KCBS lands in
The first ever KCBS competition to be held in Finland proves that competition BBQ is taking over the world! Most exciting was that the competition featured not just one, but two great friends of Smoking Hot Confessions – Johannes Leppihalme from Arctic BBQ and Byron Chism from Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. Whilst it may have been the first BBQ competition in Finland, it was so successful that it definitely won’t be the last!
KCBS lands in Finland - A First in the Arctic Circle
The first KCBS competition to be held in Finland was called ‘BBQ Battle Finland‘ and was the brain child of raving mad BBQ fans, the Smoking Finns. From the second it was announced, it grabbed the attention of fellow Finnish BBQ Fans, including the aforementioned Johannes as well other BBQ fiends with team names such as Kamado Madness BBQ, Broken Ribs BBQ, Northern Light BBQ, and of course, the Hot Scandinavian BBQ Boys. With a total of 23 teams, it rivalled many Australian competitions for size and with a population of just 5.6 million, it could be said that the passion for BBQ burns even hotter than here!
KCBS lands in Finland - International Guests
Not only was the competition a huge draw for all the BBQ nuts in Finland, it also drew a huge BBQ nut from the U. S. of A. And that BBQ nut was Byron Chism of Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. Byron is now in his 3rd decade of competition BBQ and was no doubt sharing his knowledge with all the meat-mad Finns.
I actually met Byron when I was in Louisiana, USA for the Hammond BBQ Challenge and you can see our interview in this video. And in a huge coincidence, Byron ended up being neighbours with Johannes and his team Kamado Madness BBQ. Johannes is a fellow BBQ blogger and I’ve been chatting online with him for almost two years now. The world is a funny place sometimes! (Check out Johannes BBQ blog over here if you like the sound of low’n’slow bear and moose!)
KCBS lands in Finland - Creative Categories
As you probably know, KCBS is very strict about their categories. All KCBS competitions run just four categories: brisket, pork, pork ribs and chicken. However, that was never going to cut it in a land that thrives on smoked bear and roast moose and so two ancillary categories were added. The first translates loosely to ‘Open, Freestyle Meat’. Our friend Johannes achieved a very impressive 2nd place with mozzarella stuffed meat balls, and potato chips deep fried in Wagyu fat, reserved from their brisket hand in. Johannes told me that while his presentation scores were low, his taste scores were outstanding, besting several very well known Finnish chefs!
The second ancillary category was actually quite brave for a BBQ competition – ‘Open, Freestyle Vegetarian’. I must admit I have to admire the courage to put on such a controversial category. Could this be an early signal of the next trend in BBQ?
KCBS lands in Finland - Winners are Grinners!
As with all competitions, there are winners and learners. In the case of this competition I want to extend my congratulations to Reserve Grand Champion winners Broken Ribs BBQ, and Grand Champion winners Rokende Regahs. I also want to give a huge shoutout to both Johannes’ Kamado Madness BBQ and Byron’s ButtRub.com who both had a Top Ten finish, coming in 7th and 6th place respectively.
The real winners however, would have to be the wider Finnish BBQ Community. No doubt the BBQ Battle Finland will be just the first of many based on the success of this event. I look forward to heading to Finland in the near future to see some smoked bear and roast moose for myself!