Labor day is quickly approaching. That means many Americans will be busting out their grills for one last cook-off before summer quickly comes to a close. For me, this summer has been filled with BBQ smoke. I spent weeks perfecting my recipes and methods before competing in an amateur barbecue cook-off. Cooking everything from pork belly burnt ends to chicken lollipops. But, it wasn't easy. I ran into a ton of obstacles along the way. Everything from my smoker not getting to the temperature I needed, to complete breakdowns of equipment. I can see why cooking competitions can be so competitive. There is so much that can go wrong. But, with enough perseverance you can come out on top. In the end I came in 2nd place. Losing by just one vote.

I cant even imagine competing on the national stage of BBQ cook offs. Missoula pit master Tom Moua is no stranger to professional cook offs. The owner of Montana Q Bar-B-Cue has been competing in national BBQ competitions for years.

According to NBC Montana

Tom has won and placed high in contests for his ribs and distinctive sauce in contests all over the country.

But the Nugget's 'Best in the West Rib Cookoff" trophies for 2018 and 2019 are standouts.

They are huge.

"This (the cookoff) is pretty much the World Series of BBQ for vending," said Tom. "I am very competitive."

The upcoming cook-off in Sparks, Nevada is not only about pleasing the judges. The Nugget's cook-off is all about feeding everyone. Tom will have to not only cook award winning ribs for a few people, but for thousands on people. But, Tom is confident that he will defend his title again, this upcoming Labor Day weekend.


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