Purchase photos

Wichita team smokes competition

7/23/2012

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

This was the first time John Patty entered in Hays' Blues, BBQ and Bargains barbecue contest.

His team, JP Custom Smoke, came away as the overall grand champion in the fourth annual event, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

Patty, from Wichita, was announced the winner Saturday after two days of barbecuing in 100-degree heat.

"It's hot, but I guess the next six, eight weeks are going to be hot," Patty said. "But we're going to keep chasing away, see how we end up at the end of the year."

Patty has been barbecuing in sanctioned contests for nine years now.

"We got hooked," Patty said. "I custom-built my own smokers.

"Saw a lot of guys out here with big stuff, told my wife I was looking to start chasing them. We're still chasing them."

These days, Patty and his wife, Tina, sometimes are the ones being chased. In addition to being selected overall grand champion among 37 entries Saturday, JP Custom Smoke also won the ribs category and was reserve champion in pork.

"We got our own rub on the market, which we use on pork and ribs," Patty said of his team's secret for success.

Patty has his own website, jpcustomsmoke.com, where the rub can be purchased.

"We're just getting started, but everything's going good," he said.

Patty's team won Saturday, but next weekend it could be someone else; that's the rub.

"You never know in the barbecue business," Patty said. "You get beat up every day, or get lucky like we did (Saturday), win another one."

Patty's team has been grand champion (either overall or in a category) four times this summer, despite a limited schedule. The overall reserve champion during the weekend was Smokeaholics. The grand champion in the chicken category was Grauer's Hog Wash BBQ, while Smokeaholics took the pork category and Butcher BBQ was first in brisket.

Patty said he enjoyed his first time at Hays' barbecue contest.

"We've had good friends out here the previous years, said it was a good contest," he said. "So we thought we would come out and give it a shot.

"Enjoyed the people, everything was great."

Next up for Patty is a barbecue contest this weekend in Dodge City. The highlight of the year is the 33rd annual American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City, Mo., in October.

"We got our spot," Tina Patty said. "We're ready to go."