Over the long weekend, while many of you were hosting barbecues of your own, I headed over to Sparks, NV, for the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, one of the country's largest outdoor barbecue events. I was more than stoked to chomp down on award-winning ribs all day long, but — given the scope of the festival and its four-hour driving distance from my house — I wanted to maximize my first experience there by being as prepared for the event as Michael Phelps was for the Summer Olympics. If you're planning on heading to a major barbecue festival (or any food extravaganza, for that matter), I've got some tips to share with you.
How much do I love ribs? I'd say that I was probably born with one in my hand, that's how much I love them — and grilling up a distinctive ginger-infused batch of my own recently only heightened my desire to indulge more.
I've always had the itch to go to the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, NV. With more than 500,000 visitors and 100 tons of ribs, the six-day, free-admission rib festival is one of the largest outdoor barbecue events in North America. At the last minute, I decided there was no time like the present, and drove square across California and into the smoke. To find out what the event was like, keep reading.