This is the first of two articles featuring Tom, a champion competitive griller sponsored in part by Griller’s Gold.
Even in the days before he imagined competing, Tom McIntosh, leader of the T-Mac Smokin’ team—sponsored by Griller’s Gold—has used wood pellets for his grilling. “I had a backyard pellet grill that I purchased in 2007. I was very familiar with cooking with pellets,” Tom said.
Tom’s competitive career began serving up food at the church picnic. “I used to have the picnic’s beer tent. We decided we had to do something about the food. We started with steak sandwiches, then chicken and ribs, then went the whole nine yards to pork shoulder and brisket.” The lucky congregation that got to enjoy all this fine food and drink is St. Pius X in Appleton, Wisconsin. Tom and his family no longer live in that community. He jokingly says “We had a hard time getting people to take over the picnic so we had to move!”
“In 2010, somebody said I should try one of these competitions. I hadn’t even seen any BBQ TV shows.” Tom entered a non-sanctioned competition in Green Bay that worked by KCBS rules. He won Reserve Grand Champion. “I’ve been competing seriously since 2012.”
“The T-Mac Smokin’ team has competed in about every state in the Midwest—Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma. And up to Ontario, Canada, and down to Puerto Rico, twice—we won it the first time,” Tom said.
One of the best memories Tom has is from early competitive days, in 2013. “Our whole family went to the 2013 American Royal Invitational in Kansas City, Missouri,” Tom said. “Two hundred competitors from the larger Open event were invited. We won Reserve Grand Champion and got a perfect score for first place on brisket–kind of an amazing accomplishment.”
The successes keep coming. 2018 wins include:
2018 Deaths Door BBQ Competition, Washington Island, WI
- Day 1 Grand Champion; Day 2 GrandChampion
2018 American Royal Open
- 4th Place Overall, 2nd Place Perfect Score Chicken
- Reserve Grand Champion Side Dish—1st Place Perfect Score Dessert, 4th PlaceVegetable, 5th Place Beans
2018 Turtle Colorfest BBQ Bash, Turtle Lake, WI
- Grand Champion, 1st Place Brisket
Nowadays, the team consists of just Tom and his wife, Becky. They like to win, but they love spending time together one weekend after another. And they enjoy being a part of the lively BBQ competition community. “Meeting the people we’ve met has been an awesome journey.“
Follow Tom and the T-Mac Smoking BBQ Team on their Facebook page for exciting news and updates!
Find Griller’s Gold near you to start grilling like a champion.