ADAMS -- Pork kabobs, chicken and ribs slathered in special sauces, grilled pound cake?
The sweet smells of those familiar and lesser-known culinary delights gently hung in the air at the corner of Spring and Gavin avenues on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of an amateur grilling competition that its organizer hopes will take place again in the fall.
"Smoking in The Glen," as the event was called, was held to inform the public that Hoosac Coal and Grain had recently moved to the corner of Spring and Gavin, about a charcoal briquette's throw from the center of town.
Store manager Joe Galok said he organized the barbecue competition because a lot of people thought that Hoosac Coal and Grain had gone out of business after its old store on Cook Street closed.
"It's a way to draw attention," Galok said. "With all the Food Network shows, amateur barbecue is really big right now."
Barbecue competitions aren't the typical way that businesses celebrate the move to a new location, but Galok said he chose that method because he was familiar with the concept.
Before working for Hoosac Coal and Grain, Galok organized similar events in Pennsylvania for his old employer.
"I did lots of them," he said
Galok said 19 participants expressed an interest in competing, and that 13 showed up. The competitors did their cooking in front of a mini-mall on Spring Avenue, and in a parking lot behind Hoosac Coal and Grain's new location.
Competition took place in three categories: pork and ribs, chicken, and dessert. The winner, Todd Coons of Adams, was selected by adding up the points each competitor received in the three categories.
The grand prize? A $900 spherical ceramic grill known as a Kamado Joe. A kamado is a traditional Japanese cooking vessel fueled by charcoal.
Second prize, won by George Rinaldi of Hinsdale, was a much smaller grill that went for $9.99. Rinaldi finished only two points behind Coons.
"All I had left in my budget was $10," Galok said, laughing.
Hoosac Coal & Grain supplied the meat. Competitors were required to bring their own desserts. At least three of the desserts, baked Granny Smith apples, cupcakes and the pound cake were cooked by the competitors in the grills themselves.
The best way to cook Granny Smith apples on a grill?
"Carefully," said Mike Marchesi of Lanesborough, who wrapped the apples in aluminum foil and arrayed them on a shelf of his grill. The apples were slathered in a concoction that included mangos, water and serrano pepper to give them "a little zip," Marchesi said.
Another griller, who identified himself only as ZZ, planned to grill pound cake in a smoker grill that was shaped like a steer. A metal ring hung from the nose of the steer's head on the front of the grill.
"You have to get your heat on it, and get good grill marks, but take it off before it's too late," ZZ said, when asked how to use a smoker is used to grill a pound cake.
Rinaldi and Kelly Brazee of Hinsdale planned to cook pineapple with mascarpano cheese and "a hint of lemon" in a smoker that resembled the kind of small icebox normally found in a college student's dorm room.
"It's the same as making it in an oven," Rinaldi said, "just smaller."