Aiming to ‘meat’ Booooo-B-Que by The Sea challenge

4 BOOOO Slower Lower BBQ team

Slower Lower BBQ, with members hailing from Milton and Wilmington, is among the teams competing this weekend in the Booooo-B-Que by The Sea, a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event at Delaware Seashore State Park. Slower Lower BBQ members from left: Mark Stallard, Mike Jarrell and Ron Kalmbacher.

REHOBOTH BEACH – Today is judgement day for Slower Lower BBQ and the rest of the teams competing in Booooo-B-Que by The Sea.

The three-man combo from Milton/Wilmington is hoping to the “meat” the challenge and score well with judges in taste and presentation in the Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanction Halloween “spook-tacular” at Delaware Seashore State Park.

Pork and brisket hit their smokers first, around midnight. Chicken and ribs followed.

“They can cook anywhere from 10 to 12 hours,” said Slower Lower BBQ member Mike Jarrell of Milton. “They are done when they are done …”

Slower Lower BBQ has fared quite well this year, having finished as Reserve Grand Champion – second among 70 teams – at the KCBS-sanctioned New Jersey State Barbecue Championship in Wildwood, N.J., in July.

4 Booooo B Que sandy fulton kenton tribute GOOD one

State Rep. Harvey Kenton reads the General Assembly tribute presented to Sandy Fulton, left, organizer of the Booooo-B-Que by The Sea barbeque event. In the background, from left, are State Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, State Rep. Danny Short and at right State Sen. Gerald Hocker.

Among several Delaware teams in the field, Slower Lower BBQ took top honors as Grand Champion at a non-sanctioned event last month in Dover.

Looming in the Boooo-B-Que by The Sea field are Uncle Pig’s Barbeque Pit, the team that outpointed Slower Lower BBQ in Wildwood, and Smokin Hoggz  BBQ, the reigning Massachusetts champion.

Smokin Hoggz BBQ placed third and Uncle Pig’s Barbeque Pit finished fourth overall in the prestigious Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitation Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tn., on Oct. 23-24.

“That’s the Super Bowl or World Series of barbeque,” said Slower Lower member Mark Stallard of Wilmington.

The third member is Ron Kalmbacher, also of Wilmington.

“He does everything that we don’t want to do,” said Mr. Stallard with a chuckle.

Friday, meat was prepared for the smokers.

“There is a lot preparation that goes in before and after it is done. We do a lot trimming; getting it to look just right,” said Mr. Stallard.  “We cook a lot of meat. You want to get the best portions out to the judges, so there is a lot left over after the judges get their fair share.”

Their meat is cooked in Weber smokers, much less expensive than those used by some of the other big BBQ guns.

“For the money, those things right there are best smokers you can get. You’ve got guys out here with these big $10,000 smokers,” said Mr. Jarrell. “You can cook just as well in one of those. So, $500 or $10,000 … I’ll take $500!”

Slower Lower BBQ has been on the competitive barbeque circuit since 2009.

“I actually started in 2008 with my brother, and then he wasn’t very interested anymore,” said Mr. Jarrell. “Mark and I have known each other for 20-plus years, so I called him one day and asked him if he’d be interested in doing it. And here we are. We’ve been doing it ever since.”

“We used to be neighbors and we would cook out all of the time. We both had a love of barbeque so we decided to try our hand at competing. We’ve done OK for ourselves the last couple of years,” said Mr. Jarrell.

Slower Lower BBQ usually competes in events within a 100-mile radius. Their previous contest was in Pennsylvania’s state capital – Harrisburg. In addition to Wildwood, competitions this year have taken them to Snow Hill, Md., Harrington, De., and New Holland, Pa.

“Every contest in Delaware we try to hit,” said Mr. Stallard.

“Everything in Delaware,” said Mr. Jarrell.

Saturday’s Highlights

Boooo-B-Que by the Sea, hosted by Delaware’s Division of Parks & Recreation, will benefit Delaware’s Children in Nature – an initiative to encourage youths to get outdoors in efforts to promote physical activity.

Saturday’s dais features live music, a Halloween costume competition, and the presentation of the BBQ Grand Champion Award and the accompanying $1,000 cash prize.

Another highlight Saturday will be the first-ever live auction for low-digit Delaware surf fishing tags. State Rep. Dave Wilson, an auctioneer, will orchestrate the event which starts at 2:30 p.m. Up for bids are three single-digit tags (numbers 2, 3 and 8).

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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