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News > Robins pitmaster wins AF BBQ competition
Robins pitmaster wins AF BBQ competition

Posted 5/30/2014   Updated 6/2/2014 Email story   Print story


by Brian Shreve
Robins Public Affairs

5/30/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Few things bring folks together like barbeque, and few people can throw down on the pit like Tech. Sgt. Todd Houghton.

Though many cooks claim to have mastered the honored craft, Houghton, a 116th aircraft structural mechanic, is not just blowing smoke, having recently been selected to compete at the regional level in the inaugural Air Force High Flyin' BBQ Challenge.

Houghton entered the competition in April by submitting an essay explaining why his barbeque is the best. It turned out his words alone were convincing as Houghton was notified May 5 that he was one of two candidates from each of three geographic regions selected to compete this summer in an officially sanctioned local barbeque contest.

In other words, out of the entire Air Force, Houghton is already one of only six cooks left in the national competition.

The top three from this summer's regional events will move on to the Air Force barbeque finals in September in San Antonio.

Houghton began trying his luck with barbeque about 14 years ago, but it didn't take long before he and a friend were competing in hundreds of competitions around the country; for the past four years, he and his team - Hoot-n-Anne Q - have even barbequed for the U.S. Senate, something he is set to do again in July.

For the High Flyin' contest, Houghton's team will consist of about four cooks, including his wife, Margaret, who has developed her own barbeque sauce.

Smoked pork, brisket, ribs - Houghton is a master of it all and surprisingly open about his methods.

"I take a commercial rub and add to it, and it's all about the choice of wood used," he said. "I'm not secretive but more than happy to show others who come to my house. They just have to duplicate it."

Aside from the obvious enjoyments of devouring the finest barbeque in the military, the primary purpose of High Flyin' is to boost morale and promote community involvement.

"I just enjoy watching people eat and enjoy," said Houghton. "It must be good because I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday, and she said barbeque."

5/30/2014 3:23:00 PM ET
Give me some of dat Q Good job......I hear there is a open spot on Watson you can set up shop.......
Nate, Kathleen
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