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Brooklyn Firefighters Compete for "Best BBQ" Title : Slideshow

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

Firefighters from Brooklyn competed in Fairway Market's third annual firefighter barbecue cook off in Red Hook on July 31, 2013. Four teams from firehouses throughout Brooklyn competed for the winning title.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

Before grilling began, contest organizers unveiedl a secret ingredient that the firefighters had to integrate into their burger recipes: salt-preserved lemons, also known as citrons confits.

Jeannie Choi for WNYC

Members of the team from Brooklyn Heights Hicks Street, Engine 224, discussed their strategy for adding the citrons confits to their burger recipe.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

After deciding to add minced citrons confits to the lettuce that will go on top of their burgers, Mike Gaudioso (left) and Rob Scally (right) from the Brooklyn Heights Hicks Street team carefully placed their patties on the grill. They said their secret to a good burger patty is packing the patties tight to prevent juices from running out of them when they're on the grill.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

Competition judges Laura Smith (left), a radio disc jockey, and Kimberly Price, a writer for the Star-Revue, tasted the burgers from each team. The food was judged on taste, originality and use of the secret ingredient.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

The next category was barbecued chicken. The team from Brooklyn Heights Engine 205, Ladder 118 used fresh herbs and olive oil to  flavor their wings.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

Lieutenant Brian O'Sullivan (left) said that when head chef Jimmy Carino (right) cooks for the firehouse, it's always a treat. Carino cooked his way through college in restaurant kitchens before becoming a firefighter and has always had a talent for cooking.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz carefully judged the different types of barbecue chicken cooked by the four teams of firefighters.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

The final barbecue category was ribs. The smell was intoxicating, as marinated ribs quickly smoked on the grills placed along the patio deck at Fairway Market.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

Finally, after three heated rounds of competition and a little good-natured ribbing between the teams, the judges tallied up the final scores. Though each team put in a heroic effort, only one team could win the title of best barbecue.

(Jeannie Choi for WNYC)

The judges announced the winning team: the Brooklyn Heights Hicks Street Engine 224. The winning team, whose head chef was Rob Scally, received a $500 gift card from Fairway, a donation to a charity of their choice and, of course, a gleaming trophy.

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