Chamber BBQ Cookoff Brings in Over 100 Teams

More than 100 teams gathered at the Chamber Barbecue Cookoff to compete for the title of the best barbeque in Amarillo.

The teams started cooking as early as 4 a.m. this morning for their chance to impress the judges and the public.

The contestants were divided into three divisions, professional, corporate, or amateur. They then could compete in the brisket, ribs or other meats category.

"We look for a smokey flavor, we look for overall appearance, tenderness. All those things come into play when we're looking at the ribs and brisket," said Pam Matheson, head judge.

Each team brought back eight pieces of their meat in sealed containers for the judges. None of the containers were labeled by names, just a number. From there, it was all in the hands of the volunteer judges.

Tyler's Barbecue is no stranger to cookoffs and events, but it was their first time this year at the Chamber BBQ.

"There's no guarentees that anybody's going to get anything but you know, I try to put out great food everyday. And I'm just going to continue doing the regular thing that I do everyday," said Tyler Frazer, owner of Tyler's Barbecue.

What was the big prize for the winners? They got a plaque and bragging rights. The teams were in mainly in it to benefit the community and for the fun.

"There's a lot of them that come out here that never expect to win anything. They're here to have fun. They're here to give back to the community, cook some food and celebrate," said Penni Bentley, senior director of communication for the chamber of commerce.