RUM RUNNING and Talking BBQ with Rob and Amy

Rob and Amy of Rum Runner’s BBQ opened up about their journey in the competitive BBQ world. From being filmed for BBQ USA while cooking to facing unexpected grilling mishaps, they shared insights into their experiences, techniques, and favorite festivals. They also discussed their evolution from backyard enthusiasts to professional competitors, balancing full-time jobs with eight weekends of competition a year. With a passion for the craft and a commitment to community, their story offers a flavorful glimpse into the tradition, camaraderie, and relentless pursuit of perfection that defines the world of competitive BBQ.

[This interview has been edited for length and clarity]
BBQ 321:Tell us about your experience filming Barbecue USA at the Jimmy Jam BBQ Slam.

AMY: First, it was just very surreal, very strange to have people there waiting for you to do some kind of filming and to be watching your every move and hear every single thing you're saying. We're like, how much can you hear? It was just very different.

ROB: We had seen the behind-the-scenes when BBQ USA was in Memphis in May with The Shed BBQ team. So we had an idea of what was going to happen when y'all were with us. But it's cool to have cameras around. A lot of fun.

BBQ 321: Why do you keep coming back to Jimmy Jam? What is the draw for you guys?

ROB: They've got a great charity-- a good reason to be there and raise money to help families. And they've always done well as far as taking care of the teams and just have a really good atmosphere for everybody to be in. It's a good festival.

AMY: We've watched it evolve into what it is today. It's gone from this little tiny event to now, it's one of the biggest in Florida. And they have the steak contest on top of the regular competition and they have the people's choice award

BBQ 321: I know it's your nemesis, but what's your top tip for Brisket?

ROB: Oh, yes, it still is. We were actually changing up our recipe again because we didn't score well. So we're going back to an old recipe from 2017 and trying to work with that. Friends of ours went back to like 2015 or 2016 with an old recipe and they started getting calls like crazy again. So, it's a cyclical thing.

For more stories, insights, and competition barbecue tips from Rum Runner's BBQ, check out the BBQ 321 Pit Master Interviews Episode 7 podcast.