Grill Masters set to compete in South Dakota

Local News

BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — Beef is big business, and South Dakota is set to welcome more than 30 grill masters for a Steak Cookoff Association competition.

PrairieFire is a sanctioned steak competition that’s looking to put some sizzle back into South Dakota cook-offs.

“You’d think there would be more considering there are 14-million head of cattle in South Dakota,” PrairieFire Founder Mark Noordsy said.

“We just thought it sounded like a fun idea. With our yard, it creates a great atmosphere for that type of event,” Red Rock Bar & Grill Owner Mitch Runge said.

Red Rock Bar & Grill near Brandon is hosting Sunday’s competition.

“I’m a barbequer myself, so I’m going to be out there checking it out,” Runge said.

36 competitors from as far away as Illinois will attempt to grill a ribeye to a perfect medium.

“It sounds easy. It’s a little harder than that,” Noordsy said.

Every second, and step, matters.

“The cooks will time the time it takes them to walk from their cook site to the turn-in table so they can make sure it rested just that perfect amount of time,” Noordsy said.

The judges will score each entry on five criteria, beginning with appearance, doneness, and tenderness…

“And of course the big score is taste, does it taste good? Does it taste like beef, does the seasoning they put on enhance the beef? Finally, there’s an overall score,” Noordsy said.

The competition has a top prize of $1,000 and it’s a super qualifier event.

“If you win at PrairieFire, you get what’s called the golden ticket, which allows you to cook in the World Championships down in Dallas/Fort Worth next March,” Noordsy said.

After the ribeyes are judged, the remaining steak will become prime rib sandwiches with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Home Society.

“We love their mission and it’s local, it’s right here, you can go over there any time, so we just really like to partner up with them,” Runge said.

Steak with a side of charity.

There will be two separate competitions. Steak selection begins at 10:30 Sunday morning. The final products are set to be judged at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

PrairieFire is hosting another competition in Wessington, South Dakota this summer.

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