Smoke on the Plains is not the biggest, and not the oldest, but it is certainly a classic event. It keeps a wonderful hometown feel as it unrolls over two days in June in Deby, Kansas. Don’t misunderstand, this is still a KCBS certified competition in both the Master’s and Backyard formats.
With the Toss like a Boss cornhole competition day one, to the wrap up concert the next evening, there is likely something for everyone thrown in between. That first night has the People’s Choice tasting and judging and also wraps up with live music. The next day is the 5K and Kid’s Fun Run, then a couple hours of Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.
The cooking contest is chugging along while more music plays and children are entertained in the Kid’s Corner.
The barbecue competition follows the KCBS guidelines. All competitors must compete in all categories to get points added to their cumulative totals.
Grand Champion: Dr. Squealgood BBQ
Reserve Champion: Finger Leikam Good
Chicken: Beer Dart BBQ
Pork Ribs: PACs BBQ
Pork: Dr. Squealgood BBQ
Brisket: IMAT BBQ
Chicken: Sugar Hounds Barbecue
Ribs: Aww Schucks BBB
How Did Smoke On The Plains Get Started?
Back in 2011, this BBQ event was ironically known by a whole other name. It was originally called The National Bar-B-Cue Derby and was planned to be held on Patriot Day in September. This event was meant specifically to honor the US military. It wasn’t as large as it has become these days and began with a Pro and backyard BBQ contest complete with an Apple pie contest and a 5K ‘Rib Run’.
They even held a Spelling Bee for the local kids of Derby to pad things out nicely. The big winners back at that time were a BBQ team from Witchita. By the next year in 2012, they added a people’s choice contest and added Cherry Pie to their pie contest. Things started to get rolling in 2013 when a chocolate chip cookie contest and car show were added. By that time, this 3-year old event was now officially sanctioned by KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society).
By 2014, the event name was changed again to the Derby BBQ Festival. They added the Kid’s Corner play area and local food trucks as this festival grew over the years. By 2018, the event schedule dates were changed from September to June because of an Air Show that was being held at McConnel Air Force Base on the same day. By 2019, the name final changes to Smoke on the Plains Derby BBQ & Music Fest and hasn’t changed since then.
This is when carnival rides and games were added which added more things to do with the kids and grownups. Sadly in 2020, the pandemic had to be canceled but returned in 2021 which was scaled back slightly to work around COVD-19 safety distancing.
Archive: Upcoming Smoke On The Planes Coverage
If you’re stumbling around downtown Derby in Kansas around June 9th and 10th this year, you’ll be glad to hear that Smoke on the Plains is back again. There’s plenty to do and loads to see, but most importantly lots more to eat when it comes to real Kansas-style BBQ. This fantastic barbecue cook-off will have live music and special events with guests for the two days this BBQ music fest will be held.
Archive: Smoke On The Plains – 2022 Results
This year was certainly a real smoker and not just in one single category either! Luckily for some very talented folks at this year’s Smoke on the Plains barbecue competition. Now, as you all might know, the events were split into two sections respectfully. The first was the Maters Series and the other was for the Backyard Barbecue. Here’s how it all went down for these Pitmaster winners.
Archive: Previous Coverage of the Upcoming Smoke on the Plains for 2022
This year, you’ll be happy to hear that there will be the backyard BBQ cook-off, SCA Steak cook-off, beer garden, food trucks, Kid’s Corner, Corn Hole Tournament, live music, and much more. This time it will be presented by Rock Regional Hospital and will return to the genuinely scenic High Park in Derby. Over two days, each day will offer something different but the second day is dedicated to most of the serious BBQ action.