Denver's Jason Ganahl Competing in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue

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Ganahl and his team, GQue, are members of the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association (Ganahl also sits on the board of directors) and are currently in first place in the organization's point tally to win the annual RMBBQA Cup Contest. Ganahl himself is the number-one brisket competitor in the organization and is in the top ten in the country for that meat. "We have won perfect scores in our chicken, pork and beef," says Ganahl, "and have a membership in the exclusive 700 club -- earning 700 out of a possible 720 points in a professional BBQ contest."

Great barbecue starts in the early hours of the morning and often requires a half-day or more of slow-smoking and tending the beef, chicken and pork -- and that doesn't even include tinkering with sauce and dry-rub recipes, prepping meats the night before and finding the best wood available for specific cooking styles. "it's a labor of love, no doubt," he adds.

That work has paid off for the GQue team; it's ranked in the top one percent nationally. "For a team from Colorado to be ranked that high nationally is unheard of, as we don't have the volume of contests that teams from Missouri,Oklahoma, and Kansas do," Ganahl explains.

"We recently won the third-largest BBQ contest in the U.S.," he adds, "and it was held right here in Denver. Dick Monfort, owner of the Rockies, sponsored it."

Keep reading for a Q & A with competitive barbecuer Jason Ganahl.

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation