By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 14, 2018 at 3:30 PM

The third annual Big Gig BBQ will take place from noon until 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2 at Henry Maier Festival Park.

And there will be plenty of great barbecue to enjoy from vendors including Atlas BBQ, Doc’s Commerce Smokehouse, Double B’s BBQ, Famous Dave’s, Hue, Iron Grate BBQ Co., Maxie’s, Miss Beverly’s Deluxe BBQ, Nino’s Southern Sides, Pitch’s, Silver Spur Texas Smokehouse BBQ, Smoke Shack, The Saucy Swine, and The Charcoal Grill & Rotisserie.

But for those aspiring to perfect their own smoked meat game, there’s also an opportunity to participate in the first ever Amateur Rib Cooking Competition.

Think you’ve got the meat to compete?

The competition is open to local backyard enthusiasts who are looking to show off their unique skills.

The entry fee for the competition is $100. All entrants must bring their own grill or smoker (charcoal or wood-based only) and supplies. Meat will be provided by Kettle Range Meats.

Entries will be judged in a blind tasting on the basis of appearance, tenderness and flavor.

The first prize winner of the competition will receive a cash award. Ten subsequent prizes will also be offered for participants.

The deadline to enter is Aug. 24 (or earlier, if capacity is reached). For complete rules or to enter, visit

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.