Cliff Payne has had nearly a year to bask in barbecue glory. Last October the pitmaster from Cousin's Bar-B-Q took home the title in the Texas Oklahoma Red River Barbecue Shootout. Payne beat out Leo's BBQ of Oklahoma in an annual event hosted by the DRG Concepts in Main Street Garden.
Justin Bitner was at last year's event and disagreed with the masses. He thought Cousin's ribs were a bit overcooked with a fiery but watered-down sauce. Bitner then turned his attention to brisket tacos and elotes provided by Wild Salsa and scrappy little pug dogs.
This year, eight pit masters will again convene in the park on October 11 to cook St. Louis-style pork ribs to be judged that evening at 7 p.m. The two finalists will return the next day to cook up their ribs during the day for a Friday evening event that marks the Texas-OU rivalry. Same as last year, the winner of the $1,000 prize will be decided by popular vote.
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Proceeds from booze and meat sales will benefit Kidd's Kids, an organization that provides terminally and chronically ill children trips to Walt Disney World.