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Finger-lickin' good: Ribfest has arrived in Pictou County


Event is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity and Viola’s Place homeless shelter

NEW GLASGOW, N.S. —

Want a bit of pro advice for Pictou County’s first Ribfest?

“Don’t wear a nice shirt,” says Jamie Williams, pitmaster for Camp 31 one of the vendors set up to compete at Ribfest.

The event began at 11 a.m. Friday at Glasgow Square Theatre in New Glasgow and ends on Sunday at 7 p.m.

The event is free-admission and donation buckets for both Habitat for Humanity and Viola’s Place will be placed on the grounds around Glasgow Square. People then pay to purchase food from vendors.

Williams has been preparing ribs for about 20 years following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. He loves participating in ribfest in cities throughout Canada. Every event is fast paced, high energy, with lots of noise and music, he said.

“It’s a great, great family atmosphere but it’s also a ton of fun.

Will Haase, Silver Bullet BBQ has been competing in ribfest events for about 12 years.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “You get to travel around. I’ve seen new cities every week and serve some of the best barbecue in the world.”

Haase is from Ontario and said he started grilling at a young age.

“I was 16 when I started. And I’ve just kept with it ever since,” he said.

“I love that it’s not like an ordinary 9-5 job. We’re in a new city every week. Who knows what we’re going to sell. We never know whether it’s going to be busy or not busy. It’s a lot of fun, meeting new people.”

Pro tips for cooking ribs

Both Williams and Haase say ribs should be cooked “low and slow”.

“We usually cook around 225- 235 degrees,” Haase said. “It’s about 4 hours for ribs. We use cherry fruit tree wood.”

These pros typically smoke their meet first and then finish it off on the grill.

Williams said you should use a good rub to begin with and then add a barbecue sauce towards the end.

Once a team has found a sauce and rub they like they typically stick with it.

“We got a rub down that we like and then the sauce has literally been the same since the start, said Haas.

The type of wood used in smoking can also affect the taste. At Silver Bullet BBQ they typically use cherry fruit tree wood.

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