Grand Champion of the American Royal Invitational 2011 – Tippy Canoe BBQ

By: Richard Wachtel
Published: October 6, 2011
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We have another amazing Meet the BBQ Pros which is brought to you by Tucker Cookers. We have the Grand Champion of the 2011 American Royal Invitational: Tippy Canoe BBQ .

Tippy Canoe BBQ Crew is a championship competition BBQ team based out of St. Ansgar Iowa.  Founded in 2008, Tippy Canoe BBQ Crew compete in Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned contests around the midwest and beyond.

We are happy to add them to the ever growing list of Competition Barbecue Teams that we have interviewed for our Meet the BBQ Pros. Click here to see all the BBQ Pros that we have interviewed that participated in the 2011 American Royal BBQ Competition.

tippy_canoe_bbqGrilling with Rich: My first question that I always ask my guests for the Meet the Pros Series, is what made you start to barbecue?

 Joe: We bought a camper and started camping on weekends with friends and family.  After a couple of weekends of sitting around a campground with little to do I decided I had to find something do entertain myself while camping. I went out and  bought a smoker and its been a wild ride ever since!

What do you like most about Barbecue? and Why do you think that a lot of people love to barbecue?

Joe: I love the competitive part of our sport and the people that you meet along the way.  We get to travel the country with our friends meeting new people and seeing new things.

This might be an odd  question but is there anything that you don’t like about Barbecuing if so, what is it?

Joe: Trimming Chicken!

What is your favorite barbecue food to make? and why? 
Joe: I love cooking things other than the big four meats.  Sides, apps, etc

What do you like the most about barbecue competitions? And the least?
Joe: The people and the thrill of the competition.  Teardown and clean up – I seem to ask myself at each competition “why do we do this again?”  during cleanup

Why do you think that barbecue competitions have become so popular and also you get such a diverse crowd of people participating in it? 
Joe: Its a great activity that fits many lifestyles – It is broadly inclusive and appealing.  Anyone can do it and enjoy it

In your opinion what makes a BBQ team successful besides the obvious Awards? What was your first win, and what was your biggest disappointment?
Joe: Attention to detail, practice, and repetition – Can you re-create the same thing every time out?  Our first win was in 2009 at the Smokin’ in Steele event in Owatonna Minnesota.  We got disqualified for a small piece of foil stuck to our brisket at the American Royal Open in 2010
What was your greatest accomplishment?  
Joe: Grand Champion of the American Royal Invitational 2011
How does it feel to win the American Royal Invitational?
Joe: It’s by far the biggest accomplishment of our BBQ team career.  Looking through the list of 140 competitors in that event is amazing
What does winning the American Royal mean to you?
Joe: It validates all of the time and effort we have put into our techinques and reciepes…its makes it all seem worth it!
What was your secret to your success?
Joe: Attention to the small details…very little seperates the top ten in events like these.
If you had to choose one grilling tool that every pit master needs to have what would it be and why?

Joe: A high quality instant thermometer – Thermopen is my brand of choice!

What is the single most important piece of advice that you can give to professional, amateurs about the sport of barbecue?

Joe: Take notes and don’t be afraid to go back and look at them!  When you turn out great food write down exactly what you did, you’d be suprised how fast you can forget!

If you had to give one piece of advice for up and coming people who want to do barbecue competitions what would it be?
Joe: Read as much as you can – online, in print, etc.  There is a ton of information floating around out there and most of it is free you just have to look for it.
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Richard Wachtel

Richard Wachtel

Editor and Chef and Founder at Grilling with Rich
Born and raised in Long Island, New York Richard Wachtel has developed a passion for all things about barbecue and grilling and sharing this love with the world through social media, digital marketing and blogging about his cooking adventures on his website Richard has interviewed the top names in barbecue and grilling such as four-time BBQ Grand World Champion Chris Lilly, and other world class pitmasters such as Myron Mixon, Melissa Cookston, and Tuffy Stone... just to name a few. In addition, has become a BBQ authority for media outlets and has been citied in many online publications such as: Yahoo News, Freinds and USA Today’s Men’s Health. Rich lives just outside the nation's capital in Virginia with his wife, and #1 tastetester - his beagle, Cooper.
Richard Wachtel


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