By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
It may have taken all day, but it was well worth it.
Luke and Chanda Vande Wall earned the top prize in this year's Best Backyard Barbecue Contest at the Southern Iowa Fair.
Luke said he and Chanda arrived on the fairgrounds early Friday morning before proceeding to set up their smoker, start the fire and marinate the meat they would cook throughout the day.
The smoker the Vande Walls used is unique in and of itself.
“It's a home-built smoker from an old upright deep freeze,” he said. “I hand built it.”
The hand-building process took around 20 hours, Luke added.
This was Luke and Chanda's first time competing in the Best Backyard Barbecue Contest at The Southern Iowa Fair. Both said they were a bit nervous about competing at first.
“This is the first time we've ever tried it,” said Luke. “The smoker had never left home before. We've never cooked for anybody but friends and family.”
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.