Smoking the competition: Teams compete in Best Barbecue Butt in Helena contest

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Anyone near the Helena Amphitheater the morning of Saturday, July 15, was sure to be greeted by the sweet smell of barbecue as a handful of teams competed in the Best Barbecue Butt in Helena contest.

The contest featured eight different teams vying for barbecue greatness as many team members arrived on Friday, July 14, and cooked overnight to try and deliver that perfect, tender barbecue entry.

The whole reason for the barbecue cook-off contest was to help raise funds to support the Helena Miracle League. The Miracle League is continuing to host fundraisers with the ultimate goal of opening a Helena Miracle League baseball field in the future.

The contest featured two categories: The Judges award and People’s Choice award. The barbecue contest judges were Helena Mayor Mark Hall, Alabama State Rep. Matt Fridy and Holly Whitt with Witt’s Barbecue in Decatur.

When all was said and done, “The Que’s Brothers” were crowned the winners of the People’s Choice award and “Driveway Boyz BBQ” won the Judges award. The Judges award was given based on taste, tenderness and appearance of the barbecue.

Helena resident Jason Lawing of “Driveway Boyz BBQ” said this was the first time he had ever entered a barbecue competition.

“This was my first barbecue competition to enter and I decided to enter last week,” Lawing said. “I’m from Helena and originally I just started cooking in my driveway with my neighbor and that’s how we came up with the name Driveway Boyz BBQ. My main expertise is cooking Boston butts. I got here at 6:30 p.m. Friday and threw the first one on at about 9:15 p.m. and they smoked for about 12 hours. I used charcoal, hickory chips and had my own rub and sauce.”

In the end, the Best Barbecue Butt in Helena was a success as $1,892.50 was raised for the Helena Miracle League and many people went home with full stomachs.

“This was just a great cause and so many kids in the community will be able to benefit from Miracle League,” Lawing said.

For more information on the Helena Miracle League, visit Facebook.com/HMLAngels/.