County Pork Choppers are quick learners. First by prying information out of other BBQ fanatics – some who give it up easy and some who might not.
In their first competition, they placed last, their progress has been steadily upward, culminating with some wins.
“Heat, sweet and salty with an edge to get your attention,” is the way Bray describes the chicken, which melts in your mouth and leaves a little zing.
The Warren County Choppers compete in four meat categories: pork shoulder, chicken, ribs and beef brisket.