By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Mindy Rude’s children are excited about the upcoming Robert’s Ranch Smokin Red Dirt Barbeque, because this year, they can compete in the event.
The new event, called KidsQ, is for children ages 10 and under and 11 and up. Elizabeth, 10, Zachary, 11, and Katherine, 14, already have begun preparing. Zachary told all of his classmates and his teacher about it. They will compete in both events, Rude said.
“They called their uncle who competes in cooking contests, and got his recipe for a dry rub. They have looked through every cookbook in the house, and last night, they were practicing,” Rude said. “It’s going to be a long three months.”
KidsQ is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, which features a contest between children who like to cook. There are two age divisions: 10 and under and 11-15 years, said Lynn Benkendorf, Roberts Ranch Smokin Red Dirt Barbeque event coordinator.
“They use the same rules as the big guys: appearance, taste and tenderness,” Benkendorf said.
The 10 and under group will cook ground beef, and the 11 and up group will cook chicken thighs.
The number of entries is limited to 25. Each participant will cook on a grill provided by barbecue officials and may take it home after the contest. They also will be awarded a bag of charcoal, the meat and one T-shirt. Entry fee is $12 per team. Cash prizes and trophies totaling $500 in value will be given to first- through fourth-place finishers.
“They have three hours to prepare and season, just like the adults,” Benkendorf said.
KidsQ will be held April 19 during the annual barbecue contest. There will be a cooks meeting at 3:30 p.m., and cooking will begin at 6:30 p.m. Teams will be limited to one entry. Each one must have one adult as supervisor, but can include up to three people who are in the same age group. The kids will do all the cooking, with the adults around for emergencies, Benkendorf said.
“It’s never too late to start barbecue,” Benkendorf said. “This will prepare the next generation of barbecue competitors. They will learn how to practice and perfect their barbecue talent.”
The event is new this year, but has been part of the Kansas City Barbecue Society since 1999. The first KidsQ was held in Lakeland, Fla.
“KCBS has always been a family-oriented recreation. It has been part of the KCBS since 1999,” said Carolyn Wells, executive director of the Kansas City Barbecue Society. “It teaches responsibility around grills, with hot coals and food safety. It was adopted by KCBS in 1999. We strive to be a family-oriented recreation. A lot of families bring kids and grandkids, and it became a multi-generational recreation. It’s a natural progression.
KidsQ is sponsored by Pelagic Tank in Enid, a company that manufactures equipment for the oil and gas industry. George Barbour, manager of Pelagic Tank, said a man who works for him told him about it, and he talked to Eagle Marketing. He then spoke with the owners of the company, and they agreed to do it.
“I understand that the proceeds go to a good cause,” Barbour said. “I have a 9-year-old who is going to participate.”