The Orange County Barbecue Bonanza is kicking off its 2nd annual event at the Fountain Valley Sports Park in Fountain Valley this Friday through Sunday.
The festival, which is anticipated to draw between 10,000 to 15,000 people in its three-day run, will feature live music and entertainment from country western bands that include Texas House Party and Lazy Brad Lewis, carnival rides and games, a children’s area, artisan exhibits, a sports tent, beer and wine cantinas and barbecue from National Award Winning Rib Cookers of America and local grillers.
Among the big six national rib cookers is Porky ‘N’ Beans, a cooking team from Port Saint Lucie, Fla. The team has a 33-year history of smoking up barbecue, 26 of which were spent serving up customers at an Ohio-based restaurant.
Porky ‘N’ Beans has over 519 barbecue titles and awards under its belt, including the Golden Rib Award, Best Ribs in America and the Best in Orange County Barbecue Ribs, which was won at last year’s OC BBQ Bonanza.
The rib team, which has participated in 23 cook-offs this summer, is expecting to provide nearly 3,000 pounds of ribs during the three-day Orange County festival, and also much of its beloved pulled pork and brisket.
Porky ‘N’ Beans Barbecue Team
Dennis Carrino, 64, the owner of the Porky ‘N’ Beans National Barbecue Cooking Team, which has been featured on the Food Network Channel, has been with the barbecue team since the beginning.
Carrino, who considers himself and his eight-member team celebrities of the rib industry, said that what separates Porky ‘N’ Bean’s barbecue from the other teams is a combination of many things. The team cooks 24 hours a day and does not serve frozen products. Also, the team has special equipment and techniques that helps to create their premium flavor.
“It’s the equipment that you have and your rib techniques, your sauce, your seasoning, [and your] special ribs…these are ribs you can’t buy in any store,” Carrino said. “These are all graded, all uniform and all those things you have to put together to make a great product. That’s what makes Pork ‘N’ Beans so famous and win so much. I mean we haven’t lost an event this summer.”
It takes a ton of equipment for the team, which travels over 15,000 miles a yearin their fully-equipped mobile kitchen. The team’s mobile kitchen is equipped with smokers, freezers, three compartment sinks, hot water tanks and a refrigerator.
Award Winning Ribs
The technique that the cooking team attributes to its tasty ribs and success is using both the oven and the grill when cooking up ribs.
“When our ribs come out of the oven, all seasoned [and] no sauce of course, they’re ready to eat,” Carrino said. “We take that rib just like it is right out of the oven and that’s when we put them on the grill and apply the sauce. When you’re applying the sauce it’s called ‘caramelizing.’ That’s when you bring out all the herbs and sugars that are in your barbecue sauce and that’s what complements the seasoning that you just cooked your ribs for four hours with. And that’s what makes an award winning rib.”
Porky ‘N’ Beans also offers three different sauces that add a variety of different kicks to their ribs.
They offer a regular sweet and smoky sauce, a grilling sauce, which according to Carrino, has a citrus flavor and a Gator Hot Sauce that the cooking team made when they made their move to Florida.
The Gator Hot Sauce provides a good bite, Carrino claims. He said the sauce has a unique flavor that doesn’t just burn the mouth, but provides a flavor and then builds heat gradually.
He said the superiority of Porky ‘N’ Bean’s ribs is recognized with the first bite.
“The thing that makes your mouth water about our ribs is when you walk up and you bite into one, and then you’re going to realize that this is a great rib because it sets us apart,” Carrino said. “People get great barbecue only once a year. We’ll only be there 365 days later, so your crowds will be very, very big this year. Guaranteed.”
Good Barbecue and Fun
During the festival, Carrino and his team will also provide cooking tips to the public that he claims will boost the flavor of ribs.
Carrino said it is going to be a great event for the community because “It don’t get better than a barbecue event.”
John Forrester, Director of Publicity for Orange County Barbecue Bonanza, said the event is great for the community because of the good barbecue and fun.
“Everybody loves barbecue and these are the best national rib grilling teams in the country that are coming in to put on this event for everybody for the city of Fountain Valley as a whole,” Forrester said. “It is just a great time to enjoy cross-country western bands, live music, [and] all sorts of wonderful barbecue. There’s a kid’s area and it’s a very family friendly event.”
The Orange County Barbecue Bonanza is open this Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the Fountain Valley Sports Park, located at 16400 Brookhurst Street, in the back of the park.
General admission is free and menu items range from $2 to $25 per item. Attendees also can purchase VIP Rib Village tickets that include all you can eat ribs, sides, drinks (including beer, wine and nonalcoholic beverages) and desserts at priority table seating. Tickets for the VIP Rib Village are limited and can be purchased at the VIP Rib Village entrance.
For more information on the Orange County Barbecue Bonanza call 562-495-5959 or visit ocbbqbonanza.com. For more information on Porky ‘N’ Beans, call 440-888-1871 or visit porkynbeans.com.