Local couple competing against barbecue cooks from around the world

Buddy and Cheryl Schneider qualified for the 24th Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn., on Oct. 27. The following week, they’re packing up their supplies, including a Backwoods Smoker, and heading to the World Food Championships in Las Vegas.

The Schneiders began barbecuing competitively about a decade ago when Buddy began helping a neighbor’s team. In 2005, the couple formed their own team, Getta Que. Now, they compete at several competitions in the tri-state area.

Competitive barbecuing is a multi-day, social event. Usually, the couple packs and drives to the competition site on Thursdays. For competitions, the couple brings camping supplies, cooking supplies, including a smoker, as well as the meats, sauces and seasonings.

“Everything has to be cooked on site,” Buddy said.

Usually Thursdays are spent setting up their site and socializing with friends and fellow competitors.

On Friday during a competition, the meat is inspected by the judges.

“You can trim your meat at home, but you can’t treat your meat at home,” Cheryl said.

After inspection, the meat is prepared for cooking. The couple has four different sauces and six different rubs that they use for the meat. Late Friday night, the meat is put in the smoker. Those meats usually cook for 10-12 hours. On Saturday, the meat is presented to the judges.

Over the years, the couple has tweaked their secret recipes and taken a few classes.

“You make gradual changes (to recipes) as the year goes on,” Buddy said.

For instance, earlier this year, their brisket wasn’t doing as well in competition as they’d like. They added a little more salt and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and the brisket began placing higher in competition.

After the competition, the meat is sometimes eaten on site; sometimes it is brought home and shared with co-workers. Buddy is a software engineer for SAIC, and Cheryl works as a pharmacist at K-Mart.

Qualifying for the Jack Daniel’s World Championship required award-winning cooking and a little luck. The team won the Madison Ribberfest in Indiana that featured 60 teams. That competition was one of eight qualifying competitions in Indiana. From the eight winners, a team was randomly chosen.

This will be the first time that Scheiders have attended the Jack Daniel’s competition. The couple will be competing against a 68 champion teams from across the United States and 20 international teams representing Aruba, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico and Switzerland.

After returning from Tennessee, the couple plans to head west for the World Food Championships where they will compete against about 100 other teams.

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