Kicking Off the Block Party
17 pit masters and the event leaders pause to celebrate 10 years of good smoke.
The Ceremonial Rib-bon Cutting
Blue Smoke's Kenny Callaghan signals the start of the Block Party with the annual cutting of the ribs.
17th St. Bar and Grill's Baby Back Ribs
The ribs that made Mike Mills famous were spot-on, with a perfect balance of spices and a distinctively woody and porky flavor that made every bite memorable.
Baby Back Ribs from Pappy's Smokehouse
Pappy's stepped up its game from last year, delivering well-smoked ribs with a tasty brown-sugar-and-black-pepper bark.
Baby Back Ribs from Rack and Soul
Rack and Soul's ribs, which won our 2011 blind taste test for pork ribs in Manhattan, paled slightly in comparison to the other baby backs. Still a solid choice if you need your rib fix in the city.
Baker's Spare Ribs
Baker's spares, given a forceful char on the grill, had an especially crunchy and smoky bark.
Spare Ribs from The Checkered Pig
These St. Louis cut ribs were exemplary, hitting every note without going overboard on any flavor or texture. We're always happy to rely on these for a good spare rib session.
The Racks at Pappy's
Pappy's broke out the blowtorch this year to give the bark on their ribs an extra bit of heft before service.
Blue Smoke's Salt and Pepper Beef Ribs
Rich, intensely flavorful, and served in perfect portions, this is some of the best work Kenny Callaghan and the Blue Smoke crew does with barbecue.
Martin's Preps a Hog
The boys at Martin's BBQ finish the butterfly job on a whole hog, providing a free demonstration in serious 'cue for onlookers on line for a Martin's sandwich.
Martin's Whole Hog Sandwiches
You probably should've been there.
Ed Mitchell's Whole Hog Sandwich
As good as it's ever been, Mitchell's whole hog is a love letter from eastern North Carolina.
Chopping smoked turkey at Ed Mitchell's
A member of Team Ed takes the cleavers to a batch of smoked turkey.
Cracklin' by Team Ed
After pulling the skin from their hogs, the cooks on Team Ed throw them back onto the smoker at a higher temperature to turn them into cracklin'.
It's All Wood at Scott's
A member of Rodney Scott's pit crew shovels 100% wood coals from chimney to smoker.
Rodney Scott's Whole Hog
Doused liberally with a strong pepper-and-vinegar sauce and paired with homemade pork rinds, this plate was not for the faint of heart.
Spot That BBQ Celebrity!
The dude on the right is Sam Jones, heir to the Skylight Inn, a historic smoke joint in Ayden, North Carolina. A fellow whole hog loyalist, he joined Rodney Scott's team for the weekend.
A Very Large Bucket of Pork Rinds
Whole Hog by Mike Mills
The Barbecue Bureau and the lucky contest winners got a chance to taste some of Mike Mills' private reserve.
John Stage Spends Quality Time With His Pork
This man can mop.
Dinosaur BBQ's Pork Shoulders on the Grill
The extra treatment went a long way...
Dinosaur BBQ's Pork Shoulder Sandwich
...to our stomachs. God Bless Dinosaur.
Chris Lilly at Work
Chopping Big Bob Gibson's legendary pork shoulder.
Big Bob Gibson's Pork Sandwich
The apex of pork shoulder barbecue.
Blackjack Barbecue's Pork Shoulder Sandwich
(Just in case you weren't hungry enough).
Ubon's Pulled Pork Sandwich
Yes, you are still looking at photos of pork! Best slideshow ever?
Ubon's and Jubon's, united
The Jubon's crew has joined the Ubon's family as co-owners of Ubon's Barbecue Sauce. Hospitality ensues wherever these four show up.
A New Yorker and a Texan Walk into a Barbecue Festival...
Our man Ed Levine stops noshing to have a friendly word with Scott Roberts, owner of The Salt Lick.
Brisket and Sausage Combo at The Salt Lick
This sausage was seriously good: perfect snap, perfect texture, and perfect flavor. When asked about the meat mixture in his links, Roberts responded, "I could make a sausage that's all beef. I could also make a sausage that tastes better."
Jim n' Nick's Smoked Sausage
This combo of sausage and pimento cheese is always a crowd pleaser.
Pulled Brisket From Jack's Old South
As with last year's offering, the texture of Myron Mixon's brisket was wonderful, but it left us wanting for flavor.
Hill Country's Brisket
It spares not smoke, nor salt, nor fat. The "lean" slices were so moist that they might have been dipped into the drippings before being served.
Blueberry Cobbler a la Mode from Blue Smoke Bake Shop
These cobblers were our dessert highlight.