The Steel City Smokeout

presented by Jack Daniel’s

Saturday, July 20

PNC Plaza

Produced in partnership with Nick’s BBQ, The Steel City Smokeout is a brand new barbeque competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and the Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association!

Master and backyard teams from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region will be competing in a number of categories to win cash prizes from a purse of $10,000. You can see how these teams prepare delicious meats while getting some of your own from the barbeque vendors that will be on hand! Barbeque made by the competing teams will not be available for sampling.

Interested in registering for the Master Series Competition? Click here to register.

We’re currently at our max capacity for backyard teams. To be placed on a waitlist in the event that we’re able to add more, please write to Director of Event Operations Eric Bauder at

Interested teams must apply on or before June 20. To learn about specific requirements for competing, please contact ArtsQuest Director of Event Operations Eric Bauder at

Food Vendors

  • 4 Raices Street Tacos
  • You got Pork’d
  • Kona Ice of Allentown
  • Mon and Mel’s Sweet Scoops Ice Cream Truck
  • and more to be announced!

General Admission

12-6 p.m.

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General AdmissionApr 2-Jul 14Jul 15-20


11 a.m.-6 p.m.

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VIPApr 2-Jul 14Jul 15-20
ArtsQuest Member Price$64$74

VIP ticket benefits:

  • early access to the event at 11 a.m.
  • access to an exclusive area with a private cash bar
  • a complimentary “BBQ Brunch” prepared by Nick’s BBQ including brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, pinto beans, tangy slaw, gouda mac, cornbread, sauce, pickles, pickled red onions, bread and rolls.

Award-winning pitmasters Bob Trudnak and Moe Cason are teaching classes as part of the Steel City Smokeout!

Award-winning pitmasters Bob Trudnak and Moe Cason will give you the very best methods and procedures for cooking high end backyard BBQ with competition tips and tricks. They cover everything from meat selection and trimming to seasoning and cooking procedures on grills and smokers.

18+ only

Your class ticket also gets you entry to the Steel City Smokeout! Just choose between general admission or VIP tickets.

 PriceArtsQuest Member
One Class + one general admission ticket to Steel City Smokeout$99 $94
One Class + one VIP admission ticket to Steel City Smokeout$149$139
All 3 Classes + one general admission ticket to Steel City Smokeout$250$225
All 3 Classes + one VIP admission ticket to Steel City Smokeout$300$275


10-11 a.m.

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We discuss selecting chicken, the different cuts as well as seasoning and tendering the skin. We also discuss time and temperatures for thighs, drums, wings and breast meat, in addition to when to sauce and how dry rubs work on the chicken.


12-1 p.m.

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We discuss different brands of ribs and the difference between spare ribs, St. Louis cut and baby backs. How to trim ribs for backyard and competition as well as trimming and removing membranes for better tenderness. We talk about wrapping techniques vs. not wrapping and how to apply layers of flavor as well as perfect tenderness.


2-3 p.m.

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We discuss the anatomy of a brisket and how to buy them. We talk about brands cuts and the different grades of beef, from select to wagyu. Injecting, seasoning and wrapping procedures are a big part of what we discuss as well. How to tell when a brisket is done and ready to rest will finish up the class.

About the Pitmasters


Lehigh Valley native Nick Binczak started smoking meats in 2019 after spending time working in the kitchen at Edge Restaurant in Bethlehem under Chef Tim Widrick. He created Nick’s BBQ with his partner in life and in business, Hallie, in May of 2020. The business has grown with the acquisition of an event venue where they produce, plan, decorate, and cater events. Nick and Hallie have 2 beautiful daughters, Stella and Grace, and another baby girl on the way!


Moe Cason is a Des Moines-based award-winning BBQ chef and TV personality who has garnered multiple Grand and Reserve Grand Championships while competing in 35 different states. He’s been seen as a contestant, judge, and star on Destination America’s Pitmasters and BBQ Pit Wars. Self-taught as a pitmaster, he uses skills and authentic ingredients passed down from his grandmother, Margaret Cason. He’s a veteran of the US Navy who served on the USS Missouri.


Bob Trudnak got his start in the outdoor cooking industry in 2002. He spent 20 plus years in the product design and manufacturing business while building his cooking career as a competition cook, judge and teacher. He has over 600 awards and has competed throughout the United States and Europe winning many state and national championships. He has taught thousands of students to perfect their craft in the backyard as well as on the competition circuit.

Bob has become a well-known BBQ personality and has an award-winning line of BBQ and pizza sauces and seasonings and is a certified Professional Pizzaiolo (North American Pizza and Culinary Academy).


Ernest Pile has been a resident of the Lehigh Valley since 2001. Prior to this, he spent 21 years as a resident in Nashville, TN where he was employed in the pharmaceutical industry as a biomedical research scientist. It was there that he developed his taste for BBQ and southern cuisine. When he relocated back to the Northeast, he realized how much he missed the foods that had been a part of his daily diet. After watching episodes of the “BBQ Pitmasters” on TV, and seeing Master chefs demonstrate their skills in competition, he found an outlet in Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) where he could learn more about the sport of BBQ and participate as a judge in sampling their cuisine. Ernest has been an active member and certified KCBS judge since 2019. He is participating in this event as the KCBS BBQ Cook Team and Judge Coordinator.

Presented by
Jack Daniels
Cigars International Discover Lehigh Valley Kansas City Barbeque Society MidAtlantic BBQ Association The Restaurant Store

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