Grill Masters Battle for the Throne at the 2016 Brisket King

I was lucky enough to attend the 2016 Brisket King on Wednesday, March 16th. The event promised all you can eat Brisket and it delivered. This was the 5th annual Brisket King but it was my first.

Upon entrance you would pass a large bar, lined with free bags of chips and Runa iced teas. With one more step you are engulfed in a sea of meat flavored chaos. Let it be said that the chaos was delicious. Coming in from the rain into a crowded room with the smell of brisket lingering in the air was sensory overload. Once you are able come to your senses you will notice the vendors against the walls. Each vendor was in close proximity to each other. When lines began to form the available standing room diminished. This space issue was most apparent when the extremely popular Bombay Sapphire Gin Bar took in a long line.

The gin bar was a wonderful touch and I am just a guilty to adding to this line that created a barrier through the middle of the first main room. The gin bar was essentially one guy mixing assigned cocktails from his stand. An associate was taking orders from people waiting on line and this did help speed up the process. A benefit of close quarters in that in the event of a long line you don't have to travel far to find a second option.

My favorite of the two rooms was the second room which also contained the small VIP section. This second room was much brighter which was helpful in this Instagram conscious world we live in. Also, there were fewer vendors which resulted in more standing room. Even better, this second room is where i found the beer!

Yep, this event wasn't just gin and brisket, they had a selection of craft beers included in the All-You-Can-Drink! I was able to enjoy a few beers from Southern Tier. When I go to these things I always try to tell myself to try everything but that's never really possible. I don't envy the judges and I would be foolish to pick a favorite. There wasn't a single dish that I didn't enjoy. Congratulations to all the winners!

Winners in all categories:

Smoked category
Runner up: Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse
1st prize: Blue Smoke

Brisket Innovation category
Runner up: Pitmaster Robbie Richter
1st Prize: Cannibal

Cured category
Runner up: Marlow & Daughters
1st Prize: The Wandering Que

Brisket King of NYC
Runner up: Izzy Eidelman of Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse
Brisket King of NYC 2016: Ari White of The Wandering Que