The barbecue’s big at the Big Gig BBQ on Sunday
at the Henry Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s
Big Gig BBQ
Noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.
14 barbecue cookers, four live bands, contests, demos.
Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Drive,
Tips and tricks of the trade
Barbecue-challenged? There will be experts sharing their
techniques at the South Pavilion.
- 1:15 p.m. - Chicago q “The Competitive BBQ
- 4:15 p.m. - Spice House “History of Spices” and
“How to Create Your Personal Rib Rub.”
- 5:45 p.m. - Kettle Range Meats “BBQ vs. Grilling”.
- Fourteen of some of the best mainly local barbecuers
like your idea of fun?
and you get to pig out - on pig. Well, not exclusively.
second annual Big Gig BBQ returns Sunday to the
this year, the fans of the pit get to vote for their
favorites. The winner walks away with the Big Gig Pig
are sample sizes, so you can purchase a couple of
ribs,” Gaye Littell, executive producer for Milwaukee
World Festivals Inc., said.
number of cookers is
up from last year’s 10, and the festival has
reached out to Chicago with the inclusion of Chicago q.
The hours are expanded from last year, from noon to 7
p.m., covering lunch and dinner.
these barbecuers are bringing their specialty sauces.
Some of them you can get without a sauce and pick the
sauce you like best and put it on yourself,” Littell
everything from pork sliders to barbecue ribs to chicken
wings to burnt ends. And there are great sides, like mac
and cheese, collard greens, rice and beans, and corn
will be hot dogs and other kid-friendly food.
biggest new thing?
have free admission and parking,” Littell said.
enjoying the smoky creations sounds like more than
enough entertainment, there’ll be live entertainment.
Appropriately, there’ll be a lot of blues and some
country and rock.
Airmaster with Junior Brantley kicks off the fest with
the blues at noon at the Briggs & Stratton Big
Backyard Stage, one of two stages. The Danny Miller Band
will serenade the festival with blues down to its nearly
final moments, taking the South Pavilion stage at 4:45
p.m. Chasin’ Mason and the Rhythm Kings round up the
be picnic games, like corn hole and Giant Jenga, plus a
mechanical pig to ride. There will even be a gigantic
inflatable pig to snap a selfie with.
there are the contests. Local celebrities will square
off in a bacon-eating contest.
2016 champ Eric Hucke, representing
Harley-Davidson, will be at the Briggs & Stratton
stage at 3 p.m. to defend his crown.
make no mistake, it’s the barbecue, including chicken
and beef, but mainly pork, that’s the centerpiece.
You might want to try the burnt ends, something you
might think should be thrown out rather than put on a
would have thought the same thing until I tried them.
Contrary to the name, they are delicious. Burnt ends are
out of this world,” Littell said.
14 cookers are:
Atlas BBQ, serving Grafton since 2012, is known for its
three B’s: BBQ, beer and bourbon. Wait, isn’t that
four B’s? From St. Louis ribs to ribwich, there’s
plenty to sample. When in doubt, get the sampler
Chicago q. It serves award-winning fare alongside
favorites from the Carolinas, Texas, Missouri and
Tennessee. Yes, the burnt ends sound intriguing.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is famous for its Texas-style
barbecue. Dickey’s serves up more than Texas-style
brisket sandwich, including pork tacos with slaw.
Double B’s BBQ and Burgers from West Allis is known
for its award-winning wings and smoked barbecue. The
pork plate and the rib plate are two ways to sample its
Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que slow cooks meats with
smoldering hickory logs and hand-rubbed fresh spices.
Try one of their sliders and ribs with a cornbread
Iron Gate BBQ Co., home of the original “Milwaukee
Rib,” takes on the challenge of live-fire barbecue in
cooking its pork. Riblets and cucumber dill salad are
some of their fare.
Maxie’s specializes in the “Low Country” cooking
of the Carolinas, Creole and Cajun, and slow-smoked
Southern barbecue. Besides the barbecue, the sides show
its Southern side, including maple-braised collard
Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbecue, part of the Bartolotta
Restaurant Group, serves a house-smoked barbecue
influenced by a variety of styles from across the United
States. Among its unique meats are the hot link kabobs.
Nino’s Southern Sides focuses on soul food. Choose
from rib tips to a whole slab. Red beans and rice are
one of the sides that make it Southern. Undecided? Get
Pitch’s, family-owned and operated by the Picciurro
family since 1942, is locally and nationally famous for
its baby back pork ribs and more. Do you want fries or a
shake with your order?
Saz’s State House is celebrating 40 years. It also has
a Wisconsin feel, whether it’s the sliders or fried
cheese curds or sour cream and chive fries, not to
mention the pork, notably the baby back ribs.
Silver Spur Texas Smokehouse BBQ, housed in the
second-oldest restaurant in Wisconsin, makes ribs Texas
style as well as cut like they do in St. Louis.
Smoke Shack. It’s hard to resist the name or the
dry-rubbed, slowly smoked meats. The sauce? It’s up to
you. The sloppy slider and Decadent Mac and Cheese sound
The Charcoal Grill & Rotisseries has been a staple
at Wisconsin fairs and festivals, including Summerfest.
Pulled pork, beef ribs and rotisserie chicken are just
some of the barbecue to be had.