As a week of 4-H and FFA livestock shows and competition came to an end, Sunday offered a different kind of contest at the Webster County Fair.
Participants in the Webster County Fair Barbecue Cook-Off started their day off early by setting up camp and firing up their grills and smokers vying for a chance to take home cash prizes, as well as bragging rights for the best ribs and chicken in the county.
Six teams participated in the contest, many of them for the first time.
Rylie Ferrari, 9, enjoys a sample of a barbecued rib during the Webster County Fair BBQ Cook-Off Sunday afternoon at the Webster County Fairgrounds.
For Larry Juncker, of Fort Dodge, it was not only his first time in the Webster County Fair cook-off, it was his first ever barbecue competition.
"I'm just learning as I go," Juncker said. "But I am having a ball doing it."
Many of the cooks have a special ingredient to what makes good barbecue, but for Juncker, it was all in the grill.
'The secret here is definitely the grill," said Juncker, who decided to put one of the Dakota Grills he sells at his business to the test. "You could bake a cookie on this grill if you wanted to"
Juncker's work paid-off as his barbecue took first place in both the chicken and rib divisions.
Sonny Rivera, of Fort Dodge, was also taking part in the fair's contest for the first time. A group of Rivera's friends decided to put a team together and put their skills to the test at the last minute.
"They brought me in last minute; just asked me a couple of weeks ago" Rivera said. "They've made me the sous chef for the day."
Along with the required ribs and chicken, Rivera and his teammates Nick Meyer and Michael Moore cooked up grilled vegetable skewers and corn on the cob. They said there are a few aspects to making good barbecue.
"We have our own rub," said Moore.
"You've got to cook it long and slow with lots of smoke," said Meyer.
Duran Barlow and Kirk Siefert teamed up as team "Down in the Sticks Barbecue" for the day, and served up every sample of meat they prepared. Barlow said he tries a few different things every time to create the best flavor.
"It's just a combination of a few different things, said Barlow. "We do a kind of midwest twist with a little bit of a kick."
For Juncker, his first barbecue was a successful endeavor, which he said just might lead him into a new hobby.
"I've done a lot of home shows and sports shows demonstrations with these grills, but the fun between these barbecue competitors today is great," he said. "If this is any indication of how much fun this can be, I'd definitely do a few more."