Stokin' the Fire BBQ Festival

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The Stokin' the Fire BBQ and Music Festival (formerly Stokin' the Fire BBQ Festival) was a barbecue competition and festival held annually at Sloss Furnaces. Musical acts, kid's activities, and tours of the Furnaces museum rounded out the weekend. The festival supported the preservation and operation of the park and served as the primary annual fundraiser for Sloss Metal Arts.

Originally the event included a nationally-sanctioned professional competition as well as amateur events, but the event dropped out of the professional tour after four years.


20,000 people attended and tasted offerings from 100 barbecue producers on August 27. The event, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, sparked discussion which led to the creation of the Alabama Barbecue Association and the Alabama BBQ Trail.


  • Top five: Britt's Barbecue (Champion), Blindog's Outlaw BBQ Gang (Reserve), Jiggy Piggy, EJ's BBQ, Butt Masters
  • Chicken: Jack's Old South, Butt Masters, S & S Cookers
  • Ribs: Butts Bellies & Buddies, Governor's BBQ, Late Night Whiskey Smokers
  • Pork: EJ's BBQ, South Pork, The Tenderonies
  • Brisket: EJ's BBQ, Jiggy Piggy, Papa J's
  • Sauce: Team Top Chick, Lazy Bones, Butts Bellies & Buddies
  • Anything Butt: FireHouse BBQ, Lazy Bones, Midnight Smokers


The second annual event took place on August 25 and 26. 66 cooking teams were present for the competition. The winners took home a share of a $20,000 purse and advanced to national competition. Cooking demonstrations by local chefs took place alongside the main event. Bands played on the main stage under the No. 2 casting shed while the 2nd annual Stokin' the Fire Karaoke Invitational was held on a second stage under the water tower. On the festival's 2nd day an arts and crafts marketplace was added to the event, as well as children's activities, carnival food, and interactive exhibits. Advance weekend passes were $15. Day tickets at the door were $10 with discounts for children. Proceeds from the event were used toward implementation of Sloss' master plan, including a new entrance and visitor's center, enhancements to existing facilities, and expansion of the Sloss Metal Arts program.

Music acts included Rhett Miller, Will Hoge, The Iguanas, Po' Monkey, Wild Sweet Orange, The Rhythms, Big Daddy's New Band, South Saturn Delta, and Michael Warren.


Professional Division:

  • Overall: Grand Champion – Jiggy Piggy, Reserve Champion - Smokey Mountain Smokers
  • Chicken: Smokey Mountain Smokers, Jiggy Piggy, Big Pig Inc.
  • Ribs: Big Daddy Q, Cool Smoke, No Butts No Glory
  • Pork: Cool Smoke, Bad Backs & BBQ, Neighbors Brewin’ & Quein’
  • Brisket:,, Smokey Mountain Smokers
  • Anything Butt: Hightimes Smokers
  • Sauce: Smokin’ Buffalos

Backyard Division:

  • Overall: Thompson Tractor Rentals (winner), Dirt-Whiskey Smokin’ Crew, Bubba Q
  • Chicken: CC’s Pit Crew, eAVX, South Ryland BBQ Team
  • Ribs: Thompson Tractor Rentals, Lucky’s Pub, Dirt-Whiskey Smokin’ Crew
  • Spirit Award (Best Dressed Booth): Bastin’ Away


The 3rd annual event was held on August 24-25.

Musical acts included Band of Moose, The Sudden Rays, Eliot Morris, Alejandro Escovedo, Beyond Me, Erin Mitchell Band, Newgrass Troubadours, Hightide Blues, Warm in the Wake, Moses Mayfield, Jason Isbell, Southern Culture on the Skids


  • Grand Champion, professional division: Johnny Trigg and the Smokin' Triggers (Alvarado, Texas)
  • Grand Champion, amateur division: South Ryland BBQ (Huntsville, Alabama)


The 4th annual event was held August 22-23. For 2008 the festival expanded its performance lineup and added "music" to its name. Other changes include a dessert contest and a "People's Choice" category for the BBQ competitors.

Musical acts included Willis Prudhomme, Jon Black, Mark Kozelek and the Red House Painters, Todd Snider, The Dexateens, The Manchester Orchestra, and The Whigs.


The 5th annual festival was held August 21-22 with 85 cooking teams in amateur competition. Music actis included Todd Simpson, Culture Dred, Shemekia Copeland, Murky Monkey, Sharrif Simmons, Jon Black, The White Oaks, Mellowship, Nathan Peeks Band, Duquette Johnston and the Rebel Kings, Cowboy Mouth, The Maysons, Rick Carter, and Stuart McNair.

Sloss Furnaces
Events Magic City Brewfest · Preserve Jazz Festival · Sloss Fright Furnace · Stokin' the Fire BBQ Festival
Exhibits Engine No. 4018 · Sloss Quarters
Owners Sloss Furnace Company · Sloss Iron & Steel Company · Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company · U.S. Pipe · Jim Walter Corporation
People Joseph Johnston · Theophilus Jowers (The Ghost in Sloss Furnaces) · Hugh Morrow · James Sloss
Programs Sloss Metal Arts · Sloss Performing Arts Program


  • Stokin' the Fire Promotional Section (August 2006) Birmingham Magazine. Vol. 46, No. 8
  • Garrison, Greg (August 23, 2009) "Meat, glorious meat at Stokin' the Fire in Birmingham." Birmingham News

External links