Want to step outside your backyard and get involved with local Arizona BBQ events or competitions? Show your support by getting involved with any of these local organizations and national clubs.
Grand Canyon State BBQ Association
The Grand Canyon State BBQ Association was founded in 2014 and provides the growing Arizona barbeque community a home for social, education, business and competitive resources. They are a non-profit organization and membership only runs $30 annually for individuals, $50 for families or $75 for BBQ teams.
Their forum is also a good place to get first wind of upcoming BBQ competitions and to join in on general competition BBQ discussions. GCBSBBQA is a great place to start if you are considering jumping into the world of competitive BBQ and want to mingle with some local pros and backyard amateurs.
AZ Barbeque (no relation or affiliation with Real AZ BBQ, just a similar name) is another popular Arizona BBQ forum which can be found at http://www.azbarbeque.com/forums/. While AZBarbeque.com also focuses their forum around competition BBQ, including their own BCS series, it has a little more talk about general BBQ discussions, recipes, smokers, grills, pits, and so on. Many of the forum members get together monthly for impromptu backyard and friendly competitions. It’s a great way to practice and receive some feedback from fellow meat connoisseurs and maybe even a CBJ.
Many of the same carnivores are on both forums, so there isn’t much need to cross-post between both, although you never know who’s lurking where. Regardless of which forum you visit (check them both out), join up and say hello! New members are always welcome.
Local First Arizona
This is not a BBQ-specific club or organization, rather a membership-fueled group to support local Arizona businesses and their communities. Local First Arizona members, called Localists pay $20 a year and get exclusive access to Localist events every month, discounts at participating businesses (there’s a ton) and a host of other benefits you can read about on their Localist page. I’m one and you should be too. It’s all about supporting local businesses and having fun along the way.
Real Arizona BBQ
A shameless plug, I know. Real Arizona BBQ is all about promoting, you guessed it, barbeque restaurants around the state and the occasional BBQ event or festivals. BBQ restaurants are notoriously awful at marketing themselves and the best ones are the worst offenders – so you never hear about them.
Yelp reviewers would have you believe that Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and Famous Dave’s are the holy grail of smoked meats, but in reality they are both overly commercialized and people who know and love great BBQ won’t go near those restaurants.
Share your love and support for local AZ businesses and BBQ by joining our newsletter (over on the right sidebar at the top) so you receive a short email whenever I post a new review and the occasional blog post. You’ll discover great, new BBQ around the state and maybe pick up a secret or two to use on your own grill.