2020 Tyson Guinea Pig/Matt Dalton Memorial, Coachella CA, 2/22/20

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
This was my second year to participate in the Guinea Pig/Matt Dalton Memorial, sponsored this year by Tyson Fresh Meats. This is a private contest organized by Sterling Ball and his crew at Big Poppa Smokers and held at Sterling's Ernie Ball factory in Coachella, CA. As a private event, the contest is not open to the public, there is no vending, no People's Choice award, and no distractions for the teams. Just 50 teams set up in the Ernie Ball parking lot cooking the four KCBS competition meats (chicken, pork ribs, pork, and brisket) plus an optional dessert category. There's also a Kid's Q contest and a potluck dinner for all the teams on Friday night.

Why is this contest called "the guinea pig"? Because when it was started by Sterling several years ago, it was a test to see if you could reduce the cost of competing, level the playing field to a certain extent, create a fun, family-friendly atmosphere for teams, and have less interference for the teams by making the event private.
  • The Guinea Pig has a single, low entry fee that covers all four meat categories, the dessert category, and Kid's Q.
  • Each team receives a cooler of pre-selected Tyson meat by random draw: 1 Chairman's Reserve Prime brisket, 2 Chairman's Reserve Prime pork butts, 3 Supreme Tender St. Louis Style pork spareribs, and 9 Tyson All-Natural chicken thighs. Teams must cook the provided meat and may not substitute their own meat.
  • Electricity is not available. Teams may use their own quiet generator or battery inverter, as needed.
  • The Top 10 overall are paid, and 10 deep in each meat category.
I served as a table captain at this contest and saw lots of top-notch entries come across our table. This year's grand champion was a repeat winner from last year -- 2017 Barbecue Hall of Fame inductee and Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que owner Jeff Stehney of Slaughterhouse Five from Kansas City, KS. Reserve Grand Champion went to Rick Mysse of Hickory & Spice BBQ from Tustin, CA. Congratulations to everyone that got a call!

RankTeam NameTotal
1SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE694.2972
2HICKORY AND SPICE BBQ694.2288
3Team Woodshed691.9660
4SMOKERS PURGATORY681.0968
5IOWA'S SMOKEY D'S BBQ681.0400
6LUCKY'S Q680.5032
7The Real BBQ Wives of Kansas City679.3372
8BURNIN AND LOOTIN678.8000
9LADY OF Q678.7200
10BULL MARKET BBQ678.1600
11DG FIREHOUSE BBQ675.3140
12SMOKE HOUND BBQ673.0516
13OLD TOWN FRANKLIN BBQ671.8512
14ROYAL SMOKIN' HOT671.3828
15COW TIPPIN BBQ671.2912
167-8-9 BBQ670.7312
17B' MACKIN BBQ668.4800
18RIDGE ROUTE BOYS BBQ667.8628
19DAY OF THE PIG BBQ667.3372
20Rad Fondo BBQ666.1600
21T & J Backyard BBQ665.6572
22The BBQ Yard665.0400
23FUNTIME BBQ663.3944
24MUDVILLE BBQ662.7772
25DAD'S CHILLIN' AND GRILLIN' BBQ662.7660
26Clear Blue BBQ661.6228
27SHIGGIN & GRINNIN661.6120
282LiveQ661.5656
29SMOKIN IT UP BBQ661.0856
30PORTERHOUSE BBQ658.7544
31JACK9 BBQ-CA658.7200
32VEGAS GRILLBILLIES658.7084
33PORKCHOP & BUBBAS658.6968
34THE BRISKET BROTHERS658.1484
35Big Red BBQ657.5428
36NOTHING COMPARES 2 Q657.0284
37BILL'S BLUE LINE BBQ656.4916
38JET COATINGS - MONKEY STYLE655.8400
395TH GEAR BBQ654.1024
40913 BBQ652.4344
41Smokin Hot Babe Bbq648.4456
42YARD LOBSTER BBQ647.9312
43SHIG NINJA BBQ647.3144
44Hi Desert Ratz BBQ642.7776
45SIMPLY MARVELOUS BBQ640.5144
46Bob's Morning Wood Barbeque638.6628
47Smokin' Degenerates636.4804
48PAPA LA RUE'S BBQ635.2228
49REVIN IT UP BBQ634.7200
50Stagecoach Barbecue610.7204

Here are some pics from this year's event. You can also check-out more photos from last year's Guinea Pig if interested. Enjoy!

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