Eat, Drink & Be Merry: Charcoal Cowboys Bring on the Barbecue

Aug 02, 2021 at 11:28 am by RMGadmin

Ken Woods will be competing in the upcoming Great Americana BBQ Festival, taking place on August 27th and 28th at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm. His BBQ competition and catering business are called: Charcoal Cowboys. “We are a local team to Williamson County,” says Ken. “We have competed in BBQ contests all over the Southeast, from Florida to Texas. We have over fifty National BBQ awards and won the TV show BBQ Pitmaster Memphis Challenge in 2014.”

The Charcoal Cowboys also represented Tennessee in the BBQ Pitmaster All-Star season and won the Rib Category at the last Great Americana BBQ Festival with a Perfect Score. “We have Kansas City BBQ society sanction events, perfect scores in Beef Brisket, Pork Shoulder and Pork Ribs - what is special about a perfect score is that six people sit at a table ALL must believe that is the best bite they have ever had.”  

Since the beginning, Ken has worked with the Franklin Noon Rotary on making the Great Americana BBQ Festival a successful event for our community. “We want to make a few changes this year that would allow the public to be more interactive with tasting the BBQ,” explains Ken. “I have reached out to some of my competition friends to actually provide the public with a sample of a BBQ competition style pork rib that will raise money for our community. We have limited tickets, but this gives the public a great opportunity to try BBQ competition food - like everyone sees on the Food Network.”

Ken says they will create a BBQ Alley at the festival and, with a special rib ticket, you can try some exciting twists on BBQ like BBQ Sundae, BBQ Mac Boat, Cowboy Nachos and so much more. Get your tickets to the Great Americana BBQ Festival at

Ken shared some of his signature recipes for our readers to enjoy. You may just get the BBQ competition passion, too!

Cherry BBQ Sauce

18 ounce jar Cherry Jam
18 ounce bottle commercial Hickory flavored BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp Chipotle powder

Mix all ingredients in a Saucepan, Bring to low boil, simmer for a minute to blend and thicken slightly. Let cool before serving.

Pork Spare Ribs

Remove Membrane from back side (use paper towel to help grab & handle of spoon to start if needed)
Rub both sides with: Pork Rub & Sweet Heat Rub

Daytime Cook Time & Temp:
Smoke at 275* for 2 hours
Wrap in double layer of foil and add 1/2 cup of Apple Juice
Put 1/4 cup Brown Sugar on foil first and put Meat side down

Cook for another 1 hours until tender

Ready to slice and serve to order

Charcoal Cowboys Mac & Cheese

16 ounces Elbow Noodles
5 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar
5 cups shredded Mexican blend Cheese
3 TBS Flour
2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp Mustard
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder
1 3/4 cups Heavy Cream
2 1/4 cups Half & Half
1 1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
3 Eggs beaten
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire

Cook Noodles
Combine all ingredients and mix into cooked noodles

Top with a bit extra shredded sharp cheddar

Cook in covered half pan until bubbly hot and delicious 275* for 1 hour’ ish