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Savor chili, BBQ at Barn Burner

The 2011 Lambs Farm Barn Burner BBQ CompetitiGrChampiBrew-B-Q. Phosubmitted by Lambs Farm.

The 2011 Lambs Farm Barn Burner BBQ Competition Grand Champion Brew-B-Q. Photo submitted by Lambs Farm.

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7th annual Barn Burner BBQ

5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20

Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville


Updated: October 18, 2012 5:06PM

The smell of roasting meats, spicy sauces and smoke will permeate the air at Lambs Farm for two days.

The Libertyville-based nonprofit will host the 7th annual Barn Burner BBQ Competition 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 in Libertyville. The event has teams of pitmasters cooking up meat low and slow in four categories: chicken, ribs, pork and beef brisket. The competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

There are also two additional contests for desserts and chili not included with the barbecue part of the competition.

“It’s a fun event,” Lambs Farm Communications Coordinator Jackie Rachev said. “If you’ve ever been interested in competitive barbecuing, come check it out.”

There are about 50 teams this year, the majority coming from Wisconsin and Illinois with a smattering of teams from other states. They are competing for a chance at the Grand Champion title, monetary prizes, an invite to the Great American BBQ, the American Royal Invitational, and for a chance to compete at the Jack Daniels World Championship in 2013.

Lambs Farm first started hosting the Barn Burner because a staff member and her husband were a part of the competitive barbecuing circuit, said Stephanie Norum, Lambs Farm operations and special events manager.

“They did really well with [the inaugural event], there were about 20 teams the first time, and we’ve continued because we’ve had a lot of success,” Norum said.

Scottie Johnson said his team, based out of Westmont representing the Corliss Johnson Memorial Foundation, participated the first year and has kept coming back every year since. The team has scooped up the grand championship twice, Johnson said.

Kati Cassidy-Flodin, of Cary’s Team Vicious & Delicious, is aiming for that grand championship this year after only competing in two meat categories last year.

“That was our first year,” she said. “We were kind of nervous going into it, not knowing what to expect. We’re really going for it this year.”

Vicious & Delicious took first place in the chili competition last year and Cassidy-Flodin is sticking with her winning recipe, Down Home Heart Warmer.

“My mom had a great chili recipe growing up,” Cassidy-Flodin said. “I got her recipe, tweaked it out a bit and I figured this is really good, I need to put this in competition.”

The public has the chance to taste various chilis at the 2012 Comcast Chili Challenge Friday.

The night will also feature music from Radiohouse from 7 to 9 p.m., vendors and a food tent.

After a late night of cooking, the teams will be turning in their meat entries and the winners will be announced Saturday.

“Saturday is when you see them really go crazy,” Rachev said. “The turn in times are every half hour starting at 12. It’s go, go, go, go, go and you really get a sense of what these teams put into their product.”

“It’s definitely pressure,” Cassidy-Flodin agreed. “Your turn in times are half an hour to an hour. You’re literally running to turn it in.”

But, she said, it’s a great weekend for people to check out.

“If there are people who cook chili and they barbecue as a hobby and have any fears, they should put it behind them and jump in,” she said.

All proceeds from the event go to support Lambs Farm and their programs. For more information about the Barn Burner BBQ, go to

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