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Tucky's Appears on Fox 5 Barbecue Cook Off

Some people are born to be barbecue masters and some are not. Tucky's and four other local barbecue estsablishment came together for a friendly throw down June 10 on Fox 5 KVVU. Presented by Fox 5 and Galaxy Outdoor and sponsored by John Mull's Meats/Road Kill Grill, Tucky's and the other participants were asked to compete by preparing St. Louis style spare ribs, chicken thighs, beef short ribs and cole slaw.

Starting at about 3am, Owner Gail McFarlane and Pitmaster Tony Pell, a mother and son team, popped up their canopy, put their kitchen together and began preparation of the rubs, trimming the meats and chopping the vegetables in hopes of taking home a trophy and bragging rights. 

"We'd never competed before," said Pell. "We like to cook for the public and our repeat customers are the trophies we are really interested in."

During the 6-hour televised event, McFarlane and Pell appeared live over the air and gave some tips on how backyard 'q'ers' could improve their game. Their favorite tip was to "take your time." 

The hallmark of Tucky's outstanding product is the amount of time the meats are smoked. Beef brisket is slow smoked about 18 hours, while the bone-in pork shoulders for their pulled pork are smoked from 12 to 14 hours. According to McFarlane, this brings out the true flavor of the meats, combining protein, seasoning and smoke and resulting in a far superior product.   

"The other technique that makes our smoked meats better is the quality of the smoke. Most traditional smokers in the area use sticks (logs of wood with bark)," according to Gail. "We use only 100% hickory or fruitwoods, but there is no bark. That means the wood burns clean without tannins and resins that can give some folks headaches and cause other health and environmental concerns."

"It also helps that my son Tony is an extraordinary chef in his own right. He understands when the meats are cooked just right, and has a gift for seasoning."

While Tucky's didn't take home a trophy this time, they made an impressive ranking, considering this was their first competition, according to McFarlane. Fox 5 has approached them about appearing in subsequent barbecue cook offs.

-Tucky's BBQ is open 7 days from 11-9pm and located between Chevron and McDonald's at 308 N. Boulder Hwy, Henderson, NV 89015. Dine in or carry out. Call 702-566-4BBQ. Visit to view their menu.