Meat, meat and more meat. And smoking meat. And talking about meat. If this sounds like your idea of heaven, take yourself down to Manorville this weekend for the eighth annual Smokin' at the Maples: The Battle of the BBQ Brethren, Long Island's longest-running competition.
More than 30 teams will be competing for more than $7,000 in prize money as well as a chance to compete at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City and the Jack Daniels Invitational in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
The event takes place on the verdant grounds of The Maples restaurant and features some heavy hitters. Among the teams are No R2-BQ (named grand champion at last month's Beer, BBQ and Blues Festival at Greenport Harbor Brewery in Peconic), Smokin Irish (peoples' choice award for best ribs in Peconic) and Stubborn Bull (Grand champion at the 2013 Battle of the BBQ Brethren).
On Saturday, as the teams begin the 24-hour process of trimming, marinating, rubbing and smoking, visitors can listen to live music from WBAB's Joe Rock and The All Stars and wander through a custom car show presented by Eastern Long Island Cruisers.
Sunday is judgment day. Starting at noon, the teams will turn in their entries in the four standard categories: chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket. Trophies should be awarded around 4:30.
Barbecue teams are not permitted to sell the food they're cooking, but persuasive spectators can usually cadge a rib or wing or two. But there will be plenty of food vendors on hand, including Willie B's BBQ (from Long Island's much-decorated pitmaster Will Breakstone) and the award-winning Stubborn Bull BBQ.
The Battle of the BBQ Brethren is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at The Maples, 10 Ryerson Ave., Manorville. Admission is $3 (free younger than 10). All proceeds go to John Theissen Childrens Foundation. For more information, go to libbqevents.com or call organizer Will Breakstone at 631-24SMOKE.