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Naptown barBAYq Grand Champion

3EYZ BBQ cooks up big money

Jason McNew of 3EYZ BBQ smoked up $3,600 in prize money as the Grand Champion at the Fourth Annual Naptown barBAYq.

Is Owings Mills a hometown team for us in Anne Arundel or Calvert ­County? With the 58 other competing teams from all over the Eastern United States, Owings Mills is the hometown favorite. That team, 3 EYZ BBQ took home the Grand Champion prize of $2,500 at the Parole Rotary Club’s Naptown barBAYq festival.
    Many hours before any guests arrived to enjoy the festival, the 59 cooking teams were hard at work perfecting their meat. Teams typically arrive the afternoon of the day before the judging so they have time to set up their equipment and start the slow cooking that typifies barbeque.
    The next morning, as the first festival-goers poured through the gates, the team leaders delivered their morsels to the judging tent. As everyone else was enjoying the beautiful day and the music, Kansas City Barbeque Society-certified judges were tasting and scoring all the samples. Judging is done under strict KCBS rules. Along with other requirements, the judging is double blind, meaning judges have no idea which team has submitted the samples they are tasting. Nor do teams know which judges have sampled their cooking.
    In addition to the Grand Champion prize, the 3 EYZ team garnered another $1,100 for placing second in chicken, fourth in pork and first in the brisket category. 3 EYZ’s showing in the fourth category, ribs, was not as good (28th out of a field of 59), but the total score brought the team to the top. For an overnight trip from Owings Mills, $3,600 in prize money is not bad.
    Most teams don’t do so well. Que and a Half Men came 450 miles from Rockland, Massachusetts, to place fifth overall, but earned only $400 in prize money. The typical team spends about $1,000 for gas, meat and other expenses to compete in the event and takes home nothing but the good memories.
    The weekend after barBAYq, 3 EYZ is off to Fredericksburg, Virginia, for the BBQ Jamboree, one of 20-some contests on the team’s 2014 calendar. 3 EYZ will haul the team rig as far as Georgia and compete as far away as California, flying out and borrowing equipment from a local team.