42 Professional Teams Entered in Death’s Door BBQ Competition

A full field of 42 professional teams have entered the 5th Annual Death’s Door BBQ (DDBBQ) on Washington Island. Four of those teams finished in the top 10 in the Team Of the Year standings last year. The event will be held at the Washington Island Airport on Aug. 27. The contest is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and will distribute $7,500 in prize money and awards.

Death’s Door BBQ is considered one of the premier BBQ contests in the Midwest. Teams from six states will be represented: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Photo by Len Villano.

Photo by Len Villano.

Headlining the field is Iowa’s Smokey D’s from Des Moines, Iowa. The team at the time of this writing is currently the number one team in the country (that’s out of 4,500 teams).

Another top-10 team entered is Tim’s Full Belli Deli out of Oshkosh. They have entered DDBBQ every year but are still looking for their first Grand Championship in the event. They finished second last year earning them the Reserve Grand Champion award.

Returning this year to defend his title is T-Mac Smokin,’ formerly of Appleton now competing out of Sturgeon Bay. Tom and his wife Becky won the inaugural DDBBQ contest and took home the Grand Championship again last year.

The event starts at 10 am and runs until 5 pm. Admission and parking are free. Besides some of the great BBQ, there will also be live music from the Alex Wilson Band, Island and non-Island vendors, children’s games, contest sponsors, and a raffle for a Traeger pellet grill and a frozen half-hog in a cooler. The Washington Island Ferry Line will once again run the BBQ Train from the ferry to the venue for free. For more information visit

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