2019 tri-tip cook-off

Fired Up BBQ grilled tri-tip throughout the night at the eighth annual Imperial Market Days Tri-tip Cook-off.

IMPERIAL — The city of Imperial hosted its eighth annual Tri-tip Cook-off Feb. 16, which also featured the State of the City address by Mayor Amparano, in the fifth festival of the Imperial Market Day series. 

“We welcome everybody to come out for a great time, good food, and great music,” said Alexis Chalupnik, Imperial’s public information officer. 

Roughly 6,000 tri-tip seekers flooded the street of downtown Imperial. They had the opportunity to sample a variety of treats, ranging from prime cuts of beef out of Mike’s Meat Wagon to piña colada cupcakes from Sparkle Sweets & Treats.

Tickets were sold for $1, with five tickets designating a vote in the People’s Choice ballot. Every tri-tip tasting ticket was good for a two-ounce team sample, and tickets were sold in sheets of 10 or less. The voting cut off was 8 p.m.

Fifteen teams in total competed for Tri-tip Champion honors this year, with 26,000 pounds of tri-tip cooked up for the public to taste.

Cook-off results:

- TEAM THAT TRAVELED THE FARTHEST: 7 Sins Barbeque from Temple California traveled over 200 miles.

- SIDE DISH: First place and $1,000: Good Timin’ BBQ. Second place and $500: Vicious Smoke. Third place and $250: Republic Services.

- SHOWMANSHIP AWARD: First place and $1,000: Asadero Neighborhood. Second place and $500: BD BBQ. Third place and $250: Fired Up.

- PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Fired Up won $1,500.

- COOKING AWARDS: First Place and $1,500: 5th Gear BBQ. Second Place and $1,000: Vicious Smoke. Third Place and $500: Good Timin’ BBQ. Fourth Place and $250: Light ‘Em Up Crew. Fifth place: 7 Sins; sixth place: Las Chabelas; seventh place: Smoke Busters, eighth place: Big Boy BBQ.

Fired Up BBQ cooked 400 pounds of tri-tip in this, their fourth year of participation, and have added an extra 50 pounds of meat every year. “This is a family organization and all these people here are my family,” said chief cook Andy Lopez. “This event is good for the local community, and if you haven’t participated in an Imperial Tri-tip Cook-off, you’re missing out.”

To participate in the remaining two events in the Market Day series, contact the community services department at the city of Imperial.

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