Smoked Baked Potatoes

by Dana ‘Big Papa’ Hillis

I have been doing competition BBQ for over six years, and one of the main reasons is, I am still having fun.

Janet and I won a Grand in Live Oak, Florida and slid down the “Bubba Slide.” We recently won Grand at Punta Gorda and were challenged to take a dive in the “Splash Dogs” pool – which we did not hesitate to do. I saw some photos that show Janet and I got some air off the dock and made a big splash!

The Florida BBQ Association is loaded with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. If you come to a contest you can’t help but have a good time.

We recently cooked close to the Bonez Brothers BBQ team, and these guys really know how to have a good time. Todd Noon is the head cook, and a nicer, more helpful guy you’ll never meet. I’ve never seen him without a smile, and he has a voice you can’t mistake. Todd cooked steaks and baked potatoes and invited anyone close by to stop in and eat when we first met him.

At Punta Gorda, Todd served steaks and huge shrimp with awesome vegetables for dinner. This guy can cook! Bonez Brothers sells some sauces, rubs and shirts, so if you see them at a contest, stop in and check them out.

The Moss Pit team cooked next to us in Punta Gorda and Haines City. It was not funny at the time, but when you sit back and look at their bad luck streak, even they have to laugh.

They had just spent the weekend cooking at Haines City and were ready to leave on Saturday night when they had a blowout on their RV. They limped back to the cook site and called roadside assistance to get someone with a jack big enough to help change a tire.

No service company was available to come, so we checked for lug wrenches and jacks, but did not have anything that would fit. They ended up spending the night, and the next morning Tommy Hardin with Blitzkrieg BBQ borrowed a jack from the Haines City crew and actually went and bought an impact wrench to get the Moss Pit up and running.

Back on the road – they had to endure another flat tire, a mechanical breakdown and one more low tire before they finally made it home. Upon arrival in Punta Gorda, they had to deal with one more flat tire and an RV water leak, but hopefully their bad luck streak is over!

(story continued below)


(Careful....They are loaded!)
Smoked Baked Potatoes


• 6 large Idaho potatoes

• Salt

• Olive oil

• 2 cups finely chopped beef brisket

• 2 cups finely chopped beef brisket

• 2 cups pre-cooked broccoli florets

• Big Papa spicy peach BBQ sauce

• Sour cream

• Shredded cheese

Cooking Instructions:

Rinse and dry potatoes.

Rub in olive oil and roll in salt.

Put on smoker at 275 degrees and cook 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Pull out potatoes and slice open.

Fill with brisket and broccoli, top with BBQ sauce, sour cream and cover with cheese.

These will make a meal! Enjoy!

(story continued from above)

We have had a busy month of contests, and Big Papa’s streak is still holding on. Haines City was another huge and well-run contest.

Team Unknown continued their impressive streak by winning the Grand Champion trophy at Haines City. Everglades Seasoning continued cooking well and took the Reserve Grand trophy.

Pops Q proved he can cook with the best of them by taking home 3rd. Hot Wachulas came in 4th, and Smoke Life took home 5th. Team Unknown took 1st in chicken and ribs, Boca BBQ was 1st in pork, while Everglades won brisket.

Punta Gorda gave us some beautiful weather and some cool dock-diving dogs, including Janet and I jumping in the pool to celebrate a Grand Championship! Porker Face took home the Reserve honors, with Getta Grip taking 3rd, Hot Wachulas taking 4th and Git R Smoked coming in 5th. Getta Grip won chicken, Big Papa’s won ribs and pork, and Hot Wachula took home 1st in brisket.

Dublin, Georgia held their first FBA event with Killer B’s taking home the Grand Championship trophy. Dog House BBQ won the Reserve Championship. Holy Smokers took 3rd, Chatham Artillery took 4th, and U Rub Me Raw took 5th. Band T won 1st in chicken and ribs, while the Doghouse took home 1st in pork and brisket.

Pompano Beach was the site of a first-year contest that saw Jack’s Old South walk away with the Grand Championship. Isle Stud Porkers took home Reserve, with Blitzkrieg BBQ taking 3rd, Getta Grip 4th and The Q 5th. The Q took 1st in chicken and Jack’s Old South placed 1st in ribs, pork and brisket!

The rain held off for the 14th annual “Pig On The Pond,” and the crowds came out to make this long-running contest a big success. Budmeisters proved they can cook anywhere, taking home the Grand. Team Unknown continued their hot streak by winning Reserve Grand.

Forrest showed up in a mini van and a WSM and took home 3rd. Big Papa’s took 4th and Git R Smoked took 5th. GBs BBQ continued his mastery of fowl with a 1st in chicken. Git R Smoked took 1st in ribs, Budmeisters took 1st in pork, and Uncle Kenny’s took 1st in brisket. Forrest and Kenny had a little wager, and somehow Kenny won brisket but lost the bet and had to give Forrest a foot massage. It was not a pretty sight, but Kenny did pay it off.

BBQ is a way of life. Cook often and laugh a lot. Mad Dawg, get well and come back to cooking. We will miss you until you are back. Bring our troops home safe, and I miss you Pop.

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