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Barbecue course to teach finer points

Whether competition barbecue is a hobby or it is time to take backyard smoking to the next level, the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association has a class to consider.

Anthony James of Raven’s Fyre BBQ and Tom Wallin of Dances with Smoke will teach an all-day class on May 8 that covers everything from equipment to barbecue theory, wood selection to making rubs and sauces.

The class costs $150. Participants will cook four competition meats including beef brisket, pork butt, chicken and pork ribs. It will also cover beef tri-tip cooking and presentation.

Wallin says a recent class in Yakima drew participants ranging from those with “very little experience to some who have done quite a bit of smoking.”

All meat, rub materials, wood and some charcoal will be furnished. Cooks will need to bring their own 22-inch backyard kettle or vertical water pan smoker – Charbroil or Weber Smokey Mountain are recommended – and a list of other basic equipment.

The class will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine, at Tim’s Special Cut Meats and 1910 Smokin’ Wood Company, 7397 N. Government Way, Coeur d’Alene.

The finished meats will be judged by a concurrent judging class and winners will receive ribbons.

Wallin says when he first started in competition barbecue, he began by judging.

“They have the best job because they are not out cooking all night long and they show up and eat and say, ‘I like this,’ or ‘I don’t like that,’ ” he says.

That judging class begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Students will learn how to judge traditional slow-smoked barbecue and become a certified judge.

Christene James, a Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association judge, will teach the class. It is $50 and participants need only bring a notebook, pen and their appetite.

More information and online registration for both classes is available online at For more information about the cooking class, contact Wallin at (206) 940-5799. For questions about judging, contact James at (206) 612-1506.

The registration deadline is May 5.

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