Competitors Talk About New Grillin' at the Pavilion Cook-Off in Harrisonburg

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- This year, Harrisonburg's Valley Fourth includes a cook-off.

Local restaurants, seasoned competitors and first timers are involved.

Competing teams have their grills hot for a chance at a prize.

The Grillin' at the Pavilion Cook-Off also involves a lot of samples.

The first 150 people who buy tasting tickets can sample and vote for their favorites.

People can buy those tickets starting at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Turner Pavilion.

Competitors will be cooking chicken wings, steak and ribs.

The cook-off is an official Mid Atlantic Barbeque Association event, which means that meat is inspected.

Union Station restaurant, Capital Ale House, Big Mook's Barbeque and regional teams are involved.

Competitors shared what they say makes good barbeque.

"People don't slather it in sauce here. The judges want to taste the meat itself, the sauce is an accent," said Michael Fay, President of the Mid Atlantic Barbeque Association.

"Anything around 225 something like that is key, going real low and slow. Types of wood make a real difference. I prefer to use hickory myself, it's a very hard wood it has a sweet flavor," said Cameron Grant with Union Station.

"Attention to detail, and love, lots of love," said Brian Varani with Big Mook's BBQ.

There are eight teams total and you have the chance to sample BBQ and other items the competitors will be offering until 7 p.m. Thursday night.

The Peoples Choice Awards are separate from the official judges' decision.

The winners will be announced at the Turner Pavilion at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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