American Royal Crowns Barbecue’s Best

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Love is in the air — and it smells like barbecue. The best of the best in barbecue circles will be crowned this weekend in Kansas City.

The world series of barbecue is back at the American Royal, and the competition is fierce. Decades ago, the smell coming from the west bottoms was much different.

“You would have smelled the livestock,” said Bob Peterson with American Royal.

Now, anyone nearing Kemper Arena will notice a distinctive haze, and a much more pleasant aroma — and it’s wonderfully competitive too.
“The ones that really have a shot at it are the ones who put their homework in has been on the circuit  they got their technique down,” said Myron Mixon of  Pitmasters BBQ. “They got their recipes down and they stay focused.”

That doesn’t mean rookies and weekend warriors aren’t allowed. Mixon welcomes them because he doesn’t feel they are in it to win it.

“It’s not a place where you just come out here and party on friday and think you gonna win on saturday,” Mixon said. “That ain’t happenin’.”

Food is a huge part of the weekend, but it’s also about family.The brotherhood of barbecues compete while famlies take in some fun. There will be plenty of activities for the kiddos, and country music at night. At the end of the weekend, a special mission will be accomplished.

“What we’re doing  is raising money for youth  scholarship and education,” Peterson said. “That’s our underlying mission and purpose.”

But between now and then, come early and come hungry.

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