SAFFORD — Amateurs and professionals alike put their grilling skills to the test Saturday.
The Graham County Historical Society hosted the inaugural Graham Rib Throwdown at the Graham County Fairgrounds last weekend.
“The amazing smokers out here, the competition was really high,” said William Brucker, who finished in ninth place with his Trippy Treasure Exotic ribs.
On Saturday, rib sales opened to the public at noon, and by 2:30 p.m. all but one of the 17 contestants were sold out.
The judges awarded SNS OG Barbecue first place, Wildcat Barbecue second, RxR Barbecue third, Root’n Toot’n Barbecue fourth and Smoke on the Water Barbecue fifth.
RxR Barbecue was the people’s choice.
Attendees on Friday were treated to appetizers and desserts.
The event was a fund-raiser for a new Graham County Museum, to be located on the old Stockman’s Bank building on Safford’s Main Street.
“People have been telling us how fantastic this was, so we’re really excited about this,” said Harvey John, Graham County Historical Society president.
John added that in 2024 the event will move to February, to join forces with the Eastern Arizona Old Time Fiddlers Association. The Rib Throwdown will share the Fairgrounds space with the annual Gila Valley Fiddle Festival.
There was also an indoor cornhole tournament at Saturday’s rib event, with Morenci’s Back Door Sliders team of Ray Holguin and Andrew Corona going a perfect 5-0 to take the title.